Turn on the news right now. Go on. The remote’s over there behind the throw pillow. Seriously, go ahead. We’ll wait.
Ah, good, you’re back. Well? Wasn’t that depressing? And to think that stuff is going on all the time. What you witnessed was a mere thirty seconds of it. In this world, there are things that get us down on a daily basis. The good news is that it often doesn’t take long to recover. Here are ten ways you can get happy within the next ten minutes.
1. Make a call.
Do the kids have you fantasizing about a cocktail the size of a mop bucket? Call a friend, one you haven’t spoken to in a while. Share jokes. Commiserate. Don’t be stingy with the way you’re feeling. Friends are there to let you know you’re never truly alone.
2. Move those legs
A walk around the block gets the blood going and gives you time out for fancy thinkin’. Many a walk ends with a clearer mind and maybe even a solution or two to life’s aggravations.
3. Tidy up
Clean out the top kitchen drawer, the one that holds all those pens that don’t work. A sense of accomplishment like that can easily boost the spirits.
4. Take a bath.
To sink into a warm bath is to regress back to the womb, only without all those nasty organs around. OK, that’s stretching the metaphor. However, something about a bath speaks to that little person inside us who just needs a bit of pampering.
5. Write it down
What makes you want to lie down while the cockroaches take over? Whether the nuisance is nail fungus, stretch marks, or the world economic crisis, put pen to paper. It’s OK if you’re not a writer. No one has to read it, ever. No one will read it, ever. Feel free to write as poorly as you want. The object is to take what’s bothering you and cast it out like the refuse it is.
6. Get off the internet
Catch the irony here of mentioning this online? Good, you still have your sense of humor. Keep it by avoiding internet holes. Log off completely. Read a short story or a couple of chapters of a novel. Do a crossword puzzle. Nourish your brain as well as your spirit.
7. Crank up the Muddy Waters
Remember, no matter how rough things get, your life is never as bad as a blues man’s.
8. Rev it up, cool it down
Two proven methods: Exercise and relaxation. While exercise helps to release neurotransmitters that boost energy and elevate mood, relaxation reduces stress. Get that heart rate up, then cool down with a quiet, mind-clearing meditation.
9. Make a list
Sit back and make a mental list of things you love. Think about how they’ve impacted even the smallest moments in your life. Be thankful they exist. Here are some to get you started: Ice cream, Beethoven, Twilight Zone reruns, frolicking puppies…
10. Watch an episode of My Little Pony ‘n’ Friends
When nothing else works, it’s time to whip out the high-powered weaponry of depression fighting. The characters from this classic 80′s cartoon have not a single worry that can remotely compare with anything close to what is getting you down. It’s escapism at its finest. Ten minutes into this world and you’ll not only forget your troubles exist, you may also forget that ponies aren’t pink nor can they fly. Big guns here. Watch at your own risk.
The author Sandy Getzky is an associate editor at ProveMyMeds, a public health and education startup focused on producing helpful resources concerning the treatment of common ailments.