Here are my entirely arbitrary rules for compiling my list of go-to things that can perk me up when I’m feeling down. Everything on the Happy List has to be fairly specific. Nothing too vague, obvious, or insipid such as “reading a good book,” “spending time with family and friends,” or “doing kind things for others.” (As delightful as all of those things are). “Jetting off to Monaco for the weekend” or even “spending a weekend in NYC” don’t count, but “ogling the zebra finches, who spend their days pooping on the exquisite wrapping paper that lines their equally exquisite bird cage at Caspari on the Downtown Mall in Charlottesville” does. The basic requirements: specific, doable without too much planning or forethought, and free (or nearly free).
Here’s what’s in my Emergency Happy Kit:
- Looking at photos of puppies on the Puppyfind website, or for more diversified animal therapy options: the Cute Overload website
- This video of my nephew chortling with wild abandon. Watching this video will make you feel like you won the happy lottery. I can’t get the link to look pretty, but click on it and make sure you watch the best part, between seconds 30 and 34.
- Certain photographs of my own family. This set for instance:
Retail Therapy (Closely related to Visual Therapy, because no purchase necessary to get the mood-enhancing benefit):
- Stationery stores. Paper, paper, paper.
- Fabric stores work too. I don’t even know how to sew, but looking at all the different fabrics makes me inexplicably happy…I know. I don’t get it either.
- The greenhouse at Merrifield Garden Center.
- Browsing in the children’s picture book section of any bookstore in the evening all by myself.
Food and beverage:
- Smelling Earl Grey tea. It’s better than drinking it. But the best of all is to alternate bites of Breyer’s natural vanilla ice cream with sips of Earl Grey tea that’s served in a pretty teacup, naturally.
- A green tea latte from Starbucks, unsweetened. Looks vile, tastes divine.
- Spending an hour or two playing my ukulele and singing songs from my Daily Ukulele songbook.
OK, now it’s your turn…What gets you out of a funk? READY? GO! Please leave a comment to share what’s on your list!