What an amazing time to be alive.
Modern conveniences are more convenient than ever. Last night I FaceTimed with a friend in Australia. That’s two-way video communication with someone on the other side of Earth at minimal expense. That’s some James Bond stuff, right there.
Radio sucks megahertz, but we have access to more diverse music than ever. I can’t tell you the last time I watched TV per TV Guide’s schedule.
This is the age of the gig-entrepreneur. There’s never been a better or easier time to start a business online. The brave souls willing to do so are earning the autonomy to live and work from anywhere in the world whenever they want. W-2 employers are still hesitant to let more employees work remotely. That’s some Fred Flintstone stuff, right there.
Even with all our technology and conveniences, life is still hectic and erratic. It can feel impersonal. It’s easy to feel disconnected and dreary. Here are 10 non-traditional ways to boost your mood when you’re feeling down:
1. Dance naked.
It’s scientifically proven that one can’t dance naked and not feel better when their rump-revealing rhumba is over. Turn on your favorite music, the cheesier the better, and revel in your disrobed disco.
2. Lay in the grass and stare at the sky.
There’s nothing better than the great outdoors to lift one’s spirits when feeling down and out. The best part about this mood enhancer is that it can be done any time of day, nearly any time of year. I have yet to determine which is better, taking in a clear-blue day, seeing shapes in clouds or staring at our intergalactic friends across the cosmos.
3. Do a cartwheel or somersault.
When we’re younger, cartwheels and somersaults are a part of normal life:
“What did you do today Little Johnny?”
“Oh, I played on the jungle gym, sniffed markers and did somersaults until it was time to nap.”
That’s a rational conversation to a seven-year-old. We inevitably grow up and grow out of such carefree fun. We shouldn’t. Cartwheels and somersaults can boost your mood.
Wherever you are, regardless of what you’re doing, bust out a cartwheel or somersault and see if it doesn’t put a smile on your face and the faces of the people around you. If someone frowns on your immature behavior, stick your tongue out at them. It’s the only response.
4. Buy flowers.
There was a time when my husband and I were paying off credit card debt. We wanted to pay off this debt fast and put our bad decisions behind us. We cut out most of our discretionary spending. One unnecessary item we didn’t cut out was the regular purchase of fresh-cut flowers.
Even as I write this piece, there’s a vase of fresh cut sunflowers, my personal favorite, on the other side of my laptop. How much does it cost to make me happy for a week? $4.
5. Guiltlessly eat ice cream.
It’s impossible to feel down when eating ice cream on a cone. It’s silly and that’s why it’s awesome. Plus, it’s one of life’s greatest distractions.
If you get two flavors, which goes on the bottom and which goes on the top? Do you get a waffle cone, waffle cone dipped in chocolate, sugar cone, or go old-school with a cake cone? Once your prize is in hand, what’s your strategy to ensure your ice cream doesn’t end up on your hand or, worse, the floor?
Do you give instructions to the inevitable guest taster? How do you get your ice cream cone back in order after the guest taster licks your ice cream cone wrong?
Suddenly, that business meeting is a lot less important.
6. Don’t get out of bed.
I’m of the camp who wakes up at 4:30 am, drinks warm lemon water, meditates for 15 to 20 minutes, exercises, and starts working before most people leave their houses. However, a handful of times a year I hold court in my bed. It’s oh so enjoyable.
Having my coffee or tea in bed while I’m reading a book is as good as reading a book on the beach. Watching 80s reruns provides me warmth and happiness every time I take a bedroom vacation.
You might be surprised at how simply playing hooky from normal life can boost your mood.
7. Bike a ride to nowhere.
Remember your carefree days of riding your bike around the neighborhood? Me, too.
This is why my husband and I recently bought single speed bikes. Being on our bikes gives a different perspective on things we pass every day in our car. Biking is great exercise that exposes us to fresh air and sun, all of which improves our sourest of moods.
8. Take one step to get your dream job.
Are you doing what you love? Even if you’re doing what you went to school for, is the career choice you made at age 18 or 20 the right choice for you today?
As we get older, we create false limitations. We have all sorts of excuses for why we can’t change careers or start a new adventure. Often these limitations focus on the amount of work required to change careers or start a business.
How do you eat an elephant*? One bite at a time.
Take one, small step toward your dream job, whether you follow up on it or not. Reach out to an influencer on LinkedIn. Update your resume. Join an industry-specific group on Facebook.
Here’s a hint. Most corporate email addresses follow the “FirstName.LastName@CompanyName.com” format. Take a chance and ask rock stars in your dream industry for informational interviews.
One small step toward a goal provides a sense of accomplishment and hope that lifts any spirit.
* Don’t eat elephants.
9. Memorize a stand-up comedy sketch.
YouTube is as good as the Library of Congress when it comes to classic comedy sketches. Memorize a bit from such comedy gods as Richard Pryor, George Carlin, Gilda Radnor, or anyone who makes you laugh. This will make you the funniest person at the next office party and it’ll crack you up while you’re learning it.
1o. Have sex.
Whether alone or with a partner, put your phone down and get busy. Sex releases the mood-enhancer oxytocin. This is scientifically proven to make you feel better.
Whether solo or with a partner, sex before bed makes you sleep better and might make you feel happier and better rested the next day.
You don’t have to break the bank to boost your mood.
Most of my mood-enhancing recommendations are free or cheap and accessible to most anyone. Don’t hold back. When you’re done dancing naked in your bedroom, somersault your way into sex in bed with an ice cream nightcap.
When you’re done dancing naked in your bedroom, somersault your way into sex in bed with an ice cream nightcap.