Let’s be real- the glums (e.g. “bleh.”) or angsties (e.g. “eek!”) can come upon us all.* You’re sitting home alone, eating your third bowl of sprouted corn flakes for that day, and suddenly the absurd nothingness of your life sets in. Do you allow your mind to take that turn down Despair Drive? Or do you grab the wheel and screech triumphantly into Laughter Lane?!
If Laughter Lane is your destination of choice, here are some tried and true (by yours truly, at least) methods for punching those glums in the jugular.
1) Purposely befriend and hang with people who think your problems are lamé
It seems counter-intuitive, but it’s refreshing to be with people who don’t care (beyond how it makes you feel) if all the rats in your experiment die, or your hairline is receding, or your boyfriend’s sister said you dress like a skank. Friends like this help me reorient and realize that many of my issues are pretty isolated and low-impact in the grand scheme of things. #perspective
2) Move dat bodaay!
You’ve probably read somewhere that running and yoga help reduce stress. But while I do both so I can be a Fast and Flexible Fran, I can still mull over my problems and bad feels as I do them. Instead, weight training dispels the glums the best for me. I can’t think about anything else when I’m training except my form and breathing. That narrow focus is a peaceful Japanese garden compared to my usual wild bramble of thoughts. Plus, weight training gives you the benefit of ‘mirin’ yourself in the mirror afterwards, which has been clinically proven to chase the glums away.
3) Look at perty stuff
Maybe this is more specific to me, but my work ain’t pretty. I dare you to google ‘transcardial rat perfusion’. Now imagine picking up a rat turd with a paper towel. That’s not all I do, PTL, but both of those are a part of my life. After prolonged exposure to this sort of ugliness, my soul begins to shrivel like a humiliated grape. It’s restorative to go look at beautiful houses around the well-to-do neighborhoods in my area, or even wander around some fru-fru store like Pier 1 Imports and let all my senses be assaulted with glitter, bergamot and lavender candles, and plush pillows. Ahh. If you are the manliest of mans and would feel emasculated doing either of those, go to a gun store and admire the beautiful machinery of the newest Kimber or something. Gah!
4) Be unimpressive
When I was in undergrad, I became obsessed with “holistic excellence.” Consequently, even my so called “down time” was somehow impressive or admirable, like reading Aristotle or running to break a personal record. Now, I give myself the indulgence of lounging in my pj’s and watching You’ve Got Mail for the 3,547th time. And I don’t feel guilty about it. For you who are already experts at being unimpressive, this point may seem cray. But, if you err on the side of perfectionism, just stop. striving. for a little while.
5) Get artsy-fartsy, but hold the fartsy.
If you’re already an artist of some sort, then you do you. But if you are like me with practically no artistic ability, here are some ideers- make up a new recipe off the top of your head, color in one of those super elaborate coloring books for adults, write a short fictional story, spray-paint a random object, play with Legos.. whatever. Usually I have this glorious creation in mind, but the end product is so absurdly ugly that it makes me laugh uproariously. So either way.. glums be gone.
Similar to drunk texting, except you’re drunk on LOVE and you selectively target your fam and your closest friends, not your exes. I like to text, one by one, everyone I love with “I LOVE YOUUUUU” or *kissy face kissy face kissy face*, or ‘ ❤ ❤ ❤ ‘ .. etc. If that’s a little over the top for your personality, then you can opt for something like “You’re not all bad” or something similarly stoic. Not only does it give you warm fuzzies, it gives your loved ones warm fuzzies, which make your own fuzzies that much fuzzier. Eh, what? Okay, moving on..
Bonus: In a pinch, watch the YouTube clip of Will Ferrell and Christina Aguilera performing the Tight Pants Song on The Tonight Show. Glum cannot withstand its power.
— EDITORIAL NOTES —
* By glums, I mean a temporary, purely emotional (sometimes hormonal) downshift in mood. These tips aren’t meant to cure long term probs that have psychological &/or spiritual roots. If your problems aren’t temporary and they go deeper than feeling slightly ‘blue’, please make steps to talk to a counselor. For realz.