Confucius said (besides a lot in Chinese)
Our greatest glory is not in never falling, but in rising every time we fall.
I am not even sure Confucius said this, but it’s a thought-provoking statement. And yet, when one is down, one is down, and definitely not thinking of glory or for that matter Confucius.
Recently I was feeling a bit low.
And I thought what if I had a checklist of some 50 things that I could pop like a pep-up pill or ingest like instant coffee to get that spring in my step back again.
So I started.
And I did the first 10 very quickly, the next 10 fast, the following 10 after some thought and then I managed some 10-12 more with a struggle.
And I stopped.
As you can see I need to get to 50 (and if possible 100). I so need help… before I feel low again about this!
I am giving you my first 10 to inspire you to get going but please, please start contributing in the comments below and I will incorporate it in my master list of 50 (and we will all be world-famous and we will solve hunger, poverty and unemployment and the falling-rupee-value issues in one fell swoop. Really! )
So here goes…
1. Have a hair cut
Ask any woman. Nothing does wonders to your mood like a good hair cut and some time and money spent in a salon. Add colour and highlights to the deal and you are likely to walk out of the salon feeling like a model straight out of Fashion TV (but smiling – those models just don’t smile!)! Because I am a woman, I write many things from a woman’s point of you but I don’t see why men cannot follow my advice. So a hair cut it is… an instant (well, couple of hours) pick-me-up. Men – ensure you have some hair on your head before you fix your appointment. Better still get a clean shave!
2. Read a book
There’s no greater joy than immersing yourself in a book to make you feel better. If you let someone like P.G. Wodehouse do it, the effect is instant. For someone like Raymond Chandler the smiles come in a bit slowly and wryly. Or if it is one of the newer scribes, it’s simply the joy of discovering new things and the added joy of discussing it with fellow book enthusiasts. Go for it. Curl up with a book. (Add coffee if you like!)
3. Reread a book you’ve liked
When I was a child, my mother never quite understood why I sat with a book (called Gordon the Goat!) all the time. I read and re-read the book. While it was a hard cover book, over time the book jacket was in tatters and the cover changed shades from a pale yellow to a kind of muddy green. But whenever I was sad or upset or simply had time, I read the book. Something about its familiarity and predictability gave me comfort. That’s what re-reading a book still does to me.
I once went shopping with my daughter when she was a lanky 8-year old. Tall for her age, most of the clothes that we tried did not fit her, or did not appeal to her or were uncomfortable. After a futile 45 minutes (that’s a lot for an 8 year old) we walked out of the shop disgusted. And then we decided to walk into a bookshop. As soon as she entered she said, “Mom, look… the books fit!” And they sure did! Truly, buy a book suited for you and it fits no matter what your size! (Now would you like fries with that?)
5. Get a friend a gift
I was at the airport recently and browsing around. Usually airport shops remind me of all the stuff I don’t have! But this time I saw something appropriate for a friend. A birthday gift six months late was bought. What joy… just knowing I’ve got something perfect and being absolutely sure it will be liked. Instant joy of giving! (P.S. for the cynics: it WAS appreciated!)6. Take a 30-minute holiday! Sometimes when you are feeling stressed, overwhelmed or low… a 30 minute break is perfect. Do a ‘runaway-and-hide’. Just 30 minutes of not doing what you are supposed to. 30 minutes of reading writing listening to the music you love – no guilt involved. Set a timer if you have to. Rest assured you’ll come back refreshed. Of course, this is best done on a working day when the world is getting you down!
I don’t share this secret often. I do get an instant kick out of just planning a holiday: deciding on a destination, however out of the world it is (pun intended). There is so much joy figuring out how to get there, what to do when one gets there, how many days and all that jazz. Once you mentally calculate the prices and figure out that your schedule won’t really let you go, you can calm down a bit and put it in your bucket list. But those ‘planning and dreaming’ moments are pure joy!
8. Go for a massage
There’s nothing like someone else doing the working out for you for a change. A bit of pampering and relaxing and kneading is probably all you need. Follow it up with a sit in the sauna and you’re sufficiently detoxified to have a glass of wine! (Well… choose your poison!)
9. Go for a spa appointment
Unless you yourself work in a spa, I think a spa is a great place to go to. (Come to think of it, where do people who work in a spa go to relax?!) But I digress. Make some time. Take an appointment with yourself. Take a spa break. Just one hour can take away weeks of stress, late nights, and work-life imbalance. That me-time is a sure pep pill – in the real sense of the word.
10. Indulge in chocolate
To date, I’ve not found a better synonym for indulgence than chocolate. To steal a phrase: The overweight’s envy. The slim one’s pride. But calories apart, there’s nothing that’s more of a mood upper than a bite or two or more of chocolate – white, milk, dark, hazelnut, orange or liqueurs! Mmmmm… I feel better already!
So here are the first ten… I have 34 more to go… but I need your help to reach the full 50.
Contribute your best pick-me-uppers and I’ll publish them next time…
Till then… chin up!