Saturday, March 19, 2016


One of the most important things to know in life is how to cheer yourself up, a skill set that will come in very handy during times of transition, ennui and directionlessness (um, hello middle age, empty nest, self-doubt, grey days on end). It's a hybrid of self-care, creativity-seeking and just plain muddling forward by faith. And it's best tailored to individual preferences: what is effective for me may not do the trick for you and vice versa.

Begin by employing the senses. What do you love to see, hear, taste, touch and smell? Maybe it's a combination of Matisse cut-outs, Louis Armstrong, cappuccino, a dog's silky coat and a just-cleaned house. Right there is plenty there to jump start this process. Next, get moving. Stretch, go for a walk, jump a rope. This dovetails with getting outside, filling up on fresh air. Now, feed your brain with a poem or a puzzle. Then make something. A picture, a potholder, a pie. Doesn't matter what, just dabble on it for a while. Finally, conjure up the faces of the people you adore and let yourself feel their love for you. Send them loving thoughts and maybe even the potholder.

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