27 Mar 2020

Hope you feel better! Here’s 50 ways and more!

Hope you feel better

The times right now are tough. Especially the lockdown. Social distancing and the ensuing sense of isolation. And there’s not much we can do for each other except give each other a virtual handshake or a hug. I’ve been sending flower emoticons to friends who are unwell, hug emoticons to thank someone and then the lovely one that shows biceps for a ‘More Power To You’ message! But hope you feel better is difficult to say when you don’t mean it. So here’s something better than saying it, giving you a list of more than 50 way to feel better inspite of … you know what.

Hope you feel better. (The background)

Sometime ago (thats 2015) when I was not feeling too great (not like this but…) I decided I had plenty of ways to feel better. So I started with a list. And it went fine till it didn’t. So I urged my friends to add to it. And then published this list later. The original post link is below. I’ve rejigged some stuff. Why? Cos of… you know what!

So here it. Verbatim. (Almost.)

I confess I am a big fan of lists. So what I have done here is shared one of my more successful posts that was first published as a list with a request for people to add to it. My next post was then a compilation of both. Here are both the posts back to back.

It’s a good day to feel good…better… instantly!
Here’s my first post


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. Sounds familiar even now, doesn’t it? 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! Didn’t think of the dreaded COVID-19 at that time!) The editing is done in italics so you know how I’ve made it relevant to today. Feel free to add your thoughts in the comments section!

So here goes…
ONE: 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!
Hey okay! You can’t do this but how about a home shampoo and blowdry salon style? It’ll make you feel better. Men! I’m told beards are out! For one, behind the ‘mask’ you can’t see the facial hair. And two- more important – I believe it’s not very hygienic. I have to find out why!

TWO: 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 who likes 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!)

THREE: 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.


FOUR: Buy a book

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?)

FIVE:Get a friend a gift

I was at the airport recently and browsing around. (This is an old post, remember?) 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!). (I am told Amazon and Flipcart and other online deliveries have started again. Even if not, put it your cart or wish list to be bought and delivered later! This too shall pass!)

SIX: 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!

SEVEN: Plan a holiday

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!
(We know the world is never going to be the same again. Planning for the future is now something that should keep you occupied for a long long time. And much beyond the 21-days!)

EIGHT: 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!)
(Oh well, you can’t go for a massage. But how about giving it to yourself. So that those tired aching feet that have withstood hours in the kitchen without help or the arms that are paining from additional house chores get their due!)

NINE: 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 THE PEOPLE WHO WORK IN 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.

TEN: 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!

I got a lot of contributions through social comments. And here is a fully compiled list – thanks to ‘crowd-sourcing’ I’d love to keep this going… can  you add some more?

So here they are – the more-than-50!
With contributions from Nishant, Roopal, Praveen, Baku, Naresh and Parveen!
Thanks guys! Much appreciated.
 Friends are definitely a great upper upper!

(I will not elaborate on these!. It’s just what it is ..a list!)

50 quick pick-me-uppers

  1. Have a hair cut
  2. Read a book
  3. Reread a book you’ve like
  4. Buy a book
  5. Get a friend a gift
  6. Take a 30 minute holiday
  7. Plan a holiday
  8. Go for a massage
  9. Go for a spa appointment
  10. Indulge in chocolate
  11. Drink one glass of wine over one hour
  12. Go for a walk
  13. Look at the sky
  14. Observe a tree in detail
  15. Don’t speak for an hour
  16. Meditate for 20 minutes
  17. Start a new hobby
  18. Plan to start a new hobby
  19. Shop for something you’ll never use
  20. Revisit old photographs
  21. Revisit old memories
  22. Call a friend you’ve not spoken to in a long time
  23. Write a postcard to someone you don’t know
  24. Donate to a charity
  25. Connect with a neighbor
  26. Reconnect with a neighbor
  27. Watch a film alone
  28. Take a picture that tells a story
  29. Write a story that creates a picture
  30. Read an old poem you love
  31. Revisit a quote you love
  32. Go to a coffee shop alone.
  33. Tip a security guard an insane amount
  34. Ask the office janitor his name, write it down
  35. Find out which ice-cream the person sitting next to you likes
  36. Get your immediate neighbor their favourite ice-cream
  37. Read a book/story you loved as a child
  38. Count the number of trees around where you live or where you work
  39. Listen to a song you like. Listen to it again. And again.
  40. Rearrange the furniture in your room
  41. Revisit the lyrics of a song you like. Decipher them
  42. Indulge in colony gossip (Thanks Roopal!)
  43. Get the whole family together! The extended family but all blood relatives – Mama, Chacha, Bua… (Thanks again Roopal… this is scary but worth trying!)
  44. Write a blog on how you feel (Thanks Nishant, after number 44, this should do you good!)
  45. Music (Thanks Praveen. I suppose any kind of music. Whatever floats your boat, right? )
  46. Retail therapy! I agree… nothing like shopping -even if it’s just window shopping- to lift up those flagging spirits! (Thanks heaps Kamal. I’ll even send you the bills!)

47 Corny pop songs from The 80s
48. Food, food, food
49. Shoes, shoes shoes (Thanks Baku, for all 47, 48 & 49 – my favourite! Am so off to DSW right now! If you’re not buying them, you’re trying them)
49. Watch a funny flick like “my cousin vinny” or “angoor” or even AFV
50. Forgive and connect, reach out to the friend you know needs you but is awkward to ask
51. Try on a lip colour like a deep red or fuschia pink (Parveen thanks so much for 50-52 – am sure Maybelline or Lancome will be happy to sponsor us on #52! Hahaha)
52. Getting acknowledged for little things
53. Being pampered for major accomplishments (after a significant time lapse of the said accomplishment)
53. Meeting an old friend that you can just hang around with
54. Drives – long peaceful drives – not sure how one can do that in Bombay any more, but we sure can do this here in Toronto.
55. Watching a good comedy (Thank you Naresh – all good… and yes peaceful drives in Mumbai are sometimes possible at 3 am on a good day!

So there you are… take your pick from my list or the contributed list.. and it isn’t over yet… keep it coming! Practise safe social distancing and yes… KEEP UP THE HOPE!

Should I even say “Cheers”? I’m feeling better already! (See #44)

So when do you start with hope?
Maybe now?
Now’s a good time!

Join us at #beadsofhope

Join us!

So when do you start with hope?
Maybe now?
Now’s a good time!

Join us at #beadsofhope

Join us!

If you or someone you know wish to look at hope in these times, become part of this group : https://www.facebook.com/groups/509881593017036/ .

50 ways I hope you feel better

Earlier published on www.tectonicshifts.wordpress.com

This post was earlier published on my personal blog as 50 ways to feel better instantly. Check the original here. It has been repurposed to suit the current circumstances. Thanks again to all those who contributed to the earlier post. Do you have more suggestions? Add them below in the comments!