I played an album today that I haven’t listened to completely for over 30 years. It was such a great experience to sing along with each song and remember each chorus, that feeling of anticipation when you hear the intro and know your favourite tune is next. It made me stop and make a list of a few simple things that can boost your mood and make you feel happy and sometimes make other people feel good too.
- Listen to songs from your teenage years. Whether it’s Iron Maiden or Duran Duran, The Spice Girls or The Smiths, it’s good to take a trip to your younger, less cynical self and sing along. If you don’t have the record or CD, try YouTube to listen for free or treat yourself to an online version of an old favourite.
- Fix something. I have a great little shoulder bag that had a broken zip. I’d put it in a box for fabric donations. Then I decided I’d have a go at fixing it, I’m no seamstress but one online video about zips later and I managed to re=thread the zipper and stitch the side to fix it. This made me feel both resourceful and happy,
- Send someone a card or letter. I used lockdown as a good opportunity to send cards or letters to friends and family. It’s an old fashioned way to communicate but it means a lot when you get a little something in the post that isn’t a utility bill. Making other people smile is a great way to make yourself feel good.
- Grow something from seed. Now this is not instant gratification but it is very satisfying. At the end of April I took some seeds from a tomato, soaked them for 8 hours then transferred them into an egg box with soil and sprayed with water daily. In two weeks I had over twenty seedlings (I may have overdone it!) and they are now transferred into little pots and growing daily.
- Write a short story for a child. This is something I did yesterday for my nephew. I wrote a little story and recorded myself reading it to him. It was four minutes long, just enough for bedtime (He’s 4) and it included him as a main character. By recording it and sending it to his Mum I knew he could listen to it whenever he wanted. It doesn’t have to be Roald Dahl level, any story will be appreciated.
As some of us are now navigating our way back to reality after two months and others are still in self-isolation, remember to take a little time out of your schedule and make yourself, or someone else, smile xx