Do you need to cheer yourself up? We all need a bit of cheering up from time to time – and it’s easy to fall back on the ol’ standbys of wine and Netflix. We can do better! This guest post from Steff can help!
101 ways to cheer yourself up
1. Have a pyjama party
3. Send Postcards
4. Share the Cookie Wuv
6. Dress Up
7. Make Magic Everyday
8. Star-i-fy your life
10. The Royal Bedchamber
11. Make a Paper Hat
12. Healing Stores
13. Indulge in Bathtime
14. “Get Away From It All”
15. Fly a Kite
16. Add Trim
17. Midnight Snackage
18. Amp up the Sexy
19. Wear Bells
20. Do some Inexpensive Pampering
22. Out, out, dammed spot!
23. Ancient Foibles
24. Give Presents!
25. Create better, funnier passwords
26. Swing it
27. Love your Fear
28. To the Theatre
29. Write to Your Idols
Compile a list of all the people in the world you want to meet – all the amazing artists, writers, musicians, actors, thinkers, dreamers and activists who’ve inspired you over the years.Start emailing them and making contact. Tell them everything you’d want to tell them in real life.
Tell them how they touched your life and inspired your own creativity, which of their works had the greatest impact on you, what you think of their latest project. Ask their opinion on matters concerning the world and point them in the direction of your own work. You never know, you might even get a reply!
30. Read Outside
There’s something very peaceful about reading a book under a tree, or while sitting on a wooden bench in a deserted rose garden.
31. Join the Library
I lived in Auckland for four and a half years before I joined the public library, and, although I had access to the university library, I regret my sojourn from fiction books. Now, I work right next door to the library, and I’m reading a book or two every week. Plus, you can use the Internet there for free, and they run fun events and readings and competitions.
32. Take a Break from Technology
Stop watching TV for a week. Unplug the modem. Live in the real world totally and utterly for a week. Sometimes I feel as though we live too much of our life online, and we make contacts, but no real connections.
Get out into the world and experience RL for a week – if nothing else, you’ll have something interesting to write about when you get back to your blog. Here are 23 free fun, technology-free, screen-free adventures.
33. Write Haiku
The very act of focusing your thoughts into a haiku relaxes and empowers you. (For those of you who don’t know, a haiku is style of Japanese poetry: the first line has 5 syllables, the second line 7, and the third line 5. Write all your emails in haiku.
34. Fancy Up your Wallet
I bet you keep your money in a plain leather wallet, don’tchya? Well, find something cooler. What about this fleur-de-lys Stone Hinged wallet? Or this Steampunk Gear leather wallet? Or a gothic cigarette tin wallet?
35. Re-create your Food Lust
Think of your favorite food at your favorite restaurant. Now, scour the Internet and all the fancy cookbooks for a likely recipe. Buy all the fresh ingredients and attempt to make your fave dish at home. You probably won’t succeed, but you might come up with something even nicer, or, at the very least, a new appreciation of the skill of your favorite chef.
36. Practice your Green Thumb
37. Hang Windchimes
I’ve always loved the tinkle of windchimes and crystals. I lined the entire length of my window in my room at my folk’s house with various chimes – ceramic bells I strung up with beads, clear crystals that sparkle in the sun, blown glass droplets which make an incredible sound when they clink together, a ceramic wind chime, dream catchers, African animals with bells … it’s so colorful and cheery.
During my second year of uni, a friend and I embarked on an important and dangerous mission: to banish those horrid words “like” and “totally” from our everyday vocab, when used as a sentence filler “You’re like totally kidding me?” or “I want to, like, find that shirt I lost.” So every time I’d say one of those words, she’s interrupt me and I’d have to say the sentence again, without using “like”.
After awhile, your brain gets sick of being interrupted all the time and you stop saying them. It worked for a good two or three years. They’ve crept back into my vocab, and my writing, but I aim to remedy this!
39. Learn Braille
Yes, you read correctly. You’re probably not blind, but you could learn Braille anyway. First, you learn to read the dots with your eyes and interpret them as letters, and then you learn contractions “ed” and “and” and “st”, etc. It’s super easy, like learning a secret code, and will make trips in elevators more fun.
Also, you learn something of what it would be like to lose one of your senses. You understand that, no matter what happens to you, the world keeps turning, and dragging you with it. You can survive anything.
40. Alternatively, learn Sign Language
For the same reasons above.
41. Wear a Mask
If you’re feeling lonely and self-conscious, why not hide your face with a mask? If you want to hide away, hide behind a wall of latex or leather or sequins or lace. Here’s a gorgeous Venetian mask!
You know exercise is good for you, and it makes you feel good. So exercise! Run around the block, do star jumps in the living room. Find the local ice-skating rink or rock climbing wall, hike through the park, practice yoga, salsa dancing or burlesque. You can find lots of free lessons on Youtube.
I am legally blind. I can barely see three feet in front of my face. Yet I love archery. Strutting around with a massive bow and arrows in your quiver feels awesome. I’m constantly posing like I’m in Lord of the Rings. Archery takes concentration, a steady hand and a keen eye (or a good spotter). It’s a sport you do outdoors, rain or shine, by yourself or with a friend.
There’s no shouting, no balls flying everywhere, no team rivalry … just you and a bow and your own internal challenges.
44. Change your voicemail message
Mine says “Hello, you’ve reached Steff’s cell. Unfortunately, I can’t come to the phone right now, as I’m preparing for the imminent zombie apocalypse. If you’re listening to this, I suggest you find yourself a sharp implement and head to your nearest shopping mall.” All the messages I receive begin with the callers giggling.
45. Worship a new God
Go to a religious service of a religion you don’t belong to and don’t believe in, (only if this is allowed and you’re not offending anyone). Really embrace the experience with an open mind and try to learn something about who these people are, who they believe in and how their faith affects their everyday life.
46. Wear a different type of High Heels
Make yourself a pair of stilts. All you need are two sturdy planks or wood, and two wooden squares to act as footholds. Bolt / nail / glue the squares to the wooden planks, sand down the rough edges and practice your high walking!
47. Participate in Operation Beautiful
Operation Beautiful’s mission is to put up anonymous notes in public places for other women to find. The notes say “you are beautiful” and give the Operation Beautiful web address. I’ve put up a few around Auckland, and I hope they made somebody’s day.
48. Dig out your favorite Music
Dig out your favorites – the music that makes you feel the world is full of wonder. Play loud, sing along, dance on the bed, throw your arms around, headbang, smash something, slow dance with your cat.
49. Make a plan to Realize a Lifelong Dream
Have you ever had a dream come true? I can’t describe the feeling – like everything in your whole life has lead up to that moment, and nothing will ever make you sad again.
I’ve wanted to see the Great Pyramids since I was … ooh, about seven. And when I stood there, and I touched them, and I went inside, I cried. So sit down and start planning how you can make it happen.
50. Decide on a Lifelong Dream
Maybe you’ve never had a dream come true because you don’t have a dream … or you don’t think you do.
Write a list of things you wish you could do before you die. Keep the list nearby you and ad items to it constantly. Even write down the dreams you have for other people. Do you want to see your child succeed or your partner quit their job and pursue a lifelong passion? Add that to the list, too.
You’ll discover certain items on the list tug at your heart-strings more than others. These are your dreams. Knowing what they are is your first step to achieving them.
51. Indulge a Guilty Pleasure
Whatever it might be. I am partial to eating Tim Tams and watching Dr. Phil, or listening to the Rasmus. Be proud to be silly.
52. Have Something Delicious Delivered to your House
Don’t go for the normal pizza – see if your favorite Italian or Moroccan restaurant do deliveries? Will the bakery send you out a fresh-baked loaf? Bask in the glory of ringing someone up and having hot food arrive on your doorstep. It’s a wonderful world we live in.
53. Play tourist in your own city
Dress up like a tourist (shorts, shirt, camera, fanny pack, ridiculous hat, guidebook in back pocket) and go do something really touristy: whale-watching, the tourist bus tour, or go to the over-priced amusements. Talk loudly, take hundreds of photos.
54. Clothing Attack
Find all the clothes in your wardrobe you don’t really like and attack them with hundreds of studs and spikes. I bet you like them better now, right?
55. Invent Music
56. Feed the Ducks
Make a “feel happy” soundtrack of your favorite songs, and stick it on your MP3 player. Put on your favorite walking clothes. Walk to your local park or river, stopping at the dairy on the way to pick up a loaf of bread. Walk through the park listening to your favorite songs, a find a good stop to sit down a throw morsels of bread to the ducks and geese.Stop 'saving' happiness for some imaginary future time. 'Someday' is not a day. Click To Tweet
57. Get up high
Find a secret place. Your secret place should be high up, with a great view. Look for tall trees in the park, abandoned buildings with easily-scaled roofs, or unknown nooks and niches above bridges.
Take yourself there when you feel blue, listen to music or read a book and watch the city unfold around you. Be careful climbing to your secret place – falling from your favorite tree won’t cheer you up!
58. Buy Silly Slippers
In the cold of winter, your feet need all the warm they can get. A pair of ridiculous slippers – shaped like giraffes, penguins or Eric Adam’s loincloth – cheer you up.
59. Coin new nicknames
Decide on new nicknames for all of your friends. Send them a text or email to let them know their new nickname, and call them that from now on. The more outrageous the nicknames, the better. Nicknames make a person feel loved, like they’ve reached a new level of intimacy with you.
60. Change up your morning
Changing your morning routine can alter your whole day. If you shower at night, try showering in the morning, just after you wake up. What do you eat for breakfast? DO you eat breakfast? We need to change that? Do you open the curtains? If not, open them wide! Do you get up too early? Too late? Change up your routine for a week, and measure the affects on you whole persona.
61. Change your Wake-up Call
Change your alarm clock to something fun. On our epic Europe adventure we had “Morning Manowar”. I tell you, nothing makes you more excited to get up and explore castles than “Hail and Kill” at 7am.
62. Find a Totem
A totem is an embalm representing a creature or object you feel a strong connection with. Carrying a totem on your person gives you the sense of being able to draw power from associating yourself with that creature. It’s a little new-agey, but I also think it’s quite cool.
My totem animals are cats, and birds – specifically ravens and ducks. We made friends with ravens in Norway, and ever since, I’ve fallen utterly in love with them.
63. Experience New Things
Find a list of “what’s on in your town”, and for a week, do something new every day. Alternatively, search travel websites for reviews of off-the-beaten-track things to do in your area – sometimes backpackers find the gems you’d never otherwise discover because their hearts and minds are actively searching for those experiences.
64. Break out your Legos
One day I was feeling crap, my husband snuck out of the house. He returned 20 minutes later carrying a huge box. What was inside? A lego viking ship! We spent the afternoon making it up and having high seas viking adventures. Best. Cheering. Up. Ever.
65. Write a Personal Manifesto
Who are you really? What are you about? What makes you tick? What morals and beliefs do you follow? Write yourself a personal manifesto – who you are, who you want to be and how you’re gonna get there. For more info on manifesto writing (an artform in itself) read about Nothing Elegant’s Blog Manifesto project
66. Open an Etsy Shop
If you’re a creative type, why not see if you can sell some work online. Etsy is a great place to sell handmade crafts or vintage collections. You don’t have to try and make millions selling your work, but list a few of your best pieces and see how you go.
67. Make Someone’s Day
Mark Twain said “the best way to cheer yourself up is to cheer somebody else up”. The man speaks truth. Call an old friend up, just to say hi. Text someone and tell them they’re awesome. Take any idea from this list and do it for someone else, instead of for yourself.
68. Practice Gratitude
Write a Gratitude List – I do this sometimes on the blog. It’s called Up the Irons! and it’s a shout-out to everything good in life. Sometimes, when you concentrate on the bad, you forget all the little things making up the world of good.
Clean out a drawer, cupboard, desk or room you’ve filled up with stuff. Pile up old clothes and books to give to charity shops, and toss the rest away (or recycle it, if you can). You don’t need so much stuff, and having a clean desk/room/drawer feels like having a clean start.
I feel instantly fresh and inspired after cleaning my eternally cluttered writing desk. Here’s how you can purge your closet without losing your mind.
70. Make a Fire
Don’t you find something oddly comforting about a live, roaring fire? My family has always had open fires blazing throughout winter – I’ve never owned a heater till I moved to Auckland and lived in a hostel. We would sit round the fire at night and eat dinner, do our homework, watch TV.
71. Eat some produce
72. Play Board Games
73. Blow Bubbles!
Blow bubbles. You can buy little jars of bubble mixture at those $2 shops, or make a simple bubble mixture at home using dishwashing liquid, water, and sugar or corn syrup. TIP: Storing your solution for a day can actually lead to better bubbles.
74. Make something The Old Fashioned Way
I bake bread every day. EVERY DAY. I don’t use a breadmaker, or any prepackaged mix. I make bread the old-fashioned way – the way humankind has made bread for 10,000 years.