Now more than ever, we all need a little pick-me-up.
And if you’re like me, you need several of them a day. Over the past few weeks of self-isolation, I have discovered some surefire mood boosters.
Yes, exercising and meditating and FaceTiming with friends are no-brainers. We might even be overwhelmed with those suggestions, feeling pressured that we should be doing them more (guilty).
Instead, here are 6 happy pills that you probably haven’t thought about taking yet.
1. Offer to walk someone’s dog.
If one thing is still certain in this life, it’s that dogs are little bundles of dopamine.
Do you have an older neighbour with a pup? Or maybe a friend who’s too busy working their essential job to walk the pug three times a day? For me, it’s the elderly couple downstairs who take care of their daughter’s Yorkie.
Not only is walking the doggo a great excuse to get outside (and not be judged for #LeavingHome), but it gives me a sense of purpose. When I’m taking care of him — and doing my landlord a solid — I’m not thinking about the scary state of the world. Plus, he’s really freaking cute.
2. Watch news fail compilations on YouTube.
Yes, I realize this is like junk food for your mood. And yes, these blooper reels still make me laugh. Every. Damn. Time.
I’ve never been a fan of slapstick comedy and I’m not really one to laugh at the expense of others. But the concept of being live on-air, when anything can happen, in an uncontrolled environment where these pros are trying their best to stay pros — it’s just too good to look away.
More than that, it’s a reality check on being human. What could be funnier?
3. Buy flowers.
Flowers are synonymous with happy. We buy them for special occasions, to tell someone we love them, to make a day brighter. They literally exist to give us the warm and fuzzies. Oh, and to, like, pollenate the Earth.
Truly, the only thing happier than flowers are puppies (see #1 on this list).
But there’s something about giving or receiving flowers “just because” that sparks a particular brand of happy in our hearts. Pick up those yellow tulips for you or a loved one, and trust me — you’ll feel the tingles, too.
4. Leave a surprise on someone’s doorstep.
I swear by this one. Even if you don’t love surprises, there has never been a more exciting time to be reminded that real humans are thinking about you.
If you don’t want to leave the house, get a little something delivered to their doorstep. Even better, you can support that local gift shop, book store, or restaurant while you’re at it.
You’ll get that giddy feeling of surprising someone out of the blue, plus extra points for investing in your community. Win-win-win!
5. Watch this video of a little boy on his scooter. Repeat.
This one really needs no explanation. If you haven’t seen this viral clip yet, watch it now. Watch it again. Then, watch it 5 more times.
If you’re not at least cracking a smile by the end, I don’t think I can save you, my friend.
6. Find a small act of rebellion.
Sometimes, all we need is to feel like a kid again. For me, youth feels like doing something you’re not supposed to.
You know the feeling. It’s not illegal and it’s not technically “wrong”, but it’s against the grain. Society would do a double-take if they saw you. It’s thrilling and maybe gets your heart racing a bit.
Lately, I’ve been sitting on my roof. It’s not exactly criminal behaviour, but every time someone walks by and waves or giggles or calls up to me, I feel like a rebellious kid again. It’s a little slice of happiness in my very strange new reality.
Of all the reasons to smile every day, these are just 6. But really, they’re reminders that we’re alive. And that we’re not alone.
We could all use a little bit of that right now.