I just listened to Gretchen Rubin’s keynote for Alt Summit, called “Designing Your Life.” Gretchen’s well known for her excellent book The Happiness Project, which I included in my summer reading guide. Her next book, Happier at Home, will hit the shelves in September.
In the Q&A after her talk, an audience member asked Gretchen what she does when she gets discouraged. How does a happiness expert get out of a funk?
Gretchen said, “Now I have my bag of tricks that I use when I go through a bad period. I go to bed early, I call my sister, I clean something up. I go through all the things that are meant to cheer me up.” It usually works.
That got me thinking about my own bag of tricks. When I’m in a funk, sometimes my first impulse is to curl up with a pint of Graeter’s. But I know from experience that doesn’t actually make me feel better, and besides, I don’t keep ice cream in the house anyway. (Too tempting!)
But over time, I’ve learned what does actually make me feel better:
- curling up with a good novel
- calling an old friend
- talking to my husband
- going to bed early
- doing a brain dump to regain perspective
I may want chocolate when I’m feeling down, but it didn’t make the list, because I’ve finally realized it doesn’t actually cheer me up. But good books and good chats do, so now I try and stick to what works.
What works for you? What’s in your bag of tricks?
If you’d like to listen to Gretchen Rubin’s talk, you can do so here.