If you follow the news these days, you may not be the happiest of campers. In fact, many informed people are reporting increased levels of anxiety and depression. A sense of impending doom coupled with abject helplessness. Unspecified dread and existential angst.

The usual suggestion for combating these negative feelings, is to avoid the news. Entirely. That doesn’t work for me. Staying informed gives me a small sense of control. Besides, my anxiety would conjure scenarios in Washington far worse than what’s actually happening.

I think a better approach is to find things in your daily life that give you pleasure. Small doses of unmitigated joy can counter a shitload of negativity. Your body relaxes. Your face breaks into a smile. You are flooded with endorphins. Your mind registers happiness and relaxation, even for a short while. For me, those moments recharge me and give me perspective. Not everything in the world is bleak and scary.

There are many things I do to give myself that rush of positive energy. For example, last night my husband and I watched one of our favorite movies – “Galaxy Quest,” with Tim Allen and Sigourney Weaver. It’s a humorous take-off on the Star trek TV series. We know it so well, we can recite some of the dialogue along with the actors. That in itself is a hoot! We smiled and laughed all the way through the movie for the 99th time.

Another sure-fire feel good movie for us is “When Harry Met Sally.” Billy Crystal and Meg Ryan. I beam from ear to ear when I watch that one, which I do at least once a year. Everyone has movies like that. Find yours and enjoy them to the fullest.

Another reliable happiness fix for me is watching my dogs play. The unbridled joy of two dogs wrestling and chasing each other is truly healing. If you don’t have a dog, go to a dog park or look up ‘dogs playing’ on YouTube. Kittens playing should create the same effect if you’re more of a cat person.

Here’s something everyone can do. I have filled my house, like many people have, with art and decorative objects. I get joy from walking around and looking at my favorite things. Some give me pleasure because they are so beautiful or are special because of the memories they evoke – often when or where I acquired them. Many have an emotional connection because they belonged to, or were a gift from, a loved family member or friend. Others evoke memories of another time in my life, sometimes as far back as childhood.

Take the time to enjoy and appreciate the special artifacts in your life too.

None of these are any kind of permanent solution to the ennui we are feeling, but taking control of your emotions — even for a short — time is empowering. And it does put the goings-on in Washington in perspective.

Presumably our daily lives will not be affected today or tomorrow by whatever the Trump administration or Congress is doing at the moment. There will be more than enough time to panic if we are personally screwed by the government’s actions.

In the meantime, take a few deep breaths and enjoy what you can, when you can, as often as you can.

For Tom’s answer to the same question, see his piece on THIS link!


    1. Hearing tonight that Flynn has asked for immunity in exchange for testimony, now THAT is HOT. Just like watching NCIS! I just KNEW someone was going to trade for immunity. That’s the way they do it on TV. Maybe it IS just a reality show.

      Liked by 2 people

    2. Running a business, particularly a relatively small, family owned business, is nothing like running anything in the government! People who say it is obviously don’t know what they’re talking about. I’ve read many articles recently talking about how cosmically different government is than any business, from the inside out. And it is fun watching him stumple and fall every day! Unfortunately he’ll never be humbled or understand that he got in way over his head.


  1. i have my Lego bricks. Great fun, very soothing. I have what are termed ‘adult coloring books’ (which always sounds like feelthy pitchers) and those too are calming.

    Now and then, yes, it does give pleasure to see the Donald putting both hands in the steaming pile of err and not even realizing he’s just dragged his entire (you should excuse the expression) staff with him. But then I step back and think, we are watching, with glee, the PRESIDENT do this? oy oy

    I don’t need to watch the news, my husband does that for both of us. What we do NOT do is discuss the news. We haven’t discussed Presidents since we split our first votes over Baby Bush and then Obama, and realized a marriage was in the balance here.

    And now that the weather is moderating I go out and stand on the porch and wait for the next snow storm. There is, it seems, always a “next”.


    1. My son as a little kid was a lego NUTCASE. OH the structures he built. They took his entire room. No sane person over the age of three would enter into that space. It’s hard for me to think of them as grownup toys. All I remember is the kid in his pile of legos creating a world-ending building of gigantic proportions.


      1. Uncle Ben, I feel a song coming on — “Subbing stupidity for Love”. Performed to the melody of “Springtime For Hitler” …..


                1. Again creating two syllables from one by extending “and”. Another way is to land on Trump and leave a pregnant space to make up for the second syllable. The rhythm has to work.., but why are we doing this at all? I don’t like the guy, so not inclined to waste music by singing sonets using his name.


    2. My daughter swears by those new coloring books! She got me one but I don’t have the patience to do the intricate ones. I get my pleasure reading about all the crap that Trump is pulling down on himself each day. It does give me pleasure, even though the country is at risk. Because the only way we get our country back is for him to fail so badly that he is run from office or at least becomes a one term president.


      1. On the NBC news tonight, they actually SAID that ALL of this stuff is happening because Trump said Obama wired his hotel. If he hadn’t said that, most of this wouldn’t be happening. Apparently most of this stuff has been dug up because (are you ready?) — the moron asked them to do it. He ASKED for it. Asked. For. It.


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