99 Ways to Battle the Blues


photo credit: JD Hancock via photopin cc
photo credit: JD Hancock via photopin cc

The random route has worked well for me here at Coach Daddy.

I choose the weekly Go Ask Daddy questions with the help of random.com. The questions list pushes 300 these days, and five make it each week. The combos have fit well; the timing has at times been impeccable.

The occasional Olympics question still makes it in non-Olympic seasons, too.

My idea list is around 50, and your posts have influenced many. Did you know every comment you leave on a post could become a post of its own? It’s true. Just remember that. Often, I do.

A post a while back on Marcia Doyle’s blog, Menopausal Mom, inspired the idea I’m going with today. At random of course. Not long ago, I stumbled around in comments about an antidepressant I recently began taking. I’ve not been diagnosed with anything.

My doctor just felt this might help me a little. I struggled with what people said about it. And I struggled with the reason I said anything at all.

But the post this week, picked at random, is “99 ways to beat the blues.” I don’t want to call it depression. I want to call it the blues because we can all relate to that. And nothing I list has any diagnostic power.

It’s more funk-busting techniques, and I don’t expect much more than 37% to work.

But 37% isn’t bad, if you think about it.

photo credit: azrasta via photopin cc
photo credit: azrasta via photopin cc

99 ways to beat the blues

1. Take a walk. Go slow and look around and take deep breaths.

2. Take a run. Try it without music.

3. Play catch. Pick someone who can throw worse than you if that helps.

4. Go outside. Even if it’s raining.

5. Stay inside. Even if it’s sunny.

6. Make cookies. Add an extra spoonful of sugar.

photo credit: EssG via photopin cc
photo credit: EssG via photopin cc

7. Call your mom. If that doesn’t work, call your dad.

8. If neither works, call a friend.

9. Dunk a basketball. Can’t? Dunk a donut.

10. Wear your favorite team’s shirt. It’s OK if they stink.

11. Make a paper airplane. Give it a fearsome paint job.

12. Listen to AC/DC. If that doesn’t do it for you, try Hayley Westerna.

photo credit: Adam Foster | Codefor via photopin cc
photo credit: Adam Foster | Codefor via photopin cc

13. Beat a drum. Don’t have a drum? A hubcap will do.

14. Pet a cat. Or scare a cat. Both are fun.

15. Pester someone. But for no more than 9 minutes.

16. Write yourself an email. Don’t use spellcheck.

17. Watch a bloopers show. Video of people falling is the best.

18. .Send a text that makes absolutely no sense.

photo credit: EltonHarding via photopin cc
photo credit: EltonHarding via photopin cc

19. Watch cartoons. Kids not required.

20. Clean out your closet. Donate an armful to charity.

21. Download a comic podcast. Ones with curse words are best.

22. Clean out your car. Treat yourself with the change you find.

23. Didn’t find change? Treat yourself anyway.

24. Go out for ice cream. Get the waffle cone.

photo credit: Don Hankins via photopin cc
photo credit: Don Hankins via photopin cc

25. Look at pictures of ugly uniforms. It’s ok to laugh.

26. Eat cookies in bed. Don’t worry about crumbs.

27. Go barefoot. Watch out for glass.

28. Put on cozy socks. Super hero or woolen hippie socks are best.

29. Paint a room. Even if it’s just the bathroom.

30. Start a pillow fight.

photo credit: edtrigger via photopin cc
photo credit: edtrigger via photopin cc

31. Design a pair of Nikes online, but don’t buy them. Take a screen shot.

32. Buy the two-for-$1 apple pies at McDonald’s. Tell the cashier the second one is for the person behind you.

33. Write a letter to yourself in five years. Seal it up.

34. Watch Jackass.

35. Look up The Jerky Boys.

36. With 34 or 35, make sure the kids aren’t around.

photo credit: mattogbg via photopin cc
photo credit: mattogbg via photopin cc

37. Beep your horn at people in their yards as you drive by. 96% chance they’ll wave, but only if it’s two short, friendly beeps.

38. Wear a red polo and khakis to Target. I dare you.

39. Draw a caricature of the last president you voted against. Or last two if you’re on a roll.

40. Draw one of the spouse of your celebrity crush.

41. Change your desktop background. If seascapes make you grumpy, try a hamburger.

42. Call and request a song on the radio. I think you can still do that.

photo credit: emdot via photopin cc
photo credit: emdot via photopin cc

43. Eat lunch outside. Bring a book if it’s raining.

44. Rearrange your furniture. Feng shui be damned.

45. Got a kid? Cook something together – and pretend you’re on a cooking show.

46. Tell someone you love them.

47. Email someone you haven’t heard from in months.

48. Watch what your kids are watching. Even if it’s Disney.

photo credit: Vivian Viola via photopin cc
photo credit: Vivian Viola via photopin cc

49. If you have them around, pick a kids book and read it. Even to yourself.

50. Have breakfast – for dinner.

51. Pick three friends. Invite them to a potluck, but don’t cook anything.

52. Take a drive. Involve at least one wrong turn.

53. Go to the second-closest Target to your house for a change of pace. It’s like an alternate universe.

54. Do something unexpected and sweet for someone you’re crazy about. Don’t be offended if they’re cautious of your intentions.

photo credit: Bert Kaufmann via photopin cc
photo credit: Bert Kaufmann via photopin cc

55. Pray. If that’s not what you do, talk in your head to George Burns.

56. Meditate. If that’s not what you do, just concentrate on your breathing and clear your mind. (See what I did there? You just accidentally meditated).

57. Think of someone going through something difficult, and worry for them for a while. Pray if you want to. Even if you don’t tell them you thought of them, a call wouldn’t hurt.

58. Schedule a day off work, two weeks or so in advance, and do exactly what you want that day. Watch movies. Go for a day trip. Sleep. Make the day yours.

59. Volunteer at a nursing home. Just for half a day.

60. Color in a coloring book. No kid required.

photo credit: vnysia via photopin cc
photo credit: vnysia via photopin cc

61. Drop off donuts at a nurse’s desk at a local hospital.

62. Sing God Bless America. In the shower is fine. Not being American is fine, too.

63. While you’re warmed up – pick a song and sing it like the dude from Creed. Any song.

64. Make a prank call.

65. Bring a cup of coffee for your kid’s teacher. If it’s buy one get one free, don’t mention it.

66. Ask the cashier how she’s doing before she asks you.

photo credit: Sudarsan Tamang via photopin cc
photo credit: Sudarsan Tamang via photopin cc

67. Moonwalk. Or at least try.

68. Play disc golf. Works for me.

69. Find out your gansta name.

70. Keep a Pez dispenser in your bag for days just like today. Or even better days.

71. Try Zumba. Go to a studio across down, if confidence in your hip gyrations are less that optimal.

72. Tell you stylist, “do whatever you want.” And mean it.

73. Watch Toyota commercials with Jan in them on YouTube. Wait, is that just me?

74. Thank someone. Now, thank two more.

75. Got kids? Tell them a story about something you did when you were their age.

76. Smile at someone.

77. Feed some geese. Watch your step.

78. Have Poptarts and popcorn for breakfast. (Be classy. Toast the poptarts.)

photo credit: bibledude via photopin cc
photo credit: bibledude via photopin cc

79. Pay off someone’s layaway. Not rich? Put a dollar in the Salvation Army bucket.

80. Watch three movies in a row. Apologize to no one.

81. Make sure one has Jennifer Lawrence. Or Amy Adams. Or whoever floats your boat.

82. Use a little blue language. Context not required.

83. Search Daily Odd Compliment until you find one that fits someone you know.

84. Send it to them.

photo credit: cuttlefish via photopin cc
photo credit: cuttlefish via photopin cc

85. Fire up the fire pit.

86. Order fries with that.

87. Make out, if you have the means. Or at least wrestle.

88. Write a post. Don’t have a blog? Start one.

89. Make a sandwich. A Dagwood sandwich.

90. Read a book.

photo credit: faith goble via photopin cc
photo credit: faith goble via photopin cc

91. Take a nap.

92. Administer just enough chocolate. Or wine.

93. List your favorite three books, three CDs and three quotes. Refer to them often.

94. Toss a fiver at a Kickstarter. Or more, if you’re feeling all Rockerfeller.

95. Dress up for work. Reason not required.

96. Dress way down. But not too far down.

photo credit: Maggie Osterberg via photopin cc
photo credit: Maggie Osterberg via photopin cc

97. Give a cat a bath. Or just read about it.

98. Do nothing. Remember that the blues are OK.

99. Leave a comment on this blog. There’s an 87% chance you’ll receive a blues-chasing reply if you do.

Did I miss anything?

blues quote

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99 thoughts on “99 Ways to Battle the Blues”

  1. I lost track of all the ones I wanted to comment on, so I will just say awesome post/awesome list instead. 🙂

  2. हरे भरे विश्व की कल्पना सुखद चित्रण
    बरगद का पत्ता इसके वृक्ष में
    ब्रह्म रूपी ईश्वर का वास बताया गया है |

  3. I sent a few of those compliments of the day to selected folks. I’ll find out which, if any, are still my friends. BUT, the ones who are relatives can’t get away, can they?

    Many of the 99 ideas are good, even if you’re not blue.

    1. Excellent. They’re almost good enough for fortune cookies. Relatives have a relatively tough time getting them, and I think it’s all relative in that instance.

      Definitely don’t have to wait for the blues to get on the blues prevention list.

      1. DISH! That sounds more mother-henish. I tried to text the word “shiz” to my 17-year-old daughter (yes, I am a grown man) and it gave me this really long strange word that I used in its place because it was even cooler than shiz.

      2. My spellcheck hates me, man! I swear it is inhabited by a sadistic gremlin. I can’t count the number of times I have caught a potentially hideous social faux pas before sending. I catch them almost as often as I send them. Sheesh. (Yes, I’m a grown up too… hahaha!)

    1. Thanks Dorreen! Again, I had to leave this one in because you had such a great follow-up/correction comment. If you fish out a big enough compliment today, you’ll have a wrestling match on your hands, for sure.

    1. Thanks Jaime! I’ve found that even just wearing my work nametag into the Dollar Store gets me mistaken for management.

      You should have woken me up – I could always use a 3:30 a.m. snack.

  4. Thanks Eli, that’s a great list 🙂
    Had an ice cream cone today – A Chocollo in a waffle cone – first time in about 10 years.
    Love wearing handmade woollen socks around the house.
    Received a message on FB yesterday from a friend I haven’t heard of for about 10 years.
    Love colouring in 🙂
    Instead of donuts to the nurses station, does 8 dozen homemade cookies to the local Police Station count?
    Prank calls? We used to leave notes for the heavy vehicle DMV inspectors to call Mr G. Raffe and would give them the phone number for Sydney Zoo 😀
    Read a kid’s book? – all the time!
    Take a nap? LOL every single day.

    1. Thanks Lyn! I don’t even know what a Chocollo is, but I’ll try one. The woolen socks, however, won’t prevent brain freeze if you eat your ice cream too fast.

      Maybe I stole that reach-out-to-a-friend item from your long-lost FB friend.

      I think eight dozen homemade cookies trumps the donuts. But to be sure, I should probably test one of each. OK, two.

      Mr. G Raffe! That’s better than asking if your refrigerator is running. Damned caller ID has taken most of the fun out of prank calls.

      Here’s to kids stories and nap time, Lyn.

  5. fantastic and #4 is my favorite. ‘go outside’ is what my parents always said if i was feeling sad, mad, annoying. it was the magic cure -all. plus – read all of the positive blog comments from your readers who embrace your every word )

  6. What a great list! And, I absolutely agree with Beth. I even keep a pretty piece of stationary posted on my bulletin board that says, “Go outside!”
    Thank you for a great way to start a Monday that’s destined to be full of delightful mayhem!
    xo

    1. MMT – you made it back from paradise! Beth does have the right idea, like, an unreasonably high percentage of the time. We have these cool solar lights above my desk at work that change when the light outside changes, and it reminds me that the best way to simulate the outdoors is to go outdoors.

      Delightful mayhem – I’ll sign up for that every Monday every year. Good luck!

      1. Speaking of mayhem…do you read Karen @mendedmusings? She had a fantastic and sweet post on Mayhem. It was magic and I think you’d love it!
        (and thanks for the hearty welcome back…I’m trying to be a good employee today)

      2. I just started following Karen, sight unseen, based solely on your recommendation. I will be sure to read the mayhem post first.

        Who’s worse off today – you or your best friend?

      3. You are TOO funny, Eli! A mind reader in addition to your other talents??
        I was just wondering about her and was about to leave her a note.
        We came out all in one piece…with all pieces in place 😉

  7. Great list, Eli. Good stuff here! I think we simply have to do what feels right for us in any moment…not what we think others might tell us is right. When we live our life – our choices, our fun, and not the life someone else thinks we should, life is so much more enjoyable! Everything is easier; life flows. This list has a lot of fun, and quiet reflection. On our own terms, this is living. 🙂

    1. Thanks Carrie. I had the idea rattling around a while, and cranked it out before (and during) the Panthers game Sunday. I love the perspective you put on it.

      Our own terms … that. When things get blue, even the slightest shade, what works for one won’t work for another. It’s that way that fits you best that works.

  8. I really, really, REALLY wanted to add something to this list, but I can’t. Have you ever watched the movie Elf? Read the next line in Will Ferrell’s voice:

    CONGRATULATIONS! YOU DID IT! YOU COMPILED THE COMPREHENSIVE LIST ON HOW TO BEAT THE BLUES! 🙂

    Seriously, Eli, I loved this list, and may use one or two today, even though I don’t have the blues. I’m thinking about numbers 51 and 78.

    1. It can grow and expand at any time, that’s the cool thing. I have seen Elf. Watching that movie could be your addition to the list, right there – or reading that line!

      51 and 78 will make a Monday feel like a Friday. Or a Friday feel like a holiday. Maybe even on a Thursday.

  9. That is a kick-ass list, love every single item on it! I may print it out for future reference.

    Here’s your odd compliment of the day:

    “sometimes when I’m with you I start using a weird voice for no reason, and I don’t really know why, but I do enjoy it, so thank you for allowing me to do that, you’re a kind friend!”

    Swingin G-Ride Bouncer (my gangsta name)

    1. Thanks Tamara. Maybe you should go through them 1-99.

      That’s a popular odd compliment – that site’s loaded with them. Good ones in there.

      I think you should get a hoodie with C’s hockey team on it, and your new gangsta name on the back.

  10. #38 made me crack up. Will you please do that and post a pic of yourself? I love coloring. There’s something so calming about it. When I was a teacher, cutting out lamination was my Zen.

    I’m sorry something is making you sad/anxious/depressed/whatever. Unfortunately, I think it’s grown-up life stuff. The more I live, the more sad I get about stuff in the world and my own life. BUT, you’ve shown us there’s plenty of silliness and happiness in life, too. Sometimes we just need to look and try a little harder.

    And I found this on Daily Odd Compliment for you: In a world of ladybugs, you are a tiger. Yeah, you’re that much better than everyone else.” Thanks for this list. 🙂

    1. I’ve lived No. 38, Kathy! There will be photographic evidence the next time I do it. I’m pretty good at coloring, but don’t always stay in the lines.

      Cut out lamination could have been No. 103.

      Nothing is making me sad Kathy. I think this was a preemptive list, maybe something to sock away in a bookmark for a bluesday. They do happen to us all.

      Sometimes the silver lining isn’t as stark, but it’s there.

      I will gladly be a tiger for you, Kathy. Tony the Tiger is actually my favorite among tigers.

  11. Some really great tips!! Of course when I pulled this up and saw the title I was thinking 99 bottles of beer – I have serious issues;)
    I hate that anyone said anything negative or rude about your post on medication.

    1. Thanks Kim. And I think 99% of Texans would think of 99 bottles at that point!

      Oh, no one said anything negative, really. I don’t want to leave that impression. I just tossed it out there without thinking, and then wondered what the fuss was about.

  12. I already did #14 today – 14. Pet a cat. Or scare a cat. Both are fun.
    I like to scare them, personally, but they love me so I guess they like when I pet them.

    I like to say the blues. Sadness is different than depression for me. One feels all the feels and one is the absence of feeling. Luckily for me, I’ve never felt depressed for more than a few days but I do think there’s another category – the blues. It’s somewhere in the middle for me.

    I love woolen hippie socks! I need a “like” button for #38. I bet for #39, some people would have to draw Obama twice. I’d have to draw George W. twice if you had asked me this at a previous time.

    1. It’s fun to stay still as a cat slinks by you, then move suddenly, and watch them jump straight up in the air. They usually let you pet them a while after that.

      The blues are just natural. They can sometimes be remedied by something as simple as a cookie. Or three.

      Let’s just say I have the ears down pat by now. Whose ears, you say?

  13. I am cracking up that most of your 99 ways to fix the blues will end up making you feel worse on your Challenge to eat better. I am in love with #33 and think I might take up that idea. It might be kind of cool to see where we are in 5 years. But the one I related the most to was #10. At least your Blues are 2nd in their division. Do you know how HARD it is to wear my Bruins gear this month? We will win eventually, right?

    1. I briefly considered implementing a quota on items that involved food, but decided against it. Joy, right?

      I hope you’ll write that letter. And I hope in five years, you’ll open it and blog about it. And I hope I’m around and posting so I can read it and comment.

      Not MY Blues, Ker. MY Avalanche is in the cellar at the moment. You should always wear the black and gold proudly, though. I will my magenta and blue.

  14. I may just have to print this list!!! It is great and a great reminder when we are “blue”, which seems the “blue” is a very popular thing these days. I believe much of it is caused from living in the fast paced life. People need to slow down and take in the wonders and laugh! Awesome post!

    1. There are some definitely worth a shot. I think blue is just something everyone feels now and then. Some is from a fast-paced life, but a slow-paced life can cause it, too.

      I will agree that taking in the wonders and laughing will always be a boost. Glad you made it over here, Kelly!

  15. I can’t write “yes” or “love” 99 times – you might thing I’m a weirdo. But yes and love 99 times. And possibly the only thing that brought me more blues-busting joy than reading “99 Ways” is reading the awesome comments!

    1. No weirdos around here, Nicki. (Or we all are, which makes it the accepted norm.) Glad you found a lot to love here! The comments are definitely where all the fun starts.

  16. I love everything about this post. So far this week I have pet and scared a cat (you’re right, equally fun), cleaned my car, which is wonderful therapy and only cost $3 at the carwash in town with the free vacuums, went for a run, and left a comment on this blog. I whole heartedly agree with #98. Sometimes it’s okay to feel down and god knows this time of year weighs heavy with expectations and demands. It’s all good, even the blues sometimes.

    1. Even the picture of the drenched cat? I think you have the highest percentage of this 99 list already in the bank, Kristen. Well done.

      No. 98 happens. Maybe that should be on a T-shirt.

      Good stuff come out of the blues sometimes.

  17. I don’t do cats, but hugging my dog would help me beat the blues. As would planning a cruise online, without actually purchasing it. And #66 is one I do almost everyday. I find if I say hello first, the cashier has a harder time being grumpy.

    1. Hey, for some folks, it might be a ferret. The cruise could work, maybe even better than the Nikes? I’ve never tried.

      I think sometimes a cashier could use someone asking them first for a change.

  18. Great list! I love number 4 and 5 : Go outside. Even if it’s raining (because you won’t melt!) and stay inside. Even if it’s sunny (because you don’t owe the sun anything!)… I used to feel guilty about staying indoors on a hot sunny summer day… Like I was wasting it right? It became stressful. I used to actively dislike summer because I could never enjoy of the things I liked doing like sewing, quilting, cooking, baking… without being constantly barraged by accusations of “wasting” a perfectly good day. *sighs* And I LOVE 60… half of my daughter’s coloring books are done by me… you can’t stay stressed when you are coloring Hello Kitty with metallic Prismacolors.

    1. Thanks Yanic! We should never feel guilty about being out or staying in. A perfectly good day can be spent in exactly the opposite place convention says we should be spending it.

      Coloring keeps us sharp. Plus, there’s a degree of satisfaction for the kids when they do a prettier picture than dad does.

  19. Jerky Boys – you’re my new hero. hours wasted listening to them over and over. I am not ashamed. And there is nothing funnier than kids falling down. it’s terrible; I know this – but still. gut busting laughter.
    I’ve eaten Pop Tarts for breakfast, and had Breakfast for dinner on many occasions, and it is absolutely true that it’s a bit of a mood lifter.
    We are doing Random Acts of Kindness as our Advent Calendar this year — it definitely puts a smile on your face, to put a smile on someone else’s face! being a blessing is the best thing. Next up: candy cane bombing the parking lot of our local grocery store, delivering holiday cookies to the fire station, and then playing Secret Santa to a neighbour.

    1. I still quote the Jerky Boys, Rore. I’m just waiting for my oldest kid to reach that day when i can share the Jerkys with her.

      How can you be sad with waffle-and-syrup breath?

      How did the candy cane bombing go? I’d like to be around for any sort of candy giveaway. I’ll do my part.

      1. The candy cane bombing was actually some beautiful moments! People were so surprised to be stopped and simply just given something and cheerful seasonal greeting; in the midst of their holiday hustle and bustle! We had also taped little festive kids jokes or quotes to the candy cane; and people were really touched by that. Surprising that people genuinely surprised when you do something nice for them.

  20. Thank you. I like to look at the ones and smile just a little. It makes them oddly nervous. They’re sure I’m up to something…and I let them think I’m up to something, even when it’s really nothing. By the time they’re acting all freaked out and weird, we’re all laughing.

  21. This is a great list. I will admit to cooking with my daughter and both of us putting on crazy accents and pretending we are on a cooking show. It’s great fun…even if you burn what you’re cooking.

    1. Thanks Sandy – they all kind of work for me. Someone ought to make a channel about fake cooking shows. I’d tune in. Grace even had a chef’s hat she asked Santa for.

      You’re right – even if you burn what you’re cooking.

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