Monday Motivator: Beat the Doldrums

I am in the midst of the mid-summer doldrums. It is so hot and steamy that I can’t walk three steps outside the building before being covered in sweat. My hair expands three times its normal size before I can get back under the air conditioner.

I admit to not being a summer person, but I’ve noticed that the mid-summer doldrums hit everyone. Those who have not yet gone on vacation feel that time almost stands still, and they’ll never  be free to hit the beach and wriggle their toes in the sand. Those who have gone on vacation can’t believe how long it’s going to be before they can go again. And those who didn’t plan a vacation (me) just feel like chumps.

Television is awful this time of year with lots of reruns and reality shows. Even Game of Thrones ended this week. So what can we do if we’re not going to make ourselves and everyone else miserable? How do we get ourselves out of the doldrums?

The problem with the doldrums is that they are heavy creatures and can weigh you down. You have to expend some effort to chase them out the door.

Here are some tips that have worked for me:

  • Exercise. Okay, I know that when even getting off the sofa makes you sweat, the idea of sweating on purpose seems insane. But the days that I go to the Y or to the workout room, I feel much more energized and happy.
  • Do some binge watching. If you don’t want to get out in the heat, don’t let bad television make you even more inert. Watch some good movies, such as Spotlight or Carol. Or take on whole seasons of shows that you haven’t been able to get to: Breaking Bad, Veep, Game of Thrones, or Penny Dreadful. And if you like sports, this is an Olympics year, which means not just the games themselves but various trials as well are being broadcast.
  • Grab a quick summer read: A Man Called OveThe Nest, or End of Watch.
  • Take a mini-vacation. Pretend you’re a tourist and go downtown.
  • Give yourself a treat, something you’ve been putting off.

And if all else fails, remember this line from The Great Gatsby: “Life starts all over when it gets crisp in the fall.”

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