A Fifteen Point Plan To Deal With The Miseries

Vernon Coleman

Do you feel fed up or miserable for no very good reason? Do you wish you had more to look forward to? Do you find yourself wondering whether it's all worth while? If so read on!

I've devised a 15 point plan to help you put a smile on your face and a spring in your step.

1. Start taking more exercise. Join a gym. Visit the local swimming pool. Make an effort to do something physical. It's too easy to slump down in front of the TV set. Your body needs regular work-outs. Without exercise you'll become stale, flaccid and vulnerable to germs. (But remember you should never start an exercise programme without visiting your family doctor and obtaining his approval.)

2. If you normally go to bed at the same time every evening try staying up a bit later at night - watch a movie, go out to a party or just invite friends round. Alternatively, try going to bed a little earlier. Changing the pattern of your life may help you feel better.

3. Work out how many of your waking hours you spend doing things you want to do; and how many you spend doing things that other people want you to do. If you spend more than 50% of your time doing things for other people make an effort to be more selfish. Make more time for yourself.

4. If your house is dimly lit buy bigger light bulbs. Living in half dark rooms can be depressing. Put a 100 watt bulb in place of a 60 watt bulb and you're unlikely to notice much difference in your electricity bill but you may well feel more cheerful. (But do make sure that the lampshade can cope with the size of bulb you are putting in. It can be extremely dangerous to put too big a bulb into a lampholder.)

5. Eat less. Most of us eat far too much - especially in winter when rolls of fat are covered up by layers of thick clothes. Too much food will make you lethargic and tired. When you put food on your plate ask yourself if you really need that much. If not then take less.

6. Make plans so that you have things to look forward to every week. It doesn't have to be anything complicated or expensive. Plan to meet a friend, go for a walk, see a movie. And don't let yourself pull out at the last minute because you want to slump down in front of the television.

7. Drink lots of fresh water and fruit juices. If you drink lots of tea or coffee drink it fairly weak. Eat lots of fresh fruit and vegetables - your body needs the vitamins.

8. Make a real effort to look after your appearance - even if the weather is lousy and you have nowhere to go. Wearing bright, cheerful clothes - and looking good - will improve the way you feel. Try to avoid clothes in dark colours.

9. Frustration, tension. anger and worry all lead to stiff, uncomfortable muscles. The result is usually headaches and other pains. Try massaging your temples with your finger tips every evening. In fact, you'll feel fresher if you gently massage the whole of your face with your finger tips.

10. Wear the underwear you keep for very special occasions - the flimsiest, sexiest and most outrageous things you've got. It may not do much towards keeping you warm but it'll make you feel good when you're standing in the bus queue.

11. Send silly postcards to your five best friends - for no reason at all. It'll make you feel better and it'll make them feel good too.

12. If you're feeling physically exhausted as well as mentally fed up spend half an hour in a warm bath with a good book or magazine.

13. Go through the TV listings magazines and pick out programmes that you know you'll enjoy. The joy of anticipation is never disappointing.

14. Try this simple exercise to calm your entire body: take a deep breath; suck in your tummy muscles to make your tummy as hard as it will go; count to five; let your muscles go limp; empty the air out of your lungs. Repeat this several times until you feel thoroughly relaxed.

15. Choose a new hobby - something that you've always wanted to try. Enrol in night school classes or borrow a book from the library or join a correspondence course. A new hobby will put passion and excitement back into your life.

Vernon Coleman's book How To Relax And Overcome Stress is obtainable from all good bookshops or from the bookshop on this Web site.

Copyright Vernon Coleman 2005