As a member of the Association of Applied and Therapeutic Humor, I have the opportunity to meet and be associated with some fantastic people. Our members know the value of keeping the right perspective when times are tough, and have generated this list of 10 tips to help you lighten up and rise above the current economic turmoil and stress of the holiday season:
1. Adjust Your Attitude – Stop watching the news and start counting your blessings instead of your money! The blessings will increase, while the money is…well, you know!
2. Make Someone Else Happy – Send unexpected €œthank you or greeting cards to a mix of people. Start with those who aren’t expecting it but deserve it. Then, send a couple to people who aren’t expecting and don’t deserve it. Then, pick a couple names at random out of the phone book that certainly aren’t expecting it and have no idea who you are! For a free list of over 60 ways to say “thank you,”
3. Signs of the Times – Have some mirthful signs or sayings handy. For example:
– The rules have changed… there are none!
– Walking on water is in my job description!
– Apparently, not all clowns are in the circus!
– Never wrestle with a pig – you both get dirty, but the pig likes it!
– You don’t have to be crazy to work here…but it sure helps!
– If we’re closed, just slide the money under the door!
– I’m not weird… I’m gifted!
4. Try Some Random Acts of Silliness and Kindness – Wear mismatched gloves or socks… on purpose! Page yourself over the intercom! If and when a store clerk, restaurant server or flight attendant asks matter-of-factly, “How are you today?”, try replies such as, “Well medicated – and you?” or “At least I’m vertical!” Instead of them always thanking you, thank them first and watch their reaction!
5. Fun with Food – Put a bag of cookies or marshmallows in your briefcase. Then, start your meeting by asking, “Dessert, anyone?” Have a marshmallow stacking competition! Put a pack of bubble gum in your coat pocket and, in the elevator, offer some to everyone!
6. Pop Goes Your Worries – Save your bubble wrap! It’s a great stress reliever. Pop it with your fingers, knees and toes! Dance on it! Pop it with the help of young children! Pop it, in unison, to the beat of music!
7. Use Your Imagination – Think of what would happen if certain companies merged. For example: Fairchild Semiconductor and Honeywell Corporation would become Fairwell Honeychild. Grey Poupon and Docker Pants would become Poupon Pants. If FedEx joined UPS, they might become FedUP.
8. Rename to Keep Sane – Cash Flow: The movement your money makes as it disappears down the toilet. Broker: What I am today, after taking the advice of my financial planner. P/E Ratio: The percentage of investors wetting their pants as the market keeps crashing.
9. Exaggerate – Comedians overstate things to get a laugh. You can too! Our family is so poor these days… we took out a second mortgage on our cardboard box. Our family is so poor these days… to save on milk, we eat our corn flakes with a fork. Our family is so poor these days… when someone rings the door bell, I stick my head out the window and yell, “Ding-Dong.”
10. Let a Smile Be Your Umbrella – This simple choice is yours. You can frown and be miserable (way too many people readily choose this option), or you can wear a contagious smile. In your conversations with people, smile and ask to see their smile. Then say, “I see you’ve been practicing!”
I hope you found some value in these strategies. Let me know how they worked for you!
Chip Lutz is a professional speaker, trainer, and retired Navy Officer with 22 years` leadership experience. He served as Commanding Officer of two separate Navy facilities and was the Director of Security for Naval District Washington, DC, during September 11, 2001. Find out more about his work at http://www.funsquadinc.com.