The Bright Side

On YouTube™ there is currently running an adorable toddler complaining to his father that his mother left for work without kissing him good-bye. This one-minute piece is both touching and funny at the same time. And close to million people have watched it. It is worth taking a look. 1

The reason this sampling of warm heartedness is worth a look is because this tender, humorous example might very well make your day. And that’s really important.  The Center for Disease Control has been studying what has happened to us since COVID really got going. 2 That’s their job. That’s not why I’m writing today. 

I’m writing about humor and survival. Or humor and “thrival” – a new word I just made up. I think it’s time to consider it. I know something about thrival and I want to share. Here are the elements, I have discovered for the makings of a brighter year:

The ABC’s of Thrival

  1. Quit Taking the Morning So Seriously – If you’ve stopped working or are working from home, good for you. Waken at 8:30 or 9 or 10 AM and get something delicious and nutritious to eat. If you are working at a place of business, go more slowly, as cheerfully as you can and get the heck out of there as soon as you can.
  2. Go Outside and Walk Around for 30 Minutes a Day – The experts say 15 minutes a day under the sun, with sunscreen and a hat. 3 But I believe — from my test case sampling of one, that “one” being myself– that 15 minutes doesn’t do as much for my mood as 30 does. I get lots of Vitamin D and feel like I’m part of the universe, and I’m not such a grump indoor the rest of my day. 
  3. Listen to Uplifting, Funny Stuff – I listen to Italian Children’s stories online.4 They are ridiculous and fun. I also like to listen to snippets of funny interviewers like Stephen Colbert and Trevor Noah who make me laugh. If that doesn’t work, I turn to standup comedians. All these spots are on YouTube. Try them.
  4. Eat Dark Chocolate – You must always have dark chocolate in the house. The darker the better. It’s full of vitamins and minerals. And it’s a fun, clean way to boost your mood. Keep the stockpile small, and try to keep your consumption modest. Half an ounce of a dark chocolate bar should do it. 5
  5. Take A Nap – 10 to 20 minutes a day in the afternoon can give you the refreshment you need. Especially if you’ve had a hard night. You’re not being a baby, but you are taking good care of yourself. Even the Mayo Clinic says this. 6
  6. Call Friends – I didn’t say “Email a friend” or “Text a Friend,” I said “Call friends.” Scan your “Contacts” list and call a few people you like and haven’t talked to in a while. Ask them how they’re doing. Real live voices in sympathy and laughter exchange will brighten anyone’s day. Way better than computer talking. And Harvard says they can prove it. 7

We who are engaged in planet-saving work need to be good to ourselves.  As a friend of mine admonished me, “Take care of you. You are all you’ve got.”

  1. My baby got mad he didn’t get a kiss goodbye.”
  2. CDC report on COVID 19 2020 depression study stats.
  3. Benefits of Sunlight
  5. Benefits of Dark Chocolate
  6. Benefits of Napping
  7. Type Less, Talk More.

Mary Ann Maggiore

Mary Ann Maggiore is a former Mayor of Fairfax elected on an environmental platform and founder of the Affordable Housing initiative and Youth Advisory there. At the same time Mary Ann served as the Executive Director of Girl Scouts Save the Bay serving 55,000 girls. Mary Ann's work has been honored by the CA Senate, CA Assembly, Working Solutions Community Innovator Award and the City of San Francisco. Today Mary Ann continues her commitment to youth as ED of LAUNCH!, Guiding Young People 18 to 30 to Meaningful Work.

This Post Has 14 Comments

  1. Laura Bertolli

    Great advice! I watch a lot of comedy – movies and standup so I can LOL which puts me in a better mood. I will try some of the tips you suggested.

  2. Jay G

    Perfect! I am going to post this list on my door so I don’t have to check my ipad.
    I’m also reducing my news viewing.

    1. Mary Ann Maggiore

      Thank you, Laura, for weighing in. And I will follow your lead on the movie watching. I’ve been viewing too many police procédurale!

  3. Karen Kilian

    I am with Laura, adding comedy either from Youtube or movies and reducing how often I watch the news.

    1. Mary Ann Maggiore

      Yeah the news is tough. And we need regular breaks from it. Thank you. Great advice, as always!

  4. Jean

    A very Mary Ann list of great ideas. Thanks for sharing these tips for thrival, my new favorite word! Laughter is always the best medicine for what ails you, not counting dark chocolate (I am never without), and we do a lot of laughing, at each other, the crazy world we live in, and silly old movies. Thanks again!

  5. Dhyanis Carniglia

    Lots of fun Mary Ann! We can do so much for our own mental health, upliftment and thrival! As a heartbreak to Happiness Grief Coach, I can incorporate some of your ideas for clients.

    1. Mary Ann Maggiore

      I am honored Dhyanis. You have helped me so much when I have gotten stuck. And your COVId masks make me look chic and careful!

  6. doug humes

    And then there is the relaxation that some of us feel by not having to leave the house and interact with other people. My Covid mask reads “I was social distancing before it was cool”. My door mat reads “Come back when you can’t stay so long”. Social isolation will be replaced with social anxiety, but that’s okay …we all need our friends, and the dark chocolate and sunshine will help.

  7. Mary Ann Maggiore

    Your response is giving me a great chuckle. You always have a great reply to the world’s craziness.

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