First tip: take any advice. Do not listen to those who advise you not to follow any advice. Let yourself, I include, help by self-help. In the right doses. Help yourself. Self-medicate, even. You do not need to go to the collapsed public health system of your CCAA to prescribe an antitussive if your throat itches. But back to the tips. Listen to the one who knows more about you in something. I quit smoking thanks to a book by a guy who smoked over eighty cigarettes a day and made it. And he got rich off that book. Yes and he and I left him, you can too. Listen to us.
Second tip: Go to the theater once a month. Skip the medical series and documentaries about British royalty. Exercise your ability to spend at least an hour and a half without looking at your phone or getting up to the fridge for at least ninety minutes. And don’t watch longer plays. Full attention also has its limitations or it is not even full attention.
Third tip: cook with your hands once a day. It is not necessary, as Mark Zuckerberg suggests, that the eggs come from your own chickens or that the almond milk comes from the almonds of your almond trees. But allow yourself to relax your left brain by making yourself an onion omelette while listening to Richard Vaughan ramble on about the population density of the state of Texas.
«Fifth tip: read a publishing novelty once in a while and a classic book once a year. Compare your thinking with that of your contemporaries and combine it with that of the immortals»
Fourth tip: learn languages. Those that you already know, refresh them by listening more or less attentively to radio programs, YouTube videos and art podcasts (like this, with a lower case) in other languages. And the ones you don’t know, learn them. Choose one, Italian, Portuguese, Catalan, Japanese and allow yourself the luxury of feeling like an amateur who, over time, isn’t so much.
Fifth tip: read an editorial novelty once in a while and a classic book once a year. Compare your thinking with that of your contemporaries and combine it with that of the immortals. Discover more genres than novels: there are diaries, epistolaries, biographies, collections of poems and books that mix all these genres to give something new. And if a book doesn’t convince you in the first twenty pages, leave it unceremoniously. Even if the author is called Marcel Proust or Virginia Woolf.
Sixth tip: rediscover the calendar. It sanctifies the holidays, but also the normal days, which in the Christian calendar is known as the ordinary time. A rainy Tuesday in February in Jarandilla de la Vera can be as charming as the 7th of July, San Fermín.
Seventh tip: do sports, but don’t beat yourself up. Remember that you have a body that requires similar care to your mind, but do not fall into excesses typical of the crisis of forties such as wanting to walk the Behobia-San Sebastián if you have barely managed to finish the Vallecana San Silvestre without wanting to vomit before reach Albufera avenue.
Eighth tip: self-satisfaction is not the peak of happiness. Without falling into role models similar to Saint Teresa of Calcutta or Vicente Ferrer of the foundation that bears his name, dare to do a favor for a friend or even a stranger. Jodorowsky said it: what you don’t give, you take away. Although it is advice that should not be taken in its most absolute literality either.
Ninth tip: do something that is above your possibilities, but at your height. Challenge yourself and develop a long-term project that inserts you into a process. You are more creative than you think because we all are. “The ultimate goal of the human being is creativity,” said Carlos Castilla del Pino, who was a psychiatrist with a not exactly stupid humanist profile.
Tenth tip: as Christian Bobin says –who is not monguer either, despite the name– in self portrait with radiatorRemember that everything in this life is fleeting, but discover the gift that is in it. The opposite, that youth or even eternal eternity, would be the most abominable of punishments.
These tips, unbeatable like the T-bone steaks to the point that Pedro Sánchez tastes, obviously cannot and should not be executed at the same time on the same Blue Monday, but without a doubt some of them will help you mitigate the weight of this somewhat leaden Monday of more. Amen.
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Ten unbeatable tips to overcome Blue Monday, by Eduardo Laporte