16 Ways To Cheer Someone Up
No matter how pleasant a person’s life and demeanor are, it’s just not possible to go an entire lifetime without feeling a little glum every now and then. And when your life isn’t quite going the way you hoped it would, you could really use some cheer.
There are lots of ways to cheer someone up, and countless ways to adapt any suggestion to fit the specific mood of the person you’ve targeted for cheer. If you or someone close to you is down in the dumps, consider one of these 16 ways to cheer him or her up.
1. Ice cream. Ice cream is a classic standby of cheer. Trips to the ice cream stand for a hand-dipped cone are major treats when we’re kids, and who didn’t run and shout when the ice cream truck’s song was heard nearby? As we get older and more sophisticated, the reasons we’re down can be just as complex as the new and complex flavors of ice cream. Sometimes there’s nothing so cheering as an excursion to the nearest ice cream vendor for a childhood favorite – or a quiet, expectation-free evening in with a pint of your best frozen friend.
2. Mix tape. While most of us no longer have cassette players, the idea of the mix tape as a pick-me-up will never fall by the wayside. Try a CD burner to compile cheery songs you think will perk your recipient up, or assemble and deliver a playlist. It’s the same idea without the clunky technology.
3. Surprise picnic. This is a complex operation that depends on a few factors including the uncontrollable weather, but if you’re able to sneak off for a quiet lunch al fresco, it could be the best pick-me-up.
4. Specialty candy bar. One time, I was feeling particularly low for no apparent reason. There wasn’t anything wrong in my life per se, but I was just a little bit lonely and feeling isolated. One of my dear friends picked up on what was going on and brought me a fancy chocolate bar from the specialty foods shop – “just because.” It was exactly the reminder of friendship and care that I needed to feel rejuvenated and ready to jump back into the scene.
5. Make a joke when there’s a specific circumstance causing the blues. One time the person I was dating was really down about needing a bunch of complicated dental work done. About ten minutes before the appointment began, I sent a text that read “Pretend I’m the dentist, and this will be awesome.” I then sent several more texts using common dentist office phrases that could easily be misinterpreted as pickup lines. Check out The Frisky for more on this.
6. Pillow fight. If you have the right kind of rapport and you find yourself in the right setting, you may pick a pillow fight – if you dare! It’s funny, especially if you play up the element of surprise, and it could be a healthy outlet for releasing some pent-up angst.
7. Flowers. It’s because flowers are laden with social significance that they can be very cheery when given for no reason at all. The gift of flowers doesn’t have to be a fancy arrangement from a designer florist, either. Pick wildflowers, tie a bunch of daisies with string, or pick up a single gas station rose – anything will do for a simple reminder that you care.
8. Take a stroll. Getting outside when the weather is nice is one of the easiest ways to cheer someone up. The exercise releases positive-feeling endorphins, the pleasant scenery can be uplifting, and the shared company – whether you provide a distraction from the problem or a shoulder to cry on – can boost your loved one’s mood.
9. Try something new. Is there something this person has mentioned wanting to try but hasn’t done yet? Now is the time! Take that funky wine-and-painting class, check out the midnight blacklight bowling alley, or dress up like nerds and go to the comic book store.
10. Provide a meal. Taking one more stressor off their plate, so to speak, will help cheer up your loved one up. Whether you decide to cook something special together, you show up with a favorite pizza, or you simply send takeout, the food itself is the gift. There’s something about being well nourished that lightens any burden.
11. Redecorate. A fresh coat of paint and a new furniture arrangement won’t change everything, but it could offer a new perspective and a feeling of accomplishment that’s big enough to lift that dark cloud.
12. Help someone else, together. Working together to improve the situations of those who are less fortunate will not only make you both feel like you are contributing something meaningful to the world, but it will serve as a reminder that things really could be a lot worse.
13. Send a funny card. There are paper cards you can find at most stores these days, cards that have moving parts or play music, and there are electronic greeting cards. I like JibJab.com’s hilarious online cards that feature funny videos with you or someone else’s photo pasted in.
14. Hugs. Experts say that we need 4 hugs a day to survive, 8 to maintain good health, and 12 to thrive. Offer a few hugs to meet your friend’s quota. Throw in a kiss on the cheek for good measure (as long as it won’t get you punched or hit on, if that’s not what you’re going for).
15. Stick a note on the windshield. A surprise note is always cheery. Write a few lines about what you think of this person you’re cheering up and hide it somewhere surprising – the windshield, in a jacket pocket, or in the mailbox.
16. Good, old-fashioned listening. Sometimes all it takes to cheer someone up is to offer a listening ear. Make some tea, clear your schedule, and let him or her talk through whatever the problem is.
These are just a few ideas to get you thinking about how to cheer someone up. Simply taking the other person’s interests into account when planning a little something special is sure to brighten his or her day, no matter what you choose.
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