Bob Brody
Bob Brody

Okay, so you pulled out pretty much all the stops trying desperately despite the plague to get your jollies last year. You somehow stayed awake while reading Proust in the original French. You even resorted to calling all your former girlfriends to ask why they dumped you. Oh, 2020 turned out to be quite a decade!

So let me guess how you’re making out right about now as we plunge into February with Punxsutawney Phil predicting winter still has six weeks to go. Feeling Zoomed out? Brainstormed your last brain cell? Hey, welcome to the club!

Clearly you need to refresh your browser. Clearly you’re ready for a personal stimulus package. Well, here are some quick fixes I’ve already tried at home myself:

  1. Watch the movie “Groundhog Day” repeatedly, each time expecting the plot to change. Best antidepressant ever!
  2. Take your house-cleaning to a whole new level. Dust your toilet paper. Vacuum all your walls and ceilings. Sanitize your hand sanitizer. Yes, it sounds extreme. Your spouse may attempt to strap you down with four-point restraints. But at least you’ll feel operating-room sterile!
  3. Gather your kids in the den to build a miniature castle made only from wisps of vapor. If you’re already out of wisps of vapor, substitute any subatomic particles. Experience all that happiness-inducing dopamine gushing through your neurons!
  4. Experiment with an out-of-body experience. See how high you can float over your laptop. It will seem so simple, and that’s because it is!
  5. Carve out a few minutes every day to call a colleague or client you’ve always hated and go into a lot of detail explaining why. Talk about feeling liberated!
  6. Paging all parents again! Ask your kids and their friends to invite all their imaginary friends to a Skype party. Then encourage all the attendees, real and imaginary alike, to say hello to each other. No one will ever feel delusional again!
  7. Floss while singing classic Broadway show tunes. Nine out of 10 dentists agree your gums will bleed significantly less!
  8. Find some time to alphabetize your knives, forks and spoons. It’s guaranteed to keep you off the ledge or you get a full refund!
  9. Text that agency supervisor who gave you a poor performance review and quote from the aforementioned Proust in French. Profoundly cathartic!
  10. Talk to yourself at length, but try to avoid disagreeing. You'll find it’s so much more civil!
  11. Contemplate the molecular structure of your nose in the bathroom mirror. Bring your kids and the grandparents in on the hilarity!
  12. See how long you can hold your breath. Then, if you’re still alive, announce it to your whole family!
  13. Call out from your window the next time you see a person out in public without a mask on. Say, “Hey, there’s something wrong with your face. . . I can see it.”


Bob Brody, a public relations consultant and essayist in New York City, is the author of the memoir “Playing Catch with Strangers: A Family Guy (Reluctantly) Comes of Age.” His humor has appeared in The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal and The Washington Post, among other publications.