I'm not sure if you are aware, but it seems like shit has gotten seriously real. Honestly, I'm pretty surprised when I look out my window and don't see the four horsemen of the apocalypse in a steady cantor down Broadway. We live in a crazy world, and it seems like it's getting crazier by the nanosecond. This is stressful. Add that to the stress of being a human being, and magnify that by 10 or 20 — because I'm stressed and a workoholic New Yorker — and that could be described as my state of being. In case you haven't heard, we wear our bitterness and sometimes bad attitudes as a badge of pride.
Here's the thing: all of this can get really wearing on your morale. It's easy to feel down at the end of the day. I'm a creature of habit and often seek solace in a number of things: friends, a darn good spin class, and my sacred self-maintenance rituals like bath and shower time. Putting the time and effort into taking care of myself, or yourself, really does affect your entire demeanor.
But lately, a shower or a bath wasn't cutting the mustard. Maybe I needed to take a vacation or maybe I needed to stop reading the New York Times every morning because life had started to drag me down in a major way. This girl was pulling into deflation station at full speed, and the emergency brakes were malfunctioning. This lead to me snapping at people I love and care about and people who I don't love and care about because my moodiness doesn't discriminate. I needed an attitude adjustment or massive dose of dopamine, but the trouble was I didn't know where to start.
Turns out the answer was surprisingly simple — and it involved bringing a little music into the shower with me.
For the span of a week, every time I took a shower or a bath day or night — half-asleep when my alarm went off or wired and frazzled at the end of my day — I put on The Beatles.
And you'd be surprised how that small addition to my ritual made a palpable difference within even the first few minutes.
Not only did it make me cherish those few minutes in the morning that would wake me up, it instantly made me feel so alert. And I became aware of how quickly (or not so, depending on the day) I could bathe and be on my way.
When push comes to shove, you just can't feel disgruntled when you're listening to The Beatles. Nor can you feel blue. It's auditory Prozac that works with the touch of a finger and a crank of the volume.
This tiny little ritual of humming/dancing along to "Paperback Writer" as I lathered my shampoo or shaved my legs literally washed away my pissiness along with the detritus of the day. I felt such a notable happiness while doing this that I think I may adopt it permanently.
Try it out and see for yourself.