Thursday, July 24, 2008

Cheap Distractions

Tip Of The Day: Sometimes thinking is HIGHLY overrated. How can you switch off your brain without relying on traditional methods like drinking, eating, shopping, or ill-advised affairs – none of which are particularly cheap or fabulous?
Here are a few tips on shutting down without overindulging.

Tip For Tomorrow: I tell you all the time to buy the store brand and not waste your money on the name brands. But do I do that myself? Tomorrow I’ll present photographic evidence of my frugality, for your viewing pleasure.

Further Elucidation Of My Cheap Deal: It hasn’t been the easiest summer here at the Cheap But Not Easy Empire. I’ve had many and much things to contemplate, including Major Life Decisions. Ick. How fun is that?

So every now and then I need to halt the gerbils spinning in my brain by distracting myself with other things. Unfortunately, many of the tried and true “drop out of life” techniques require money, a stout liver, and George Clooney. None of which I have at the present moment.

What’s a poor, stressed out Chick to do? Fortunately for me (and you, my fearless readers), I’ve discovered a few ways to forget about life for awhile. Insert lame Cheers joke here.

The Cheap Chick’s Cheap Distractions:

1. Go to your (musical) happy place. One of the best things about music is its ability to completely change your mindset. Music can also take you mind completely OFF something, especially if you A. listen to it loudly enough and B. listen to the right stuff.
For me, only one band will do. When I need a break, I travel to my Happy ABBA Place. A little ABBA Gold or the soundtrack to Mama Mia turned up to eleven, and I am SET. Can you really worry about your life while listening to Fernando? Try it. See? It’s impossible.

2. Think about your one true happiness. If you sit down, relax, and focus on something that makes you deliriously happy, even for a minute, it can do so much good for your psyche. Think of it as a teeny mental vacation. For FREE.

For my mini breaks, I always think about this guy:

I know. I KNOW. He’s so cute, you can eat him with a SPOON. And I get to see him in two days. Who’s the lucky girl?

Once upon a time, I thought about this guy:

But he’s been replaced by my nephew. And Gerard Butler.

3. Focus on someone else’s problems. If you’re sick of dwelling on your own life, dwell on somebody else’s for awhile. Preferably somebody you don’t know and never will, so you’re not taking on their problems as your own. Like you do with your friends. Okay, that last one may be just an issue for me.
I find reading about Britney Spears’ mental break down, the Ben and Jen break-up rumors, or the whole ‘Will Jennifer/Jessica/Insert Female Celebrity Here Ever Find True Love’ story line to be VERY soothing. How bad can my problems be compared to the epic Z-list Celebrity Battle being waged by LC and Speidi? Besides, Life and Style is less than $3 an issue.

4. Get lost in another world. No, not the soap opera. Sadly, that’s been off daytime broadcasting for years, and they even stopped airing the reruns on Soap TV. Bastards. I’m talking about something a bit healthier and challenging for your brain. Get lost in a good book. Ooooo, I sound like a PSA for the library.
Seriously, though, the best distraction is deep submersion into a good story. I STRONGLY recommend Garden Spells by Sarah Addison Allen – and it’s been out long enough you can probably find it at Half Price Books.
If your brain is just too tired to read, how about watching a classic summer flick? I just re-watched Meatballs with Bill Murray for the 50 billionth time last week and it STILL makes me laugh my large booty off. We are the CITs, so pity us…

Those are just four cheap, simple and non-destructive ways to tune out. What are your ideas? How do you cheaply shut off YOUR brain?


Meg Tredinnick said...

I agree, toddlers are a great way to zone out. They are amazingly entertaining!!!

LaRUe said...

I believe that we also dress up and get our nerd on as a distraction. Case in point: The Ren Fest starts in 3 weeks and we have been planning this since JANUARY.

Anonymous said...

I found that cowboy romance novels were a fine distraction while on vacation in the west. And, library versions, absolutely FREE.