The Recession. Snow. Earthquakes. More snow. The endless health care debate. The endless snow. All of these have turned my usual upbeat, Pollyanna-esque nature sour, producing a mood I can only describe with a Yiddish word whose meaning isn't far from its sound: "Feh."
Defined as an "expression of distaste or disgust" by urbandictionary.com, "feh" has more verve than ennui and more moxie than depression. It's got a cantankerous flavor to it. It takes the victimhood out of unhappiness and puts the attitude in. You can't say it like its soundalike cousin, the wavy-handed "Eh..." You have to spit this one out like you mean it: "Feh!"
Because "feh" is an almost snarky, lip-curling feeling, I'm loathe to do anything to get rid of it. And why should I, on yet another grey day, when yet another inch or so of slushy snow is expected? I don't want to stay "feh" forever, but I might as well enjoy it while it lasts. So here are my nine tips for nurturing myself during a "feh" phase. (Caveat: For those of you who wish to get out of an icky, off, funky mood, please pick up any women's magazine for suggestions. This article is intended strictly as a guide for your care and maintenance while you feel "feh.")
1. First, assess. Is this, in fact, a "feh" period, or something more serious? Use my handy "5, 5, or 5" guide, which is not recommended by any medical association: If you've been feeling kind of low for about five hours or five days, you're just feeling "feh." If it's been going on for five years or more, this could be a serious depression for which you should seek professional help and possibly some happy pills.
2. Stay comfortable. Once you've ascertained that this is merely a "feh" stage, there is no need to progress from pajamas to street clothes. If anyone suggests that you get dressed, you know what to say.
3. To shower or not to shower? The feh-afflicted can find getting clean to be a Herculean effort. When pondering whether you have the strength to do this, ask yourself: Do I live with someone I love and whom I want to continue loving me? If the answer is yes, shower. If you live alone but wish not to add to your list of things that are making you say the "F" word (the three-letter one, not the usual four), perhaps you should consider making the effort anyway. Feeling bad is one thing; smelling bad is worse.
4. Be honest. When people ask how you're doing, there's no need to lie and say "Fine!" when you know very well that you're not fine. You're "Feh!," and you own that feh, honey.
5. Eat, bubbelah. There's no point in being down and hungry, is there? Put something in your belly, and make it something nice. Try to stay away from too much sugar, though; that'll just bring on The Blues, which is the next stage down from Feh.
6. Feh loves company. Invite a friend in a similarly "feh" emotional state over to watch reality TV so you can watch other miserable people. Perhaps you can catch The Biggest Loser while sharing a large vegetable pizza. Hey, at least you're eating your veggies.
7. I'm sorry, but being pretty "feh" myself right now, I can't be bothered to come up with any more tips. May your "feh" stage be meaningful, unproductive, and brief.