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In light of what a tumultuous year 2020 has been, to say the least, instead of another informative note on remote technology and court reporting, how about a few suggestions for pick-me-ups? I think we could all use a good giggle right about now. Between the pandemic, politics and oof, everything else this year, it can be hard to keep our humor. Our mood affects everything else. Here are some ways to get out of the dumps, boost your attitude, and hopefully get you sailing into 2021 on the right foot!

Enlist seriously funny movies. Completely take your mind off all things 2020. Take the classic route with Charlie Chaplin’s brilliant Gold Rush – the Tramp leaning on his cane in the snow gets me EVERY time. Slapstick still rocks. Or enlist the reliable crew of The Three Stooges (a DiMonte favorite!) for pure silly fun. If old movies don’t tickle your funny bone, there are plenty more to make you laugh! Tommy Boy and Grumpier Old Men are personal favorites. There are oodles of lists of funnies movies online offering suggestions, ranging from the Marx Brothers to the Frat Pack. Here is a list of funny movies to get you started rolling on the floor laughing.

Kayaking on the Potomac River

Kayaking on the Potomac River near Noland’s Ferry – Photo by Daniel Malgran

Get outside! There’s a reason the poets have written about nature for centuries. It does soothe the soul. Go for a hike, breathe the fresh air, and really take in the vistas that surround you. Paddle around in a kayak, hop on your mountain bike, just get out there, get moving, and don’t be surprised if you feel better after your jaunt. Check out state parks (make sure they’re open!) or national parks for great trails and more. You can even check out sites such as Only In Your State to find some fascinating and unique things to check out where you live.

Be active. Exercise and physical fitness are so vital. Almost any trainer or fitness buff will tell you exercise is as much mental as it is physical. It boosts your mood, energy levels, and makes you feel better all around. No need to go from couch potato to Rocky Balboa training to take on Drago. Heck, you don’t even need a gym, so if there aren’t any open near you, not to worry. We live in the digital age, so find the app you like, choose your workouts, and feel those endorphins flow!

Get lost in a good book. Thrillers make good distractions with all their twists and turns to keep you on the edge of your seat and totally absorbed. The Devil in the White City by Erik Larson is hard to put down, though not technically a thriller. My personal favorite of Larson’s is Dead Wake, about the Lusitania. Or get lost in a world that doesn’t exist, whether scifi, or the delightful world created by the master of language himself, P.G. Wodehouse.

Appreciate the positive. Acknowledging things that are going well and being grateful is a real gamechanger. No matter how bad things are, there is something good going on for you. Make a list. Tell yourself you’ll write down three things you’re grateful for, e.g., your health, your job, your family, etc. You may set out to write three and wind up with a lot more! And when you feel discouraged, think of an item on that list and how grateful you are for that one thing. Speaking from personal experience, this trick can really improve your outlook.

Do something for someone else. This one builds on the previous suggestion in a way. 2020 is as opportune a time as any to do a little more for people less fortunate than we, and many people have been paying it forward where they can. There are many ways to help, too, so you can likely find something you’re comfortable with and will feel good about. Check out some suggestions from HelpGuide.


Get by with a little help from your friends (and family)! Even if you can’t be in the same room, don’t forget your loved ones! We are social by nature, and we are well-equipped in this age (something to be thankful for!) to spend time together even when apart. Charge your phone for a good long talk with your BFF, schedule a zoom happy hour with your parents, siblings, whoever is your support system, or needs your support. There are lots of virtual classes and experiences you can enjoy together even states apart. Jump on the boon! Some college friends and I did a virtual paint night earlier this year, from CA, NC, and MD, and it was fun to see each other and be in a class together 17 years later!

Hopefully something on this list appeals to you and can help you through the rest of 2020, and beyond. And Planet Depos will be here for all your remote and in-person depos through the rest of 2020, and beyond. So let’s get those proceedings scheduled.


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