MANILA, Philippines - 1. Sleep. There?s something about cool winds and the sound of rain on your roof that makes the shut-eye hard to resist. Go ahead, enjoy a cat nap or two, or sleep longer than you normally would. Your weary body and mind will thank you for it.
2. Turn trash into cash. Bundle up old newspapers and magazines, gather empty plastic and glass bottles into a bag and wait for your friendly neighborhood bote-dyaryo guy to come calling when the weather clears.
3. Eat in. Use your fingers not to cook but to call your favorite fast food joint for a 30-minutes-or-less delivery.
4. Start your diet today. To be a vegetarian, gradually eliminate pork, chicken, beef, and seafood from your daily fare; to launch the South Beach Diet, cut out rice, bread, pasta, starchy foods from your meals. Of course, simply staying away from sweets, junk food, fatty food, and soft drinks will already do wonders for your body and health.
5. Exercise. Because no diet ever works without it. Rains force you to miss a workout? Strengthen your core with the classic crunch: lie on your back, your knees bent, feet flat on the floor, fingertips touching the back of your head. Exhale as you use your abdominal muscles, not your neck, to slowly lift your upper body off the floor. Hold for two seconds, then inhale and slowly lower your upper body to the starting position. Do two sets of 12 repetitions. Never exercised in your life? Dance!
6. Spring clean. Admit it: there are closets and drawers just waiting to be opened and de-cluttered. Apply the six-month rule when sorting through years of accumulated stuff: if you haven?t used it in six months, give it away or throw it away. And while you?re at it?
7. Rearrange a room. Think a change is in order? Plot out a likely new layout for your living room or bedroom on a piece of paper before actually moving tables and chairs around so you don?t waste time and energy. A new arrangement doesn?t only look good, it feels good, so be aware of the ?vibe? that the new layout brings.
8. Write out your wish list. Just because you?re stranded at home doesn?t mean your mind can?t wander. Sky?s the limit when it comes to dreaming. Want to travel, open a business, lose 10 lbs.? Put in down in writing and set a time frame. How about something as practical as paying your credit card debts or setting money aside for a rainy day? Seeing your plans on paper is exciting, but the real thrill is turning each and every dream into an accomplishment.
9. Read. From the newspapers and magazines, to books you haven?t touched since you bought them. Cozy up on the couch or your bed with a blanket, pillows, and a hot cup of coffee or tea, and enjoy a quiet couple of hours with a book. Doze off if you like.
10. Reminisce. Fix up a snack, gather old photo albums, and look back (by yourself or with family and friends) on the good old days. Talk about how you and your spouse met, what you were like when you were your kids? age, and what life was like when gas and rice were a-plenty.
11. Listen. E-mail and text are easy, but a long, lingering conversation is far more precious. Call a friend or relative you haven?t spoken to in months and hear the delight in the tone of their voice. Or be a pal and have someone getting over a failed romance vent on the other end of the line.
12. Watch TV. August alone offers two highly-anticipated sporting events: the Beijing Olympics (go, Team Philippines!) and tennis? US Open (will it be Federer or Nadal?). As for movies, HBO?s recent screening of Will Ferrell and Jon Heder?s hilarious ?Blades of Glory? is such a hoot, it?s worth a second or third watch.
13. Dial a spa. It?s the height of indulgence: surrendering to a soothing massage or salon treatment right in the comfort of home. Of the growing number of home spas available, Selleria Pamper Me At Home boasts of fast and neat therapists. Call 746-5180 for appointments.
14. Save your receipts. Through the BIR text promo Premyo Sa Resibo, your ORs can win you as much as P1 million a week. Simply enter receipts (dated not earlier than two months before the date of the raffle draw) by typing out the following on your cell phone and sending to 9777: PSR * TIN of establishment * receipt number * amount of purchase. Expect a text with a raffle number for each text entry you send. Call 981-8888 for more information. Good luck!
15. Work your brain. From crossword puzzles and jigsaw puzzles to Sudoku and Scrabble and all the other activities that promote mental and abstract reasoning, these pastimes will keep your mind away from the dreary weather and get you hooked on problem solving.
16. Take a bath. And not just any three-minute sprint under the shower?we?re talking a warm, relaxing one with your choice of bar or liquid soap and shampoo. Take your time gliding your loofah or scrubbing your skin to slough off dead cells and stimulate the growth of new ones. Finish the treat by slathering on some moisture-rich oil or lotion, then slip into clean jammies or comfy house clothes. Aaaaahh.
17. Cuddle. A friend once described the rainy season as "yakapan" weather; indeed, body heat can be more desirable than a hooded jacket. Snuggle up to your Significant Other, or if your bed?s big enough, have the kids join you and your spouse while you take in a DVD screening.
18. Do something for yourself. If you haven?t already, now?s as good a time as any to set up appointments with your dentist (every six months) and family physician (once a year). You don?t have to feel under the weather to see either of them; the goal is simply to see where you are health-wise and what you can do to maintain good health and prevent disease.
19. Do something for others. Times are hard and we need all the help we can get. Recommend someone for a job, or offer to run an errand for someone who?s got his or her hands full. Bad weather means flash floods and landslides?which means thousands of families in desperate need of food, clothing, and shelter. Thankfully, there are NGOs and institutions that are devoted to disaster relief. To extend assistance financially or personally, contact GMA?s Kapuso Foundation (982-7777 local 9901, 9904, and 9905) or ABS-CBN?s Sagip Kapamilya (411-4995, 0915 980-4608).
20. Count your blessings. Whether it?s through prayer or the Oprah-inspired journal that begins with a listing of at least three things that you are grateful for, this uplifting exercise puts even the most jaded mind in perspective. Thank the heavens for things you often take for granted, and you?ll realize just how rich you really are.