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Honey: Laughter, the best medicine (administer frequently)
You can do something about the winter doldrum
ryan honey

At this point in January, many of us may be struggling with those New Year’s resolutions. Some of us may be cancelling those HelloFresh orders … who needs to cook for even 20 minutes when Whole Foods is right there? A handful are actively trying to claw back the 12 months of gym fees that were pre-paid at the start of the year. I have one friend who faked an injury on the treadmill to convince the gym to let him out of his contract. No, Todd, I don’t think they will buy the note from me as your “doctor,” and I will need those crutches back.

While we may not all have descended to such lows, many of us have seen our hopes and dreams for a “better me” in 2019 come face to face with the reality of daily life.

Life is stressful and busy, and there isn’t always time to hit the gym, meditate and purge that troublesome closet shelf. Couple this with the ever-present negative noise machine that is the news, a government that won’t be cleaning national park bathrooms anytime soon and days that are so short it feels like the sun is setting when you get out of the morning shower, and it’s pretty easy to get down this time of year. Hey, it happens. But, that doesn’t mean you can’t do something about it. Do you know what you can do that is super simple? You can laugh.

Laughter is seriously good for you. I’m not a doctor, but I did play one on TV. More importantly, I can search Web MD with the best of them. Here is what I found. Laughter is known to:

  • Lower blood pressure
  • Release endorphins that make you feel great
  • Reduce stress hormones in the body
  • Activate T-Cells that are basically the body’s wellness warriors
  • Improve heart and lung function
  • Combat memory loss
  • Burn calories and work those abs (who needs that gym membership?)

We all need more of these benefits, obviously. Besides, laughter is a magnet for good people. It’s how we all made our first friends in kindergarten, and you can still make friends that way. So, let’s get laughing.

The good news is that there are a ton of chances to belly laugh in the Mid-Valley in the coming weeks. The fun begins Friday night with a Local Comedy Showcase at the Temporary. Hosted by Todd Hartley (different Todd, I swear), the lineup includes Beth Brandon, Don Chaney, Chad Abraham and Kevin Herzing. These are very funny people who will make you laugh, and there are going to be locals’ drink specials that make the comedians even funnier.

If you miss this crew, check out the Mid-Valley’s own Consensual Improv on Feb. 8 at the Collective. Full disclosure, I am part of Consensual Improv, Thunder River Theatre Company’s merry band of pranksters. But, I can objectively say that the rest of the cast are very talented.

Finally, Adam Cayton-Holland is headlining a Valentine’s Day show at the Temporary. He performed there over a year ago, but he’s become a lot more famous since then. Every relationship needs levity, and Cayton-Holland will do all the work for you on Valentine’s Day.

Why wait for Laff Fest in Aspen (kudos to their fantastic lineup by the way!) when you can work out those abs starting this Friday? We all need to smile, laugh, and relish the silly and absurd things in this world. So grab a friend or come and make some new ones, but get out there and put a smile on your face.

TV doctor’s orders ...

Ryan Honey is the Executive Director of the Arts Campus at Willits (TACAW), the nonprofit that operates the Temporary in Basalt. Honey spent nearly 20 years working as an actor, producer and arts administrator in Los Angeles before moving his family to Basalt. You can catch him performing with TRTC’s Consensual Improv up and down the valley. Artistic License & Registration, Please! Appears monthly in the RFWJ.