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Feeling down, or in the doldrums, is something that happens to us all. It is natural, OK, and at times vitally necessary.

“To be in the doldrums” comes from the days of sailing ships when mariners who, when nearing the tropics would find themselves becalmed, forced into a period of listlessness and inactivity while they waited for a fresh wind.*

Any captain worth his salt (I know!), would know that it was essential to keep his crew occupied or there would be trouble. While there was no sailing to be done the time was used to clean the ship and do repairs, thus making a virtue of necessity.

Doldrums happen to us all, accept and use the opportunity to watch the sun, clean and maintain the vessel, and to reflect.

A cure for the doldrums

Here’s something I came up with that you might like. If you find yourself becalmed and feeling down about it, try singing “In the Doldrums” to the chorus of ‘In the Navy’. It works wonders (humming or whistling** it works after you’ve sung it for the first time).

* For the pedants, I checked the etymology of doldrum, but I couldn’t be bothered to go into it here.
** While on a theme (or the crest of a wave), the expression “whistle up a wind” comes from the sailors’ superstition that whistling could produce a wind when becalmed.

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