Over the past few months, we’ve had plenty of opportunities to dwell on all that’s wrong, but you’d be surprised at how you can find ways to smile, even laugh, amidst turmoil.

Comedian and U.S. Coast Guard veteran Jim Tews (BA ’10) was walking across a New York City street in September 2018 when a car ran a stop sign, hit him, then kept going. He lived to joke about the accident, starting that day with the paramedics.

“I remember telling them ‘you don’t have to take me to the VA because they’ll probably stitch me up with yarn.’”

There weren’t any cameras in that area and the driver was never found. 

“Once I realized I was okay, what I really wanted was video… I didn’t necessarily care that they caught the guy, I just wanted to see what I looked like getting hit by a car.”

Even in the aftermath of an accident that could have been much worse, Tews finds humor in everyday life and uses it to get through tough times. Here he shares five tips on how you can, too.

Find your comedy comfort food. Mine is old episodes of Cheers and Taxi. There’s a lot of great new comedy you can watch to distract yourself, but there’s something more soothing about watching a show that doesn’t use cell phones in a storyline.

Learn to laugh at yourself. It happens to be my coping mechanism that I’ve turned into a career. We’re all ridiculous beings. 

Share your most embarrassing stories with people you love. This is pretty connected to number two, but I spend a lot of time around my peers who regularly do embarrassing and mildly improper things. Being able to share those stories is cathartic. Just know your audience. This might be a better activity for a family gathering as opposed to a work meeting.

Laugh at a stranger when they’re well out of earshot. Feel okay about it, knowing a stranger will one day do that to you.

Get a cat or a very goofy dog. I laugh more at my animals than pretty much anything else. They’re hilariously shameless and unaware.

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