Along with millions of other TikTok users, I am currently letting a 13-year-old pug named Noodle dictate my mental health. Hey, at least it makes more sense than blaming my mood on a planet 28.595 million miles away being in “retrograde,” whatever that means.
Noodle and his owner, New York City-based Jonathan Graziano, have garnered millions of fans with near-daily videos of a game called “no bones.” Please, please check the bones forecast yourself on their TikTok or Instagram.
How “no bones” works
The game is simple: Graziano hoists Noodle out of his dog bed and then lovingly releases him. If Noodle flops back into a snoozing position, Graziano declares it a “no-bones” day, which is your sign to take it easy today. If Noodle stays propped up, it’s a “bones” day, which is your sign to #treatyourself. It’s like Groundhog Day, but the forecast is about your energy levels, and the groundhog is an elderly pug.
Why “no bones” works
In addition to their legions of fans on TikTok, Graziano and Noodle have attracted the attention of major news outlets like NPR, The Today Show, Slate, and more. Sure, their virality is largely due to the sheer cuteness of this geriatric oracle pug. I’d also posit that part of the attraction is the same thing that draws people to horoscopes, superstitions, or their higher power of choice. It’s comforting to have an external, divine force give you a reason why you’re not feeling 100% today.
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What’s more, the popularity of the “no bones” phrase captures our collective fatigue, whether from the pandemic or any other number of factors weighing down on our societal soul. It can be difficult to articulate when your mood is simply “off,” and the shared language of “no bones” is valuable validation during these times. Or maybe it’s just because it’s a freaking cute pug.
Having a bones day? Make the most of it
News of a bones day means it’s time to capitalize on your productivity. “It’s a bones day on a Monday, you guys, this is so exciting,” Jonathan says in the Oct. 18 forecast, which has over 10 million views. “The Japanese fried chicken you were going to get for lunch today? Get the curry to dip them in. All those festive gourds? Buy ‘em. That raise you deserve but haven’t asked for yet? Ask for it. You’ve got to treat yourself today.”
Here is our advice to treat yourself without spending money or eating junk. Then, if you’re trying to cram in some bones-related productivity, here’s our guide to turning your procrastination into productivity.
Having a no-bones day? Be kind to yourself
First, set the mood with the no-bones day song. If you’re looking for resources to have a proper mental health day, read up on how to get the kind of rest you need, how to plan your mental health days in advance, or how to let yourself go ahead and waste time. Noodle, Graziano, and millions of fans want you to know that you’re allowed to have one of those days.