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Selling my baggage on eBay.

I’m getting rid of baggage.

One of my goals for 2017 was to clean out my apartment. Not clean up, no, actually go through every little nook and box and get rid of things, and also do a better job of the things that I brought into the apartment.

My tiny place is 650 square feet, including my patio, and I hate feeling like it’s cluttered. I’ve already gotten rid of lots of clothes (H&M gives you 15% off coupons when you donate clothing/fabric), tossed old papers, and sold books and DVDs to Half Price.

I even started a little pile of things to sell on eBay.

I wasn’t entirely certain people still used eBay, but I had a few items that were too nice to simply give away. Over the past few months, the pile has grown, under the assumption I’d eventually take pictures of all of these items, resurrect my eBay account (which I got in high school), and actually list these things for sale.

I wasn’t sure that day would actually come, until I stopped talking to a guy I liked, and got the boot from one of my best friends. All of the sudden, I had LOADS of time. How do you think I read all of these books for Blanche’s Book Club?

Over the years, I’ve become a bit of a master at compartmentalizing my problems with men. Sure, it still hurts (I am not a robot), but I know I’m still a catch, and my life is good. I’m good.

But, losing a friend? That is something that cuts even deeper. That flat out hurts – and I realized it’s not something that’s easy to talk about.

In July, the Lenny Newsletter published an article from author Janelle Brown called “Why I’m Saying Goodbye to Toxic Friendships“. She captured perfectly how I’ve been feeling:

It’s shocking when a friendship dies that way: It feels impossible that you can experience total platonic love and devotion for another woman — BFFL all but tattooed on your heart — and then, abruptly, realize that you didn’t know that person at all. That your friendship was not what you thought it was; that it was just a way-stop for the other person on their path to bigger, better things. 

I’m an only child and I come from a small family. I have always dreamed of being a part of a big family someday, and even being in a sorority in college gave me some of that comfort I craved. I used to hope I could marry into a big family, but those dreams have since faded. When the relationships with my own family have also nearly dissolved, I have come to rely on my friends more than ever.

But as much as we’ve romanticized forever friendships and sisterhood – not every friendship is going to be that way. Of course, I’m always thankful for the time we had.

If there’s one thing I’ve learned about myself over the past two years, it’s that not only do I hang on to the past, but I also don’t let shit go. And that’s not good, admittedly.

It’s time for me to start letting things go.

So, I turned to my eBay pile and started listing the items (after recovering my password and realizing that yes, people DO still very much use eBay).

Quickly, bids started coming in.

Today, I’ve sold and shipped four items from my pile and am $200 richer. Money aside, I realized that I shipped off my baggage – some of it is in California and Vegas now.

And it feels good. Clothes, jewelry, mementoes of my past are no longer within my reach.

When I did the Dating Detox a few weeks ago, one of the steps was to get rid of any items like these. But, I didn’t have any. You see, this isn’t the first time I’ve taken to eBay to sell my baggage (someone now has a Mignon Faget knot ring from my college boyfriend).

But none of what I’m getting rid of today has any romantic connection. I’m clearing out the finished friendships and the family ties. No more boxes of hurt feelings.

Of course, I can’t get rid of memories – the good or the bad. But at least I’ve cleared out what I could, and I know I’m making room for the happy stuff.

I still have several more items to list on eBay. And I look forward to shipping them off to new homes – and let myself feel a little bit lighter inside and out.

Tell me I can keep the door cracked open, to let light through
For all my running, I can understand
I’m one text away from being back again
But I’m moving on and I’m getting over

-John Mayer, Moving On and Getting Over

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Detox Your Dating: Day 1.

Always up for a challenge!

A fellow singleton friend asked me if I wanted to try a free 7-day exercise called “Detox Your Dating Life” put on by Denise Poteat. I immediately agreed – although I do really, really enjoy being single, I’m always up for a challenge.

This 7-day exercise involves lots of self-reflection, and over the course of the next few weeks, I’ll be sharing these thoughts with you as I move throughout the program. Yes, I was bad and didn’t do the days right after another. It took me awhile, okay?!

Enjoy!

DAY 1: STEP ON THE SCALE

One of the first steps on this day was to state my limiting beliefs. According to popular belief, you are what you eat, and this saying works in dating, too. If you don’t believe you can go after a certain type of person, then you certainly won’t get him or her.

Who you date is a direct reflection of yourself, Denise said. I immediately cringed at this thought. I have dated some real bad ones. Ugh.

What is your single biggest frustration with dating?

Being vulnerable is my #1 block with dating. I have always dated guys that are really wrong for me (probably really wrong for anyone). I don’t do it on purpose, but I believe I do it because then, when things turn south, I can just blame it on them and not have to accept that it may be because of my baggage and flaws.

I also don’t like the work or the compromise that goes into dating. I have my own schedule that I like, I feel like my life without men is relaxed and comfortable. When I am dating, I feel stressed and on-edge constantly. I don’t want to give up my care-free life for a man.

What belief do you have about why you are single?

Ultimately, I don’t want to open myself up to true intimacy.

Top three reasons that describe your feelings about being single:

  • I don’t feel comfortable approaching men
  • I don’t have the energy to date; it’s too much hassle
  • I don’t need to be in a relationship to be happy

Homework: Review the following statements and share with the private Facebook group the thought you struggle with the most.

  •  Am I better off alone?
  • Do I really need a man to be happy?
  • What if I get into a relationship and lose my independence?

Here’s what I put into the Facebook group:

Am I better off alone? I have wondered this for nearly 10 years (I’m 32). I have mostly only experienced abusive relationships, for which I entered counseling and worked to get to the root of my issues. However, I’ve been single for four years now, and have spent that time relearning who I am, and ultimately what I want out of life. I haven’t ever gotten happiness from a man, and I’ve seen so many women fall into the same manipulative relationship traps I did years ago. I feel weak when I even start to like a man – I associate strength with being single. I feel like, as a single woman, I have this absolute freedom that I don’t have when I’m in a relationship. As embarrassing as this is to admit, there were even times I didn’t want a male waiter at a restaurant. I’m growing, and still learning, but I just can’t picture myself being vulnerable enough to love.

And Denise replied! Here’s what she said: Thank you Holly for being so honest…you really hit on something that I think many women in the group can relate to. You said “I associate strength with being single.” When you have been hurt early in your life…you can stop trusting men and ultimately…your own judgement. I want to help women learn to hear and trust their intuition…to be gentle, but strong with what they require in a relationship with a real man.

Day one = done! Be on the lookout for days two, three, and four next week 🙂 Want to do the challenge? You can sign up here – it’s completely free!

Okay 2017, let’s DO this!

Let's set some goals!

Let’s set some goals!

You guys! The next time I post a blog,  it will be 2017! I feel like just about everyone is ready for this year to be over, and I’m including myself in that bunch.

A friend on Facebook posted this article, I think it was from NPR, yesterday, and it was basically saying that everyone was naming 2016 as a sucky year because of all the celebrity deaths. It also said that if you’re complaining about a year because of celebrities you never even met passing away, then you’re already privileged and shouldn’t be whining about it.

Ehhh, I don’t want to spend a lot of time arguing these points, but whatever happened to being able to have feelings for whatever we want? I say in 2017, maybe NPR should come up with a more substantial content calendar. But what do I know?

I do know that as each year comes and goes, it becomes much more clear to me what I want out of this life and in order to get it, I continually have to set goals – big and small – so I can reach my dreams!

I never really did like the term “resolution”, because I feel like when people set resolutions, they’re vague like “lose weight”, and they hit the gym religiously until January 14, and then it’s over until the following year. I try to set goals that are reachable (although challenging, of course), specific, and at least somewhat measureable.

So, here are some of my goals for 2017:

Start With Kindness. As you can tell by the name of this blog, I’ve spend a chunk of my life feeling sour about things that have happened to me, and choices I’ve made. But in general, I wouldn’t classify myself as bitter – I’m actually pretty kind and very giving.

In the last year, I’ve thought a lot about a kindness campaign started by my favorite radio show hosts, Johnjay & Rich. Their campaign, #LoveUp, encourages everyone to do something kind for someone else – whether big or small, and whether they need it or not. Many of these little moments of kindess are shared on air during the show, and they are very touching.

I’ve already started my own #LoveUp acts of kindess, and they’ll definitely be making appearances in 2017. They can be as small as holding the door open for someone, helping out a coworker, or as big as helping someone financially, or fostering an animal.

Be a Practicing Writer. In my previous job, much of my day was spent writing. Whether or not it was stuff I actually wanted to write was not the issue, but I wrote a ton during those years. I blogged, I wrote freelance articles, I wrote books, poetry… and I really haven’t immersed myself in my craft since.

This year, I used birthday money to buy books on screenwriting, and I volunteered nearly 20 hours of my time toward the Austin Screenwriting Festival, listened to many podcasts on the craft, and have researched courses to take to learn on it – but haven’t actually DUG in there and started typing! So, I’ve got to do it – whether or not its work anyone sees, its time.

Just Go For It. I spend a lot of time analyzing situations and decisions, trying to figure out if I should do it or how or when or why, and frankly, it’s exhausting!

When I moved to Austin in 2015, I had basically no money, was living in an extended-stay hotel, and I spent my evenings going on “adventures” – where I’d basically just drive to a place that sounded cool and check it out, so at least I’d learn my way around the city and pick places I wanted to visit later. It was simple, fun, and it really helped shaped the way I look at the city. I’m definitely aiming for more adventures in Austin, and elsewhere, in 2017.

Act, Believe, & Receive. I’ve spent the last several years really trying to focus on myself. After years of abuse from various places, I lost myself and I was letting other people create my course. It took therapy, time, and lots of self-reflection for me to even begin to build myself up and allow me to just be me, and I’m finally starting to feel like myself again.

In these last few weeks of 2016, I’ve felt it, and it’s not going anywhere anytime soon. So, in 2017, I’m going to act more confident, believe in myself, and receive the treatment that I deserve.

Be Intentional. As of yesterday, I started listening to “The Minimalists” podcast, and although I’m just four episodes in, I am hooked and craving for more learning on this lifestyle choice. The Minimalists are particularly two men who left corporate America (and six-figure salaries) to live simply in terms of having less things, but to also live with intention and do everything on purpose – down to drinking one perfect cup of well-made coffee instead of just guzzling another K-cup.

They do things because of the joy it creates, or the meaning it brings – not because it fulfills the old school cliche of the American Dream. The more I learn on living minimal, I’ll let you know, of course!

Live High. No, I’m not planning on smoking more weed in 2017, but if that’s your goal – call me. “Live High” comes from a multitude of places. Initially, I was thinking of a fantastically mellow Jason Mraz song titled as such, but then I thought of that moment at the Democratic Convention this year when Michelle Obama talked about her approach to bullies: “When they go low, we go high.” See the video at 2:45 for the exact moment, but you should probably just watch the entire thing because, let’s face it, it was one of the most hopeful moments of the year.

Essentially, I want to give myself permission to do things just for me. I do a pretty good job already of having no shame for watching hours of TV each week (hell, each night), but I want to do a better job of encorporating happy and healthy habits into my life, and not apologizing for them.

Choose (& Plan for) Your Destiny! This started as kind of a joke between me, and well, myself, because someone told me earlier this year: “Everything that happens to you is because you let it. You choose your destiny.” In the way it was delivered to me, it seemed more of a way to avoid blame, but the more I thought about it, the more I felt it in all areas of my life.

Spent my Saturday working? Well that was obviously the destiny that I chose. No more being a victim; no more going along for the ride. We choose our destinies! And you know what? Destinies need to be planned. So, I bought myself a gorgeous new planner for 2017 – this one is nearly identical to the one I got – and I’ve already started filling it! It has inspirational quotes, folders, pages for notes, and lots of fun stickers to keep things organized.

So, there you have it! I asked my Facebook friends about their goals for 2017 and I heard all sorts of good things – from living simplistic or getting outdoors more to lowering debt and taking more pictures. I’d love to hear what your hopes and goals for the New Year are.

I’ll be right back here on Monday, and until then, have a safe and very happy New Year! Cheers!

Simple ways I’m tackling life.

It will come as no surprise to anyone that I’ve been in the midst of tough times; because, well, that’s the kind of thing that happens as the years pass. We have good times and bad, and getting through the bad times is often when we learn the most about ourselves and the people around us.

I’ve written a lot over the years about happiness – ways to shift your mood and feel happy now, or finding happiness from within (which inevitably fills my inbox with emails about finding Jesus) – but what do you do when the going really gets tough, when you can’t turn to your wallet, or possibly your friends or family, or job, or any of the usual crutches to perk things up?

Several years ago, I read “The Happiness Project” by Gretchen Rubin – the first of her several books on how to make, and live, a better life. The book was highly criticized because Rubin is pretty privileged, but that really doesn’t get annoying until book two. I actually really enjoyed “The Happiness Project” and have turned to it in the recent weeks as I tackle life like a 12-step plan, one day at a time.

Over the past few weeks, I’ve really done some searching in my life to discover the small things that make life a little better, and I’m sharing them with you in hopes they help you, too.

Getting up earlier. As nerdy as it sounds, I’ve spent the better part of the last year getting up at least an hour earlier than I need to. Why? Well, truthfully, I really like being able to get things done before I have to go to work. I don’t usually leave important tasks for the mornings – some days I get up to write for an hour, or watch TV, or perhaps I just want to take my time getting ready.

When my life started to turn dark, I noticed right away that I started hitting the snooze button a lot more, to the point that I barely had time to brush my teeth and run out of the door each day. And it took me awhile to realize that it just wasn’t working. So, I got right back into my early morning habit, and it’s amazing how much it helps. I can spend time on my patio drinking coffee with Blanche, or tidy up my living room so it’s clean when I come home, or even just eat breakfast at my counter instead of at my office. I can also do my hair and get my makeup right so I go about my day with confidence. This one little move makes it feel like I have more hours in the day, and that they’re not all taken up by work.

Getting more sleep. This probably sounds quite contradictory to the previous tip, but I realized that I’d been staying up too late, and really for no reason other than to avoid the next day approaching. It was time I invest in myself and the first step toward that was getting a good night’s sleep every night.

Many, many people struggle with getting sleep, and it’s an issue I’ve had for several years. Everyone probably has their own approach to getting a solid night of sleep, and even Rubin covers this topic in her book. She goes about it the traditional way, skipping out on work, television, or anything stimulating an hour before sleep.

That doesn’t really work for me – instead, I told myself that I wanted to be asleep at 11 pm on work nights. So, around 10, I started winding things down, washing my face, turning on my essential oil diffuser (with lavender), and sometimes taking melatonin. I also stopped drinking during the week. I still watch TV in bed, or sometimes read, but it usually doesn’t take long before I’m asleep. And if I want to stay up late to watch a certain show (such as a political convention) or read a book or work on a meaningful project, then so be it, just as long as it’s not a daily habit.

Accepting the challenges. When things hit the fan, whether they be a growing pile of bills, burnout from workout, or a broken heart, everyone has two options: 1. starting a diet of NyQuil and sleeping in hopes things get better, or accepting it and figuring out how to kick its ass. I chose the latter, and I can say that while accepting reality does suck at first, it makes me feel more in control of my life, and at the very least, I can start to see the light at the end of the tunnel.

Many of my current issues are financial, down to my last dime. So, a challenge for me was creating a budget and then slashing it to live off as little as possible. Once I accepted this challenge, I’ve discovered that I can live on a lot less than I did before, and I’ve made new discoveries, such as how many meals you can get from a single rotisserie chicken, and how to fix a ceiling fan in order to use less air conditioning.

Evaluating. Once unhappiness starts to settle in, it’s time to take a good, hard look at your life. For me, this meant looking at my finances and getting control of them. What kinds of monthly bills could I get rid of, or lower? What was I spending my money on and could it be taken out?

A few things, I found, could be eliminated. Some things I miss, but others were expenses I was paying simply because I was too lazy to cancel an account. Some things I couldn’t part with – such as my dance studio membership. Not only is dance my main form of exercise, it’s also a social activity for me, plus it’s creative, and a stress reliever. So, while I didn’t cancel my membership, I decided I’d make the most of it and attend more classes since my membership is unlimited.

I also looked at expenses I couldn’t change, like my rent. What would make me hate paying my rent less? One thing was that if I just got serious about keeping the place clean and tidy, and perhaps got rid of a few things. Turns out, cleaning felt productive, and I even have a box of things I can sell at a local bookstore. Part of my rent expense is a $30/month trash valet fee that is non-negotiable. I’ve never been able to use the service because of its strict time limits, so I talked to my leasing office to make sure I had all of the right information.

Turns out, they’re a little more lenient than I thought, so I was able to use the trash valet service twice last week – I just put my designated trashcan outside between a certain chunk of time and my trash is taken away for me. Now, I feel better that I’m not just wasting the monthly fee, and it saves me dreaded trips to the dumpster, which keeps my apartment even cleaner.

But evaluation doesn’t necessarily mean monetary things; for me, it also meant people. I started to recognize people in my life that were bringing me down – I cut them out. If they were only planning on being with me during the good times, it was time to let them go.

Reading & writing. Whether you’re a creative or not, I think it’s healthy to have some form of escape plan, even if it’s fictional. One of the first things I did when I realized I needed to penny pinch was get a library card. I have always loved going to the library, and there’s nothing bad about tackling a reading list. Now, I go to the library at least once a week, and I enjoy the tiny adventure of searching for books on my reading list, looking for any good DVDs to check out, and adding any of the library’s free activities to my calendar.

I have yet to master the art of journaling, as most things that come into my brain end up on this blog, but I know for some, writing privately is a great way to cope. When I lost my job almost two years ago, one of the first purchases I treated myself to was a thick notebook that had an inspirational quote on the front. As simple as it sounds, I used the notebook to hold my life together – lists of jobs I applied to each week, upcoming interviews, and my weekly work schedule as I juggled three retail jobs. I have since used the entire notebook, but have kept it since it was so helpful to me.

Making the most out of everything. I have always appreciated the small things in life, but now, I pretty much realized they’re all I’ve got. So, when a song I love comes on the radio (“One Dance” by Drake is my recent favorite; along with Justin Bieber’s new one), I turn it up and dance in my car. When I wakeup before my alarm, I get up and take a few moments to enjoy the sunrise.

When I was evaluating my expenses, I considered eliminating my Tuesday night latte ($4.28) from my life. But, I decided against it, as it’s a small expense, but more importantly, it’s an hour I spend each week reading between work and dance class, and it’s a treat to myself; a chance to just breathe. Instead of just grabbing your latte each morning, consider actually enjoying it, and the people around you. The coffee shop I go to is a game house; they host weekly war game tournaments, and Tuesday nights are very popular. And while I have no clue what these games entail, I enjoy seeing all of these people gathering for something they’re passionate about.

Take a break. This could mean a lot of different things for different people. For me, this literally meant taking a break. Before allowing myself said breaks, I’d taken less than three lunch breaks in the last year. I was overworked and burned out. So, I vowed to stop skipping my lunch breaks. Even on days when things felt crazy, I’ve taken a break; gone outside, taken a walk, sat on a bench and read a book. And, it’s pretty amazing how much good it does for the brain. It makes the work day seem so much shorter, and I look forward to it each day.

I also vowed to stop taking my work laptop home. I often took it home even when I had no looming deadlines, and at the very least, I would check my email before bed, or find a 30-minute task to complete. Not anymore. If I had too much work to complete within 9-5, then I was just going to have to tell someone that it couldn’t happen. And so far, I’ve been more efficient at work – probably due to my sleep schedule – and I’ve been way less stressed. Home is for being at home, not for work.

Creating new goals and working toward them. I am a dreamer, so I’m always thinking ahead. What do I want my life to be like in 3, 5, or 10 years? I honestly don’t know. But I know I’m going to keep writing and I am always working to continue my craft. Recently, I’ve discovered a great interest in teleplays and screenwriting, so I’ve set a goal for myself to write a script. I even bought myself a how-to book with a gift card I got for my birthday. Will my script see the light of day? Who knows! But I will work to find out. And who knows what will happen along the way.

 I’d love to know what kinds of things keep you going throughout the week! Maybe it’s your daily food journal, taking the scenic route home from work, or a weekly sewing class – share it in the comments!

Monday motivation: ‘Charlie Mike’ & glittery farts.

I'm freeeeeee!

I’m freeeeeee!

“I feel like a majority of my life is me just pretending like I don’t hate everything.” Sad, but true, I told my friend about a month ago.

I’m in a constant search of happiness, and I’ll be searching until I find it. As I mentioned before, I’m still obsessed with listening to podcasts and many of the ones I like are motivational; whether that be blatant or underlying.

I was catching up on The Jillian Michaels’ Show a few weeks ago during a road trip and she was talking about how she’s a control freak, and if something goes wrong that’s out of her control, she’s still going to feel like people are blaming her. She also has issues moving on (sounds familiar…).

She said she started working with a former Navy Seal, and he gets through these types of challenges by “Charlie Mike”. Huh? Charlie Mike. Complete the Mission. Do the best you can do with what you have in order to complete the mission.

You can listen to the entire episode here, but I think that phrase alone is pretty motivational.

It’s sort of weird to talk about motivation, but it’s really the only way for me to get through each day. Some days I feel incredibly READY to just tackle whatever comes. I get this jolt of energy, whether it’s used to go to work and knock out a bunch of tasks, or staying up late to clean my house; those days feel good.

But I’ll tell you this: every Sunday from about 2pm on, I dread the upcoming work week. Like really bad. Then I stay up really late on Sunday to avoid Monday as much as possible. Then on Monday, I’m a slug, and I’ll admit; I sometimes put off starting big tasks because I just don’t feel like it.

I start the countdown to Friday on Monday. Every Thursday night, I think MAN, I’m soooo glad tomorrow is Friday! And Friday at 5:30, I bust out of that office like it’s on fire. And why? Over the weekend, I got to thinking about why I love the weekend so much.

After all, I’m an adult, I can do what I want during the week; it’s not like I’ve got my parents telling me I’ve got to go to bed early. But, I get it, the work day really takes it out of me, and I usually go to dance until at least 8pm, so the weekdays are pretty much planned for me.

As soon as Friday night hits, I can do WHATEVER I want for an entire two days. That could be a cool dinner, a shopping trip, or like this weekend, I did lots of gardening (planted tomatoes and basil), went to a hockey game, and saw a movie. It was fantastic! If I want to, I can do nothing, I can lay in bed and watch homemade Daria marathons and roll around in my sweatpants. Its freedom.

Which brings me to another podcast I listened to last week, “Monocycle” by Leandra Medine at Manrepeller. The episode, “Saturday is a State of Mind“, and she talks a lot about the construct of time. She speaks the truth in that, on Thursdays, we’re so fueled by the IDEA of Saturday approaching, that we power through, and by Friday, “You’re so happy that you’re literally farting glitter.”

Is it the anticipation that we’re craving? Is there a way we can bottle that Saturday feeling and drink it when we’re feeling like shit on a Monday afternoon? Leandra talks about things we can do to help ease the woes of the week, including making Sunday fun instead of moping around, drinking extra delicious coffee on Monday or tackling the big things so the rest of the week is easy.

I don’t know if these things will necessarily work for me, but I’m down to take ideas. I currently take a pretty fun dance class on Monday nights, so that’s a start. But perhaps I should buy special coffee just for Mondays, or plan to always wear a bright color to kick off the week, or take myself to lunch.

One thing that’s inspired me for years is this video that came with a digital John Mayer album I bought many years ago. It was a short, acoustic album, and it featured this video of the making of the son, “In Repair” (which I love). The gist? He goes into the studio in the morning with no song; comes out that night having written the lyrics, song, and even recorded it. This motivates me like I cannot even understand:

I definitely don’t want to live my life just looking forward to two days a week. I want to look forward to every day; even if it’s anticipating something small, like a special dinner or a movie during the week. What about you? Do you do something special to make the weekdays a little more like a Saturday? I’d love to hear it; I need some cool ideas to make my entire week a fun one!

Don’t worry, be happy. Now.

Cheer up, Buttercup.

Cheer up, Buttercup.

The “Winter Blues” are a real thing (often referred to by smarter people as Seasonal Affective Disorder), and I’m here to report that there’s a way to rid yourself of these doldrums and turn that frown upside-down!

Truth-be-told, I got to thinking about things that make me happy, and things that make other people happy. I feel like I’m constantly on a mission to improve my mood, in order to just… enjoy life.

Of course, it’s really easy to sit back and say, well if I had this, lived there, worked over there, did this, met someone – you fill in the blank – then life would be better. But how about just living in the NOW? Because that’s all we have.

And, if you read yesterday’s post, I feel like a totally changed woman, and I’m learning to work with what I have, instead of moping over the things I’m missing. So, for the record, here’s what I’ve got:

  • A crazy cat
  • Great friends
  • Supportive mom
  • Pretty cool job
  • Apt in an awesome city
  • Jeep I love to drive
  • Working coffee pot
  • HBO
  • Half-full bottle of mood support

Sounds pretty good, right? But, we all have bad days or bad moments when we lose perspective and can’t focus on the good things that are right in front of us. And that’s what this list is for. Nine things you can do RIGHT now to perk up your spirits and crush the day – maybe this Bitter Lemon has gone a little sweet (okay, not a chance, but you get the picture)!

  1. Get caffeinated. I’m a coffee lover, and I drink it every morning, but if tea is your thing, or Red Bull, whatever, get your buzz on.
  2. Jam out. Listening to positive music can flip your mood in a second. If you don’t have a certain playlist that’ll do the trick, put on your favorite song. Personally, I’ll take any Queen song, any day.
  3. Just dance. Speaking of music, why not bust a move? There’s a 100% chance all of my neighbors have seen me twerking in my kitchen while waiting for my coffee to brew, and everyone on Mopac South at 8:30 M-F has seen me perfecting body-rolls while driving. Just try it!
  4. Close all social media apps. It pains me to say this, because I love a lot of things about social media, hell, a majority of my job is digital. But, people always post the happy shit online and a lot of times it’s not even true. However, it makes us compare and we start to feel like everyone else has it better. They don’t, but close the app, anyway.
  5. …Okay, but not YouTube. Hop over to YouTube to watch a funny video. My go-to? Shark-cat. Never lets me down.
  6. Remember photo albums? Open up a box of old photos. Apparently, looking at old pictures boosts your mood more than eating chocolate. I don’t know if I believe this, so you should probably eat chocolate WHILE going through pictures. But really, who needs a photo album when you can just Google that amazing pic of Bieber’s ass?

    You're welcome.

    You’re welcome.

  7. Go somewhere. Okay, so maybe this isn’t something you can do right now, but planning an experience or a trip will bring you more pleasure than spending your cash on material things.
  8.  Treat yourself. I don’t want this to come across as me saying that materialistic things bring happiness. Most of the time they don’t. But, I’d be lying if I didn’t admit just how much a trip to Walgreen’s brings me joy. Or even a scoop of frozen custard. So, treat yourself, even if it’s something small.
  9. Get lost. Maybe a walk would do you some good, or perhaps curling up with a good book to forget about reality for awhile. Sometimes, turning off my phone makes me feel like I’m on a vacation.