We are living through a truly challenging time and getting out of bed most days is a real feat. If you’re unemployed during this mess you know how long and hopeless the days can feel.
Here are my tips for staying tough and motivated and not giving into the ever present desire to eat sunchips in bed with a blanket over the curtains because it isn’t dark enough.
Showering in the morning is a reset and when you feel like shit and as though nothing matters anyway, it’s easy to let this fall to the wayside. This is the simplest most important part of my routine because it makes me feel clean and ready even if all I am doing is wallowing in my own depression.
Drink water. Drink tea. Drink drink drink. Feeling like shit is almost always exacerbated by dehydration. Headaches, digestive issues and brain function are often side effects of dehydration. If you can’t find the energy to eat, forcing down water will help.
Be Gentle With Yourself
It’s hard. Allow yourself to feel and be whichever way you want to without judging yourself for it.
I’m going to say it in every post forever. Exercising is the number one way to feel better about yourself and your life. Anything counts. Just move. I try to hike every day and though it’s hard to do, I always feel better after.
Yes you’re out of a job but that doesn’t mean you don’t have a routine. Make a routine for the day and keep consistency with it. There are going to be days when you do not want to do it, but do it anyway at 20% instead of 100%. You don’t have to love what you’re doing, you just have to do it.
These are the main tips that have helped me. Of course they may or may not work for you. There are times when I find it difficult to take my own advice, but I try and it helps.
What are some of your tips for keeping your head above water when the blues get you?
I still have Twitter. I still use Twitter. I can’t stop using Twitter. It’s one of the cruelest places you can exist on the internet. It’s a place where everyone is trying to be funny and no one is above punching up down or sideways. If you have an opinion there is some there to tell you it is wrong.
I am luckily not funny enough to have a large following and not controversial enough to be trolled daily (have been trolled before, feels bad)
The trouble I run into on Twitter are the innocuous ‘I have some news’ tweets. The ones where people humblebrag about their good news. Although intentions aren’t nefarious and these people should be sharing their amazing news, one can’t help but feel alienated by a stranger’s success. I read a tweet the other day that said ‘Baby’s first magazine cover!’ and thought to myself ‘Damn, I haven’t reached that milestone yet.” Like what? As if that is a totally normal milestone most people achieve?
I quit Instagram for many reasons- it made me shop, it made me stare at photoshopped images of perfect women, it made me feel like my life just wasn’t worthy enough. This is a trend.
“If Facebook demonstrates that everyone is boring and Twitter proves that everyone is awful, Instagram makes you worry that everyone is perfect — except you.” – Alex Hern, The Guardian
Self comparison is bad for a lot of reasons- it doesn’t actually help you achieve more, it ruins your sense of self and you’re usually using inaccurate information (edited selfies, celebratory tweets that don’t mention the 10 years of failure prior)
It’s hard to feel motivated in a Pandemic and it’s even harder to feel satisfied. Other people’s lives seem so together. Other people seem to be handling things properly.
I have found that self comparison stops tenfold when I’m away from social media. When I spend time with people I am not on my phone. I stay away from Twitter and the time away is a welcome reprieve. The smartest people I know do not use that site. When you aren’t inundated with what everyone else is doing, it’s incredible how fast your own self esteem starts to heal. When you look at your life it doesn’t seem quite so inadequate.
Is it weak to admit that you’re vulnerable to these little deaths by comparison? Maybe yes. But maybe there is some strength in knowing what you need to fix and setting to work to fix it. Social media isn’t going anywhere. People have whole careers on these platforms. You can either take part and feel bad or disassociate and step back. I am always for healthy social media breaks and for testing my own mettle to see what I am capable of. What little challenges I can overcome and I often surprise myself.
I’ve never read an article or watched a video where a person takes a social media break and doesn’t feel better at the end of it. Have you?
We aren’t supposed to be privy to this many people’s thoughts and opinions. We aren’t supposed to be this influenced by this many strangers.
So I invite you to take a break. I am going to be. I use Twitter every single day and it’s the first thing I do when I wake up. This cannot be healthy. I am going to take a break from Twitter and from being influenced by other people.
Shifting the focus back to you and your life.
Here are the things I’ll be doing instead.
When I’m sad I workout about it. It takes time and energy and you only leave it feeling good.
Reading News Not on The App
I caved and got a subscription to the New York Times. I read once that the NYT has a higher reading level than most other print journalism so maybe this will make me smarter too?
Hikes in The Woods
In Toronto the weather is getting warmer and a podcast on my hike in the woods is one of the best feelings. Have you listened to Con Queen? It’s on spotify. Absolutely fascinating stuff.
Getting a Job
LOL the time has come to get some little email job to occupy my brain and hands with so I don’t just think and consume social media all day.
I just watched Jackie Brown for the first time the other day and wow. It feels shameful to have lived 33 years without seeing it.
If I spent as much time stretching as I do reading tweets about Donald Trump I would be a bendy beautiful goddess. Stretching feels good.
Learning about Money
I am a GIRLBOSS who is in Ketosis and DEBT. Time to get my act together. Time to understand what in god’s name a mutual fund is.
This is the number one best way to feel good about life. To get off that damn phone and remember why you’re alive. Hangout with the friends who see you for you and love you for it. Listen to their jokes and their accomplishments and feel yourself feel happy for them. It helps.
Are you warm right now? Have you had any coffee? Try to remember how insanely lucky you are for the life you do have even if you don’t have a massive Kim Kardashian dump truck ass.
Life is hard enough, let us take a break from the things that make it even worse.
What are some of your tips for dealing with social comparison? Let me know below.
We all know that spending a large sum on a little skincare treat often feels like a big warm hug on a rainy day. This feeling is precisely why the skincare industry is thriving. Skin is in and the trend is not going anywhere.
When so much of our lives feel out of control, taking our makeup off at the end of the day and luxuriating in the skincare routine thereafter can really feel like a true joy.
I am a person who is wholly a victim to my environment. I need things to feel pleasing and look pleasing and for this reason an expensive and elaborate skincare routine can really feel like pampering.
However I’ve tried tons of products and always come back to the simplest and most effective routine for me. Though it’s not luxury, there are small things you can do to get excited for your drugstore skincare routine.
This is the single most important trick I use to take the experience of my drugstore skincare routine from austere to opulent. You can find vintage or modern glass screw top jars on etsy or amazon.
We all know that the right packaging for your products ups the experience tenfold so why not take your boring plastic Cerave Bottle and repot into a nice jar. Just be sure it’s airtight and washable.
Change the Lighting
Yes you live in a small and shabby apartment but there are plenty of tricks to make your bathroom feel like a spa. A small salt lamp nightlight can change your entire shower and skincare experience. The pink glow is cozy and the salt lamp itself has healing properties.
Organize your bathroom
Nothing feels expensive or luxurious in clutter. Declutter your unused makeup, toiletries, cleaners and skincare. Simplify your space and your routine will feel more lavish.
Masks and scrubs can seem like a wonderful way to treat your skin but there’s a lot of research suggesting otherwise. Having a simple, inexpensive and natural skincare routine not only helps your skin but it helps the environment as well. Go with what works for you and save your money when it comes to fancy products with tons of ingredients
French women swear by this and they are universally lauded for their skincare efforts. Whether this stereotype is earned or a myth you have to admit a lot of people turn to the french when it comes to skincare. Massaging your face properly when you use products not only helps the skin absorb the nutrients more deeply, it is relaxing. If you give your face a little massage each time you slather on, you set your skin up for a better day.
These are my tips and I find that they work. After years of products that break me out and money wasted, simply making the routine feel more luxurious keeps me from splurging on new skincare all the time. Money saved and skin glowing. What more could you want?
Instagram recently announced that they would be making what is basically a child friendly version of the app (because they haven’t yet cornered the 13 and under market). In light of their Facebook headed demon-ry I thought I’d compile a little list of great things that happened since I’ve left the app. If you’re thinking of quitting (or for some god forsaken reason letting your child have an account) let these lessons be your guide. Great things happen when you log off.
1. I’m Not As Lonely As I Thought
Spending time on the app scrolling through people’s lives often made me unsatisfied with my own. It made me feel lonely because though you’re engaging with people’s content, you’re not actually connecting with it.
“Studies suggest that using Facebook, Snapchat, Instagram and similar social media apps to keep in touch with friends and forge off-line connections can add vitality and communion to your life. But if you are spending hours every day using social media mainly as a substitute for real connection, your feelings of loneliness and inadequacy will likely worsen.” (psych.com/net)
Now that I don’t use the app,, I am more comfortable with my little life. I see people from time to time and make the most of it when I’m with them to tide me over until I’m social again. I am lonely but not the same way.
2. My Self Esteem is Better
I’m not constantly inundated with images of influencers, models, products telling me that I am a small and horrific ogre. I’m not constantly seeing clothes that I absolutely do not need or photoshopped imagery that signals I am not enough. I’m fine.
3. The Feeling Like I Don’t Exist Unless I’m Perceived is Gone
Do you ever feel like you don’t exist unless someone sees you? Like what’s the point of doing certain things unless you can share them and other people can see you doing them? I’m ashamed to admit that I felt this way. I used to do things and be excited to share them as if it made me a person worth knowing. But the truth is, I am still that person, I still do cool things, I just don’t exploit them for likes.
4. Validation Seeking Has Lessened
I’m ok, I don’t need a random guy I used to work with simping all over my selfie to feel that way. I don’t need others to tell me I’m good. I don’t need others unsolicited opinions (positive or negative) to feel like I am worthy or succeeding. My self esteem isn’t predicated on likes or men in my DMs saying I have pretty eyes.
5. I Am Out Of Contact
The sweet delicious joy of being out of reach. It’s harder to contact me now and the people who want to do so in a meaningful way. Everyone has an expectation that people are readily available to answer texts or DMs and It’s become a boundary for me. My phone is not in my hand when I’m with people. I am not available 24 hours a day. I am an antiquated fossil human reading books and making charcuterie boards and I will respond to you via phone-call or text when my fossil things are done.
6. I Don’t Practice Escapism With The App Anymore
I don’t look at other people’s lives and wish that I were doing what they were doing. Traveling where they were traveling and living where they are living. I confront my own life now and mindfully live in it, when it’s good and when it’s bad.
7. I Don’t Take Selfies Anymore
I’m still wildly self indulgent (clearly, I write a blog about myself) but in a different way. I used to take selfies as if they were proof of my beauty and not just contrived images taken deliberately on a day where I’m actually wearing makeup. What’s the point of having 10k photos of yourself? It’s nice to feel nice but it’s not nice to live in a world where the only focus is you.
8. My Apartment Is Much Cleaner
There were times when my usage on Instagram would show 2.5-3 hours. 3 Hours! What the hell was I doing on that app for 3 hours. I have more time to do other things, like clean.
I wish I could say that I am one of those people who keeps her place spotless but I have to be honest here. I am not. Im tidy, Im minimal, I don’t have clutter but I do have dust. Or I did. With the free mental time and space i have from Instagram, my place is cleaner than ever.
9. I Can Find Inspiration Elsewhere
Like People, Youtube, Pintrest, VSCO, Nero, Spotify, Tumblr, Books, Online Art Galleries, Biographies, Films, Tv, the list goes on.
10. I am Content
I am content with not being content. Get it? My life doesn’t have to look beautiful. It is beautiful and I’m grateful and happy to be living it even if it isn’t aesthetically displayed on Instagram.
Instagram is essentially people watching. It’s people watching and window shopping and you can do both of those things for real outside in the ~world~
I know there are good aspects to the app, like staying in touch with people and keeping up with their lives and if you use the app this way, I bow down to you. You are a healthy person, but this post is not for you. If you’re like me and prone to do all of the other toxic shit then I recommend you hightail it out of there. If you’re struggling with self esteem, productivity, imposter syndrome, pure unadulterated envy, romantic jealousy, overspending and discontent in your personal relationships, QUIT NOW. Quit yesterday.
I still have urges to look at clothes and feel little twinges of fomo but the pros at this point so far outweigh the cons that I truthfully do not see myself going back.
I hope these lessons help you if you are struggling with deleting it or using it less.
If you’re struggling, reach out. I’m more than happy to talk you through it.
Hello again sweet angels. I am back today to test my strength with a low buy March. The concept of low-buy or no buy periods of time have long been celebrated on Youtube and blogs by minimalists and money savers for the seemingly endless list of pros resulting from the endeavour. Money saving gurus have lauded the benefits of a rainy day fund and developing the discipline to say no to that thing that will bring momentary dopamine into our sad/struggling little brains.
Online shopping is delightful, truly. Throughout the Pandemic, having something arriving in the mail has at times felt like the only reason to live.
The harsh reality of this is, I overspend. I work in film/tv as well as service and in my city those industries are fighting to exist right now. With a stay at home order in place and endless time on my hands, the quick kick of dopamine from a purchase has become a real self care crutch.
I recently came across the concept of low-buy or no buy after researching Instagram and the effects the app strategically has on our shopping habits. How easy it is to click through and make in app purchases, how teams of people (weirdos) sit around all day engineering updates that subconsciously encourage spending. I realized that prior to January 1st (the day I stopped using [Instagram]) I had made so many insane purchases just because it was easy. Clothes are my vice. I buy an absurd amount of clothes for someone who barely leaves the house.
The breaking point for me came when I had purchased a sweater from Zara and waited three weeks for it’s arrival. Every day the tracking teased it’s delivery and every passing hour that I did not have my coveted sweater made me desperately, hopelessly hornier to receive it.
This sweater was going to make me beautiful and cozy like the Instagram ad I had seen it in. It would look Nordic (???) and the experience of owning it would take me from sitting in my Toronto apartment to hiking the Fjords or drinking coffee in a street cafe in Amsterdam. I had huge (extremely unhealthy, unrealistic, irrational, illogical) hopes for this sweater.
Finally the day came. It arrived.
Abysmal. I’m not sure that I own a more ill fitting piece of clothing. This beautiful 70 dollar sweater that I can’t even sell on Facebook Marketplace or trade on Bunz has become the pinnacle of disappointing purchases I’ve made through boredom and sadness.
Everytime I open my closet this bulky oppressive garbage garment mocks me.
This experience made me wake the fuck up and realize that I am a shameful money waster who needs rehabilitation.
Enter, low buy/no buy. First, It’s winter in Toronto. I don’t need to be buying clothes. I wear four items and go almost nowhere so this should be easy.
Another interesting draw to this concept is contentment through delayed gratification. Research has shown that developing discipline is another important factor in overall contentment. Not giving full control to your emotions has far reaching benefits beyond saving a couple bucks here and there. Learning to control your desires or observe them as wants not needs can reportedly be life changing. Of course, that’s easier said than done.
Author Ralph Waldo Emerson said that the destination is rarely the goal, but rather the journey is what makes humans happy. When we get the prized thing that we want with little to no effort it cheapens the experience and then we go out and do it again. That’s why online shopping feels so damn good. You make your purchase and wait for it and the anticipation is the dopamine bomb.
The pandemic has caused so much uncertainty. So much job loss, so much financial insecurity and yet companies like Amazon are somehow thriving. We’re spending more than ever because we’re sad and it feels good.
So for one month I am not going to buy my vice. I will not purchase another ridiculously expensive long armed sweater or pants that hide my gorgeous thick calves. This will be hard, there is no doubt about it, but in the spirit of this blog I am going to try!
I invite you to join me in saying no. No more. No more buying shit that we absolutely do not need. The joy is only temporary. Let’s strive for a more sustainable feel good endeavour. Let’s control our impulses and emotions and see if we’re as tough as we sometimes like to fantasize.
I’ll keep you updated and please let me know how you do.