1. Wear comfy clothes. No good day in the history of ever took place in shoes that were giving you blisters and goal pants that were a half size too small.
2. Drink lots of coffee. It makes you happy. It gives you antioxidants. My personal school of research has shown that a warm drink in your hand and next to your computer makes everything 10x easier, I don’t know what other proof you need.
3. Read books you love. Every day. You won’t have to force yourself to read for 30 minutes to keep your brain stimulated or your reputation sustained when you find a story and fall in love with it. I don’t care how much you read or don’t or enjoy it or don’t, when you find something that not just answers your questions but narrates your story through someone else’s, it will carry you through anything.
4. Buy a notebook but don’t cohesively “journal” in it, just write notes and quotes and thoughts and lyrics. Don’t worry about structure or listing the minutiae of your everyday life. If trying to keep a strict log gets boring, you won’t stick with it, and then you’ll miss out on what’s actually important, which is logging the series of ideas and discoveries that shape you and move you forward.
5. Make yourself breakfast every day. It doesn’t matter if it’s the same thing. It doesn’t matter if it’s a just piece of toast. (Avocado toast, eh?) You’ll feel better. Just do it.
6. Learn to say: I respect you and like you as a person but the paths we are on do not harmonize and I don’t believe in changing your tune when it’s genuine so I’d like to continue to go our separate ways.
7. Don’t worry about not justifying things to other people, and figure out why you feel the need to find validation for them in the first place.
8. Do not underestimate the power of momentum. Solve one small problem. Pay one bill. Make one appointment. You’ll want to keep going.
9. Let yourself not care. Let yourself dislike yourself. You’re not supposed to care all the time. You’re not supposed to be perpetually ‘found’ and certain and satisfied. Expecting otherwise is a formula for emotional disaster. You don’t have to like yourself all the time to still love yourself. If you did, you’d never grow, and growing is pretty much the number one sign you love yourself, and your life – enough to want to make it better.
10. Eat foods you want to eat when you want to eat them. This seems like a recipe for a fast-food-induced-disaster but you’ll eventually find that your body will ask for good things, whole things, real things. Your body doesn’t crave grease naturally. Listen to what it does want.
11. Be mindful and appreciative of the little things you do for yourself. Laundry and food shopping and showering and sleeping are self-care.
12. Text someone you love that you’re thinking about them and whatnot, it always has a weird way of coming back around twofold.
13. Go for a walk with headphones on.
14. Light a candle, put on music, and cook yourself dinner when you get home. You deserve that kind of care and attention to detail as much as you’d give it to anybody else.
15. Buy yourself flowers. Your favorite flowers.
16. Buy yourself wine. Good wine. $20+ wine. Just because.
17. Invest in everyday things that you love, the things you’re going to see and touch and look at all day every day: your phone case, your bag, your glasses, etc.
18. Do the dishes as you dirty them.
19. Save more money than you spend.
20. Buy a hat for the winter.
21. And Tylenol for your bag.
(You’ll thank me for these.)
22. Always have a cup of water with you, you’ll mindlessly drink it and in a few days your skin will be really soft and you’ll feel a lot better and you won’t remember what changed and it’s just a few cups of water you don’t even realize you’re having.
23. If you have someone with whom you can do this — call them and ask if tonight is a good night for you to bring over dinner and then cuddle because every person on this Earth needs that more often.
24. Wear perfume/cologne for yourself. Second best to the smell of someone you love is the smell of your favorite scent on you.
25. Watch your old favorite movie, even in the background as you work with headphones on. (FYI, Pocahontas is on Netflix.)
26. Cook most of your meals for the week on Sunday. Aside from the fact that stacked Tupperware in the fridge makes you feel instantly accomplished, you’ll thank yourself when you’re exhausted and don’t feel like making something.
27. If you’re finding that you’re constantly stressed and anxious and whatever, stop figuring out ways to quell those feelings and listen to yourself. What is your body telling you? What do you really need to do? Follow your feelings. When they get overwhelming and you can’t just yet, start researching, start making plans.
28. Figure a little something out about yourself. A new food you like, a habit you have but don’t realize. Half the comfort is just in knowing.