1. Not cleaning up after yourself and waking up to a cluttered mess.
It’s okay to be lazy sometimes and leave your Domino’s box on the coffee table Friday night, leaving it to be Saturday morning’s problem. Clutter is like a set of building blocks, though. It keeps building and building and building. Leaving your mess out for the next day or weekend creates nothing but stress when you wake up. Imagine trying to make yourself a cup of coffee in your travel mug on your way to work, only to find out that it’s buried beneath a sink full of dishes. Sure, it’s not the most devastating thing ever, but if there’s a way to cut out unnecessary stress in life, then you should do it.
2. Engaging in Facebook politics.
Right-wing conservatives and the most liberal thinkers all deserve a spot on the internet. Each can post videos on issues they find revolting, issues they are supportive of, outlooks, and perspectives on BOTH sides that can agree to disagree on. If someone attacks your beliefs on Facebook, don’t take it as an opportunity to educate them. Don’t take it so seriously as to even get offended; this is America and we’re a democracy formed by free thinkers. No one is ever going to switch sides or viewpoints because of a Facebook argument. They’re just stressful. Avoid them.
3. Keeping valueless Facebook friends.
In the complete opposite, just delete people who don’t bring value to your social media life. If you have zero interaction outside of Facebook, then they’re not really “friends.” If you get stressed out by someone’s constant negativity, political rants, typo-inducing posts that make you want to squeal, former coworkers who you didn’t get along with at work, former classmates who you never uttered one word to in all four years, delete, delete, delete. Create a social media environment where it can just be about you and your closest friends and family. Trust me, it’ll make that addicting time you spend just scrolling through Facebook a lot more enjoyable.
4. Feeling guilty for putting something on your credit card.
I know, I know, making the statement in approval of credit card debt is a big no-no on the internet, however, I fully support it (within reason). Listen, times are hard as a millennial. We’re trapped behind student loans for careers that will most likely never pay off. We live paycheck to paycheck, still dreaming, still hoping to get to the place where our parents always told us we’d be. Living on your own is expensive, just as everything that comes along with it.
That’s why if you want to see the world or try out a once-in-a-lifetime experience, just fucking charge it. Don’t go crazy, but once in a while, getting on a regiment that you know you can afford, doesn’t seem like a big deal to me. So often we put off trips for when we can afford them, or later on when the timing’s right. Life isn’t conducted by our plans. If you want to do something, just do it.
5. Not being honest at work, with friends, and family.
Recently, me and some of my best friends got into a huge argument over a difference of opinions. Friends argue, and if a friendship ends because of it, then maybe it was time to reevaluate the kind of friendship you had in the first place. That being said, it’s to be expected that you and everyone else will have a different set of values, goals, experiences, and fears that will form your unique opinion. Speak up and tell the person how you feel, or why you were hurt by something they said. Give the same courtesy to them. It’s intimidating to be honest because we grew up thinking that our honesty is what will turn someone away, but I’ve come to learn just the opposite. Being honest makes us feel better, and if the person on the receiving end can’t handle that, then the entire situation was a blessing in disguise.
6. Wrongfully hating the way that you look.
Yesterday I ended up wearing sweatpants and a sweatshirt to work, because I’m a writer and social media strategist who, luckily, can wear that kind of thing and not get fired. I wore that because after trying on ten outfits, I felt so fat and disgusting in every single item of clothing. Clothes I wore six months ago were now too tight and I asked myself how I let myself go as much as I did? If you find my photos on Instagram @kort_nay, you’ll even see why I’m so bewildered at my lack of clothing options.
What good does that kind of negativity do? My body has gotten me through a lot. My body, at this juncture, was formed by grief. It was from grieving the loss of my mother. It was from the sadness and hatred of working a job that didn’t fuel my passion. It was from depression. It was fueled from eating whatever the fuck I wanted. Being healthy and active is necessary for living a long and healthy life. Hating on your body for what it’s gotten you through? Pure nonsense.
7. Procrastinating too much.
Take the five minutes and return the phone call, reply to the email, or run to Staples to buy an envelope to mail. For starters, procrastinating allows the stress to linger. I always remember that I should have taken care of something the second I’m running out the door to work. I stress about it for nine hours, come home, and then the cycle starts all over again. Taking care of your responsibilities at the moment they arise, whether it’s responding to a wedding contract, scheduling a doctor’s appointment, answering a text message or running out the trash will help ease the burden on your shoulders.
8. Putting off your hobbies until late at night.
When I was in therapy, one of my biggest complaints was that I felt like I never had time to do the things I loved, which ultimately led to my anxiety. My therapist asked me what my routine was when I came home from work, and I replied: “clean the house for an hour, do my homework for two hours, make dinner, and then by the time dinner’s done, it’s 10 o’clock and I’m too exhausted to sit down and write or paint, or even read a book. I feel like I’m creatively and emotionally drained.”
She asked me what would happen to my schedule if for one night a week, I came home and wrote for an hour, or came home and read a book. What would happen if I didn’t do the laundry as soon as I came home? What would happen if I let my boyfriend cook? Or what was so wrong about ordering take-out? Now, working in a field I love, I don’t mind coming home and working on things where my mind can take a rest. However, it’s vital to be open to the idea of putting your needs first every once in a while. Skipping a day or shifting your responsibilities around by even an hour is crucial for your mental health and happiness.
9. Signing up for too many email subscriptions.
If you really love Bath and Body Works, then chances are you probably follow them on Facebook or Instagram. By doing so, you know when their Semi-Annual sale is. Now, not to say that their company sends too many emails (they don’t) but on an average day, I get over 100 emails from job alerts from Indeed (which aren’t even relevant), organizations I shopped at once who pressured me into giving them my email, blogs I’ve read once and everything else under the sun from magazine subscriptions, Linkedin, and animal shelters I’ve donated to in the past. By the end of the week, I have over a 1,000 emails and there’s only ever about five or six of them that I actually need to open. Next time you’re in the store, say no to giving them your email if you know it’s not going to be one you open or find value in. Instead, follow these companies on social media. Cutting back on the stress of seeing ridiculously high alert notifications on your phone all day is worth it.
10. Not being honest with your emotions and vulnerabilities.
Just like you need to be honest with the way friends, family or coworkers treat you, you need to be honest with yourself. It’s healthy to acknowledge when you’re feeling blue, and it’s okay that you turn down an invite because you just don’t feel like going out with anyone, or even if you really had your heart set on spending Friday night at home in your sweats watching Netflix. If you have issues in your relationship, speak up. Share them. Fix them. Resolve them. Regardless of how you’re feeling, be cognizant that those emotions are not wrong. You can never be wrong with the way you feel. Being honest with your vulnerabilities makes life a whole lot easier to experience, while also getting the help you deserve to have.
There’s a difference between the types of apologies we give. Only apologize if you’re truly sorry for what you said, did or for hurting someone else. Apologizing to fix a situation swiftly, or doing so because it’s creating stress at home, only leads to grudges and feeling victimized. We’re human and we make mistakes, and we should feel remorseful for any time we do something hurtful on purpose. But, apologizing for how you feel? Apologizing for feeling hurt? For feeling blindsided? For feeling neglected? How often do we say “I’m sorry” when we walk into our boss’s office and ask for help? How often do we say “I’m sorry” for when someone bumps into us on the street? How often do we say “I’m sorry” for experiencing real sadness, embarrassment, or anger? These are human emotions you’re entitled to have. Maybe if we all stopped apologizing for experiencing human emotions, this world wouldn’t feel as closed off to help and honesty as it sometimes is.