1. Change your mind.
Forming a new opinion about something—whether it’s your favorite color or an important world issue—doesn’t make you fickle, or a hypocrite. It simply means that your understanding of a situation or overall outlook has evolved in some way, and you’re responding accordingly. Changing one’s mind is a necessary part of the growth process, and a natural extension of learning.
2. Fall out of love.
It doesn’t matter if you’ve exchanged promises of “forever,” or sworn a million times that you’d never ever leave your significant other. You’re allowed to fall out of love with someone. You’re allowed to leave. You’re allowed to move on. You’re allowed to fall for someone else.
3. Forgive yourself.
You’re human, so you’re going to make mistakes, even as you grow older and become more mature. None of us is immune to human error. So forgive yourself without dwelling for too long. As long as you commit to learning from your mistakes, there’s no reason to regret them or to punish yourself perpetually.
4. Take a mental health day.
You will wake up some mornings feeling totally ill equipped to take on the world—not because you’re sick or tired, but because you just don’t feel like it. Sometimes, you need to do nothing but take care of you. So take a day off to do you and only you.
Yes, it’s wise to be mindful of your spending habits day to day. It’s smart to save up for the future. But we all have a limited bandwidth for behaving responsibly. Sometimes, splurging is essential. So treat yourself to a decadent dinner at a fancy restaurant once in awhile, or buy that pair of overpriced jeans without feeling at all guilty just because. Your happiness is worth the occasional indulgence.
6. Omit the truth.
Sometimes, omitting part of the truth is the polite thing to do. On other occasions, it’s just simpler. And that’s okay. If everyone said what was on their minds ALL the time, the world around us would crumble. Trimming the truth is a matter of etiquette and a means of self-preservation.
7. Tell a flat-out lie.
Lying gets such a bad name, but it’s not always such a bad thing to do. Lie when you need to—because you don’t feeling like *getting into it,* or because you’re in a terrible mood—and don’t beat yourself up about fibbing afterwards. As long as you’re not hurting anyone else and you don’t make a habit of it, you won’t go to hell. Promise
8. Request alone time.
I don’t care if you’re in a serious relationship, if you have five roommates, or if you’re a parent of three. You’re allowed to skedaddle for no reason at all to get some time entirely alone—to collect yourself and to heal in isolation so you can return to your family and friends and your regular daily life feeling recharged. No one can run on fumes that long.
Maybe the more financially wise decision would be to save money rather than pay for a cleaning service every other week, or to eat what’s in the fridge instead of ordering delivery. The thing is, there’s a lot of value in saving yourself some aggravation now and then. Some services are totally worth paying for, even if you can’t really afford them.
10. Decline a phone call.
Don’t feel obligated to accept every phone call. You’re not at anyone’s beck and call—not your parents’ or your boss’ or your kids’. You get to design your day and choose who you spend time listening and talking to.
11. Eat junk food.
Don’t bother tormenting yourself when you crave a burger and fries or a giant milkshake. You can’t possibly eat sensibly ALL the time. Sometimes, nothing does the trick like a little comfort food. You can reinstitute those regular, healthy eating habits tomorrow. In fact, it’ll be easier to be “good” once you let the reins loose for a little.
12. Avoid exercise.
Sometimes, exercising will be the last thing you want to do in life because, let’s face it, it’s not all that much fun. Take a week off from the gym, even if you’re far from achieving your fitness goals and you don’t feel like you “deserve” to. After a short break, you’ll end up approaching your workouts we renewed vigor.
13. Stay up too late.
It’s totally unreasonable to stay up for two more hours just to watch a movie or gab on the phone with a friend on a work night. Do it anyways, at least on occasion. You’ll lose precious, regenerative hours of sleep. But sometimes you have to embrace the Netflix now at the risk of next day grogginess. Your performance might suffer temporarily, but you can get back on track soon enough, and the memory of seizing the moment to do exactly what you want will taste delicious always.
14. Get too drunk.
You can’t always keep tabs on how many drinks you consume. Sometimes, you have to let yourself stop counting and drink well past the point of a guaranteed hangover. Stay out past your bedtime. Get wasted. Dance your face off. Suffer the next day for your “bad decisions,” resting on the cushion of awesome memories you’ve made. It doesn’t have to be a special occasion. Random nights out transform into something special as soon as you stop trying to control everything and just let go for a stint.
15. Deny your partner sex.
You won’t always want to have sex with the person you love, and they won’t always want to have sex with you. When your sex drives are misaligned, it’s not necessarily a sign of relationship trouble, so don’t sweat it. Maybe you don’t have the energy to make love, or you just don’t feel like being naked. You’re allowed to say ‘no’ to sex, even if it means that your significant other ends up sexually frustrated as a result. As long as they’re satisfied most days, they’ll be A-okay. You don’t owe anyone sex whenever they want it.