1. Go out with your friends and stay sober. I know it sounds POSITIVELY INSANE but everybody needs a reminder that they can let their hair down without puking all over it later on in the night. This past weekend I went out three nights in a row and managed to stay sober the entire time. And guess what? It felt good. I stayed out till 4 a.m. dancing and actually met new people (instead of just eyeing them in the corner with a look of intense longing on my face) and I even had more energy than I would have if I had been drunk. It’s embarrassing how revelatory the whole experience was (“YOU MEAN I CAN HAVE FUN WITHOUT DRINKING? BABE?”) but I think we all forget it at some point. The best part, obviously, is no hangovers. That’s a drug in itself.
2. Take a bath. With bath salts. Lots of bath salts. (Not the hallucinatory kind, silly.) I don’t know shit about shit when it comes to taking care of myself but I’m a staunch believer in taking a bath with epsom salts. You feel completely drugged afterwards and your limbs feel like spaghetti. It’s guaranteed to put you in a better mood or, at the very least, sedate you to the point where you no longer care about anything.
3. Make out with someone. THIS IS NOT HARD TO DO. Getting laid is a more difficult endeavor and can often yield unsatisfactory results but a good make out sesh is the equivalent of eating chocolate cake from Weight Watchers. There’s a 99% chance you won’t regret it even if it ends up tasting like shit.
4. Stop going to your #dark place. The older you get, the more happiness becomes a conscious decision you have to make every day. You can’t expect to automatically feel good when you wake up. It’s something you have to work toward. Actually, at a certain point, everything becomes a job. Staying fit, balancing career and relationships, monitoring your partying. The maintenance on simply existing is exhausting and usually doesn’t come with health insurance but if you don’t take care of yourself, the alternative is so much worse.
5. So I do this thing where I’m never satisfied. Ever. With every personal and professional accomplishment I achieve, I’m always like, “Okay, what’s next?” It’s a miserable way to be and something I’m actively working on changing. I think, as a culture, we always place emphasis on what we don’t have, which is why we always feel inadequate, which is why when you go to a party, the first thing someone asks you is, “SO WHAT DO YOU DO FOR A LIVING?’ And if you’re not comfortable with where you’re currently at, the answer will send you down a thousand shame spirals and then, oops, here you are feeling depressed at what should be a joyous event! It’s not easy but it’s imperative for your happiness that you stop and smell the hydrangeas (I HATE ROSES) every once in a while. Otherwise, you’re going to be Les Miserables the rest of your life.
6. Hang out with your friend, the one who makes the most sense, the one you don’t have to try for, the one you’re able to just deflate with. Go out to a restaurant that feels warm and order everything on the menu because it’s Kirstie Alley time and drink nice wine and talk and talk and talk. A long dinner with your best friend is like a thousand brain orgasms. It reminds you of how little you actually need to be happy.
7. Feed your brain. Treat it like a plant you have to water. Go see a thoughtful movie by yourself on a Sunday afternoon, linger at a bookstore and read a novel in the corner. Are you sensing a pattern here? In order to be happy, you have to treat yourself with respect. You have to treat yourself the same way you would a best friend or a lover. (Well, maybe not a lover. I’ve treated a lot of those like shit.) What’s that golden rule? Treat others how you want to be treated? LOL! As if. It’s usually the other way around. People seem to treat others with more regard than they do for themselves. So, let’s remix that golden rule, shall we? Value yourself. Practice self-love. All that good stuff.