In the months leading up to my move from Portland to Nashville, my life wasn’t exactly going smoothly. My family situation was growing more stressful by the day. Some of my closest friendships had turned toxic. I felt extremely out of place in the hipster culture that dominated the city. My boyfriend wasn’t happy in his job and was getting increasingly depressed. I suffered from terrible anxiety that had started around the time my neighbor’s house had been broken into, and kept me awake most nights, convinced that every creak of our old apartment was a robber prying open the downstairs window.
Those long nights gave me lots of time to think about how unhappy I was, and what I could do to fix it. Therapy, new friends, better self-care, meditation, and sleeping pills all came to mind (and in fact, I’d tried many of them already), but all these potential solutions were always eclipsed by one word: leave.
When I started telling friends and family members how miserable I was, I noticed a common thread in their responses. I’d reveal my plans to move away and start fresh, and they’d gently touch my shoulder and say, in hushed and concerned tones, “You can’t run away from your problems, you know.” Keep reading »
Even if you’re generally a very “together” person, that doesn’t mean you’re not entitled to the occasional freak out, because LIFE. Maybe your hot water broke again right before work and you haven’t washed your hair for a few too many days. Maybe a friend had the bad sense to point out that really cute picture of your ex and his new lady on Instagram. Of course, it’s important to figure your major triggers so you can avoid any unnecessary emotional meltdowns, but sometimes things are out of your control. That’s why it’s just as important to figure out some ways to calm yourself down when life doesn’t go your way, because lord knows, there will be times when you need to curl into a ball with your hot water bottle and cry until you feel silly. Here are our approved self-soothing techniques that have helped us through panic attacks, meltdowns, and freak outs of all kinds.
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You’ve probably heard the term “follow your heart” way too many times, especially in reference to your love life, especially during Valentine’s Day season. By now you’re probably like, Thanks, but following my heart led me to dump my really, really (too) nice boyfriend for the guy who turned out to be gay. So, no thanks. Deep down, though, you know that neither of them were right for you, so don’t punish your heart for being as honest as it knew how to be. Trust us: things wouldn’t have turned out any better if you’d left your head in charge, made a list of pros and cons, and weighed the consequences for weeks. In fact, even science says you’re probably better off making intuitive, snap decisions in many areas of your life.
According to new research done at the University of Otago, New Zealand, decisions made with the heart tend to be higher quality than those made with your head. Because, as many of us know, overthinking things leads to complete and utter confusion. ”Analyzing reasons can impair judgement by obscuring how [you] actually feel,” explained Dr. Jamin Halberstad, the director of the study. This doesn’t mean you should let your heart decide whether or not to you should pay your rent this month, but when it comes to the harder-to-pin-down life decisions, go with your gut. Here are a few decisions you shouldn’t bother overanalyzing. Just listen to your heart. Keep reading »
In the past few weeks, Facebook and Twitter have been overflowing with “inspiring” articles focusing on regrets. We’ve seen “The Top 10 Things Elderly People Regret,” “20 Most Common Regrets People Have On Their Deathbed,” and more. We found all of these articles interesting, if a bit morbid, but there was something we thought was missing from this conversation: the things you don’t regret. Because yes, we’ll probably all regret working too much or not having a totally zen relationship with our moms, but what about taking a spontaneous trip to Paris? Or pushing your way to the front of that once-in-a-lifetime concert? Or asking that cute guy out for coffee? There are some things in life that, no matter what happens, you’re going to look back on and say, “I’m really fucking glad I did that.” Here are 50 of them: Keep reading »
One of my best talents is reading buzzed-about books 5-10 years after they come out. If you’re ever browsing at a bookstore and a woman nudges you in the arm to whisper conspiratorially about a great new author she just discovered named David Foster Wallace, well, that’s probably me. In keeping with my late-to-the-literary-party theme, a couple weeks ago I read Julia Child’s memoir, My Life In France. Yes, the book that came out in 2006 and was turned into a movie 5 years ago. Have you read it? It’s so, so good.
The whole time I was reading My Life In France, I had a goofy grin plastered on my face. It’s such a lovely, joyful book. The amazing food descriptions, her playful relationship with her husband, the gorgeous imagery of Paris, her dogged determination to become the best chef she could be — everything about it inspired me and soothed my soul. By the time I finished, I was such a Julia fangirl that I printed out an 8×10 photo of her and hung it in a blue glitter frame over my desk. Here are some specific quotes from the book that are going to stay with me at least as long as the weight I gained from eating cheese while reading it: Keep reading »
The new year has officially begun, which means that self-improvement starts today, right now! That’s where it gets tricky — putting all your lofty ambitions in action. Endeavoring to eliminate kettle cooked potato chips from your diet is hard, especially when your office manager keeps them fully stocked at all times. But at least you know what you generally need to do to make it happen: come to work early and set the chip cupboard on fire. But what if you’re aspiring for a bigger, trickier change? You might need to stop being hung up on that guy that you’ve been obsessing about for the last eight years or figure out why you’re so ashamed that you apologize every time you sneeze. What does this kind of self-improvement entail? Sometimes the first step is research. These books will help you dip a toe into the unique and complex issues you’re hoping to dive headfirst into this year. Godspeed! Keep reading »