how to survive

How to survive this time of year without painkillers or booze, or even pumpkin spice lattes


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Reserve 5 minutes in parking lots to be a teenager again.
Play an insipid game on your phone and listen to music really loud and just escape. Yes, your mom-mobile will have bass pumping in the Target parking lot, but do it anyway. You need it, those 5 minutes might be the best escape of your day.

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Get in that bathtub and lock the bathroom door behind you.
A bubble bath isn’t necessary, but you definitely need to lock yourself in the bathroom once in a while. Tell everyone else you’re pooping if you have to. Sit on the floor and rub up those legs with some fruity lotion. Or if you’re feeling super fancy, get in the bathtub, light a candle you have lying around, and even turn on some music. Yes, you can have wine too – but that goes against the whole idea of this list. I know you wine freaks out there are gonna have wine whenever the hell you want anyway, so who cares what I say, right?

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Listen to your tunes really loud in the car. Find new music often.
The car is your refuge, isn’t it? May I make a few suggestions?
Broods – Bridges
Purity Ring – Push Pull
X Ambassadors – Renegades
James Blake – Retrograde
GEMS – Pegasus
Foals – Mountain at My Gates
Aaron Krause – Recreational
Banks – Drowning
Kite String Tangle – Arcadia

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Even your longest-lasting friendships may not be giving you what you need.
What is important is the “now” and what you can do to keep the people around you that are completely supportive of every choice you make. Even if you decide to stop brushing your teeth for 6 months, the friends you want around you are the ones that can stand to keep talking to you during this difficult time of terrible breath. The friend that can support you the most right now might be one you just met. Focus on those who keep your spirit lifted and your head held high with positive energy.

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But get back in touch with some old friends this holiday season.
As the old saying goes, you have to send mail to get mail in return.

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Know that you are not locked into the tiny box it feels like you are.
Careers & networking & all that other bullcrap can feel pretty suffocating, yes? Then you turn around and it’s years later and you’ve gotten nowhere. You’ve moved to a city away from your family and still haven’t made any solid friendships. But making another huge change feels like it could be ten times worse than staying. Plan your escape now. It may take 10 minutes and it may take 10 years, but if you have a plan and stick to it, you can get what you want.

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Go ahead and keep your house messy, because it is not a reflection of who you are as a person.
You are in fact, barely able to brush your hair in the morning and any attempts to do so should be greatly admired. Your messy house is to be expected and no one should fault you for it. Obviously. Anyone who sees your messy house should feel honored you even let them in to see your castle.

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Know that some people are really hard to forgive & you don’t have to feel bad about that.
The whole world focuses on what a huge relief it is to forgive people and to give up your grudges. And yes, it’s true. You should. But nobody talks about how hard it truly is sometimes. Forgiving yourself for that is the first step. You’re human and you have emotions. Someone hurt you and you don’t have to instantaneously forgive them for being a complete douchebag right when you needed them.

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Get a hobby. It doesn’t even have to be cool.
When I say hobby, I don’t even mean something meaningful or interesting. I’m not asking you to become a hipster. It just needs to be something that you can complete in half a day and feel like you accomplished something. So you can feel proud of yourself for starting something and finishing it. You could try and say you did 4 loads of laundry today and finished them, but we all know you didn’t put that shit away, so it doesn’t count. A project. Something new, creative and different around the house. It almost doesn’t matter what it is, but you might as well do something you want to do. Start a Pinterest board of things you might want to do. (Very funny, you already have 5 boards dedicated to these, right?) – pick a list of the most attainable ones and ditch the ones you’ll never, ever do. Which is most of them. But if you get one done…

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Try not to worry so much about that jerk-of-a-diet this year and your upcoming strict-ass resolutions.
How about you try to be a little more free? If you’re always feeling like a Fatty Fatty 2×4, you’re never going to be able to enjoy this time of year at all. Decide that if your family is stressing you the hell out, you’ll hit the yoga mat to find some peace and quiet in the evenings to zap some of the evil thoughts about your in-laws. Maybe this year’s resolutions will be to explore more ways to cook the things you love and stop thinking of it as a restriction – but more as your freedom. Yes, obviously you’re still going to eat brownies. What are we, saints?

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Be lazy. What other time of year is it totally OK to be utterly freaking lazy?
Hot chocolate, flannel pajamas and slippers.

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Send holiday cards.
I bet you can think of someone that would love to get this in the mail. That ho.
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