create and grow happily

Tag: Life Advice (page 1 of 2)

Do this when your Fear of Missing Out is at its all-time high

Imagine this. One fine morning, you wake up and realize, “Oh my god, I’m doing the same thing over and over every day!” So you end up doing every conceivable thing you haven’t tried in a matter of days or weeks. You try to tick out this super long bucket list before this internally-set deadline comes to pass.

At the end of the day, you feel extremely exhausted and, um… not quite as accomplished as you thought you would be..?

There was an exact same episode in Modern Family about this. This kid Manny realized that he’s missing out on things that boys his age often do. And so, before his thirteenth birthday came to an end, he set out to do several of them like phone pranks and lying on a colorful float in the middle of the pool.

Let’s all be honest here: we’ve had our Manny moment.

We’ve all had an episode or two of FOMO, or fear of missing out, especially in this age of social media and being constantly connected to the entire world. Add to that, this growing pandemic of comparisonitis, some of us practically experience FOMO, like, twice a week tops. (Or is that just me? Hmm.)

But every once in a while, there’s that day. When your mind decides to jump deep, deep down into this FOMO rabbit hole and you then go into an existential crisis. You question the meaning of your life. You wonder if you’ve done stuff people your age “often do”. You think, Am I missing out on the most important things???

What to do when fear of missing out or FOMO is at its peak level | life advice, personal growth, inspiration, motivation, life tips

Life is a roller coaster ride of changeable wants.

One minute, you want to have a stable routine. The next minute you want to change it up a bit. It’s all fun and exciting until you reach either edge of the spectrum – too attached to a routine to make room for changes, or frantically doing new things by the minute. And we often suffer the latter. (Case in point: the Manny moment.)

The good news is: we can find a balance. We can deal with this fear of missing out in a healthy, do-no-harm way. Here’s what you can do when FOMO is at its peak level.

Stop Comparing Yourself to Others

I did not drop that c-bomb above for show, you know.

If not treated early, comparisonitis could be a deadly disease that could severely affect your life. I should know. I have comparisonitis as much as an active child has snot and bruised knees. Which is, like, nearly every day. And fear of missing out? That’s an effect of comparing yourself to others. You take a look at other people’s lives and you take a look at yours. And (because we’re often too hard on ourselves) you come up with the conclusion that you’ve done less than anybody else. Cue FOMO.

Friend, stop it. Comparisonitis never gave us any real benefit. So you can definitely cut that out of your system and out of your life.

Related: How to Turn The Comparison Game Around and Actually Help You

Look Into Your Inner World

Know what you want in your life. A lot of us are so hung up on wanting to experience #AllTheThings that our external world can offer us, we forget to take notice of the incredible world right under our nose… or, you know, inside our skull.

Getting to know yourself is intimate and it is extremely important in order to not let FOMO reach its peak. If you want to learn how to find yourself but don’t know where to start, I HIGHLY encourage you to read Syaza’s amazing post about how to find yourself when you’re feeling lost. It’s like meditation on paper… or mobile screen, whatever. It’s amazing and may enlighten you with some awesome ideas!

Remember that We All Run on Different Paths in Different Paces

Life is not a sprint, it’s a marathon. And you have to remember that there’s no one participating in your own marathon but yourself. Sure, it may look like you and some other people are running in the same direction. But sooner or later, your paths will diverge. They’d go the other way, and you’d continue on yours. You’ll have a few stops somewhere in the middle, and new people will pass you by. And you’ll also pass by some. But these people? They’re not “ahead” of you. In the one-man marathon you’re in, no one ever is or ever will be.

Let Go of the Limiting Beliefs

My sweet, sweet potato, limiting beliefs are comparisonitis’s nasty cousins. They are good at nothing but, well… limit you. Let them go. You do not need them. You are better off without them.

Side note: I do understand that letting limiting beliefs go is easier said than done, so I’ve listed 5 common limiting beliefs you may have and how to vanquish them like a bogart. *whips out wand*

Take Inventory of What You Have Right Now

I like to think that we all have a box we carry with us all the time. And the more we grow, and the more we experience life, we pick up stuff that we put inside our box. Do an audit of what’s inside your box. And while you’re at it, don’t look at other people’s boxes! Just focus on your own box. Look at all the things that you’ve picked up over time. What’s in it? How do these things impact your life? What good did they bring you?

Folks, this is gratitude. Or… you know, how I practice gratitude in my life. By looking at my box. By being extremely grateful of what I’ve brought along and carried with me in this journey called life. And then, and only then, can I trudge forward, to try new things and meet new people and live my life to the fullest.

Have you ever experienced boss-level FOMO? How did you deal with it? Share your stories and insights below, we’d love to hear (or read) them! <3

xx Kate

Fear of Missing Out | Perfectionist | FOMO | Self-improvement | Personal Growth | Lifestyle

Photos from Ivory Mix

Self-Love Starts With Self-Acceptance: Why I prioritize accepting myself first

I think self-acceptance is more important than self-love.

And alright, alright. Before you throw the proverbial eggs at me and demand I wear the cone of shame, hear me out.

Self-Acceptance, Self-love, Acceping Yourself, Perfectionism, Personal growth, Inspiration

In my quest to devour as many personal development articles as I could, I came across a quote that, frankly, struck a chord in me. I forgot what the exact words were but the thought was this: “If you aren’t good at loving yourself, you will find it difficult to love others.”

Honestly, I call BS on that.

Some people are quite capable of loving others wholeheartedly and unquestioningly. But when it comes to themselves, this is a drag-a-square-boulder-up-a-hill kind of battle. It’s difficult. These people often give themselves zero room for errors and set themselves up to extremely high expectations. I always wondered why we do this, why we are so hard on ourselves. And most of us are – especially girls.

I found a bit of insight through Sharon Salzberg. She discussed how we humans were, on an evolutionary standpoint, wired to look for the negativity in our lives. It was literally a surviving mechanism. And this trait has been passed on from generation to generation. It’s probably why we fixate on our failures and inadequacies so much. It’s probably why we do not like our flaws and, ultimately, ourselves.

Look, I’m not saying you should not love yourself. I’m all for that! I just think it’s ridiculous to make it seem like self-love is some kind of prerequisite to other kinds of love. It isn’t. I don’t think so.

I like to believe that self-love, and every other kinds of love for that matter, is one unique experience. Each one is a game utterly separate from the others. They shouldn’t be mushed into one category, as if one kind of love is a level you need to pass through. Learning one kind of love is exclusive of learning all other kinds of love. Apples and oranges, you know?

And here’s what I think:

love needs self-acceptance

It may be accepting the flaws of a partner or child. It may be accepting the shortcomings of a family member or a friend or even a dog / cat / rabbit / bird / unicorn child. Why yes, you can do that to yourself too! You can recognize your flaws and get on better terms with yourself.

Acknowledging and accepting that you are not perfect is very much a part of self-love. But in a way, it’s quite different from the “I love this part about myself” and “I am worthy of good things” cupcakes-and-ice cream kind of self-love that we often see being encouraged in the personal growth community. (Although that’s awesome too!)

Through self-acceptance, you don’t only see yourself for the good and more positive traits that you possess. You also accept the bad and less positive ones. You accept that you are not perfect and are with flaws. You don’t just love the cupcakes and ice cream, you also acknowledge the goodness of broccoli and raisins. You are able to embrace all parts of you. Warts and scars and all.

I mean, aren’t these the parts of ourselves that we find extremely difficult to accept and, ultimately, love? It is because we have these flaws, because we are imperfect, that we hate ourselves in the first place. Sometimes we can focus so much on our shortcomings that we no longer see what we’re good at.
So imagine what would happen if you start to accept your flaws. What would happen if you begin to embrace your imperfections?

This is why in my little journey of loving myself more, I want to focus on self-acceptance. On accepting both the cupcakes and ice cream, and the broccoli and raisins. Because even though those broccoli and raisins don’t taste as good as the cupcakes and ice cream, they’re good for you too. (This is a really long stretch of an analogy but I do hope you get the point.)

Do you struggle with self-love too? What are some of your imperfections that you’ve learned to accept?

xx Kate

Self-acceptance, personal growth, self-improvement, personal development, mindset, self-love, loving yourself, accepting your flaws

Photo from Ivory Mix

A Quick Guide to Support Your Fave Creatives Online

We know the Internet can be a pretty harsh place. And it is sadly quite common for the creative folks to not be taken seriously as professionals online. Off the top of my head, I can enumerate common scenarios in the Interwebs where creative people have been robbed off of fair compensation or at the very least, credit. And I can tell you right now, I’ve personally experienced at least two of these:

Book bloggers being offered free books in exchange for a book marketing campaign (i.e, organizing blog tours and giveaways)

The “All-Mighty Free Exposure” mentality (rolling my eyes)

Uncredited use of a photographer’s work

Companies justifying free stuff as just compensation for a promotional post.

Bloggers’ posts being blatantly copied word for word.

Big brands utilizing contests to cherry-pick their favored artworks when they could just hire people like any other jobs.

Honestly, these all suck.

Just experiencing one of these sucks.

Creatives are found in almost every nook and cranny of every existing industry. You find creatives in the Interwebs, in markets, and in every conceivable department in a corporate office. Yes, even in infamous “boring jobs” like accounting.
Related: Boredom Boosts Creativity. Here’s How.

Most of all, everyone – and I mean everyone – knows (or at the very least has an inkling) of the importance of creativity. Creativity results visually appealing works and amazing designs. Creativity kickstarts awesome ideas. Think of Tesla’s alternating current. Think of Joy Mangano and her Miracle Mop. Think of the Empress Hsi Ling Shi who saw a bunch of worm cocoons and thought, “Ooh! We can make a cloth out of this!”

Creativity could definitely turn the world upside down.

Creativity is responsible for the first step. That spark of an idea that will gradually rise into incredible fireworks. That tiny seedling that will later become an enormous, beautiful tree. The starting point of success.

It all begins with a creative mind or four.

Which is why we should all appreciate a creative’s work. That said, you don’t have to bank out a million dollars to support your creative friend or loved one! Even the smallest acts of kindness can go a long way. Here are a few ways you can support your creative friends with little to no cost.

How to Support Your Fave Creatives with a Few Bucks

Become their Patron

From artists to bloggers, from booktubers to podcasters, there are plenty of creative folks over on Patreon! Patreon is a website where you can support a group or individual through monthly pledges and basically become their Patrons. There are people who have their pledges start at one dollar and go up from there. And in return, you can get Patron-exclusive goodies and behind-the-scenes. Isn’t that fun! 🙂

Support their Kickstarter campaign

Lots of creatives have Kickstarter campaigns to publish a book or launch a video game. It’s kinda like Patreon except your funding for a creative’s one huge project rather than their monthly income. And since the projects are huge, the goodies you get are huge too.

Buy their products

Almost all creatives sell the product of their awesome creativity. And you can find it ANYWHERE. There are those who sell handmade watercolors and other crafts on Etsy, stickers and prints on RedBubble and Society6, and music on iTunes or Google music. Some even have their own shops for their digital products such as eBooks and workbooks. Which goes to say that you have lots of opportunities to buy your fave creatives’ stuff. Isn’t that great!

Buy them coffee

I know not everyone can afford a fifty-dollar Kickstarter campaign pledge. But there are less expensive ways to support your creative friends! Ko-fi is an online platform where you can, well, buy someone coffee. Technically, you donate three dollars to them to show your appreciation for their work. The best thing about this is that Ko-fi does not take a single cent from your money and it goes straight to your Paypal!

How to Support Your Fave Creatives with Zero Cost

Of course, if you are not able to afford financially supporting your creative friends, you can still show your support through other ways that won’t cost you any money.

<3 Credit them for their work

<3 Share or retweet their posts

<3 Tell your friends and family about them

<3 Give them a shoutout

<3 Link back to their posts

<3 Leave a review on their podcasts or books

<3 Leave a comment on their Instagram post or video on YouTube

<3 Stream their music on Spotify or Bandcamp

<3 Recommend them to people you know

<3 Use their affiliate links

<3 Tell them how much you love their work. (Trust me. This boosts self-confidence 100%)

What other ways do you think you can show your support to your creative friends? Share them in the comments below!

xx Kate

Photos from Ivory Mix and Gabrielle Cole

How to Turn The Comparison Game Around and Actually Help You

Comparisonitis is, unarguably, a real thing. It is an awful modern illness a lot of us have experienced, you know, at least once or twice a year.

And there is nothing more awful than comparing your wonderfully unique self with another equally wonderfully unique person. I’m sure we all know this. Deep deep down.

But we just.can’t.help.it.

Comparing yourself to the people around you is almost as easy to do as enjoying a glass of Coke. Or five. You know too much of that carbonated drink is not good for your health but you keep chug-chug-chugging on, anyway.

By now, you’ve probably heard this a million times but I’m still going to say it: You get zero benefits from comparing yourself to other people. It never turns well.

And as Taylor Swift once wisely said, Never ever ever.

How to Turn Comparison Around and Actually Help You | personal growth, comparisonitis, comparing, self improvement, progress

But I recently came across something on Twitter that you can do instead.

Anoosha is one of the many (many) artists I look up to and she made a thread where she shared her art journey and career path. In it, she cautioned young artists against career comparison and she recommended something mind-blowing instead:

https://platform.twitter.com/widgets.js

Reading that, yo, you wouldn’t believe how I reacted. I was just… BLOWN AWAY!

Because to me, that is the perfect way to turn the Comparison Game around. And you can actually do it in the healthiest way possible.

By comparing yourself now to how you were before, you will see progress.

To see that you have grown, one way or another.

And the best thing about comparing your present self with your past self? You’re super focused on self-progress that you have zero time to compare yourself and think about playing catch up with the rest of the world. #Winning!

Here are a 3 things you can compare your present self to with your past self:

1) Your Creative Work

How have you grown, artistically? If you draw, do you have better grasp at anatomy? Or if you’re a writer, do you write better prose? Or maybe even piecing a better analogy?

There’s this meme in the online art community where artists and illustrators share works they did 3 years ago, a year ago and now. It is a super awesome way to see the growth of their art styles. Try doing this in your own creative field.

If you’re a writer, compare what you’ve written from 3 years ago, a year ago and now.

If you’re a photographer, put those three photographs side by side.

This meme is absolutely applicable to almost all kinds of creative field – if not all! – and will visually present to you how much you’ve grown over the past three years.

2) How You React or Respond

Are you calmer and more levelheaded at dealing with conflicts now? Or maybe you are no longer afraid to speak up your mind and are able to disagree with someone’s opinions without being impolite or rude?

Do you say ‘thank you’ more than ‘sorry’? And for my fellow socially awkward potatoes out there, are you slaying those socializing events? (Why yes, actually saying something as coherent as “Yes, it is!” to a total stranger, is huge progress in my book!)

Take some time to self-reflect. Recall a recent experience. Consider how you felt at the time and try to see it in a third person’s point of view. What would younger you have done? Did you respond with more love and respect now than if you faced a similar scenario then?

3) Your Lifestyle

Do you eat more fruits and veggies? Do you no longer wheeze after climbing two flights of stairs? (Honestly, give yourself a pat on the back, that’s great!) Do you no longer give in to your impulsive buying tendencies? Do you make procrastinating work for you? Are you more productive?

I know firsthand that these can be suuuper hard to do. (Especially that not wheezing part.) But it is definitely not impossible!

4.) Your Habits

Are there old bad habits you had that you no longer do? Because omg that’s so great! Bad habits are hard to stop, as they always say. Have you created better habits recently and they now come as easy as breathing to you?

Habits are one of the foundations of someone’s lifestyle. If you have good habits established into your daily routines, this will ultimately define what your lifestyle is. For instance, I used to stay up until 3AM. And so I’d spent most of my commute to and from school asleep. This was kinda okay back in high school, but come college, it was awful. I was perpetually tired and sick. And so I forced myself to go to sleep as late as 10PM so I’d still have adequate amount of sleep. Now, I wake up bright and early and ready to tackle on the day’s work!

Being able to look back on how you were before and comparing it to how you are now helps in boosting your self-esteem and self-confidence. This is proof that you’ve gone so far and have progressed.
And remember: progress comes in many shapes and sizes.

There’s always progress as time flows by. ALWAYS. It’s damn near impossible to be at a total stand still for a year or two. At the very least, a morsel of you have changed because of the things you’ve experienced and what you’ve taken from those experiences. All you’ve got to do is see them for the progress that they are.

What have you achieved recently? Do you have any other tips on how to track your progress?
Share them all below so we can celebrate with you and learn from you at the same time! 🙂

xx Kate

Photos from Say Hello Photography and StockSnap

You Can’t Do What You Want to Do Unless You Start Doing It

Back in 2016, when I was new to Instagram, I was scrolling through all these gorgeous illustrations of freeform watercolor flowers. Videos and images of a slender hand with a paintbrush swirling it like a wand and colors seeping out at the edge of the bristles.

In my eyes, these amazing people were magicians. They were performing purely enchanting magic. I couldn’t take my eyes off them.

For hours, I’d dive deep into different watercolor hashtags, witnessing the magic over and over again. At one point, one thought sparked in me.

Almost immediately, it bled into my mind like watercolor paint spreading onto a wet paper:
I want to paint with watercolor too.

Immediately, I shoved the thought away. I grabbed a metaphorical tissue paper and lifted that bleeding watercolor paint off my canvas mind. Because… I couldn’t. I was never good at watercolor, that’s what I kept telling myself. And so I went on with my life, inspired and captivated and completely jealous of the artists I see in my mobile screen.

That is… Until I was standing on the school and office supplies store. In front of a shelf of student quality watercolors.

You know that part when Moana sang about the line where the sky meets the sea, “It calls me”?

That was me in the student grade art supplies aisle that day.

It was one of those few times in my life when I let neither fear nor self-doubt stop me. I didn’t think about anything. I didn’t have an impromptu performance with my chicken and sang about how I’ve been staring at the edge of the water(color) the way Moana did.

Before I knew it, I was at the cashier with a set of watercolor tubes and brushes clutched at each hand.

fear, starting, quotes

That fear that you’re going to suck and it’ll be awful.

On New Things and the Fear of Starting

Listen:

You will suck. That’s probably the most likely scenario.

I’m not saying this to be a Jenny Raincloud, by the way. I’m saying this because it’s true. You’re new to this. Of course you’re not going to master it overnight. Give yourself some slack, my sweet exhausted potato. Embrace the suck.

And if it gives you any comfort, no one started out being a master.

Picasso spent his early days as a painter being ridiculed for his art. He was told his art was not good. PICASSO. (I know this because National Geographic told me.) I’m quite certain that Mozart didn’t come out of his mother’s womb with a piano and composing iconic music after iconic music. And Colonel Sanders! Grandpa KFC, of all people, started out his fried chicken empire far later into his life. These people have achieved success in one way or another. And th good news? They all achieved it in various ways and at various points in their lives.

You can too, if you stop listening to fear.

Why the Fear is There

The first time I attempted to paint galaxy, it ended up looking like a hot pot of guts and brains. You know, the kind that not even the hungriest of zombies would go near.

And I stayed that way for months.

Imagine if you tried inserting the USB plug on your laptop for a hundred times. And miserably failed on all those times? I was that frustrated. Probably 75% of that time I contemplated on throwing everything I bought and never lay my hands on watercolor ever again. The fear was constantly whispering to my ear that I sucked and that we should just stop this. Gosh, it was right there with me at the art supplies aisle. And it was there again when I was about to put my first watercolor stroke on paper. And the next. And the next. Fear is always with us.

But see, friend, here’s what I learned: The fear is there for a reason.

It needs you to be grounded. It needs you to be realistic. To not get your hopes too high up in the clouds. But if you allow that fear to take control, to take full control?

You’ll be so grounded in your place that you wouldn’t be able to move.

And this is where you’ll come in. You have to have your own volition to move. To take the first step. To grab that watercolor from the shelf. To make your first stroke on paper. To write that first sentence. To stand up and speak out. To let fear be with you every step of the way, but to never let it take hold of the wheel.

You can’t do what you want to do unless you do it. You have to turn that wanting into being.

Make “I want to paint” become “I am painting.”

Make “I want to speak out” become “I am speaking out.”

Make “I want to tell this story” become “I am telling this story.”

You can never magically be what you want to be. You have, first of all, to take action.

And once you’ve taken that first step, don’t stop. Because, believe me, I know how harder the next steps will be. And it will be Super Tempting to just shrug off and say, “Eh. I tried.” But the next step is going to be your new first step. So you have to keep at it. You have to keep going.

Until you are what you want.

Is there something you’ve been wanting to do for a really long time? Have you taken the first step to do it? If you have, share some tips on how to conquer that fear of starting! We welcome all the wisdom you have 🙂

xx Kate

Photos from Death to Stock and Ivory Mix

The One Question I Ask Myself when I’m Having Self-Doubt

So you come up with an idea.

And it is an Amazing Idea™. It’s so brilliant, the old masters will roll over their grave with envy if they learn about this. You have to do something about this awesome idea stat.

And so you did. You started working on it. Days and nights passed by your window. Your work desk is getting more and more cluttered. An upbeat and incredibly motivating music is playing in the background while you are in a montage of maximum motivation.

But then– the needle scratches.

The music stops and you realize… what you’ve been working on this whole time? It isn’t like anything you’ve had in mind. It is not the Amazing Idea. It is, in fact, nowhere near amazing.

You plunge into that deep, dark hole of despair. Repeatedly beating yourself over and thinking, “Maybe I’m not good enough to do this.”

Does this sound familiar?

Self-doubt comes unexpectedly to the best of us. And if you're ever bombarded with all the heavy thoughts and doubting yourself, here's one question you can ask.

I like to think of perfectionism as a creative’s very own Kryptonite. See, we somehow follow this unsaid memo that whatever work we’re doing at the moment must be perfect.

That first draft of a novel? Must be perfectly outlined.

That sketch you’ll later post on Instagram? Must be perfectly messy.

That blog post you’re currently writing? Must have no typos.

(Seriously, I’d like to go back in time to find out just who the heck among our early ancestors passed that perfectionist tendencies into our DNA.)

And what happens when this unsaid memo doesn’t get accomplished? You frazzle. You start to panic. You become so caught up in making things 100% perfect that you have 0% energy left to actually finish the work.

You end up repeatedly editing that one line that does not make any sense. Or rereading your unfinished draft to look for typos. Or desperately using water to wash out that part of your drawing that you painted with the wrong color.

At the end of the day, you’re completely exhausted and you realize two things:

1) You’re not perfect.

2) You did not finish anything.

Have you ever felt that way? That you don’t feel happy or satisfied with what creative work you’re making? And you either do a complete overhaul of it or want to throw it to Davy Jones’s locker where you can never ever see it again ever?

Yo I’ve been there too.

Perfectionism was as constant in my adolescent life as acne is. And it was very prevalent in my relationship with my art.

I hated all my drawings. And in the off chance that I do love them, I’d see a mess in the colors or a tiny scratch a second later. And I’d immediately have this urge to do it all over again. Or burn it. For a long time, my perfectionist tendencies made me hate any creative work I made. Be it an essay or a school project collage or a blog post.

This you?

Well then, I want you to ask yourself one simple question. The one question I ask myself now whenever I’m bombarded with the need for absolute perfection:

“Will anyone, other than me, notice this flaw?”

Will anyone else take notice of this tiny flaw and think it ruined the entire piece the way you do?

No.

And I learned this is true most of the time. Most people probably won’t see anything. I know this because whenever I point out a small imperfection that has been bugging me for the entire creative process, you know what people usually say?

I don’t see it.

Or, Oh yeah, there is. But that’s so tiny!

Or, It’s not relevant, Kate. What are you talking about?

And this goes both ways. A friend of mine showed me her work and said she wanted to burn it. And I was totally confused because her work was awesome! We sometimes overlook the fact that we spent the most time looking over our work. (That was a mouthful so yes, you can read that again.) It comes to a point where we’re basically seeing everything in a magnifying glass, focusing on the tiniest specks rather than seeing the bigger picture.

Look, of course I’m not saying it’s okay to half-ass around and overlook the little mistakes you make.

You can’t really fully ignore them. You can’t erase the existence of the form/from typo you’ve written, or that stray stroke of watercolor that doesn’t go anywhere. They’re all there. They exist.

But here’s the thing:

Flaws, perfectionism, fear, quotes

Try taking a step back. Hold your paper at arms’ length. Zoom out that Word document to 10%, until all you could see are the pages you’ve written so far. Look at what you’ve made, the work-in-progress in front of you. It’s a messy work-in-progress, sure. It’ll need a tweak or twelve. But sometimes you need to remind yourself that you created something out of an idea.

Bask yourself in that. Because YOU made that.

And all those tiny flaws you see when you’re hunched down, laser-focused on one certain area? They are just that: tiny. Single specks in the huge amazing canvas you’ve created.

Own that amazingness.

That’s all you.

How do you move past the tiny flaws you find in the creative process? Let us know in the comments below so we’ll learn from your wisdom! 🙂

xx Kate

Photos from Aaron Burden and Ivory Mix

9 simple ideas to turn your incredibly sucky, bad day around

It was early in the morning, they’re showing Despicable Me on Disney channel. Pharrell Williams was coolly singing on the background, “I’m having a bad, bad day.” And I just whipped my head towards my brother with the most outraged look, waving vigorously at the TV, “That is ridiculous! No one sounds that cool when they’re having a bad, bad day! NO ONE.”

I said this passionately because I do have a few personal experiences on my belt.

See, I was never sleek or cool or smooth when I’m having a bad, bad day. I’m cranky, my RBF is on Downright-Scary Mode, and I’m storming past every single thing I bumped into. Yes, every-freakin-thing. I even threw my Totoro plushie across the room. (I later cooed him and said I was sorry, though.)

This you?

Welcome to the club, we’ve got jackets.

9 Simple Ideas to Turn Your Bad Day Around | Personal Growth, Self-improvement, Happiness, Mental Health, Happy Life, Lifestyle, Inspiration

Bad days often happen quite spontaneously. You wake up 1% cranky. You’re running late and some lady is taking her sweet time walking in front of you and you can’t walk past her. Now you’re 75% cranky.

Or maybe you wake up 1% unmotivated. Or 1% sad. Or 1% pathetic. My point is, things can add up to that one percent and suddenly it reaches the maximum point.

We wish we could go back down to one percent. But I learned that, once we hop into that bad mood, we ride that downhill path with our foot pressing hard on the gas pedal.

And that’s the thing with bad days: when we have it, we somehow believe it’s gonna be this awful for the entire day. Like the entire twenty-four hours. But folks, as someone who deals with bad day-ness like a lady dragon on PMS, I am telling you:

Bad days can still be turned around.

WHAT TO DO WHEN YOU’RE DEALING WITH A CASE OF BAD DAY-NESS

1) Do yoga

So my aunt has been doing the “Legs Up the Wall” pose to relieve her tired legs ever since I can remember. But she has NO IDEA it’s a yoga pose. Even I didn’t know until recently! I got this from her and ever since entering college, I do it on nights when I’m completely exhausted. It also works for restarting your day yo! But any kind of yoga pose you want to try is good too. The point is it will help release the tension in your muscles and make you more relaxed.

2) Try meditation

There was this one time when I was in a seriously bad mood and I listened to the 10-minute guided meditation on the Headspace app, and I kid you not, tears fell from my eyes. Like literal tears. Now, I wasn’t exactly bawling. When I think about it now, it was just another way of releasing the negative emotions. I guess I also cried because it honestly felt relieving.

3) Be with nature

Sometimes there’s nothing more effective than to hang out with Mother Nature, in whatever way you can do so. Maybe you can have a short stroll in the park or a walk by the beach. Even just sitting in your backyard and listening to birds chirping is calming. So that when you go back to the drawing board, you have renewed energy.

4) List down what made you smile today

I wouldn’t say that I am a Type A person but I do have some tendencies. And writing things down certainly helps me get a better grasp on things. Making lists is one way you can apply writing into self-care. Also, just the process of recapping your day so far and looking at what has happened in a more positive light? That’s fun! And it’s gonna work wonders to your well-being yo!

5) Blast your motivational playlist on the speakers

Back when I was in my punk phase, I like to write the phrase “No Music No Life” in a rock-and-rolly kinda font with skulls and crosses all over my notebooks. (Yes, I was that extra in my punk phase.) But it’s true isn’t it? Science has proven how helpful music can be for our well-being. I find playing Florence + The Machine’s “Dog Days are Over” or Hall and Oats’s “You Make My Dreams Come True” instantly lifts my mood and puts me into awkward dancing mode.

6) Read your manifesto

A manifesto is a great tool to keep yourself motivated. I found this really awesome manifesto through Brain Pickings and, ohmygoshyouguys, it is just incredibly well-written and packed with so much motivational power!

7) Make someone laugh

You’re probably wondering why you need to make someone laugh in order to turn your bad day around. Well, there’s this saying that goes: we all do better when we all do better. Simply put, kindness has a two-way effect. It affects the people around us who are the receiver of said kindness. But it also affects us emotionally and mentally. Because doesn’t it feel good when you help someone without expecting anything in return?

Also read: 24 Simple Good Deeds You Can Do Right Now

8) Literally restart your day

I saw this movie before where the girl literally shouted, “Do over!” and a montage of them restarting their day ensued. I used to think it was cute and ineffective. But now I know that literally starting over your day doesn’t necessarily mean rewinding. Nor does it mean waking up like it’s 8 AM and doing your entire morning routine all over again. It’s your attitude that you’re gonna want to start over.

9) Change your outfit

There are weekends when I feel pathetic and useless. Wearing my pajamas, a tornado-wrecked bird’s nest for hair, and melting on my bed for two days. And I’d think, no. This is not how this weekend would go. So I’d change from my pajamas, wear a bra, comb my hair and get out of the bed to work on what needs to be worked on. It always works.

What do you do to turn a bad day around? Share your wisdom with us in the comments below!

xx Kate

PS: Check out how I deal with feeling stuck with life

Photo from Ivory Mix

Friendly Reminder: Let Your Weird Be Free

Hey hey.

Have you ever been called weird as a kid? Has anyone ever laughed at something you thought was extremely funny or extremely interesting and looked at you like you’re from another planet? As if they were saying, “Why is this kid so weird?”

How did it feel being called weird in such a subtle yet brutally honest way?

Did it make you feel embarrassed? Did it take a huge hit to your self-esteem? Did it make you rethink about what you thought was funny or interesting? Like you are now convinced at the possibility that maybe you are from another planet? Like maybe showing that quirky side of yours was a wrong move?

Ever thought that maaaybe you should just hide your weird side from people? That maybe it’s better that way?

Well, imagine this:

You’re hanging out with your friends.

You cracked a dad joke. Or made a smartass comeback. Or created a horrible pun. Or danced macarena without the macarena music. Or educated your friends on the mating process of narwhals. Or shared an unpopular opinion, like, I don’t know, aye-ayes are cute. (Although I honestly don’t think this is an unpopular opinion. Aye-ayes are cute. But I digress.)

Basically, you did something weird. In front of your friends. In public. For everyone to see and hear. Yikes?

Nope. Not yikes. Not yikes at all.

Because, my dear quirky friend, you have NO idea.

Friendly Reminder: Let your weird be free | Inspiration | Motivational | Positivity | Happiness

Perhaps an author was sitting nearby, contemplating this scene in their work-in-progress. And they saw you. And an idea sparked. Perhaps that author’s novel will be a New York Times bestseller. In the book, there’s gonna be an iconic scene — inspired by your weirdness.

Perhaps a Youtuber saw you and snorted at what you did, choked on his soy milk caramel frappuccino even. And it inspired a comedy sketch that will garner millions of views and will be copied by other Youtubers and will be the reason the choked Youtuber could host on SNL. All because of a sketch — inspired by your weirdness.

Perhaps a sperm whale researcher was drinking black coffee with his baklava. Sitting at a corner booth, he overheard your heated monologue on narwhals, and it gave him the key solution to the conservation of sperm whales — and so it was inspired. By. Your. WEIRDNESS.

Look. I get it.

These may seem like ridiculous scenarios. You may be thinking, “What kind of sperm whale researcher hangs out in a mall’s food court??” To which I say, YOU. NEVER. KNOW. YOU NARROW-MINDED POTATO.

Because people being inspired by your weirdness isn’t weird.

That’s the point I’m trying to drill into your wonderfully weird brain.

We live in this blue and green oblate spheroid big enough to accommodate all kinds of ideas. A planet bigger than all of our brains combined. Can you imagine that? It’s bigger than 7 billion brains. Seven billion!

Each of us can only generate as much ideas. But all these ideas coming out from our hypothalamus and our gray area and our cerebellum… basically from all parts of our brain, all of these ideas are unique. And before you tell me, “Welp someone made this and that. My idea’s not unique.” Hold your horses, you.

What I’m saying is, these ideas are unique in a way that they are molded with your own unique perspective and came about through your own unique experiences.

They may only be one puny idea in a world teeming with so many other puny ideas, but they are the only puny idea of that kind that came from you. That puny idea of yours is part of a complex idea system. It is the one unique protein that make up a chromosome, which ultimately makes one well-coordinated and functioning body.

Can you imagine if the idea of Apple came about from some other guy named Steve but not Steve Jobs? Can you imagine if someone else other than Xi Lingshi found out about the silkworms’ cocoon of thin fibers? We probably wouldn’t have silk.

It probably might have become, like I don’t know, really thin hair extensions made of worms’ cocoons. (Which is more of a mouthful than just silk.)

Can you imagine if J.R.R Tolkien burned all the papers containing his fascination on making Elvish language because some brute told him he was weird? Can you imagine if Mama and Papa Mozart didn’t support Mozart’s affinity for music and made him become a baker instead? Can you imagine if Dr Seuss didn’t write?

And so: be weird.

Be the kind of wonderfully weird that you are.

Not just because it is a disservice to yourself to lock that part of you in a cage. But because it is a disservice to this planet that is simply begging to witness that strange beauty unfold.

I can guarantee you, the world will be a lot less brighter if your weirdness was locked away deep inside you. In some dark place that no light can shine upon. And won’t that be a shame?

So let people give you the judger eye. Let other people sing about you in your own version of the song “Belle (Little Town” from Beauty and the Beast. Let them question your ideas. Let them question it or raise their eyebrow on it or laugh at it.

And if it hurts too much, find me. I’ll buy you ice cream and let you free your quirkiness and celebrate it for the whole world to see. Let them be scandalized by how shameless they think you are for not keeping your weird tucked away.

Because you know what? There is no shame in showing the whole world who you are — every beautiful aspect of you.

You are you. You matter. And you are beautiful, quirks and weirdness and all.

Share your quirks below and allow me and everyone else to celebrate them 🙂

kate

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PS: What’s stopping you from doing what you want to do?

Photos from: Death to Stock Photo and chuttersnap via Unsplash