- Facebook Statuses that talk about F*** Fake Friends, Cutting People Off, or read subliminally. Why you ask? I feel like this is conversation that needs to occur between you and that person only- its clear someone has pissed you off. If this is a reflection of how you deal with conflict, its no wonder you find yourself in a lot of it. These statuses are juvenile and resolve nothing other than stirring the pot (again Juvenile AF). I’m known for being straightforward and I believe that if you are grown and find yourself struggling with being a good judge of character its likely a “you problem” and not a “they problem. ” In life if you haven’t figured out yet, we are surrounded by people who do not have good intentions, and they show us the signs all the time! It’s likely we just choose to ignore it because they fulfill a need or void for us. The quality of our friendships are often a reflection of who we are during periods of our life, and we just aren’t liking the reflection. Our disappointment in others is often a projection of disappointment in ourselves. In Short, let them know that they hurt you and keep it moving!
2. You need to stop spending all your franklins and invest Honey Boo Boo. Not just for growing your personal wealth, and yearly vacations but for your retirement! When we are young we often are under the illusion that retirement is a lifetime away. I’m often baffled how I’m already 42 and where on earth have the years gone? There was something that my financial advisor told me one time that shook me up to the point I gave him all my money that day. Once he calculated all my Pension, Benefits, and Canada Pension Plan it worked out to be something like 2300.00 a month. Twenty year old-single parent me- would have thought that was plenty back in the day. But consider over the years our tastes, comforts, and overall lifestyle often level up and require significantly more pocket padding. If you don’t save and tuck your money away life will look drastically different. To put it into realistic terms, your Salon Hair cut is going to be at Supercuts. Your Heinz Ketchup is going to be the no name kind that just says “Ketchup Product.” While your friends are snow-birding in Arizona, you’re going to be stuck with your bratty grand kids in some forgettable town where they consider The Olive Garden “fine dining.” Why work so long to not kick your feet up and bask in the fruits of your labor. The Future “You” will love the Present “You” I promise if you do this! Save, Invest, and splurge from time to time!
3. Stop People Pleasing- Are you a Martyr? Do you actually think that you will earn your very own sainthood status with a little figurine made out to your likeness and carried around in the sweaty palms of the faithful? I highly doubt it. Who would want to carry that load- yet many do. Often we sacrifice our own desires, comforts, and wellness for others. The process of doing this can lead us astray and distract us from our own dreams. It’s sneaky little claws can draw us away from our own truths and valid opinions. It often leaves us feeling less sure of ourselves and seeking false validation through others acceptance of us. This can leave you empty, lonely and dependent on outside sources to fulfill feelings of importance which can very unreliable. I strongly believe we need to normalize a culture of self care, independent thinking, topped with sprinkle of delightful selfishness.
4.Stop Putting off things that you used to do but haven’t had time for. How many times have you started a sentence with “I used to love (fill in the blank)”… Did you find joy at one point in riding your bike or rollerskating? Did you used love to get all dolled up with your girlfriends and go hit the dance floor for a night of rump shaking? How many times have you said to a friend “We need to do this more,” then find yourself 3 years and 3 kids later saying the same thing? Whats the hold up you guys! We often use our routines as escape goats much like how we have excuses to not go to the gym that day. Well…those are actually valid sometimes- sometimes working out just sucks PeriodT! Nonetheless we aren’t anymore tired or busy than we were before because 98% of the time we probably stayed up until midnight scrolling through our social media feeds and accomplishing nothing that actually brought joy or a smile to our face. Isolating yourself from the things you love is a form of self punishment. So join that roller dance class or buy that cool cruiser bike with a basket that would look so adorable with a puppy in it too boot! Don’t fall for the little voice in your head that’s saying your tired because I assure that is the same demon voice that makes us love carbs and robs us from the dream bodies we were meant to have!
5.Stop being on your phone all the time. At this point I’m sure everyone and their mother has watched the Netflix Documentary The Social Dilemma. The irony is first thing folks do after is post on social media about the profound epiphany they had after watching it. This is where I give you a big old Jersey Shore Angelina “Uh Hellooooooo!”
I’ve literally stopped spending time with people who I find myself competing for their attention with. One can’t help but feel very so completely offended after making time and putting in the effort to spend time with them and have to stare blankly across a table from a person who cannot put their phone away. As I mentioned above as well- its literally stealing hours of your life away from you giving you the illusion that you can follow and participate in life’s adventures from the comfort and safety of your bedroom. However, its the lack of well rounded sensory experiences that is drawing our moods lower, our anxiety higher, and the isolation and depression deeper as we fall down the rabbit hole. Many influencer’s and social media icons can tell you that they are lonely and void of real life relationships whereby their audiences have taken their lives hostage. Don’t let your life be taken hostage by a device that is programmed to keep you fooled in to a false sense of connection. Put it away in the same vault you put those unsolicited dick pics in!
6.Stop believing that you can’t. Who knew a poster I used to pass by everyday in elementary school would have such an impact on me. Not sure what happened along the way but for some reason I have this programmed angry response to people when I’m told “I can’t” do something. I’ m pretty sure its from being a spoiled only child, but rage fills inside me and I begin with clarifying politely with closed clenched teeth that I can and I will. I’m of the belief that we often place unnecessary rules for ourselves to follow that are heavily influenced by societal norms which act more like a dictatorship than a democracy. If what you want to do brings no harm to others or yourself then Yes You Can! Want to get out of a miserable marriage but feel you can’t because your children will be sad. Yes the fuck you can! Want to leave an abusive relationship but feel you cant because you’ll loose everything. Yes the fuck you can! Want to eat a cupcake at 9am- Go for it! There is a broad range whereby the term “I can’t” can actually go get bent. Now I recognize this concept doesn’t always apply and has often ended badly for the Karen’s of the world. I’m here to say to those Karen’s myself- You’ Can’t always get your way and judging from your haircut that’s very true.
7.Stop ignoring your mental health issues and letting them win. I could pay a mortgage with the amount of times I’ve heard “I don’t like taking pills,” when I’ve suggested to a friend that I think they are struggling with depression or anxiety. When did Mental Health corner the market on pill popping as the only avenue to taking care of our health? When we approach a sports injury we don’t approach it with just a surgery or a pill? We rehabilitate ourselves with a well rounded approach to not only healing but injury prevention. Same goes for approaching our mental health and how to treat it. When addressing mental illness, we often have to take the painful initial steps in assessing what the exacerbating factors are. It could be a number of variables like trauma, grief and loss, hormonal imbalances, addictions and/or environmental factors. Many of these variables can be supported through avenues outside of medications- and for the majority of the population we are all effected by these variables at different points in our lives. I feel wholeheartedly that we are all a little fucked up on the inside, some more than others. But its when we are feeling well that its even more important to instill a conscious awareness around how to remain or prevent mental illness. The reinforcing moments are when we feel good that we should carry forward by practicing that we are deserving of it and should protect it with our lives.
8.Stop worrying about what people think of you. The one thing I used to tell my daughter when she was in high school was to not give shit about the losers who would tease her or exclude her, being popular was meaningless in the grand scheme of things. She actually did such a good job at not giving a shit about them that when we attended her graduation dance we left after an hour because she preferred to get into her comfie’s and celebrate at home by eating cake and watching episodes of The Office. Like YAAASSSS Quueeenn! At the age of 18 she had already figured out what took me 35 years to figure out. The people that love you will make you feel welcomed in a room without saying nothing. Time wasted among people who dislike you for whatever reason serve no purpose to your growth. Working to change minds that have already decided what they think out of shortsightedness and laziness will not be allowed to buy stock in that valuable heart of yours. We cannot be what everyone wants or needs- its virtually impossible. So stop losing sleep and be the best you.
9. Stop believing everything you read on the internet. Did you know that your smartphones, search engines and social media follow algorithms that streamline information for you based on your activity. Meaning if I had a habit of looking up White Supremacy Propaganda that my feeds would tailor the articles I accessed to suit my habits and continue to bombard me with related articles that fit interests . So by default the information we take in is not well rounded or necessarily legitimate unless we purposely and consciously seek out more reliable and educated sources. Why do you think we live in an era of distrust and conspiracy theorists. Grass roots Conspiracy theorists are rolling over in their graves now because at least used to have to dig through garbage cans, wear carefully designed foil hats and go to the library pining over hours of microfilm. Partaking in absorbing information through online activity can actually polarize people and create divisiveness among folks that were once friends. The old practice of listening and learning from experience and story telling has been lost over the last two decades leaving countries and the world more divided than ever.
10.Stop Pushing Yourself to Limits and take in something that is beautiful. This has been one of the best suggestions that was given to me when I went through a Social Work related Burn Out. I had found myself often driving and not knowing how I had gotten from one end of the city to the other. It was like I was being tele-ported from one crisis to another and having no memory or recollection of my movements or the surroundings I had passed. I was told to start paying attention to ordinary objects or things around me in my day that I could find beauty in and concentrate on the details of that beauty. What I found happening after awhile was a renewed sense of awareness that calmed and grounded me in moments I felt pressured to perform. I began recalling the shapes of clouds I’d see and sometimes would stop and take a picture and use later if I needed a reminder. I also began taking walks in my work day around neighborhoods and admire the flowers or character homes in the area. A goofy smile would replace my clenched teeth and the self talk in my head began to silence itself enough that I could listen to my breathing over the birds chirping away in the trees. This practice not only brought beauty out from the shadows but brought beauty to the shadows whereby I could appreciate and find love even in the darkest of situations.