Pass the happiness, hold the positivity

I stopped being positive and became happier than ever.

We see it all the time on Instagram: motivational accounts of smiling influencers, telling us about their journey to pursue their happiest life. They remind us all, constantly, that we too should be positive! Our best lives are always just a motivational quote away!

But somehow, they seem almost like a martyr. Their quest to always be positive seems laden with sadness and strife (At least for the ones that are transparent online).

But how does that make sense?

How is it that trying always to be happy makes us less happy?


I fell into this trap for many years. I structured my life perfectly: exercising for happiness, journaling for happiness, eating for happiness, breathing for happiness.

Should a rogue negative thought pass through my mind, my body would go on red alert. I did everything to rid myself of negativities. I’d perk back up and continue on with spreading kindness and positive thoughts.

But in reality, I was an unstable mess.

Alan Watts, a writer, known for making Eastern philosophy digestible for us Westerners, made popular a Tao philosophy he deemed, The Backwards Law.

“When you try to stay on the surface of the water, you sink; but when you try to sink, you float’ and that ‘insecurity is the result of trying to be secure.”

- Alan Watts

In other words: the more we grasp at something, the more it evades us.

Imagine holding a handful of sand. If you wanted to keep as much sand as you could, would you gently cup your palm or squeeze the sand as tight as possible?

After feeling not so positive and a bit of a fake, I decided to embrace my negative emotions instead of fleeing from them. I realized the whole positivity movement really wasn’t doing me any good. I felt like a robotic version of myself from an alternative universe, spewing motivational vomit wherever I went.

As someone who struggles with major depression disorder, embracing my less-than-stellar emotions was terrifying. The last thing I wanted was to slip back into a depressive episode.

But as I started to accept the times when I was sad, snarky, annoyed, or lonely, I realized there was something to be noted in those emotions.

Every emotion, including the bad ones, have something to teach us.

Through emotions like sadness and loneliness, I started to create a life that made me feel abundant and proud. I prioritized seeing my friends. I created goals to work on, rather than focus on things that simply masked my emotions.

I also learned how to love being alone. Sure, sometimes I’d feel lonely. But if I filled my time with things that I truly loved, that loneliness began to turn into solitude. And I now cherish my solitude.

The second I started to face my shadows, the less dark they were. I realized that doing everything I could to avoid what was inevitable — feeling sad, alone, mad, etc. — the more power these emotions had over me.

When I turned to the pain, I realized working through these emotions is part of the journey of life. Through this, I understood my emotions and became better equipped for my encounters with them in the future.

But please, note that I said worked through them.

There’s a fine line between living in your pain and working through it.

Bear in mind, I am talking to those of us that don’t suffer from paralyzing diseases, the type of depression that is chemical and all-consuming. I don’t want to belittle these people’s experiences.

For the rest of us, though, the question seems inevitable to ask:

Am I living in my pain or working through it?

We’ve all come across people in our lives that seem to dwell in a “woe is me” mindset. You attempt to give them advice, and they meet you with excuses.

Then there are the people that think things can’t get better. That somehow, a shitty experience today determines the rest of our lives.

These are the kinds of people that are living in their pain. They don’t avoid the negativity; in fact, they embrace it and refuse anything else.

And call me crazy, but that doesn’t seem like a fruitful way to live either. Life has inevitable lows, but our mindset and ability to hope for better is what lets us experience the highs as well.

For some, the thought of returning to inevitable negative emotions is enough to crush their spirit. But maybe we need to refocus on what our meaning is for life.

Through embracing both the positive and negative thoughts and experiences in my life, I learned something important:

My sole purpose in life isn’t happiness.

There’s no end game of eternal happiness. I’m never going to wake up one day and have zero problems or worries.

There will always be a loss, always be stressors, and always be another parking ticket from a meter that was expired for two minutes.

And I’m ok with that. Because my purpose in life isn’t to attain eternal happiness, it’s to do the things I enjoy.

I want to write, travel, draw, swim, and pet all the doggos I possibly can.

I want to meet new people, spend time with those I love, and eat bomb food with our worrying about my waistline.

I want enjoyment, and therefore happiness. But not eternal bliss. That’s the key.

For too long, I was too positive, at least externally.

I missed my humor, my sarcastic way of looking at the world, and witty one-liners (at least in my mind).

I missed being able to cry without shame. Because crying feels fucking fantastic. Think about it… it’s so cathartic.

I missed posting memes on my Instagram stories of side-eyeing babies condemning people for their choice of fashion. Because memes are objectively hilarious.

I missed being me. I’m not only the bright, cheery, happy person you see “candidly,” looking off into a sunset on my Instagram feed.

I’m also the girl whose feelings get hurt by mean comments on my articles. I’m the girl that misses her parents during the holidays. The girl that wants to feel loved and accepted in a sometimes cold world.


Always being positive turned out to be everything I didn’t need to be happy.

What I needed were all the emotions. In the negative feelings is the real growth.


Articles I Wrote This Week

How To Design A Life That Heals

21 Questions To Ask Your Partner To Understand Them On A Deeper Level

How To Get The Ultimate Revenge On Your Ex

10 Signs You’re Not Ready To Date

Articles I Loved This Week

On Being Human, As Directed By Cats

“I Give Up!” (Ask Polly advice column)

However You Feel About ‘Emotional Labor,’ Ask Before Venting to Friends

Stop Trying To Be The Person You Were Before You Got Hurt


Want personalized advice?

Part of this newsletter that isn’t utilized enough is the advice column portion.

Write in with something you want personalized advice on.

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The Hopeful Romantic's Guide To Dating Slowly

Let's not rush this shit.

The other day I stumbled upon an article about dating to marry.

The title resonated with me because I’m not the kind of girl to casually date.

I tried in the past. I acted like the “cool girl” that’s chill going with the flow; convincing myself I was ok with dating just for fun.

And it always went terribly.

So I clicked on the article to feel validated, I guess. Or perhaps understood. But as I read more, I couldn’t help but cringe a bit. I felt the old me, the anxious me, creeping up.


After my most recent failed relationship, my best friend gave me a slap of reality. He exclaimed that I don’t allow new relationships time to naturally blossom. I expect them to be end game from the get-go. And if the guy deviates from those feelings, anxiety runs rampant in my mind.

That notion baffled me. How could I expect someone to know within two months of meeting me if they wanted to spend the rest of their life with me? It definitely happens in some cases. But it doesn’t have to happen.

Since then, I’ve been on a mission. I’m dating someone new, who’s amazing. My boyfriend is the epitome of a “nice guy” while also being a partner-in-crime type.

But this time, I want to squash my old dating anxiety. Yes, I’m looking for someone that will one day be my husband. But I’m also allowing room for feelings to blossom. I’m allowing room to decide, maturely, if this relationship is right for both of us.

As a hopeful romantic, this is hard AF, though. If I’m not careful, I quickly slip back into my irrational, anxious way of thinking.

But I’m fighting that; I’m being conscious of my old ways. This time, I’m choosing to date slowly.

And this is how I’m doing it:


Choosing The Right Person

If you’re quick to jump into all-or-nothing thinking, you’re going to have to consider the kinds of people you’re choosing to date.

You may think this issue has to do with you, and in a way it does, but there’s more to it. Wanting to be very serious from the get-go could be a sign of some insecurities you have. Maybe you have a fear of abandonment. Perhaps you seek validation through the people you date.

Whatever the reason may be though, considering the type of people you date won’t hurt.

Think of a relationship like building a house. You need a solid foundation.

A solid foundation does not consist of:

  • Mixed signals

  • Making you question your worth

  • Not wanting “something serious”

  • Bringing out your worst insecurities

  • Taking you for granted

  • Long periods of silence

What you want is stability. If you’re in this for the long run, then someone who makes you feel cared for and comforted is essential. Forget the rollercoaster, instant fireworks bullshit. That’s an idea perpetuated by the media.

A solid foundation is someone who chooses you. 

And yes, that might be the “nice” guy/girl. You may have to question your reaction to pull back or run away when you date someone drastically different than what you’re used to.

Let their actions guide your decisions. Pick people that treat you right and create a solid foundation.

Change Your Perspective

The process is simple: when you change beliefs, you change your way of thinking. When you change your way of thinking, you change your actions. And changing your actions creates a new life.

Consider what your beliefs are on these three topics and watch your perspective on dating change:

“My partner should be in the same emotional place as me.”

Two people will never be in the same emotional place. There will always be one person that likes the other more. Most of the time that will fluctuate between the partners throughout the relationship.

There is absolutely nothing wrong with that either. I know it feels scary to come to terms with the idea of being a bit more invested in the relationship, but I assure you it’s natural. It doesn’t mean your partner isn’t invested and it doesn’t mean they won’t get to where you’re at.

“If I question if I want to be with them, the relationship isn’t meant to be.”

Dating is all about questioning if you want to be with the other person. You’re supposed to get to know them. Figure out their interests. Find out that they paint action figures in their spare time and then consider if you could date someone who paints action figures in their spare time.

And more so, small deviations from what we thought a “perfect” partner looks like isn’t a sign it couldn’t work out in the long run. It’s a sign that maybe our idea of an ideal partner wasn’t right.

“Wanting to spend the rest of their life with me should be their goal.”

I am so completely guilty of this one.

This whole article is about dating slowly. Chances are, if you’re with a secure human being, they’re going to be doing exactly that; taking things slowly.

If your significant other isn’t thinking about the long-term from the get-go, that doesn’t mean they’ll never consider it. It means they’re focused on getting to know you; deepening your bond to see if there could be something more.

Keep Your Head Steady

I would get so caught up in the Romantic Drama I created in my head that I ignored reality. That’s why I dated a lot of assholes, and my relationships ended badly.

When you’re in your new relationship, make sure to check-in with yourself. Take note of what all is going on in the relationship and how you’re feeling.

Create boundaries

For many people, standing up for ourselves is hard. We know what we need from our partner, but we’re too scared to say so.

If you want to date slowly, boundaries are crucial. You can’t be spending every night at your significant other’s house if it’s detrimental to your career. Your needs can’t be put on the back-burner for theirs.

Create healthy boundaries from the get-go. That way, you’re not caught up in the relationship in a way that’s detrimental to your well-being.

Don’t ignore red flags

I one time dated a guy with the following red flags:

  • Broke up with me once before via text message

  • Racist

  • Made sexist jokes

  • 12 years my senior and loved to brag about dating a younger girl

  • Discharged from the military

  • Couldn’t go one night without drinking.

  • Oh, and the time he choked me

But I ignored them all for the love story I conjured up in my head.

Red flags from the beginning of the relationships are signs that you need to find someone else; not issues you just need to work on your partner with.

Slowly Allow Things To Blossom

Back to the metaphor of the house.

A contractor doesn’t take all the material of a house, through it up in the air, and have a perfectly built craftsman home plop down.

Each part of the house is built slowly. First, the foundation, then the frame, windows, doors, plumbing, electrical, drywall, etc.

A relationship is the same way. You get to know one another. Find out if you’re compatible. Get involved with their life and them in yours. You spend time doing things each other loves. And through all these experiences, a deeper bond forms (or not).

A rushed relationship doesn’t last because the initial thrill eventually wears off; a spark can only last for so long.

Allow you and your partner time to become friends, fall in love, and consider forever together. If a long-term relationship is your goal, then there’s no need to get to the end as quick as you can.

After all, you can’t rush something you want to last forever.


Why I Despise The Term “Hopeless Romantic”

I first used the term in my original guide, The Hopeless Romantic’s Survival Guide To Being Ghosted.

I didn’t question my wording at the time. But when I went to create another article with the term, something inside me was like.. woah woah woah.. hold up! Hopeless?

Let’s break this down:

hope·less

adjective

feeling or causing despair about something.

I know dating sucks sometimes, but damn. Despair? Nah brah.

Trying to find that special someone shouldn’t cause such deep negative emotions. I understand that it can happen, especially when your heart is broken.

But in the general pursuit of love? There’s any room for “despair.”

If you feel like you’re in this emotional state, I implore you to turn inward.

My articles/newsletters are always centered around one principle: self-authenticity. Even when it comes to dating, you need to be true to yourself. That means checking in with yourself and, more importantly, taking care of yourself.

Like my friend once said: “No one is going to do number one like number one.”

When we venture into the world, whether it be dating or trying to make friends, you’ll find yourself much happier and that things come easier when you’re coming from an authentic place.

People are attracted to that vibe and we tend to find people better suited for us when we do so.

Despair is one step away from desperate, and while I hate that word as well, I don’t want you to accept any kind of love.

Hopeful is my word of choice. Though the journey isn’t a clear one, let dating and finding love inspire you. Try to rest assured that the kind of connection and love you need will find you in the end.

And it will do so when you’re walking through life from a place of authenticity, not despair.


Articles I Wrote This Week:

Rebuilding Your Self-Esteem After A Toxic Relationship

Reasons Why You Should Stop Social Media Stalking Before Your First Dates

It’s Not Your Job To Get People To Open Up To You

I Stopped Being Positive And Became Happier Than Ever

Articles I Loved This Week:

27 Responses to (Never-Ending) Diet Talk

You Can Rewrite Your Own Script

The Real Reason You’re Still Single


Want personalized advice?

Part of this newsletter that isn’t utilized enough is the advice column portion.

Write in with something you want personalized advice on.

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The Fine Line Between Friends And More Than Friends

Below is an email sent into the advice column portion of this newsletter. Have a question you want to ask me? Reply to this email!



Hey Kirstie!

Wondering if you could elaborate further on the last portion of your Feelings That Are Easily Mistaken For Love article, where you describe having a lot of guy friends, and both they and you sometimes try to cross into a romantic relationship when you shouldn’t.  I’m bisexual and have an equal number of male and female friends, though don’t struggle with whether to be more than friends with them—I struggle more with how to tell when I’m going on a date with someone if I feel an instant connection as friends or as more than friends.  

I understand determining whether or not you’re attracted to the person is a big factor in that initial date, but I’m hoping you might have some more advice…as I tend to approach dating as “who would I want to be friends with first and foremost, and then am I also attracted to them,” and find the latter harder to determine once I’ve spent time getting to know them as a person, outside of the romantic elements.

…I hope that made sense.  I just went on a date with a woman on Friday that has me wondering if I had a really great time with, but I’m not sure if I’m attracted to.

Best,

More Than Friends?


Hi MTF,

My first question to you would be, what's your intention for dating?

Are you looking for a life partner? Someone, to just have fun with?

If you're looking for a fling or something casual, then my advice would be to stay friends with the person. If the relationship is going nowhere, why risk losing a solid friendship over a warm body next to you in bed?

But I'm going to assume you're looking for something long term; I feel like you wouldn't write in if it were just a fling. 

First, I want to address the pink elephant in this email: I am a heterosexual female. I don't want to sit here and talk like I know what it's like to date other genders. I'm sure that adds an extra layer of complicated when trying to determine if there's a connection as lovers or friends. 

But I'll give it my best shot. 

You've asked me this question at a really interesting time. Two years ago, I would've had a different response for you. But now, my views on love are a bit different.

My current boyfriend and I have been dating for four-ish months, but we've known each other for two and a half years.

I used to think love looked like fireworks, butterflies, and a rollercoaster of emotions. Not so much anymore.

I'd be lying if I said I had an instant connection with my boyfriend; I didn't. My current beau is a genuinely amazing man. I always knew that about him, even when we were friends.

We gave dating a try about a year ago, and I just didn't see the potential of a relationship with him. Then, this past summer, our mutual friends all met up for a going-away party of someone in our crew. My beau and I talked all night. A week later we went on another date.

I still didn't feel with him what I felt from my past relationships. What I felt was a connection with an awesome person, but I worried things couldn't blossom into a romantic relationship.

But I knew all my past relationships didn't work out for a reason. They were laden with insecurities, and the men I chose to date, often cocky and condescending, brought out the worst in me.

So I took a chance. I bet on my boyfriend, and I'm fucking glad I did.

Because we're taught that fireworks and instant sparks are what's necessary for a relationship: but I beg to differ. I tried all of that, and it didn't work out. What I really craved was someone who could be vulnerable with me. Someone that is emotionally stable. Someone that could be my friend first and lover second.

The position you're in sounds like a great one. You're at least establishing you can be friends with the person; the question is, how can you tell if there could be more?

My advice on how to know if there is more than a friendship is to bet on someone. Go on a few dates first. If you can see there being a healthy friendship— sharing of emotions, respect, and the person isn't an asshat— than try to give love a chance. Lean into the romance: hold their hand, give them a compliment. See how it feels. 

Here I am, maybe contradicting what I wrote in the article you wanted elaboration on. But in a sense, I'm not. The men I referenced that I mistook our friendship for something more had red flags up the wazoo that I ignored. My current bf, not at all.

So if you see the person as someone you can be friends with, that's great. If they're someone you think is a genuinely great person, give romance a try. And I implore you to give it more than a date or two to realize if it could work. A relationship is something that could last a lifetime, there's no need to rush it into something like what we see on TV. Maybe that kind of connection will take longer, but in the long run, it will be stronger. 

There's always the chance things won't work out. At that point, you can have a healthy talk about uncoupling and staying friends if you think that's a possibility. I've done it before; if you're both mature, there's always the possibility of going back to being just friends. 

Life is a long fucking rollercoaster, and we're lucky enough to choose who's in that seat next to us. When I'm falling down, and my stomach is in knots, I want to reach out for the hand of someone caring, loving, and my best friend. Not a person that I chose to be with because they're hot or we have great sex. 

In your case, I say, give love a chance. Attraction comes from more than what you experience on a first date. 



All the love,


Kirstie


I want to hear from you!

Let me know what topics you want to read about. Or advice you could really use.

I’m here, just shoot me a reply to this email!


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In Your Relationships, Be Selfish

It's the best thing you can do for your loved ones

Will Smith said it best:

“You cannot make a person happy… You can make a person smile. You can make a person feel good. You can make a person laugh. But, whether or not a person is happy is deeply and totally and utterly out of your control.”

Let me rephrase that.

Your happiness is your responsibility.

Within a relationship, you can support your lover, have fun with them, and enjoy the wonders that life has to offer. But you cannot make them happy.

Happiness is something entirely internal.


I dated a lot of men, several of whom I barely had any interest in. I dated them because I was unhappy, and I thought they could fill everything I was missing in myself. It took way to many boyfriends for me to finally realize my happiness wasn’t someone else’s responsibility. And that’s probably why my relationships kept getting progressively worse.

I took a year off dating and focused on myself. That was scary AF. I didn’t know how to be alone.

But I trudged through and built a life that made me happy. I did activities that lit up my curiosity, took myself on dates, and did all the things I always wanted to do but didn’t because of who I dated (think: dyed my hair pink).

And what that taught me for the relationship I’m currently in is this: I need to be more selfish.

My happiness isn’t something I’m going to come to my boyfriend for. I made that mistake too many times. I know better now.

I had a conversation with the new beau that self-preservation is of the utmost importance to me in our relationship. Yes, I will be selfish at times. But it will also make me a better partner.

In past relationships, I showed up as an insecure wreck with my past traumas bleeding out every hole in my body (you’re welcome for that visual). I came to these men with a pretty facade, but once the veil was lifted, things weren’t so pretty.

When I took a break from relationships, I worked with a therapist on a lot of my limiting beliefs and traumas. He helped me come to an understanding as to why I dated the kind of men I did. I talked about my past to uncover how it affects me today. And helped me work on being more in touch with my authentic self.

I realized that I was unhappy with my life, myself, and the people I chose to let in.

And you know how I fixed all of that? Focusing just on myself.

I started working towards building a career I loved and felt proud of.

I began with writing on Medium about past relationships and what I learned from them. What blossomed was being able to support myself doing something I loved.

I picked up old hobbies I let fall to the wayside over the years.

In high school, I loved drawing. It’s all I ever did. In the margins of my notes, on the side of tests, literally anything with paper. The moment my pencil hit paper again as an adult, I was entranced.

I fostered my friendships that I truly valued.

Instead of spending every waking moment at a boyfriend’s house, I prioritized my friends. And while doing so, I realized who was worth investing my time into and who was actually toxic.

I created boundaries I never had.

And that was magical. I stopped putting up with “games” from guys. I refused to be treated like someone’s second thought. I stopped saying yes to everything for the sake of other people’s happiness.

I began being selfish.

Because in this life, only number one is going to look out for number one.


My boyfriend is incredible, and I am thankful for him every day. We put in the effort to make sure the other know we care for them. I do my best to be a great partner and try to enjoy the present with him.

But I show up as my best self for him, and everyone else in my life, by prioritizing myself first.

My happiness leaks through into all aspects of my life. And since we established that happiness is an inside job, I need to check-in with myself and preserve my identity outside of the relationship.


When we engulf ourselves in our relationship, you risk losing the magic of what makes you you. Co-dependency is a very real condition within romantic relationships. It causes a lot of distress for the person and their partner.

The responsibility for your happiness lies in your hands; the same goes for your partner. Creating a fruitful life in which you both have your separate hobbies and friends actually creates a better foundation for your relationship.

So remember, in your relationship, be selfish. It’s the best thing you could possibly do for your partner.

All the love,

Kirstie


“But what if I’m too selfish?”

I wrote that piece with my own issues in mind. I was insecure and formed anxious attachments with my partners.

But for those of you that have the opposite problem, that you’re too selfish, where are you left?

Signs that you might be too selfish in your relationships:

  • It’s your way or the highway— you don’t compromise.

  • You insist on always being right

  • You take people for granted; you think they’ll never leave

  • The effort is one-sided, and it’s not on your side

  • You expect people to change for you

  • You’re never happy for others

Does that sound like you? Then maybe it’s time to reel the selfishness back in.

Luckily, the first step in changing any habit is being aware of it. If you’re feeling like you resonate with that list, at least you’re willing to admit it.

Be open with your friends and partner about your feelings. Ask them how they feel about your behavior. Apologize for any of your actions that hurt them and create a plan to move forward.

Oftentimes, being too selfish in a relationship is a result of previous wounds. They can be caused by exes or even as far back as your parents.

But rest assured that you can put in more effort into being a better friend and partner. It’ll just take some time.


Articles I Wrote This Week:

How To Forgive Yourself For Your Past

How To Not Be An Asshat On The Internet

Why “Self-Partnered” Is A Term We’ve Always Needed

A Radical Way To Stop Letting Fear Control Your Life

Articles I Loved This Week:

“I’m Constantly Worried My Boyfriend Will Leave Me”

Getting Good At Doing Things Badly

How To Break Up With Someone You Love

The Unforgettable Relationship Advice My Ex-Girlfriend Gave Me

Self-Care Like You've Never Seen It Before

Beyond face masks and binging The Office

I suffer from depression. During my worst bouts, one of my friends had me write out a list of things I can do to care for my self (physically and emotionally) that’s as long as my age. At the time, I was 26.

That list was hard AF.

But making it helped. In moments of my deepest sadness, I have a long list of things I can do that I know will make me feel better.

I challenge you:

Make the same list. Whatever your age is, write out that many activities that make you happy. Then keep it for the inevitable lows in life.


But on to why I brought you all here…

What about preventative care? Depression isn’t just handling the lows; it’s also about creating a life that heals.

That kind of self-care, the kind that’s internal, is MUCH HARDER. But let me tell you guys: It’s worth it. These acts are life-changing.

So if you want to level-up your self-care, if you want to create a life the rocks, try these. They may take more work, but they’re well worth it:


Learning to enjoy solitude.

When you come home from a long day at work to an empty home, do you feel loneliness or solitude?

Your answer to that question is telling. Not everyone knows how to be alone. Some people avoid it at all costs.

But being comfortable with yourself is key to maintaining happiness throughout your life. Obstacles are inevitable; people will come and go. But one thing that’s constant is you’ll always have yourself. So do yourself a favor and learn how to enjoy time being alone.

Going to therapy.

If you’ve never been to therapy, the idea can be daunting. Opening up to a stranger is a bit weird at first, but I promise it gets better.

There are certain things that a therapist provides that your friends and family can’t. Think years of learning human psychology and thousands of hours practicing working through people’s emotions and traumas.

A therapist can help in so many ways: whether you’re going through a difficult time or just need someone to talk to.

Dumping that person you don’t feel a connection with.

A toxic person in your life is very consuming, especially when they’re your romantic partner. If you’re trying to take care of yourself, their behavior could be holding you back.

Breaking up with someone is never easy, but you can’t let that stop you from prioritizing your well-being. Sometimes, relationships run their course. Not everything is meant to last forever; not everything that ends was a failure.

Cutting off toxic friendships.

It’s interesting that we put up with a lot more from our friends than we do romantic partners. Why is that we hold our friends to lower standards?

A toxic friend is someone that makes you feel bad about yourself, drained after hanging out with them, like they’re always in competition with you, or are constantly negative. You can have a talk with them, but if they refuse to try and make things better, it’s time to consider cutting them out of your life.

No matter the length of the friendship, you need to prioritize yourself. Do so without guilt or shame; some friendships aren’t meant to last forever.

Regularly going to the doctor.

We only have one body in this life; take care of it.

That ache in your lower back that you ignore isn’t going to go away magically. You’ll start to compensate for that pain with poor posture and muscles forming in ways that will bite you in the ass later in life.

Go to the doctor regularly. Get a physical. Check your bloodwork. And if you’re a female, please see your gynecologist.

Self-care includes making sure you’re healthy enough to enjoy the magic of life.

Creating boundaries with people closest to you.

When you love someone, it’s hard to draw lines on what’s healthy behavior.

If your mom insists on showing up at your apartment without notice or your friend incessantly calls you until you pick up, create a boundary. Let them know how their behaviors affect your mental health and relationship with them. They might not take it so well at first, but if they care about you, they’ll adjust in the long-run.

Boundaries are necessary acts of self-care if you want to maintain your sense of self with those closest to you.

Quitting a job that is making you miserable.

1/3 of your life is spent working. If you hate your job, that’s a lot of time spent at a place that makes you miserable. That kind of stress piles on, your demeanor changes, and all of a sudden, you’re the person living for the weekends and hating Mondays.

If your job doesn’t respect you, is mind-numbingly boring, or feels meaningless to you, quit. Make a plan to responsibly find a new job and leave your old one behind.

The ultimate form of self-care is creating a life you love every day, not just on the weekends.

Not apologizing for everything.

“I’m sorry!”

“Stop saying sorry all the time.”

“Ok… sorry.”

If you’re a victim of constant apologizing, this scenario will feel all too real.

Compassion and agreeability seem to be a common trait of people who apologize even when they’ve done nothing wrong. They want to honor other people’s feelings and preferences. That’s a lovely trait, but not when it undermines your ability to assert yourself and take up space in this world.

As a form of self-care, practice saying what you want without apologizing.

Asking for what you need.

If you’re a people-pleaser like me, you struggle hard with this one. Standing up for yourself and stating what you need feels like a burden; you don’t want to rock the boat even if it’s clear you’re on dry land.

But taking care of yourself means honoring what you need. And since we haven’t developed a procedure for telepathy yet, no one is going to know what you need unless you ask for it.

Drinking more water.

Drink water; that doesn’t mean juice, soda, or coffee (though I still drink plenty of coffee). Chug down some good ole’ H2O.

Your skin will thank you. Your digestive system will thank you. Your mood will thank you. Your body will overall, thank you.

I know it’s hard to remember to drink water but, whatever you have to do, do it. You don’t function as well as you could if you drank enough water.

Dehydration is a bitch. Avoid her and drink more water.

Unfollowing people on social media that make you feel like crap.

Social media has become a form of masochism. People are logging on, scrolling mindlessly, and by the time they’re off, they feel like complete shit.

That’s because social media is rampant with influencers and perfectly curated feeds. It’s filled with highlight reels and good times. Never the real, day to day struggles everyone goes through.

Comparison is the thief of joy. The people in your feed that make you hate your life aren’t doing you any good. Unfollow them. Instead, opt for inspirational accounts.

Or, be like me and follow golden retriever puppy accounts. They never let you down in making you feel better.

Learning to say no.

It’s funny that we don’t say “no” to avoid letting someone down or creating conflict. We take on tasks that we never wanted to do and create stress and discomfort for ourselves instead.

But not saying no puts others before yourself. It can create a state of overwhelm and anxiety. Before you realize it, you’re putting other people’s needs before yours.

Practice self-care by saying no when you want to. If that seems too hard, take a step in the right direction by instead replying, “let me think about it.”

Then say no later.


Self-care can look like taking the day off to replenish, but it can also be so much deeper. Taking care of yourself means putting yourself in uncomfortable positions that will benefit you in the long run.

Remember, you have one life to live. Do the work now, no matter how hard, so you can enjoy and even better life in the future.

All the love,

Kirstie


Articles I Wrote This Week:

It Took Cheating For Me To Realize My Pain Was Hurting Other People

Beliefs Holding You Back From Finding Love

Articles I Loved This Week:

Is It Depression, or Is It Anxiety?

Sometimes You Have to Drop The Ball

Of Course Your Ex Still Thinks About You

Why You Feel So Unsettled When Your Big Dreams Come True


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