As Featured on News Cult: 25 Things It Took Me Until 25 to Learn

To say I’m a work in progress would be putting it kindly. I’m like somewhere in between present-day Amanda Bynes and Kristen Wiig throughout the majority of Bridesmaids. That said, I have learned some things in my 25 years–most of them painful lessons and things I will likely need to keep re-learning, but maybe I can save someone some heartache by sharing them. So, here goes.


1. “Dachshund” is the correct spelling. Def thought it was “doxen,” and that “dachshund” was a different breed and pronounced how it LOOKS LIKE IT SHOULD BE.

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2. Don’t jump straight into the sack with men. 99.99% of the time, there is little to nothing in it for you, so really what’s the point.

3. Zero fucks given.

4. Coffee is EVERYTHING.

5. The importance of sleep.

6. People are too busy thinking about themselves to be thinking negative things about you all the time.

7. True friends are one in a million, and that’s ok.

8. Time actually does heal all wounds, or at least makes them better.

9. Patience, surprisingly, is more efficient than impatience.

10. “Pulling yourself up by your bootstraps” is a real thing–it makes getting cowboy boots on sooo much easier.

11. I don’t have to do everything my parents say.

12. Laughter is my religion.

13. Less is more when it comes to material possessions.

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14. Anxiety is an unnecessary hindrance.

15. Binge-drinking usually leads to poor decision making and bad feelings.

16. My opinions will change over time, even those I so staunchly believe in. (e.g. NEVER thought I would enjoy hiking or museums. Now I find each tolerable if not also sometimes kind of a little bit nice).

17. The greatest teacher is experience, and that is irreplaceable, so even bad experiences are worth it in one way or another.

18. What a pilot light is.

19. I’m a terrible judge of character.

20. Having thick, curly hair is a blessing.

21. Having pasty skin is a blessing.

22. It’s ok to take a break; not every waking moment has to be spent as a warrior.

23. No one knows what they’re doing–not the Pope, not Britney Spears (please see 2007), not my parents, not your parents, not their parents, and not me.

24. There’s no shame in being uncool.

25. I have a shit ton more to learn.

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As Featured on News Cult: 6 Quick Self-Esteem Boosters

If you’re like me, and kind of hate yourself, you could use a few pick-me-ups to add to your ‘Life Toolbox’ (don’t you despise when people say stuff like that?). I’m not going to be a hypocrite and yell jubilantly from the rooftops, “LOVE YOURSELF, YOU ARE AMAZING AND WONDERFUL!” because, if there’s one thing I hate, it’s motivational speaking, and I don’t think I should give advice I won’t take myself. BUT, in the interest of faking it ’til we make it, here are some quick ways to attempt to boost your self-esteem that maybe you can stomach, and, if you try consistently over time, will actually make you like yourself a little bit maybe.

1. Positive Mantras

Come up with a few nice statements about yourself, even if you don’t believe them (because you won’t), and dedicate yourself to repeating them 10 times a day. Some examples are: “I’m enough,” “I’m strong,” “I crack myself up,” “Everyone can suckadick,” etc.

2. Treat Yourself

I think we can ALL take a page out of Donna Meagle’s book (RIP, Parks and Recreation). Do something small for yourself that you truly enjoy–whether that’s making yourself a cup of tea, buying yourself flowers, watching an episode of your favorite TV show, getting a manicure, eating a piece of chocolate, making your favorite dinner dish, looking at photos from a great vacation, or spending time on a project you want to do, like putting makeup on, doing your own nail art, practicing an instrument, decorating your apartment, making a scrapbook if anyone still does those, etc. And be mindful in the moment while treating yourself so you can fully appreciate it. By doing something you enjoy, you give yourself the message that you deserve good things–you are worthy of them.


3. Socialize

Yes, we also hate everyone else in addition to ourselves, but just try it–go out! Put yourself in a situation with people you like and admire, and who think highly of you. Soak in the good vibes of good company. When you are around people who like you, maybe that will rub off on you and you’ll start to see yourself through their eyes. And these aren’t people who HAVE to love you, like your mother, so you have less of a reason to discount their affection (unless you go out with your mother, which is very Lorelai & Rory of you and actually pretty cool).


4. Volunteer

Sorry I’m not sorry for beating the Volunteer horse to death–really, nothing will make you feel better about yourself than helping others/the world. My mom has always told me that the only way to combat ‘bad’ is to do ‘good,’ and I would argue that self-hatred falls under the umbrella of ‘bad.’ So love yourself by loving others.


5. Give your leftovers to homeless people

Much like #4, this is perhaps the easiest, quickest way to feel better about yourself. Any time you have leftovers after eating out, or if someone leaves food in the office kitchen, go find a homeless person to give it to. Plus, you’ll feel skinny since you won’t be eating the food, and there’s nothing like feeling skinny to make you feel good about yourself!

6. List Your Accomplishments

Literally write them down–you have a great job, you don’t live in your parents’ basement, you change your Brita filter on time, you follow the “dishwasher/microwave safe” instructions on the bottom of your dishes, you woke up this morning, you aren’t addicted to meth, you do your own taxes, you’re not a homewrecker–whatever the case may be, acknowledge your successes, even if you think they are miniscule and insignificant. Soon enough, you’ll have a Biblical scroll-length document that shows just how fucking awesome you are.


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As Featured on News Cult: Alternatives to Binging On Food

Whether you indulge in the occasional emotional-eating episode, or have a more serious eating disorder, it can be very difficult to stop binge eating in its tracks, or better yet, stop it before it even starts. The reason it’s so important to prevent binging is that once binging occurs, it’s then even harder to stop common post-binging compulsions– namely, purging, and the subsequent binging/purging cycle. So, here are some alternative behaviors to fall back on when the urge to binge hits–the idea being that they serve the same/similar purpose as binging, but without the same negative consequences. And, before you even engage in these, the very first step is to remove all trigger foods (foods you’re likely to binge on) from your home–this will make a world of difference, because if the food isn’t at your fingertips, you can’t binge on it.


1. Drink Water

This is just a good thing to do generally in life, but when it comes to binging, drinking water can provide the same sense of fulfillment. Flavored, zero-calorie water is a great option, too–I would recommend Propel (peach and lemon are my favorite flavors).

2. Yoga Inversions

My go-to is a headstand, but if you don’t feel like trying that, you can do a simpler inversion, like just lying on your back and raising your pelvis off the floor, or any variation of bridge pose. Inversions, (like all yoga), distract you by engaging your body, and, in my experience, have a powerful head-clearing effect.

3. Take a Bath

Baths are so relaxing, plus, it’s hard to eat in the bath, so they’re a good obstacle to binging.

4. Write

Write anything–your feelings, stream of consciousness, a story, a poem, a diary, a song, the same word repeatedly–whatever. Just the act of writing is distracting, mentally engaging, and cathartic.

5. Dance, Walk, or Clean

Move your body–counteract the passivity inherent in binging with the activity inherent in physical movement. Express your pain and struggle through movement. Concentrate so hard on mopping the floor that you lose the energy to binge. Blast your favorite music, free your body and move until you’re too tired to move anymore.

6. Zentangles & Origami

My mom taught me to do zentangles and origami as coping mechanisms for anxiety–they require your concentration and therefore divert it from anxiety, or, in this case, the urge to binge. Basically, zentangles are just doodles. You can be more or less artistic as you please–you can create and rely on patterns, or just go wherever your pen takes you. And with origami, my go-to is cranes–it can be fun to set a target number of cranes to make, of various sizes, and plan to decorate with them, or give them away, etc. And the serene, peaceful symbolism behind them is an added bonus.

7. Consume zero-calorie products

If you must consume a food or beverage, have it be something that is slim-to-no calories, like a diet beverage, unsweetened tea, black coffee, gum, sugar-free candy or pickles (apparently the thin pickle slices are 0 calories, according to nutrition labels–this has always been the most confusing thing in my life, but I just employ a Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell policy, because, 0 calories? I’LL TAKE IT.)

8. Do something that gives the illusion of being self-destructive without actually being that

Binging has a lot to do with self-destruction, whether consciously or sub-consciously. So if you must do something self-destructive, try to do something more benign. For example, hold ice cubes or dunk your head in cold water. Of course, be careful not to actually hurt yourself, but, otherwise, these are relatively safe alternatives.

Write this list, or your own, somewhere you can see it at home–your bathroom mirror, your full length mirror, a note on your fridge, a decorative chalk board, wherever–so you’ll have a visual reminder of your options.

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