- Stop consuming certain types of mainstream media – television such as TMZ, celebrity gossip news programmes, Cosmopolitan magazine, Girls of the Playboy Mansion, etc. There is nothing wrong with exposing oneself to this form of popular culture, but try not to read/watch when you’re feeling down; all Cosmo does is tell you that the person you are right now is not good enough, that you constantly need to change… Not only that, but the reason for change is not to improve yourself, but to make you more desirable to others. This is not okay, so stop reading, throw them out and pick up a copy of ‘One Day in the Life of Ivan Denisovich’ instead.
- Take yourself out on dates. For years I was so scared to go to the cinema alone, even though it was something I’d always wanted to do. I think because I lived in a small town I worried that people would judge me, think I was a loser, etc. So, when I moved to the city for the first time, I took the opportunity to take myself out. It’s really quite a cool experience, try it sometime!
- Dress the way YOU want to dress, when YOU want to dress that way. Fuck social conventions, fuck what your friends might be wearing – you just do you and worry about other people later. I am always either over or under-dressed, and I certainly get some strange looks from time to time, but that’s a menial price to pay for the fact that I don’t remember the last time I wasn’t comfortable in my own skin.
- Smile at people more. When buying your train ticket, wish your teller a good morning. Hold doors open for people. I know how clichéd all of these are, but when you put acts of kindness out into the world, no matter how small they are, I genuinely believe the world rewards you back. Even if you don’t believe that what goes around comes around, I doubt anyone could deny that we treat nice looking people nicer than those with Chronic Bitch Face!
- Miss an old friend? Call them up. Have a chat. Organise a hang. Hell, write them a letter if you feel like it. Sometimes you don’t even realise what a positive impact someone had on your life until they’re back in it, even for a short while.
- Do not, whatever you do, read the ‘Twilight’ series. Okay this is another silly one, but I really do think what we read has more of an effect on our lives than we realise. If we surround ourselves with unrealistic, unhealthy love stories, for example, then we’re going to have unrealistic, unhealthy expectations for our own relationships. Thus, I think we should all read books with strong characters, decent plotlines, beautiful language and characters who can get by just fine on their own, thankyou very much.
- Forgive those who have wronged you in the past. You don’t even need to TELL them you’ve forgiven them (some people don’t deserve it, let’s be right) but once you get to the point where you can walk past them at a party and smile, you’re going to be a happier person within yourself just from letting go of all that bitterness. I promise.
- Find quotes by people you love. Stick them up around your room. Write them on your arms. Get shirts that have them printed. Get them tattooed. Write them on your walls. Words are so powerful, so why not use the words of some of the most powerful writers in the English language to make you feel fucking awesome? Examples include Rollins, Wilde, Nietzsche, Frey and Keruac. Go, consume beautiful, inspiring words.
- Realise that some people just aren’t going to like you – and that’s okay. It’s not something you’ve personally done wrong, necessarily, it’s just that some people don’t click, you know? I’ve sat by so many friends as they’ve obsessed over why someone doesn’t like them, and it gets to the point where you just have to shake them and say, “Because they’re a white rap wannabe who wears Supreme and says the ‘n’ word, yo, of COURSE they’re not going to care when you start telling us all about the Yeah Yeah Yeahs!!!” Some people just aren’t meant to be friends. Doesn’t make anyone a bad person, it just makes us all different. Which is k00l.
- Look in the mirror every morning and focus on something beautiful about yourself. Embrace it. Touch it. Remember it. Tell yourself you’re beautiful and throw away the concept that believing so is a negative, narcissistic thing. If we were all comfortable in our own skin, we’d start to fully appreciate the beauty of everyone else, so let’s take that revolution one step at a time and begin with our own reflection, shall we?
Everyone needs to read this.