1. Keep the Post-Its to a minimum. When you are in the thick of trauma, and in need of a lift, I whole-heartedly support writing yourself little notes to get you through the day. “You are a good person, and a loyal friend.” –Yes. You are. Good for you. I think so, too.
But if you find yourself plastering so many happy notes around your bathroom mirror that your bathroom wall is now a yellow and pastel blue decoupage of self-esteem building, you have gone too far. You’ve crossed the Rubicon into Crazytown, Population: You.
And, hey – it’s ok. I totally get it. I love you, too. But let’s take those down and start moving forward, and into the world. We have all been there. No judgement.
2. You can judge a self-help book by its cover. Here are some tips.
- A book with the author’s botoxed face on it — particularly if he/she sports a popped collar– is to be avoided.
- Take a pass on Books whose covers feature color schemes borrowed from the set of The Golden Girls.
- Avoid any book cover that features a figure standing in a victory position.
- Never read a book with the word “Journey” in the title.
- Is there an exclamation mark in the title? Don’t buy that. Put that down.
3. Remove the word manifest from your vocabulary. (Unless you are a historian discussing the ramifications of manifest destiny, or a ship’s captain preparing for a long voyage). Excuse yourself from any conversation in which someone tells you that he is “currently working on manifesting peace” or asks you what you are doing to “manifest your potential.” Do whatever you have to do to leave the room. Fake a leg cramp. Say “Ring! Ring!” under your breath and then answer your cellphone. But do not engage with the crazies.
4. It’s ok to be sad and depressed. There’s a sort of passive-aggressive, patronizing tone that certain writers love to take when writing for people who are currently experiencing a case of the sads. They do this by listing the habits that “happy people” have mastered. Know that this is bullshit. Nobody “is happy” all of the damned time. No drug can accomplish that miracle. We are not the Seven Dwarves or those little mood-board people (Mr. Nosey! Mr. Busy! Mr. Sad!). We’re normal human beings.
You’re sad now. That is perfectly normal and good. You are not Mr. Sad. It will change.
5. No infomercial purchases. They will never sell out, I promise. Go have some breakfast and congratulate yourself on your good judgement.
6. Stay away from celebrity lifestyle blogs. Whether it’s Goop or Preserve or whatever fresh hell the WASP-naïfs (WNs) of Hollywood deign to throw to the peasants from their gilded carriages, do not stoop to pick it up. The message is that happiness can be bought, for a price that is beyond the reach of 99.9999% of the human population. Know that the WNs must be in a fragile state to have to whore out a $500 skateboard or individually-crafted artisan spoons under the auspices of “manifesting bliss” or somesuch nonsense. Look away!