I don’t consider myself to be an overly negative person. I’ve had a half-full glass a time or two in my life.
Like, just yesterday, I woke up and said — actually, out loud — “Today is going to be a good day. Upbeat and positive.”
Now, I told myself, get your fat butt out of bed.
But even in these optimistic (for me, at least) moments, I find it difficult to get down with the whole mindful, affirmation-fueled “self-care” movement people preach about these days.
Call me cynical, but it just strikes me as silly most of the time.
For instance, I started selling on Poshmark recently and, while I find it fun making money off of clothes I don’t (or can’t — see above fat reference) wear anymore, I find the motivational push notifications they send out to be a bit much sometimes.
“People only throw shade on things that shine,” a pop-up message on my screen just declared.
My sober-time counter isn’t much better:
“I refuse to let failure overtake me,” my phone shot at me earlier.
I mean, they’re nice sentiments, I suppose. I’m just not really comfortable with this kind of stuff.
So I felt especially cheesed out when I read a column on the wire today, suggesting “4 tiny actions that will make you 10 times happier.”
I had opened the article hoping for some sort of advice I could work with — after all, who doesn’t want to be 10 times happier?
Or maybe I was praying it would cosign the methods I already tend to use, advocating the purchase of designer shoes and handbags as the pathway to true joy.
Whatever I anticipated, I was faced instead with more of the same cringe-inducing life-coach-style advice.
But, in case this type of thing really can lead to Magical Real Happiness and Fulfillment, I thought I’d share a bit of it here.
Also, I needed a column topic.
So here goes:
1. Set positive affirmation reminders on your phone. The story says you should set them for times of the day when you know you’ll need a little extra support — right before a scheduled meeting, say, or a half-hour before you hit the gym. Me, I already have 1,000 reminders going off on any given day, just to help me live like an adult. Take dog to vet. Get car inspected. Call bank. Pick up prescription. If I start adding alerts and alarms to calm my anxiety, my phone will buzz itself to death.
2. Pepper Post-Its. According to this writer, she puts motivational sticky notes all over her home — quotes, affirmations, nice words, whatever. This just sounds awful to me, as more than anything I feel like it would just mean you were constantly picking up Post-Its off the floor, considering they don’t actually ever really stay stuck to anything. My first thought reading this suggestion were the words Jack Berger put on a Post-It in that famous “Sex and the City” episode.
“I’m sorry. I can’t. Don’t hate me.”
3. Make your online passwords positive. “Why not affirm yourself each time with a password like, ‘Iam!thebest123.’ ” the column reads. “That’s pretty fly for a Wi-Fi!” Seriously. It says that. Moving on.
4. Celebrate small wins to encourage others. Fine, lady. I’ll try.
I reined in my snark on No. 3. Go me!
I’ve only made my coworker Lindsey listen to me make up musicals twice today. I win!
I wrote a column and only called myself fat once! OK, maybe twice, depending on how you look at it! I am the picture of self-love success!
Now you can go conquer Sunday, everybody.
Katie McDowell is a copy editor/lifestyles writer. Email firstname.lastname@example.org.