- Give yourself permission to ignore social media, texts and emails. People who love you will forgive you. If you really fear a manners violation, set up an auto-reply saying, “I’m immersed in revisions/first draft/teaching my cat origami and I’ll get back to you eventually. You matter to me, I promise.”
- Buy yourself a pair of comfortable pants that you are willing to be seen in public in. I truly can’t stress the importance of this enough. You know those restaurants that seat people at tables only 4” apart? Last month I left the house with no makeup, barely-combed hair, and of course comfortable pants. I wound up sitting right next to an ex-boyfriend and his latest fiancé. Luckily, my negative self-talk had nothing bad to say about my awesome yoga pants (with pockets).
- A 10-minute meditation is nearly as good as a nap when you don’t have time to nap. Subscribe to a meditation channel on You Tube and then you’ll always have a link to go to in an emergency. A 30-minute meditation is probably even better but if I have 30 minutes I’m going to try to nap.
- My life has vastly improved since I started doing 10-minute yoga every morning before the kids are up—or at least before they know I am up. I resisted the yoga movement for decades—my father was into it back in the 1970s. I resisted it then and for every year since. It seemed new-age-hokey and I hate bandwagons. But it has given me focus (which I desperately need), physical strength (which will come in handy in the zombie apocalypse), and reduces my anxiety (which makes me less yelly and probably reduces wrinkles).
- Push-ups are my secret weapon. You know that feeling where you want to rip your skin off and cry and scream and nothing is going fucking right in the world? Like, perhaps how you felt the day after the election in 2016? My cure for that feeling is to do 25 push-ups. I do as many on my toes as I can, then drop to my knees and finish them. Here’s why it works—I hate push-ups and they are hard and terrible and when I do them my muscles strain and shake and my brain can’t think about anything besides how terrible push-ups are and how I can’t wait for them to be over. When I’m done, my whole body feels relieved and I can face the day again. I believe this is why people run, but my knees and boobs don’t like running. Conversely, you could also probably do wall-sits, squats, or any other exercise that is really hard and you hate. If nothing else, you’ll get stronger.
- When all else fails, surf photos of baby animals on the internet. I have regretted checking my messages, reading terrible news stories, or answering the phone. I have never regretted watching baby goats in pajamas jump around a barn, or tiny kittens fall asleep.
Baby Pony says you can do the thing. Baby Pony knows all about overcoming adversity.
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Lara Lillibridge sings off-beat and dances off-key. She writes a lot, and sometimes even likes how it turns out. Her memoir, Girlish, available for preorder on Amazon, is slated for release in February 2018 with Skyhorse Publishing. Lara Lillibridge is a graduate of West Virginia Wesleyan College’s MFA program in Creative Nonfiction. In 2016 she won Slippery Elm Literary Journal’s Prose Contest, and The American Literary Review's Contest in Nonfiction. She has had essays published in Pure Slush Vol. 11, Vandalia, and Polychrome Ink; on the web at Hippocampus, Crab Fat Magazine, Luna Luna, Huffington Post, The Feminist Wire, and Airplane Reading, among others. Read her work at www.LaraLillibridge.com
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