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    10 Things to Do If Your Confidence Needs a Major Boost

    Confidence might sound like some fluffy, idealistic principle your Girl Scout leader used to talk about, but it’s the most powerful, tangible thing you can cultivate to achieve the life you want. You might have learned from ’90s makeover movies that once you make major changes, then you’ll finally feel confident. But actually, confidence is the key to make drastic improvements, whether it comes to your health, career, or relationships. In other words, stop waiting for circumstances to happen and, instead, work on boosting confidence first. The changes you want to make in your life will happen as a byproduct. Here are 10 concrete ways to love yourself like Lizzo and boost confidence to achieve your best life.
    1. Be brutally honest with yourself
    Do you love your job? Do you genuinely enjoy all of your friendships? Are you open about the hobbies that bring you joy (yes, even the geeky ones)? Not only will being brutally honest illuminate areas in your life where you’re not your true self, but it will also force you to stop trying to “fit in” (middle school trauma can still really affect us, you know?). And when you realize what you do genuinely love and enjoy, do more of it. You can’t be fully confident unless you openly own, accept, and feel comfortable with who you are.
    That also means knowing your strengths and accepting whatever you previously deemed a “weakness.” You know that famous quote by Albert Einstein that’s written on inspirational cards and quoted in graduation speeches? “Everybody is a genius. But if you judge a fish by its ability to climb a tree, it will live its whole life believing that it is stupid.” Remember this lesson when you’re picking at your “weaknesses.” If you’re shy in large groups, don’t sit around wishing you were more outgoing. Instead, appreciate that you’re really charismatic in one-on-one situations. Keep track of the hobbies, people, and activities that make you feel like your true self, and then seek them out more. 

    2. Use visualization
    Before first dates or big presentations, we often focus on the worst-case scenarios. Not just your-date-turned-out-to-be-a-serial-killer type of scenario, but the forget-the-entire-presentation or what-if-they-don’t-like-me kinds of scenarios. Instead, visualize yourself acing the presentation or enjoying the first date as the highest version of yourself. If you’re not sure what your highest self looks like, think about how you act in your most comfortable relationships. Are you goofy, vivacious, enthusiastic, kind, or thoughtful? What memory do you have where you did feel good about yourself? Visualize showing up as that person and the best-case outcome. You’ll not only feel more confident going into uncomfortable situations, but you’ll be more likely to achieve your highest self.

    Source: @simplytandya

    3. Practice empathy and positivity
    We’ve already established that confidence requires a change in internal mindset, not a change in outside validation. But if changing your mindset was as easy as flipping a switch, we’d all be confident. So the key to self-confidence? Empathy and positivity. Just like happiness, empathy and positivity are skills, not circumstances. When you work those muscles on other people and situations, you’ll start to feel empathy and positivity for yourself too. Work on positive thinking through gratitude journaling or exercises, and prioritize the glass-half-full mentality in all situations. See the good in other people (including celebrities, influencers, and frenemies–ex-boyfriends exempt from this list), and you’ll start to see more good in yourself too (guaranteed). 

    4. Accept compliments
    PSA: can we agree to stop downplaying when we receive a compliment!? Especially as women, we’re taught to be polite at our own expense. However, it’s just not true that putting ourselves down makes other people feel more comfortable. In fact, it typically makes people more uncomfortable, not to mention it’s hurting your confidence. When a coworker tells you that you nailed the presentation, don’t respond with “I couldn’t have done it without my team,” or “Really? I messed up the whole second half!” Say, “Thank you so much! I worked so hard and am so excited about how it turned out.”
    Likewise, when a friend compliments your hair, don’t say, “Ugh, I have such frizzy hair, I spent 45 minutes getting it to lay straight!” Instead, respond with a simple “Thank you!” and take a moment to internally feel good about yourself (why yes, my hair does look phenomenal. *Cues ***Flawless by Beyoncé*). If just saying “thank you” feels uncomfortable, feel free to give a compliment in return but stop downplaying the compliments you receive. 

    Source: @devyn.p.miller

    5. Be smart about social media
    It’s no secret that social media is a common confidence-suck. Being constantly bombarded by the pretty, filtered version of hundreds or thousands of other people’s lives is not exactly the best recipe to feel good about our own. We know that we only put our very best pictures, selfies, and sides for the world to see, while keeping “real life” (like messy kitchens, PMS tears, and stretch marks) offline. But somehow, it doesn’t always register that other people do the same. Do yourself a favor and mute or unfollow everyone on Instagram except a few select accounts that bring you inspiration, motivation, and happiness whenever you click through their feed or stories (like, IDK, @theeverygirl, just as a totally random example). 

    6. Change the words that follow “I am”
    Personally, my identity has been defined as a writer my whole life. Ever since elementary school, my love for writing was always the first thing teachers noticed about me. For 24 years, I put myself into categories of, “I’m a writer, and I’m creative,” but because of that identity, I also said, “I’m not good at business” or “I am not a math person.” I loaded up on English classes in college and didn’t take one business, finance, or economics class. I always took on the “creative and free-spirited” type of personality, and didn’t feel confident in any skills related to business or personal finance. 
    But when I became a grown-ass woman (AKA, like a few months ago, but it depends who you ask), I was over feeling like I wasn’t good with money and that creativity was all I had to offer the world. I started telling myself, “I am a businesswoman,” and, “I am smart with money.” It gave me the confidence to sign up for finance classes and start my own side business. The lesson here? Think about what stories you’ve been telling yourself about who you are, and then replace the words that follow “I am.”  Have you been telling yourself, “I am awkward,” “I am shy,” “I am ugly,” or “I am not good enough?” Change the words after “I am” to anything you want to be, and eventually, you’ll start to believe it. Fake it ’til you make it, you know?

    Source: @crystalinmarie

    7. Get outside yourself
    Listen, I’m not calling anyone self-centered in a negative way. As humans, we see reality through our own perspectives, and therefore, everything centers around the way we experience it. When you’re feeling a lack of confidence, it can be tempting to wallow in your feelings or vent to friends. While you should lean on the people who make you feel better, make sure to get outside yourself too. Ask other people questions more than you talk about yourself (and listen!), or volunteer for an organization that needs help.
    Not only will focusing on other people make you feel better about yourself (because nothing is more powerful than helping someone else), but you’ll also realize that other people don’t think about you the way you think they do. Other people are too caught up in their own problems to realize you’re a little awkward or have a breakout on your chin. One of the most important life hacks I’ve ever learned: you’ll stop feeling self-conscious the minute you turn your attention to helping someone else. 

    8. Do more things that make you uncomfortable
    Stepping outside your comfort zone is–you guessed it–uncomfortable, but it can make a huge difference in how you feel about yourself. Try something new that you’re scared to try, whether it’s cooking a new type of food, attending a different workout class, or networking with people you’re typically too shy to reach out to. The good news is that you don’t have to be good at whatever new thing you’re doing in order to boost self-esteem. In fact, you probably won’t be good. The confidence comes when you keep showing up, even when you’re not good at it. It will teach you to feel comfortable in uncomfortable situations and accomplished in trying something new. 

    Source: @missenocha

    9. Keep promises to yourself
    We have a conception that “confidence” has to mean thinking highly of ourselves, which is not necessarily true. To break it down, confidence is actually a combination of both self-esteem and self-efficacy. Self-efficacy refers to the belief you have in yourself to accomplish something. In other words, to boost confidence, you must make and keep promises to yourself. If you want to eat more veggies or get to bed earlier, make a plan, and then follow through with it. Remember that there’s more on the line than leafy greens or getting enough sleep. Think of it like a friend; the more you can rely on them and trust them, the more you love and respect them. The same goes for the relationship you have with yourself. Eat what you say you will, get to bed when you say you will, and watch your confidence skyrocket.

    10. Cultivate the “eff it!” mentality
    Channel your inner Dua Lipa and just don’t care. Typically, I’m not a fan of IDGAF energy (I think caring about people is the most powerful thing we can do as human beings, even when it hurts), but when it comes to cultivating self-confidence, I’m an advocate. You see, sometimes you have to remind yourself that not everything is as big of a deal as you make it in your mind. You gained a few extra pounds–who cares? You’re shy meeting new people–big deal! The side business you want to launch might fail–so what? Doing something you want to do or being someone you want to be (while saying “screw you!” to insecurities) might be the absolute best thing you could ever do for yourself. Just as a reminder, don’t take everything so seriously; it’s just life! The point is to enjoy it. 

    What tips have helped improve your confidence? More

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    How to Improve Your Relationship When You’ve Been Stuck Together for Months

    We’ve been staying at home for months now. Your boss is still accidentally hitting mute on Zoom, you failed at baking sourdough more times than you’ve succeeded, and your significant other forgot to unload the dishwasher again. For couples that live together or have chosen to quarantine together, the global pandemic doesn’t just mean severe anxiety and limited toilet paper. It also means facing a future of indefinite togetherness, lack of alone time, and maybe some fights that you never expected to have (like whose turn it is to disinfect the groceries).Quarantining couples are fighting more than ever, missing their alone time, or feeling anxious about fast-tracking their relationship. No one signs up for 24/7 togetherness when signing a lease or marriage certificate, and it’s normal to struggle with your relationship as you’re struggling with scary headlines and changing routines. However, it’s possible to not just survive staying at home together, but to enjoy it. Here’s how you can still improve your relationship, even if you’ve been stuck together for months.

    Reassess what’s working and what isn’t.
    Being stuck at home together is no longer uncharted territory that we’re all just trying to figure out. At this point, you’ve had enough experience to identify what’s working well (like dividing up chores or having weekly mental health check-ins), and what isn’t (like getting stir crazy or having the same fight about the dishes three times a week). Start with what has been going well in your relationships. Do you love playing Scrabble on Friday nights or feel supported when you’re stressed? Talk about what’s going well for both of you and the relationship. Then identify the areas that still need work and problem-solve together how to improve what hasn’t been working. 

    Source: @kayla_seah

    Switch up your routine
    If your evening routine is consistently eating takeout on the couch while watching Stranger Things, there’s nothing wrong with that (in fact, that sounds like my ideal night). However, try surprising your partner one night with dinner served at the dining room table (with candles, of course). Not only will switching it up help you get out of any ruts that come with the same routine every day for months, but doing something different might ignite a little extra spark. Planning a themed date night on the weekend, going on a hike together instead of working out in the living room, or even eating breakfast on the patio (instead of hunched over laptops) can make a huge difference. 

    Practice empathy for your partner
    If you are constantly bickering or get to the point where you can’t stand each other, this might be an enlightening time for some couples to reassess if this relationship is the right choice. However, if you are in it for the long haul and the extra bickering is only on account of stress and change in routine (not incompatibility), don’t worry. The fix could be as simple as practicing empathy.
    This is probably a weirder time than you anticipated when you were reciting vows or moving in together. Therefore, what you expect from your partner needs to change too. Be empathetic to the extra pressure they’re under (is their company suffering or were they furloughed?), and any anxiety they might be feeling from headlines or changes in routine. The greatest way you can grow stronger as a couple during a time like this is to better understand, relate to, and feel for each other.

    Source: @missalexlarosa

    Keep up your personal hobbies, and encourage your partner to keep up theirs
    While I’m embarrassed to declare Real Housewives of Beverly Hills as a “personal hobby,” it has always been my go-to when I need to turn my brain off on a lunch break or relax on a Sunday afternoon. My boyfriend knows when it’s RHOBH time to put in headphones if he’s working or do his own thing if he doesn’t feel like watching. This might be a sad example, but just because you’re spending 24/7 together doesn’t mean you should stop all the things you typically love doing. 
    Your significant other should encourage your hobbies, even if they don’t share your exact interests (and might be like mine where you notice his eyes are glued to the TV when Kyle and Lisa are fighting, even though he pretends he “doesn’t like reality TV”). Whether it’s the shows you watch, the books you read, or how you like to work out, keep up the things you love, and allow your partner the space and time to keep up theirs. Yes, relationships are about shared interests and compromises, but they’re also about giving each other the support to be who you really are. 

    Remember to celebrate milestones
    After four or five months of barely leaving the house, you might have experienced one (or both) of your birthdays in quarantine, and maybe even an anniversary has come and gone. Perhaps one of you graduated or got a promotion at work. Since it might feel easier to ignore anything that’s supposed to be “celebratory” (because it serves as a reminder of what you’re missing out on like birthday parties, anniversary trips, etc.), you might have glossed over or put little effort into celebrating. However, even if you’re grieving for what you thought 2020 would be like, it’s still important to make the most of it. Dress up for dinner at home, order takeout from your favorite fancy restaurant, and decorate the living room. Don’t just think of how to survive 2020; make your relationship better by making new memories. 

    Source: @raffinee

    Think of your relationship as a business
    So this might be the most unromantic relationship advice you’ve ever received, but hear me out. We often think love is supposed to be magically perfect, and two separate people are supposed to seamlessly combine their lives together (preferably with a romantic montage or public declaration of love, but that’s just me). And while many aspects of being in love with the right person should feel seamless and perfect, being stuck at home together for months doesn’t have to be one of them. 
    To navigate the changes and work through this new life together, both of you need to be open to accepting new responsibilities and helping each other in ways you didn’t have to before. Think of your partnership as you would think of a business: schedule regular meetings into the “team” calendar, divide up responsibilities based on what’s most effective, and consistently reflect on how you can be a better “coworker.” Remember that the goal is success (in this case, happiness in the relationship), not for you to be right or “win” an argument. Just limit your business-mindset to outside the bedroom, or else, you know, it could get weird. 

    Find a new activity to do together
    In a society where couples are starting podcasts and travel blogs together, you should have more than enough inspo and motivation to find a new activity you’ve never done together. It can be as simple as going on evening walks or doing a puzzle, or can be as time-consuming as learning a new language or starting a side business if you have the extra time to spend. The point is to find something you both are excited about, so you can spend quality time in a different and more meaningful way than you have in the past few months. Turn off Netflix, stop scrolling through Instagram, and try something new together.

    Source: @missenocha

    Make pleasure a priority 
    No, it’s not what you think. Hopefully, you already work on fulfilling intimacy with your partner (and if you’re not, click here or here), and it’s OK if the abundance of anxiety and loungewear has created a lull in your sex life (it’s normal!). What I mean instead is to make your pleasure (outside of the bedroom) a top priority. Start by basing decisions off of what would bring you more pleasure (like a warm bath versus a cold shower, or a slow yoga flow versus a sweaty dance workout). Also, take time to pamper yourself (turn on a playlist and dry brush), and don’t forget to check yourself out in the mirror (because you know you look good!).
    Why is this good for your relationship, you might ask? Living for the sake of pleasure (instead of just checking items off of a to-do list) will make you happier and feel more fulfilled. It might reduce stress or help you stop depending on your partner for happiness. Therefore, fights could be easier to solve or prevent, and you might enjoy your time together more. Oh, and if you want to talk about sex life specifically, it will help that too. Just as a bonus, no one can resist a confident, happy woman (just see for yourself).

    What habits or tricks have been helping improve your relationship while being stuck at home together? More

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    This Week Only: Equilibria Is Offering a Free Gift With Purchase

    After months of staying at home (how is it not 2021 yet?), we’ve tried just about every act of self-care. We’ve gone through countless sheet masks, tried lots of guided meditations, and lit every candle in our homes (even the fancy ones once reserved for company). While those methods are great, and we need all the help we can get with stress-relief, they don’t always do it for us when it comes to de-stressing and caring for ourselves. Enter: Equilibria. The CBD and wellness company, Equilibria, has been an Everygirl-favorite for a while now (not to mention it’s female-founded!). Associate Editor, Maddie, takes the soft gels for stress-relief;  Ally, Director of Partnerships, loves the relief cream for sore muscles; and Social Media Editor, Abigail, swears she sleeps better after taking a bath with the bath bombs. Call them presents we regularly give ourselves, and now’s the time to give yourself the gift of stress-relief and self-care too (because you deserve it!).
    Starting Monday, Equilibria is offering 20% off the first order, and a free mini 150mg/15ml Daily Drops with any purchase while supplies last (which is truly a blessing at a time like this). The daily drops provide fast-acting results so you can take it before bed (to increase relaxation) or during the day to promote focus and decrease any tension. Trust us–it works. 

    Brilliance Box

    The Brilliance Box includes Daily Drops for fast-acting, targeted relief, Daily Softgels for a sustained-release, and topical Relief Cream for local discomfort.

    As per FDA guidelines, Equilibria CBD is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease or ailment. As always, consult with your physician before starting any new program that may interact with your current health plan.

    This post was in partnership with Equilibria, but all of the opinions within are those of The Everygirl editorial board. More

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    10 Science-Backed Ways to Boost Your Mood

    To say 2020 has been a hard year is the understatement of the decade, and we’re only about halfway through. Countless people around the world are facing fear, uncertainty, disappointment, and loneliness on a daily basis, and it’s important to know that if you’re having these feelings, you are not alone. On lower days, which can occur with or without a global pandemic, there are steps you can take to lift your spirits beyond just another glass of wine.We’ve rounded up 10 science-backed ways to help improve your mood when you’re feeling down. Some of these tips and tricks can lead to an instant boost, but others will help with lessening feelings of stress and anxiety longer term. So let’s get happy!

    1. Head outdoors
    I think we can all agree that staying cooped up indoors all day can lead to feeling anxious and unhappy. It comes as no surprise that a study by the University of Vermont found that those who lived in urban areas used happier words and were less negative on Twitter after a visit to a park than they were pre-visit. If you’re feeling down, try to get some fresh air and sunshine, even if that just means sitting on your patio for a little while.

    Source: Miss Enocha | @missenocha

    2. Walk the right way
    Since you’re planning on going outside anyways, try going for a nice stroll. A walk in the park can provide a mental boost, but when you’re on your walk, make sure you walk in a positive manner. Researchers found that walking as if you’re unhappy (slumped with little arm movement) can lead to experiencing a worse mood than if you walked in a happier style (upright and bouncing). Fake it and you will make it!

    3. Surround yourself with positive friends
    It would be unfair to expect your friends to look on the bright side all the time, but when you’re feeling down, spending time with a friend who tends to be more positive can be helpful. The University of Warwick found that you can pick up on the moods of your friends, and they can be somewhat contagious. Give your friend who tends to look on the bright side a call next time you need to gain some new perspective.

    Source: The Rustic Foodie

    4. Eat healthy
    While sticking to a healthy diet has more benefits than we can outline here, one we’ll focus on is the impact healthy food can have on your mood. After analyzing data from nearly 46,000 people, Dr Joseph Firth found that a healthy diet can lead to an improved mood and reduced depression symptoms. So for dinner tonight, try reaching for anything full of vitamins and antioxidants!

    5. Be a well wisher
    Take a note from that glass-half-full friend we were talking about earlier and be a positive influence in someone else’s life. Researchers at Iowa State University found that instead of trying to make ourselves feel better, we should focus on trying to make others feel better. They found that offering kindness to others can help reduce anxiety, improve happiness, and lead to stronger feelings of social connection. Send congratulatory cards when something good happens to a loved one, compliment a stranger’s shoes, or give a colleague a stellar recommendation on LinkedIn. These acts take just minutes, or even seconds to complete, and may lead to everyone feeling a bit happier.

    6. Move your body
    We can thank Elle Woods for this insightful gem, “Exercise gives you endorphins. Endorphins make you happy.” Exercise is good for both your physical and mental health and can decrease feelings of tension, improve sleep, increase self-esteem, give a sense of control, and elevate your mood. That’s a lot of benefits for a quick run or gym session a few days a week!

    7. Sleep On It
    So this one is a bit of a Catch-22. Stress and anxiety can lead to insomnia, which in turn can cause feelings of depression and irritability. But getting a good night’s sleep can help alleviate those feelings. As tempting as it may be to zone out in front of Netflix for a few hours after a rough day, try to hit the hay early. That way, if you have trouble sleeping, you can hopefully squeeze in a few extra hours.

    Source: Gian Cescon

    8. Discover your passion
    Remember hobbies? It feels like they’re becoming less and less common, but that shouldn’t be the case. Hobbies can be fun, mentally stimulating, and lead to feeling accomplished, confident, and happier. So give one a try! Don’t know where to start? Here are 21 hobbies you can try at home today.

    9. Find peace of mind
    You’ve heard it before, but let’s talk about it once again: meditating has ample health benefits worth considering. Meditating, like all of these suggestions, can’t eradicate the roots of stress, but it can help manage the effects stress and anxiety have on your body. Finding a meditation practice that helps you focus your attention inward can lead to a state of deep relaxation, increased focus, and fewer nervous thoughts. It can take time to find the right fit, so don’t feel discouraged if it takes a few tries to get the hang of meditating. At the very least, setting aside 10 minutes a day to meditate will force you to focus on your breathing, which is also beneficial!

    10. Stimulate the senses
    Aromatherapy is famous for its mood-impacting abilities, so why not load up your diffuser with a relaxing scent? Or you can keep a handy rollerball blend of oils in your purse or at your desk for when you need a quick boost. Similar to scent, sound can also be impactful. Researchers at the University of Missouri found that upbeat music can positively affect our wellbeing, so crank up your favorite happy tunes and let the music do its thing! More

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    14 Things to Do If You Get Dumped That Don’t Include Texting Your Ex

    I don’t know who needs to hear this but: don’t. text. your. ex.We’ve all been there: post-breakup, wondering where things went wrong, wanting to dig up the dirt with hopes of uncovering that one piece of artifact that might give you an ounce of closure. Rejection in any form hurts, but feeling rejected by someone you love dearly hits differently.
    Navigating the post-relationship dating scene after experiencing a breakup is hard enough as it is, but, I think I speak for a lot of us when I say that adding a global pandemic to the situation makes things exponentially more complicated. So it’s no surprise if you’ve been considering reaching out to revisit the idea of familiar past relationships.
    Heidi McBain, a Texas-based counselor for women, moms, and moms-to-be, has had her fair share of experience helping women who have struggled through breakups and divorces. “[Texting your previous partner] may be a default response,” she said. “When you were together, they were your go-to person when times were hard. When you’re going through a period of transition, it can be easy to fall back into old patterns, especially if you don’t yet have a good social support system in place that doesn’t include your ex.”
    Speaking from personal experience, I’ve found that nothing good has ever come out of texting my ex after we uncoupled. Time after time, I looked for closure and comfort from him and was often left feeling unsettled, as he didn’t have the answers I was seeking. After too many times of extending the olive branch and being left with feelings of defeat, I learned that, in my case, I couldn’t look for happiness in the place that I lost it. I started to heal once I stopped looking back.
    Texting your ex can be tempting, but I promise you, you’ll feel better if you don’t. Instead, McBain suggested identifying your support system and practicing self-care. What exactly does that look like? We’ve got you covered:

    1. Call or FaceTime a friend 
    McBain advised redirecting your impulse to reach out to that certain someone, and instead, reaching out to a friend or family member you love. Whether you want to vent or be distracted, talking to someone you love can help you to feel connected if you’re feeling isolated.

    2. Watch a comedy
    Sometimes, when life is hard, you might find yourself in need of a good laugh. I’m not sure if watching a comedy series counts as self-care, but binge-watching The Office post-breakup was my personal saving grace. If you’re looking for a new comedy to watch, check out these 11 comedies that are sure to help you look on the brighter side of things. 

    3. Clean out your closet
    Yes, that includes that hoodie of theirs that you (previously) love(d) to snuggle up with. It’s dead to us now and simply must go. Cleaning out your closet can be a great metaphor for a fresh start and will give you an opportunity to donate old clothes to someone who needs them more than you. Also, an obvious bonus, you’ll have more space for all of the Anthropologie goodies you have in your online shopping cart.

    4. Volunteer at an animal shelter
    Get in on a little bit of puppy/kitty lovin’ by volunteering at your local animal shelter. If you’re a person who can be cured by animal snuggles, reaching out to see how you can help and getting some playtime with some furry friends (without the commitment) can be a great and wholesome distraction. Pups would never leave you on read, sis. If you reach out to your local shelter, please be mindful of their quarantine precautions and protect yourself, fellow volunteers, and staff. Never go to a public place if you have symptoms of COVID-19 or know someone close to you who has it. If they’re closed to the public at this time, fostering or adopting a furry friend could be a lovely alternative to look in to. 

    5. Print out pictures of your friends and family, and switch out old pictures of your ex-S.O.
    Switch out old photos in your current frames to better reflect your current social circle. Being surrounded by pictures of wonderful memories and others that you love can be a great way to remind yourself of how loved you are and of all the goodness you have experienced.

    Source: Daria Shevtsova | Pexels

    OK, let me make this clear. Do not, I repeat, do not cut your bangs in a frenzy post-breakup. While I don’t condone cutting your own hair, I am a firm believer that a professionally-crafted, fresh cut or color can be a great way to revive your style, and can give you that pep in your step you’ve been missing. While it’s important to pick a stylist based on Yelp reviews and before and after results on their personal page, it’s now equally as important to ask the salon what precautions they will be following to prioritize infection control so that you can leave with fresh hair and fresh hair only.

    7. Make a list of the things you’re grateful for
    Good things are all around us, but when you’re feeling low or are fixated on finding closure after a breakup, it can be easy to lose sight of the positives. If you’re reaching for the phone to text your ex, divert your attention to your Notes app, a journal, or a nearby sticky note. I challenge you to reflect on five things you’re grateful for. According to Harvard Health Publishing, practicing gratitude can make you a happier person. So let’s get to writing, ladies.

    Getting up and moving is always a good idea (bonus: McBain approved this activity too). If you’re feeling down, going on a small walk or going all out at an online scheduled workout class can be a great way to get your endorphins pumping, which can have a positive effect on your mood. And that’s a self-care activity we can get behind.

    Source: Taryn Elliott | Pexels

    Journaling is another McBain-endorsed activity to channel your emotions into if you’re struggling with a breakup. Allowing yourself the space to reflect on your feelings and put them on paper can help you sort through a mess of thoughts. Get yourself a pen and a notebook, and you’re set.

    If you’re looking for another therapeutic, hands-on activity to help fill a void after a breakup, try a hand at baking. Pick out a recipe you’ve been dying to try, put on some feel-good music, and get to cooking. Relieving stress and having a yummy treat as the end reward? Sounds like a win-win situation to me.

    11. Research therapists in your area and consider making an appointment
    As great as it is to have support from friends and family during a rough time, it can be helpful to consider speaking to a therapist if you’re having trouble cutting ties with your ex, McBain noted. Transitioning out of a relationship and assuming a single identity is no easy feat. You may find yourself ruminating on the past and therapists can be a wonderful resource to helping you develop cognitive tools to help you to reframe your thoughts and move forward. Right now, many therapists are offering online therapy sessions which are a great option to seek professional care amidst the pandemic. 

    Source: Ketut Subiyanto | Pexels

    12. Download a dating app to see what’s out there
    If you’re a dating app skeptic like I was, hear me out: downloading a dating app can be a new way for you see what’s out there and to remind you that you’ve still got it. The idea of swiping seems superficial (and let’s be candid, it kind of is), but the connections that people make on the app can be very real. Downloading a dating app can be a low commitment way to dip your toes in the water if you’re looking to get back out there. If you’re not ready yet, that’s fine too! Save this one for when you are.

    When I was experiencing my first breakup, I was pretty self-centered. Not in a bad way … during the heartbreak, I needed to focus my energy on myself to keep it together and to figure out exactly what I needed to heal. After a while of being in my own head, one of the things that I found brought me joy was reaching out to others and helping them where I could. PSA: I don’t mean taking on a laundry list of someone else’s problems, because that won’t be helpful to you. Rather, partake in a simple, random act of kindness to spread some positivity. A good place to start? Send a love letter to a friend.

    Source: Daria Shevtsova | Pexels

    14. Rearrange your furniture
    You mean all those years of shamelessly watching hours of HGTV might actually pay off? Rearranging your furniture can be an easy way to switch up your design aesthetic and can be a great project to tackle while you’re looking to move forward and create a new reality for yourself. 

    If you need to cry, do it. If you want to scream, open your window and let it out. Experiencing a breakup is a loss, and grieving loss looks different in each of us. Be gentle with yourself. Be patient. We know you’re worth it. We’re here for you, girlfriend.  More

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    These Free, 10-Minute Workouts Are Perfect for Days When You’re Short on Time

    “Petting as many dogs as humanely possible” is one of my most significant life goals.I’ve never met a dog that I didn’t like. I am the CEO of stopping on the Chicago Lakefront mid-run to pet all of the good doggos that proudly and happily trot past me. While I’m not in a place to own a dog of my own, this small fact does not stop me from getting my canine fix any time the opportunity presents itself.
    It has become very important for me to streamline my life to allow for as much time to provide belly rubs and compliments to dogs as possible. It is crucial to me that no matter what I accomplish in life, I never lose sight of prioritizing activities that I love most. Maybe for you, that joy comes from cooking, hanging out with family/friends, reading, watching Netflix, pouring a large glass of wine, or journaling. Regardless of what gets your heart pumping, I think we can all agree that making more time for the things we love is a good thing.
    So on days where I’m slammed with work, drowning in laundry, or itching to prioritize the petting of the dogs, I simply don’t have time to head to my gym and spend an hour on the treadmill (note: I have never actually spent one whole hour on a treadmill). I have always been a firm believer that quality is better than quantity (in this case, quantity being the amount of time spent working out) and have found that doing an effective, 10-minute workout is better than doing nothing at all. On the days where you don’t have time or are just looking for a quick way to move, these 13 free 10-minute workouts will have your back:

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    What are your favorite ways to workout at home? Let us know in the comments below! More

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    I’m Not a Morning Person—This Is the Evening Routine That Helps Me Keep It Together

    If you were to ask any of my friends about me, I’d like to think that they’d have a lot of nice things to say. They might describe me as friendly, laid-back, and down for a good time. They may mention that I am in a committed relationship with McDonald’s chicken nuggets. They might label me as a “good listener” or a “good friend.” They might give accolades to my ability to send highly relatable memes to their DMs at any point in the day. One thing they most definitely wouldn’t say about me? That I am a morning person.I have a reputation amongst my friends and family to prioritize sleeping in over most things in life. I have an affinity for hitting my snooze button anywhere from four to nine times a morning (I wish that was an exaggeration). If you speak to me before my morning coffee, there’s a 99 percent chance that what you said did not register. No matter how many tips and tricks that I’ve tried in my efforts to become a morning person, I just can’t hang before 10am. At this point, I’ve come to accept who I am: a night owl who would rather get shit done in the evening than during the morning. 
    PSA: You don’t have to be a morning person to live a healthy, productive life. I’ve felt guilty for “failing” at morning routines for far too long, but after curating an evening routine that fits my peak energy time and makes me feel like a superhero, I’d like to argue that night owls are just as badass as the humans who work out, clean, meal prep, meditate, and do a 57-step skincare routine before they log on for work. The early bird gets the worm, but the worm that sleeps in doesn’t get eaten, am I right?
    Here are the eight habits that have made my evenings productive and have helped me to embrace the fact that I am, in fact, a night owl:

    1. Work out right after work
    I truly cannot count the number of times that I’ve set my alarm two hours early to workout and decided, in the early hours of the morning, that REM sleep is cooler than squats. I’ve found that, as with most things, my workouts are most productive after a workday when I’ve used the day to hydrate and I’ve consumed at least two meals. While the idea of a late-night workout excites me, I try to exercise before dinner so that it’s easier for me to wind down afterward. Right now, I’ll do an at-home workout or go for a one to three-mile run, and I’ll opt to work out outside so that I can get some fresh air.

    2. Listen to a podcast while cooking dinner
    I used to hate cooking until stay-at-home orders hit. When I realized that I simply could not afford using Grubhub or Doordash every night, I bought Tieghan Gerard’s Half Baked Harvest Super Simple Cookbook to turn my life around. For dinner, I grab my fav glass of vino, pick a recipe to whip up, and listen to my favorite podcast. Typically I’ll opt for a recipe that I can cook for one and save for dinner for the next few days. Dinner: done. Meal prep: done. Getting the pop culture tea: done.

    3. Tidy up my living space
    The dinnertime productivity hack that absolutely changed my life is making an effort to clean up my kitchen messes as I’m cooking. It sounds so simple, but as we all have experienced at one point or another, there’s nothing worse than staring at dirty cookware and dishes after eating and slipping into a food coma. Tidying up as I go makes doing the remaining dishes after dinner so much more tolerable. After rinsing my remaining dishes and popping them into the dishwasher, I do a quick tidy-up of the rest of my living space (I save deep cleaning for the weekend when I have more time to do that sort of thing).

    4. Take a relaxing bath
    Why has it taken me so long to get on board with taking baths? My bath time is my me time, and those 30 minutes help me to wind down after power cleaning. Am I sweating from bending over to pick up all of my clutter from my last outfit crisis? Probably. Should I get that checked out by a doctor or, at the very least, up my cardio game? Also, probably. While I’m soaking, I like to call a friend, read an excerpt from my latest and greatest book obsession, or catch up on my IG feed. I light my favorite candle, dim the lights, and play some Mumford & Sons radio to set the mood.

    5. Plan out tomorrow’s outfit
    Somewhere along the way on my journey from third grade to adulthood, I lost sight of the easiest and most rewarding task of all—laying out tomorrow’s outfit. If and when I snooze my alarm and subsequently oversleep, I need all of the extra time that I can get.Enduring an 8am clothes crisis and settling on an outfit that I feel *blah* in is not the move. In my pursuit to work from home and not lose my mind, I’ve found it helpful to make sure that I’m changing out of my morning pajamas into something cute and casual to signal to my brain that it’s time to get to work.

    6. Prep my morning coffee
    Of all the responsibilities that are knocking on my door at the time of my alarm interrupting my dreams of being married to Zac Efron, my highest priority of all is coffee. I like to streamline my coffee routine ahead of time so that everything is neatly out and ready for me to get espresso in my body as soon as humanely possible. At night, I’ll pop my Nespresso capsule into my Nespresso machine, make sure that the water is filled to the brim, and line up my mixings (oat milk, vanilla, and cinnamon) for easy morning access. 

    6. Make a to-do list for tomorrow
    I am forever an offender of adding things to my to-do list that I’ve already completed so that I can give myself credit for completing tasks. After I’m squeaky clean and pick out my outfit for the morning, I make myself a herbal tea, I snuggle into bed, and reach for my journal that sits on my nightstand. My journal is my life and is a compilation of random article pitches that I think of at 4am, blurbs talking smack about someone who hurt my feelings, and to-do lists that somehow never fully get checked off. Regardless, making my to-do list helps me to focus in the simultaneous whirlwind and brain fog of the morning. I prioritize mindless tasks to be completed first to boost my confidence and schedule more tasking responsibilities for the afternoon when my productivity levels are highest.

    8. Do something that brings me joy
    I’ve been trying really hard to limit screen time before bed, so I’ve been opting for other blue-light-free activities that bring me joy to end the evening. On a normal day, I’ll turn off the lights with the exception of the faint glow of my bedside lamp, and I’ll either revisit my Kindle, journal about my day, or doodle until my eyelids become heavy. When I feel myself daydreaming then dazing, I know it’s time to call it a night. I set my typical morning alarms (yes, plural) and tuck myself in, knowing that I am leaving a productive day behind.

    Would you consider yourself a morning person or a night owl? When do you find that you’re your best, most productive self? More