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Kali Rogers

how to stay sane and productive working from home

How to Stay Productive Working from Home

By | Career + Academics | No Comments

 
As someone who has been working from home for the majority of my adult life, I feel like I am in a great position to dish tips on how to work from home during this era of quarantining/social distancing. It’s hard to stay on task not in an office setting, and the self-discipline needed seems unreachable. So allow me to offer some advice on how to stay productive working from home for the coming weeks!
 

Keep Yourself Accountable

 
Aside from the social interaction that an office provides, a lot of you are going to deeply miss the social pressure that comes from an office environment. Left to your own devices, who knows how much work you’d actually get done?! You need Bill from HR slowly walking by your office every hour and Cheryl, your boss, rapidly tapping her keyboard only a few yards away. They hold your feet to the fire and ensure you’re productive! Hell, you only ever took legitimate breaks whenever office culture deemed it *socially acceptable.*

So…what happens when none of those people have any clue whether you’re actually working or not? 

On paper, productivity goes right out the window along with every other aspect about our lives that we’re used to. What at time to be alive!

But we aren’t going to let that happen. If you are lucky enough to still have your job (more on that later), we can’t afford to completely drop the ball with our careers. So instead we have to find the new normal.

So let’s go back to the whole external reward system for a bit, shall we? I know we are supposed to lean towards internal rewards for pure fulfillment in life, but desperate times call for desperate measures. And here we are.

What would you rather be doing rather than working? Netflixing, yogaing, eating, sleeping, pup playing…yeah all those sound better than your job, don’t they? So get in the habit of finishing tasks and projects and rewarding yourself with a treat or fun activity. The social pressure is all but gone (unless you count timely email responsiveness ‘social pressure’) so we need to hold ourselves accountable by staying on top of our work and trying to enjoy (some of) it along the way.
 

Try to Keep a *Manageable* Schedule

 
Creating a “lax” schedule can help you stay on task, but not beat yourself up for trying to force an office environment from home. It goes something like this:

Wake up, spend some time with family, or if you’re quarantining solo, do whatever clears your head for the day. Take your time. Eat your breakfast. Do your thang.

Once you feel prepped for the day, log on and get some preliminary morning work done. Catch up on whatever you missed from last evening, join your Zoom meetings, focus for as long as you can. Once you feel productivity waning, take a break. Do some jumping jacks, make more coffee, spend some time with a pet or family member, listen to part of your favorite podcast. Once you feel refreshed, plug away until lunch.

Once lunch arrives, E N J O Y  I T. No eating at your desk. No shoveling food down your mouth while you’re on a conference call (gross). Just take a breather. After lunch, resume some productivity in spurts as much as you can. Take breaks. Join meetings. Reward yourself (see above). Catch up on emails.

And once you are typically done for the day (when did you usually leave work beforehand?) – call it quits.

Shut the laptop off. Put your phone on DND. Not having the clear line of demarcation between office and home is going to be incredibly toxic if you can’t create proper boundaries.

That’s it. Wash, Rinse, Repeat.

If you need more tailored help coming up with a manageable schedule while balancing homelife – that’s what Blush is here for. Remember we now offer unlimited chat!
 

 

Do What You Can to Create a Separate Workspace

 
As I mentioned in a previous post, not all of us are blessed with Texas style 3,000 square foot homes. Many of us in the “shelter-at-home” cities are workin’ with square footage flirting with a thousand – and that usually doesn’t bless us with a private office of our own. As a veteran WFHer, I made the decision to rip out the guest bedroom closet and literally carve out an office for myself. Because who needs to hang their clothes when they visit us?!?! Live out of your suitcases, pls.

If you have a spare bedroom or an office, great. Please leave all work duties confined to that room. If you don’t, and you’re living in a studio or a smaller one bedroom or have roomies, it’s time to get creative. In your mind, I want you to mentally divide your space into three sections: work, rest, and sleep. Ideally, those areas shouldn’t overlap – but if any of them do, I’d rather it be rest + sleep. At least they are part of the same family!

The key is to trick your brain into thinking you are in a work environment, and then when you’re done for the day, code-switching to a rest environment. For instance, if you work from your bed, can you imagine how difficult going to sleep is going to be? Have you ever slept in your office? Yes? Okay, dear lord, we need to have a separate discussion about that.

But for those of you who would never *dream* of spending the night in your office, please don’t start now! 

Create separation between your work and your life  (even if you feel like you barely have one of those right now). It’s a lot harder to create mental boundaries when you aren’t physically creating distance between the two realms. Work in the living room, sleep in your bedroom. If you don’t have a living room, set up a small corner with your laptop. a small table and a chair. Work at the kitchen bar! More than likely you have what you need to make a semi-sustainable work environment. I know it’s not ideal – most of us would prefer to be working from coffee shops (or yes, our offices), so we have to do what we can to stay sane and productive.
 

No Shaming, Please!

 
So is the goal here to have the most productive days of your entire life right now? Hate to break it to you, and I know that blog title seems a bit misleading now that I think about it….but probably not. This is a huge adjustment. Aside from the fact that we’re all exceptionally nervous about our own personal health as well as our friends’ and family’s health, we’re also stir crazy, hoping that our jobs stay steady, and being incessantly bombarded with more bad news every hour.

Not the best working conditions for productivity, if you ask me.

So what we’re not going to do is beat yourself up for not mirroring the same level of productivity you’re accustomed to in an office environment. Not to point fingers here necessarily……………..but this country was woefully underprepared for what was coming, and therefore you were woefully underprepared for what came. Plenty of y’all left work on a Friday having no idea you weren’t returning on Monday.

RIP office plants!

Therefore we can’t expect ourselves to *immediately* adjust to this new normal. You are still in the transition phase, even if you got a head start on social distancing. Be kind to yourself. Be compassionate toward coworkers. Remind yourself that your team is processing this global pandemic in their own unique ways – so it’s not personal if people are acting “off” right now. Some will bury themselves in work, some will find it impossible to focus on anything other than existential doom.

Refrain from shaming others, and refrain from shaming yourself. The less judgment we pass around, the better off we’ll be.
 

Practice Gratitude

 
We are going back to basics here. While you may not love your job, or even want your job – it’s time to feel grateful that you have a job.

So many Americans are currently unemployed, furloughed, or on the brink of being laid off. My husband is one of them! And while perhaps the government. might wake up and decide to not bailout corporations and instead help out its citizens, we have no timeline as to when things will resume to “normal”. Many people are scared and would do anything for a semblance of job security right now.

I’m not telling you this to shame you into feeling guilty. None of us benefit from everyone feeling miserable. I’m telling you this so that you can latch onto gratitude. Let it carry you through this crazy time. Wake up every day feeling thankful that you are continuing to receive a paycheck from the comfort of your own home. It’s really a miracle when you think about it.
 
 

I am sending you all of my productive/energetic/creative/organization vibes for this next phase of your life.

 
 
If you’re feeling lost, unmotivated, or beating yourself up over this – it might be time to talk to someone about it. Remember that Blush just launched an *app* and now offer unlimited chat – that way you can improve while keeping it on the low down from your quarantine buddies. Join us and let’s work on it together.
 
 

How to Survive as a Couple While Quarantining

How to Survive as a Couple While Quarantining

By | Relationships | No Comments

 

Let’s start with the good news:

 
My husband got home from Europe! Woop! After four hours of screening at the Dublin airport (and none at LAX…!) he’s feeling just fine. So for the most part, everything is all good.

Here’s the bad news: We are now living together again after FIVE! MONTHS! apart, and we can’t, shall we say….ease back into it.

So the million dollar question is: how are we not going to kill each other during the process?

From what I’m gathering, if you’re in a cohabiting relationship, you’re probably wondering the same thing – even though you haven’t spent the last few months apart.

Quarantining and social distancing have been jarring for everyone. I’ve already jotted down a list of tips on how to stay mentally healthy, but I’m not going to lie, I wasn’t totally taking social distancing together into the equation. So many of us aren’t blessed with Texas style 3,000 square foot homes and large backyards. The majority of us are living in apartments or condos with maybe a bedroom or two.

On that note, let’s all take a moment of silence for anyone who is sharing a bathroom with their spouse during this time.
 
 
 
Okay, as we were.

We have to find a way to navigate our relationships during this phase of intense quality time. Here’s how to survive as a couple while quarantining.
 

Create Physical Distance

 
I know this is going to be a tough one to maneuver, but we need to create an *illusion* that there’s some physical space between the two for you.

For example, right now as I’m writing this, I’m in my office (which also moonlights as the guest bedroom YAY LA!) with the doors shut. There might be a cat in here (I should probably be aware of that, now that I think about it), and I’m blasting Treacherous by Taylor Swift on repeat because I saw a bracket on Twitter for the best Taylor Swift songs and it wasn’t included and I’ve just been like ?????? ever since.

The point is, I feel like I’m totally alone. In a good way. I don’t feel the pressure to talk to my spouse or like he’s even aware of what I’m doing. In fact if he was, he’d probably have a few comments to add. I don’t feel like I need to play music we both like (but he arguably does like T-Swift more than I do). And I definitely don’t feel the need to entertain him or to stop working because he’s bored. If he is, that’s his problem.

Some of you out there are both still employed under one roof – and to that I say BIG congratulations. Most of us are not in that same boat. So…yeah…I have to give my husband credit for entertaining himself while I vent blog in the other room.

Point is, we all need space to work or not work. We CANNOT be up in each other’s business all day for the foreseeable future.

If you’re in a studio, pick a corner (The Michael Scott Paper Company style!) and create an arrangement for yourself. Put in your headphones. Walk around the block (again, if you’re feeling fine and remain six feet away from humans, you are in line with expert recommendations) and call your mom. Do not include each other in every activity throughout the day. It’s just too much. Pretend like you two are still at work and come together for meals and in the evening.

It will help make this not seem like the date that never ends.
 

Have Friend Dates that Don’t Include Each Other

 
On the whole “taking space” note – I think it’s also a good idea to maintain your “outside friendships” that do not correlate with your current relationship.

Way back when, when I first moved to Los Angeles, I was really homesick and barely had any friends. To curb my feelings of intense loserness, I would go out for wine with my best friend from New York.

It was really cute. We call each other on Skype, each get a bottle of red wine, pour to our heart’s content, and catch up on stuff. He even suggested we dim the lights to create “mood lighting” so we felt like we were at an actual wine bar. I started trying this with a few other friends – and it worked.

Try doing this with your friends a few days a week. Get coffee in the morning (play a “Coffeehouse” playlist on Spotify and crank those lights up!), grab some lunch in the afternoon (make sandwiches and use paper napkins), do a group happy hour with quarantinis, and share a nice dinner (if you have enough quarantine snacks you could even have an appetizer!). But do this all without your partner. 

I know it sounds like the key to a happy relationship is to never spend time together – but I promise, I will get to that eventually. It’s just so important that you still feel like a complete individual during this time. Without your daily activities and solo commutes to work and separate friendships, you’re going to start feeling like an extension of your spouse. Don’t let that happen.

Keep your independent spirit alive. 

And of course, if you want someone a little more *professional* to talk with about your *ahem* annoyances right now – Blush is still up and running. We offer unlimited chat and video sessions, so you won’t be in violation of social distancing. And remember, the video sessions can always be conducted outside if you need some distance to vent to your heart’s content 🙂
 

 

Accept Each Other’s Coping Mechanisms

 
One of my long term clients and I talked yesterday about how so many couples have completely different coping mechanisms in general…and man, oh man are they coming to a head right now.

Specifically, we talked about how she feels like Chicken Little right now. Everything is scary, everything is bad, nothing will ever be okay again. The sky is falling! 

I can relate. I’m a future-forward thinker, and the future seems rather….terrifying at the moment. I completely related to her and tried to help her walk through her worries by offering facts, comforts, and suggestions. Did it work? I don’t know, you’d have to ask her. But my gut says yeah, I think we both felt better after our session and will continue to work through this together, because that’s what Blush does.

Anyway.

The interesting part was that her partner has a *completely* different coping mechanism than her. To him, it’s easier to assume everything is going to be okay, remain calm, and take things day by day.

Okay, so while I will admit on the surface, it seems like his take is healthier. Sure. I get it. But what happens when he tells her this? What happens if he’s egregiously underplaying this and is mentally and physically ill-prepared for the next few months????

Yikes.

She has a right to feel like everything is spiraling out of control. This is COMPLETELY unprecedented. No one knows what next week or next month is going to look like, and our phones keep blowing up with updates that frankly we’d be better off not reading since the vast majority of us are already well-informed enough.

But he has a right to stay calm and try to take things day by day, because other than practicing social distancing, there’s really not much any of us can do. And panicking doesn’t help much.

So what do they do?

They accept that none of this is personal.

Neither coping mechanism is the “right” one. Both of their brains are trying to grasp any straw of control during this exceptionally bananas time. And how that manifests is going to look different for everyone. So instead, they can try to learn from each other.

She can prepare him for what’s next and make sure the house is prepped. He can teach her how to breathe through it.

Together, they’re stronger. 
 

Be Intentional With Your Time Together

 
This is going to sound weird…but don’t just hang out to hang out.

Create quality time with your excess time. 

Pretend like you’re back in that time of your relationship when the two of you were just dating. What would you do when you hung out? You’d talk about interesting topics, watch a new movie, maybe play a game, and YES YOU WOULD GO OUTSIDE OF THE HOUSE BUT YOU CAN’T DO THAT RIGHT NOW so.

Be intentional. Grab a deck of cards and Google the rules to Gin Rummy or whatever people play when they play cards. See if you own a puzzle or order one online (delivery!) and get that up and running. Twister seems like an interesting game to whip out right now. Maybe do an exercise date together where you scroll through Yoga videos on YouTube and find one you like. Read a book together. Pretend like you’re cooking a nice meal together even if it’s just macaroni and cheese.

When you’re not in the mood to “do something” – have quiet time alone. Don’t force yourself to spend time with your spouse because you feel like you have to. You don’t. Put your headphones in and meditate. Listen to a podcast. Take a bath. Take a nap for all I care. Just don’t FORCE yourself into spending time with your spouse, because you will grow resentful.

Everyone gets sick of each other. Feeling indifferent about time with your partner right now is not a sign that you two aren’t suited for each other. It’s a sign that you are stir-crazy.

The key is to find something that doesn’t involve sitting on your butt and worrying about what the economy is going to look like a month from now or whether or not we are going to be stuck in this stupid condo for the next six weeks. That’s not helping. Instead, use this as an opportunity to reconnect with your relationship. If you throw this time away, you’ll regret it…and maybe come out of this weaker than you were when you entered. Don’t do that. That would be such a shame. Focus on playing. That’s going to help you survive this.
 

Create a New System Together

 
You’re wigging out. I’m wigging out. She’s wigging out. He’s wigging out. They’re wigging out. We are all FREAKING wigging out.

So to feel like a unified front, you’re going to have to come up with a new system. Together.

Y’all might have had separate finances before….and that might pose to be a little tricky right now if one of you, or both of you, is unemployed. (Moment of recognition for Andrew Yang whose bold policies may actually save our economy’s ass – let’s do this UBI!) Some of you might have forgiving landlords, and…..some might have the typical kind. One of you might have been in charge of the cooking or cleaning while the other spent more time working, and that’s going to seem a bit out of touch at the moment if you ask me! One of you might be an introvert, and one of you might be an extrovert.

The old system isn’t going to work anymore. The rules have changed and our behavior has altered. So you two have to adjust. And instead of just assuming things will fall into place (lol ya right) – y’all are going to need to talk about it.

It may be uncomfortable, but if you two have already decided to cohabitate, then you’ve already intertwined your lives to the point where these types of conversations should be invited.

Ask for what you need, and be ready to compromise for what your partner needs. Understand that these changes will probably not be permanent – but they will be your lifeline for the next few weeks (or longer).

This is what strong foundations are made out of – tough conversations in order to adapt to uncertain times. 

Don’t shy away from it. Give your relationship the tools it needs in order to survive.

 

I know this time is stressful for so many reasons – mind, body and spirit – but we’re still here for you.

 
As I mentioned earlier, Blush Online Life Coaching is releasing a new app which features unlimited chat with a personal masters level life coach, and due to these unforeseen circumstances, you can begin using it today. We know this is a tough time, and we are here to offer our support, guidance, commiseration, and short-term, personal solutions.

Stay safe everyone, and please don’t kill each other!

social distancing

Tips on How to Stay Mentally Healthy While Social Distancing

By | Self Love & Empowerment | 4 Comments

 

I have to start out by thanking anyone who even *clicked* on this article, because it means you are taking the proper precautions to flatten the COVID-19 curve. Social distancing is of the utmost importance right now, and I’m happy you are taking not only your own health seriously, but also the health of those who are elderly or have any sort of underlying health conditions that could make recovery difficult, if not impossible.

I know that isolation isn’t the easiest task, especially for you extroverts, so as a proud introvert who has been social distancing and working from home for YEARS, I’ve compiled some tips on how to help you stay mentally healthy while social distancing for (at least) the next few weeks.

Exercise

We have got to keep exercising. But please, please, please – do not go to the gym or to a packed studio. I’m not a doctor, but I would have to imagine catching *any* sort of virus is a lot easier in a crowded, sweaty, and energized room. People are out of breath and coughing and sneezing without being able to quickly find a tissue and just…let’s not.

But, for your own mental sanity, it’s best not to ditch the workout routine. I don’t know about you, but I’m stressed out. Like, really stressed out. My husband is still stuck in Europe, his job is basically over, and we don’t know when he’ll be employed again. Meanwhile I’ve got friends and family who are immunocompromised and I am hoping they don’t come in close contact with anyone who might be carrying the virus. (Remember, we don’t show symptoms for at minimum four days, and usually longer!)

And of course, none of this even encompasses the existential damages we’re all thinking about right now. Whew.

So yeah, I’m really freaking stressed.

Which means I can’t afford to not burn off some excess energy.

This isn’t a vanity push or even a physical health push – this is about turning off our anxious mental states and replacing our anxiety with endorphins. We could all use some of that right now.

Not sure how to exercise when you aren’t in a gym or a class? I can understand that. My advice is to search YouTube for some easy routines. Jumping jacks, jump roping, push-ups, and planks will serve you very well. If you are feeling absolutely cramped and need some space to move, a walk around the neighborhood is not going to violate social distancing as long as you stay at least six feet away from others. Just be sure to wash your hands before you leave and as soon as you return!

Meditate

Meditation is not just for the experts or woo-woos or gurus in the world. It’s easy as pie and can bring you *immediate* stress relief. You don’t even need an app to meditate if you don’t want one. All you have to do is close your eyes, sit somewhere comfortable, breathe in and out, and try to focus your mind on either 1) your breath or 2) something that makes you happy.

Dat’s it.

You don’t need to get super fancy with this at all. The goal is to calm down your nervous system and flush out those anxious feelings we get when we feel a complete and utter loss of control. Perceived control is not coming back into our hands anytime within the next month – so we have to cope. We must cope. And I believe that meditation is one of the easiest (and free!) forms of coping we can execute for ourselves.

If you’re looking for an app to use, I like Calm. I do not get a dime from referring them to you – I just wanted to share with you what works for me!

Do Something Small, but Actionable EveryDay

As humans, we like seeing results. We can’t help it. Instant gratification will never NOT be something we crave. Which is why during times of stress and turmoil, it’s good to go back to the basics.

Every single day, I want you to do *something* productive that gives you instant results. This could be as simple as doing the dishes. Organizing your closet (okay, that’s probably a big one if you’re anything like me.) Do the laundry. Cook a meal. Vacuum the floor. Clean out your dresser. Scrub your toilet. Trim your cat’s nails (this is very challenging in my house). Frankly I don’t really care what it is as long as it’s something that makes you instantly proud of yourself while you get to reap the benefits of the instant results.

The next few weeks/months/whatever are going to be stressful, so it’s okay to focus on the small things. Let them bring you joy.

Check in On People

While it may not be smart for you to do grocery runs or errands for your friends or family (every situation is different!), it’s always acceptable to check in on your people. Do you know any healthcare workers? I bet they could use your love. Has anyone in your circle been economically affected by COVID-19? If no one has yet, someone probably will, and I bet they would appreciate your support. And then of course, I’m sure most of our friends are white-knuckling it through this time of quarantine – so drop them a line, too.

We are extremely blessed to have technology that allows us to connect in such intimate ways while not putting others’ health at risk. Use it to your advantage. Try your best not to hole up and falsely believe that social distancing means we can’t have social connection. In fact, make it a goal to reach out to someone every single day. We all need to feel connected right now, and you doing your part will make this process so much more bearable.

Utilize Professionals

If you are feeling your mental health taking a big toll, please reach out and use an online service to alleviate the pressure. TeleDoc and other services can offer you treatment plans or even the prescriptions you need to make sure you’re operating at 100%. Services like ours, Blush, and others offer online texting and video chat so you can connect with someone who can assist you during this time without exposing anyone to the virus. We are here so you can vent, strategize, brainstorm, process, and move forward in your life regardless if you can’t walk out the front door.

Although it may feel like it, the world is not going to stop turning during this pandemic. You will still feel the typical stressors life brings.  Those career, relationship, friendship, and self-confidence triggers will find a way to slide into your life even if you physically remain at home. I encourage you to take your self-care seriously during this time and make sure you are leaning on the ones who can help you the most.

If you take anything away from this article, this is what I want to leave you with: Suffering in silence is never okay, even during an isolating time of crisis. Counselors and doctors and life coaches are still there for you, even if we’re separated by hundreds of miles.

Do Not Guilt Yourself Over Resting

I know so many of you are used to the “go-go-go!” lifestyle. You have a fulltime job, a circle of friends, maybe a relationship, a side hustle, and plenty of other things that you are constantly attending to.

So this whole social distancing thing has REALLY slowed your life down in a way you never thought possible.

If we can find ONE piece of silver lining in any of this, it’s rest.

Please do not shame yourself for resting right now. You are allowed to watch movies and bad television shows. You are allowed to take naps when you need to, even if you got a full night’s sleep the night before. You are free to stay in your pajamas and not wear makeup and take an extra day between your regular shampoos.

When’s the last time you’ve actually been given a chance to breathe? You might say “vacation” – but even then, we’re still under pressure to see the things we want to see or do the things we traveled to do. And if you say “the holidays” – girl, lol. As if the holidays aren’t beyond stressful. So take this chance now. Pack in the sleep. Put on those face masks. Journal to your heart’s content. Do whatever you can do to fill your soul.

We will overcome this. It will be painful and scary and anxiety-provoking, but we will see the other side of this pandemic. Your life will resume to it’s maddening fast pace, and when it does, I want you to step back into the world feeling refreshed and ready to kick some ass.

So…just chill out for a bit.

Leaning into the rest is going to help make this situation more bearable. Catch up on your sleep, your books, your shows, and that quality time your sweet lil pet has been missing out on. And when you hear that little voice in your head telling yourself to “be productive”shut it off. You are being productive. You are actively SAVING LIVES by staying indoors and practicing social distancing.

Never forget that.

single woman holidays

How to Stay Positive as a Single Woman During the Holidays

By | Self Love & Empowerment | No Comments

“….It’s the most wonderful time of yearrrrrrrr for uninvited and inappropriate questions or comments about other people’s relationship status! That’s how the song goes, right?

It happens every single damn year. You’re surrounded by family, friends, and coworkers – and someone asks a simple, but humiliating question about your dating life. I’m not sure if it’s all the ridiculous Kay Jewelers commercials (now Peloton!), the sudden end-of-year expectation for plus-ones at gatherings, or the extra shot of brandy that mysteriously landed in their eggnog, but SOMETHING is giving these inconsiderate fools the notion that they’re entitled to private details about others’ deeply personal matters.

And it’s gotta stop.

But as we all know, we can’t control others, we can only control ourselves. So the next few paragraphs are going to focus on advice tailored to you – the fabulous, intelligent, capable, friendly, sweet-natured, go-getter single woman that you are. This holiday season we aren’t going to let ANYONE – not yourself or others – put you down just because you have the courage to navigate this world on your own. So take a deep breath, and read all about how to stay positive as a single woman during the holiday season.
 

Go to the Holiday Party

You cannot sit this holiday out because you’re bummed about your relationship status. I mean, you can, but I don’t want you to.

Getting out of the house and mingling with others is good for the soul, even for us introverts. And resigning yourself to opting out of holiday gatherings just because you don’t have a plus one is only going to make you feel worse. Here’s the deal: most high functioning individuals don’t really take time to notice that you’re flying solo. In fact, they might prefer it that way. They get more of your attention and they don’t have to make small talk with a significant other they don’t really know yet. Plus…if your actual goal is to meet somebody to share the holidays with next year, what better way than to go to a festive party?

All I’m saying is you are a vital part of your family/friend group/work place, and it’s not fair to yourself or to anyone else to not show up because you’re worried about being perceived as “sad.” You’re not sad. You’re single. You get to call the shots in your own life. You can show up late and leave early without having to hang around while your significant other talks about the stock market or politics (guilty). Own it. If you don’t focus on your relationship status – neither will they. And, who knows….you just might have some fun.
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Brag About Yourself

For the love of God, please brag about your accomplishments. Because there are many. I don’t care if you didn’t have a typical “THIS YEAR WAS THE BEST YEAR YET” situation on your hands…but you did accomplish something, even if that did not include getting a significant other. Did you keep a job throughout the year? That’s a good start. Did you keep a houseplant alive, or better yet, a furry friend alive? Even better. Seriously – focus on the small victories and work your way up. And please, please, please – share them. You are already being IN-CRE-DIB-LY hard on yourself if you are reading this blog. You’re beating yourself up for not meeting someone special and deciding, hey, that warrants not being proud of any of the shit I did this past year.

Not cool.

I don’t care if you actually have to sit your butt down and write out all of the things you accomplished this past year. Get comfortable with the fact that you are an amazing person who deserves to take up all of the space all by yourself. And, please, for my sanity and yours – let people know about it. Allow yourself to take a compliment. Remind people that just because you don’t have a ring on your finger, you also deserve looks of beaming pride. You’ve earned it.
 

Practice Gratitude

In addition to going around town tooting your own horn (yas ma’am!), I also want you to seriously absorb the full magnitude of how blessed you are. Ok, so you don’t have someone to share the holidays with – but that’s only one component of ANYBODY’S life.

The secret to being happy in a relationship is being happy as an individual first.

If you can’t feel good about yourself and your choices, jumping into a relationship will result in compounded disappointment. So let’s focus on all of the things you are grateful for now. Do you have a supportive family? Do you like your friends? Are you happy with your career? Do you have a special furbaby you hold dear? And what about your interests or hobbies? Do you have a healthy exercise routine in place? Are your finances relatively in order? Consider everything you do in order to be a functional adult human being, and be GRATEFUL for it.
 

 

Clap Back

What we’re not going to do this holiday season is allow outdated or snide comments about your relationship status to enter your space. That’s what we’re not going to do.

I don’t care if they come from your well-intentioned Aunt Betty or your asshole coworker Kevin. Innocent or not, comments that infer your worth as a person isn’t fully developed until you’re in a relationship have no place in this century. And you’re going to have to quickly clap back.

Clapbacks are essentially just quippy boundaries that you set in place instantaneously. I recommend you come up with a few scripted lines for different audiences (you really don’t want to tell sweet Aunt Betty to “mind her own business, fool” at the dinner table) to have ready to roll whenever someone crosses a line. Here are some examples:

“Wouldn’t it be nice if you had a boyfriend?”…..“I think it’s nice that I’m really happy on my own.” 
“How come you haven’t met anybody yet?”….. “I’m too good for everyone, thanks for asking.”
“We can always count on you to be single!”….. “And I can always count on you to be rude!”
“Do you have a special someone you’d like to bring?”….. “Yes! Myself!”

Please note that if you’re not in the mood to be sassy (although I ALWAYS recommend being sassy!!) a simple, “My dating life is not a topic of conversation for today, thank you” will also suffice. The more you get used to throwing people’s rudeness, intentional or not, back in their face, the less they will take the risk of bringing it up.
 

 Set Positive Intentions

There’s nothing wrong with wanting to be in a relationship. I want to make that crystal clear. It’s ok if you are single and would rather be paired off – but that still doesn’t give you an excuse to feel poorly about yourself.

So this holiday season, let’s get a jump on New Year’s Resolutions. Let’s figure out what you’d like to do in preparation of being in a relationship. Because trust me, you will eventually pair off with someone. That’s how goals work. You set them, you achieve them, rinse and repeat.

Earlier we talked about practicing gratitude and how important it is for boosting your confidence. But if during that lecture you were thinking to yourself, “Hey – I’m really not happy about my career or friends or life habits,” then guess what? This is the time to make the change. Figure out what it is you aren’t cool with, and let’s figure it out together. And be GRATEFUL you AREN’T in a relationship during this change. Making big changes in a serious relationship takes two solid commitments – and if they aren’t on board, it makes it all the more tough to strive towards your goal. But right now, all you need is your dedication. And that you can easily count on!

Think about the positive changes you’d like to make for this coming season/month/year, and put it into action. Make the changes in your personal life and your dating life. If you’re attracting players and assholes, stop saying “yes” to pursuers who have obvious red flags. If you’ve been avoiding dates due to fear of rejection, force yourself to go on a coffee date to ease yourself in. If you aren’t finding anyone attractive/interesting/noteworthy, widen your net and start frequenting new venues. And, if ANY of this seems daunting – don’t worry. Positive, sustainable change is what Blush Online Life Coaching specializes in – so you’re in the right place. Give life coaching a try and see what it can do for you.
 

 

Do What You Want Before It’s Too Late

That’s right – time is a-tickin’. Regardless if you’re on the hunt for a relationship or you’re perfectly happy living that single life – at some point, you will probably find yourself in a twosome. Statistically, that’s what ends up happening. And you won’t have the freedom to make all of your holiday choices by yourself.

So that means, now is the time to book that tropical beach holiday you’ve been eyeing since 2014. Don’t put off those quirky holiday dreams of yours! You have the power and flexibility to spend your holiday HOWEVER you’d like to, no questions asked. Getting into a relationship comes with….certain obligations. Time tends to be split during the holidays, and you’re no longer the only voice getting to dictate how and when time and energy is divided. So take advantage now. Do whatever the hell you want. Stay at home and bake Christmas cookies while drinking red wine. Stay at your mom’s house for an entire week. Fly to Mexico and go ziplining. Backpack around Europe (it might be chilly, but that’s ok!). Do whatever in your mind sounds like a whole lot of fun – because you may not always have the space or time to do so in the future.
 

Celebrate Your Community

Be as generous AF with the people you love. Thanks to hyped up commercialism this time of year, we are programmed to believe that the holidays is strictly a time for romance. And while, sure, husbands and wives and girlfriends and boyfriends do tend to exchange gifts and take some extra time together, that doesn’t mean you are excluded from the season.

Giving and receiving gifts (no matter the cost!) is such a fun way to bring intimacy to a community, and you should not exclude yourself from the holiday joy just because you’re single. That’s the silliest thing I’ve ever heard. So go on, girl – shower your community! Bake cookies, buy candles, send wine – show your tribe how appreciative you are of them, and let them do the same for you in return. You deserve to feel loved EVERY year, and this is the perfect opportunity to send the message home. And, if you’re looking for inspiration for gifts, we’ve got a list right here!

 

Happy holidays lovelies! Go have fun! 
 

20 Self-Care Holiday Gifts from $5 to $100

By | Friendships, Self Love & Empowerment | No Comments

It’s that time of year again.

 

If you’re trying to find the perfect budget-friendly self-care holiday gifts for friends, sisters, cousins, mom, aunts, or coworkers – we’ve got you covered. These gifts span from just $4.99 all the way to $100. Spoil your circle with these 20 trending self-care gifts of the holiday season. And just a quick note – none of these links are affiliate links! We just full heartedly believe in these products and services.

Happy shopping! 

 

Irreverent Adult Coloring Book 

 

 

This is one of my favorite ways to mellow out and get my stress out of my system. Coloring brings us back to a time of simplicity and bliss. And don’t we all want to feel light again at the end of a long week? Instead of reaching for the wine (ok, reach for that, too) – opt for a sassy coloring book that will not only help you articulate exactly how you are feeling (“Namaste. Now fuck off.”). Be sure to grab some colored pencils too!

Amazon – $4.99

 

Indian Healing Clay for Face and Body Masks

Pamper yourself or a friend with a tub of the most highly reviewed (18,000+) indian clay on Amazon. Reviewers rave about the masks ability to cleanse skin and eliminate pimples, while also removing toxins, makeup, and dirt that could be lurking in your skin. It’s great for sensitive skin as well as anyone who is acne prone. Or, just use it for a nice relaxing self-care evening filled with spa activities!

Amazon – $6.99

 

Lavender Sleep Mask

 

After a stressful day, the last thing you want to do is stay awake in bed all night replaying every detail over and over again (been there, done that.) So instead, why don’t you fall asleep to the most amazing scent in the universe: lavender. These eye pillows will not only feel and smell fantastic on your poor little stressed out face, but they will also block out any stray lighting that could awaken you too early in the morning (daylight savings time is KILLING me). For less than $12, I’d say this is worth it.

Amazon – $11.95

 

Quarter Life Crisis Book 

 

If your friend is “going through it” (we all know what that means, don’t we!) why don’t you give her a solve-all book that could help her figure out exactly what she’s struggling with, and how to overcome it? This book focuses on career, relationships, friendships, self-confidence, and the ever-looming quarter life crisis that strikes us all. It’s a short easy read, and it’s the best book ever according to my mommy!

Amazon – $14.99

 

You Are a Badass 2020 Calendar

This really is the gift that keeps on giving. With this inspirational calendar, you or a friend could have 365 Jen Sincero messages telling you that you ARE good enough, you CAN get through this, and you WILL take over the world one day at a time. Get your game face on for 2020 and gift your friend with some old school encouragement. Self-care every damn day of 2020 y’all!

Barnes and Noble – $15.99

 

Girls Doing Whatever TF They Want KeyChain

 

 

This is my favorite small little thang that I own. I got the 2019 version – so I may need to update mine soon – but regardless, every time I see it I smile. I feel empowered. I feel like I can do whatever the fuck I want because I’m a girl and I rule. And while it might not be the most obvious self-care gift – I would argue that it’s the best self-care gift of them all. We use our keys every single day – and wouldn’t it feel nice to get a boost every time you grab for them?  Yes it would. *Purchased*

The Wing Merch – $17.50

 

NeverTheLess She Persisted Puzzle

 

De-stressing is an artform, and sometimes we need quite the distraction to get our mind off of things. I can’t think of anything up for the task better than your favorite feminist heroes all together on a puzzle for your entertainment! Pull this baby out with friends, family, or by yourself after you’ve had quite a day. Get your mind energized and your spirits high while you let our icons do their job.

Uncommon Goods – $18.00

 

I Dissent Board Game

 

 

Ok, so you’re not a puzzle person? That’s fine! But seriously…forget Cards Against Humanity or What Do You Meme! This is the new ultimate game for any badass female out there. In fact, dare I say, this is THE perfect feminist board game for a fun Saturday night or a lazy Sunday afternoon. Channel your inner RBG and show them who’s boss while you unwind with some clever competitive banter.

Target – $19.99

 

I Am Enough Ring

 

If you or your friend is feeling down about themselves, this is the chance to put a daily reminder on their finger. This adorable, simple, and elegant ring from Etsy is the perfect sweet gift for anyone who needs a reminder that they are MORE than enough as themselves in this world. If they’re single, perhaps this ring is the first step in the right direction of calling themselves “self-partnered” (thank you Emma!) But even if you or your friend is attached – it’s still nice to get jewelry that’s just for you! Self-care for the bling bling win!

Etsy – $23.00

 

Adorable Houseshoes 

 

I am a big believer in comfy clothes you can wear outdoors without feeling like a total freak – and in my humble opinion – these fit the bill. They are furry and adorable, but also have a cute stylish feel to them. Plenty of reviewers noted they could wear them outdoors, which of course, sold me. So for those days when you just don’t feel like putting on jeans and tennis shoes, grab these and slay the day.

Amazon – $23.99

 

Oil Diffuser

You know that scent when you walk into a spa for the first time and you’re instantly relaxed? Imagine feeling that way every time you walk into your living room. Ahhh. Bliss. Get yourself or a friend an oil diffuser for those days when you’d love a spa day, but life isn’t allowing for it. This particular oil diffuser is easy on the eyes if I do say so myself. And while you’re at it, grab some oils from Amazon for less than $10 as well. Let’s just get all self-cared up in here.

Amazon – $29.99

 

Cupcake Personalized Onesie

I mean…who DOESN’T want a personalized cupcake onesie, amiright? Ok…just me? I have to admit – I do have a onesie from this exact Etsy store (it’s navy with my name in sparkly silver letters – that’s right – they offer GLITTER font) and absolutely love it. I’ve worn it for movie nights, to onesie parties (yes they are a thing), on the weekends when I don’t have anything in particular to do…it’s the best. Onesies keep you warm in style while also bringing you back to childhood nostalgia days. So go ahead – live that anxiety-free baby life and de-stress your way to snuggle happiness!

Etsy – $39.00

 

Portable Back Massager

 

 

When you’re so stressed out that it’s starting to physically manifest – it’s time to do some serious self-care. While I totally recommend getting a massage by a professional, not everyone can afford that, nor does everyone like being touched by strangers. So instead, you could invest in a portable massager that works at home or in your car. Get those knots out of your upper and lower back while you sip on some wine and listen to a podcast. Sounds like a good weekend to me!

Amazon – $44.95

 

Life Coaching Session

 

video counseling

For anyone trying to go through this life solving their own problems – my heart goes out to you. That’s a tough way to do it. So for this holiday season, give the gift of figuring out your problems with someone who actually knows how to help. Blush online life coaching doesn’t just listen to what you have to say – they give input. That’s right. They actually give advice, opinions, strategies, solutions…you know, the stuff you’re actually looking for. Hook a friend (or yourself!) up with a $50 online sesh and see what she can accomplish. Don’t think you can get more self-carey than this!

Blush Online Life Coaching – $50

 

Beginner’s Scarf Knitting Kit

 

Ok, this might seem a bit old lady to some of you – but knitting is actually a great way to de-stress. It allows to use your hands, it’s repetitive, it’s not super challenging, and it even yields a cute accessory on the other end of it! Most of us aren’t the most skilled of knitters, so a beginner’s kit is probably a good intro gift to yourself or to a fellow stressed out human. There’s plenty of colors to choose from, you can choose to create a scarf OR a snood (wwowww) and make sure you select the options with needles if you don’t have a sewing kit at home. Self-care scarfs!!!

Etsy – $67.11

 

Lou and Grey Sweatpants

 

These are legitimately the most comfy sweatpants I’ve ever owned. I’m not the kind to spend $70 on sweatpants (and I didn’t, I got them as swag as an event so I cheated) but if I lost them, I would have to bite the bullet and buy them. To me, these are the epitome of self-care: not getting dressed up but also not looking miz. For real, they have such a nice shape to them, so I don’t feel like a hot mess running around in them at the grocery store. If you or your friend are looking for the ultimate sweatpants to wear around the house or around town – look no further.

Lou + Grey – $69.50

 

Peter Thomas Roth’s Mix Mask + Hydrate 

 

I absolutely adore Peter Thomas Roth’s cucumber gel eye mask thingamabobs. I used them before my wedding and continue to use them after a stressful night of sleep or whenever it’s particularly dry outside. So when I saw a complete set of his mini offerings – I had to put them on this list. If you or a friend of yours is in the market for some super hydrating, feel-good products, this is the perfect intro into all that is Peter Thomas Roth. You or your friend will be very pleased with your new self-care ritual and your skin!

Sephora – $75.00

 

Custom iPhone Case

 

Ok, so these aren’t really self-care related. But they are so dang cute. I mean, look at them. You could get leopard! Bright red! They even have subtle millennial pink! I mean who doesn’t want a cute iPhone case with their name on it!? Think of it this way: they will never lose their phone at a party because EVERYONE will know whose phone it is! So it eliminates…anxiety! See? Self-care all the way.

BaubleBar – $78.00

 

Stagg Gooseneck Kettle


 

Don’t you just want to cozy up with a nice warm cup of tea from the sleekest most chic little kettle you’ve just ever seen in your life? I mean, might as well de-stress in fashion. You or a friend would use the holy hell out of this kettle now that the weather has turned and it’s officially tea-drinking season until AT LEAST March. Self-care for the entire season!

Crate and Barrel – $79

 

ClassPass Gift Card

 

Exercise is such a great form of self-care – le duh. The problem is, exercise is not one size fits all. Some people prefer biking, some people prefer walking, some people like HIIT, and others won’t touch it if it’s not under water. So why try and guess? Instead grab a ClassPass gift card so your friend can decide what classes she’d like to take herself. She might love the flexibility and variety of choice and stick with ClassPass – or maybe she’ll find a studio she adores and stick to that. Either way, you win!

ClassPass – $100

cut yourself slack

5 Signs It’s Time To Cut Yourself Some Slack

By | Self Love & Empowerment | No Comments

 
It might seem odd that a life coach is offering advice on when to push the brakes instead of the gas, but I’m of the mindset that the highest form of personal development balances self-acceptance with self-improvement. We focus *a lot* on self-improvement: boundaries, confidence, relationships, career – but what about self-acceptance? What are the signs it’s time to cut yourself some slack and just accept the fact that not everything needs to be perfect?

I’ve outlined five different telltale signs that it’s time to give yourself a break and cut yourself some slack.

 

1. You’re Frustrated with Things Outside of Your Control

Being hard on yourself for things that you cannot possibly control is a super big waste of time. And if you think about it – you probably do it a lot.

How often have you gotten upset that something didn’t go exactly the way it was supposed to? How often have you internalized it – thinking that if you had planned better, paid more attention, put more thought or energy into something – it would have turned out better? You go over every little detail to figure out exactly what you could have done differently – and while you find some things here or there, you just decide YOU are the issue.

Which is 100% wrong.

There are SO many external factors that contribute to things all the time that are not in your control. You can’t control the weather. You can’t control people’s thoughts or feelings. You can’t control schedules and availability. You can’t control the economy. You really can’t control much of anything, really…except yourself.

You can control how you react to things not going your way. And my best advice, is to cut yourself some slack. 

You are doing the best you can to function in a world you have no power over – and there’s no reason to beat yourself up when things don’t go well. Something will always go wrong and people will always be disappointed – it’s just the way it goes – so there’s no need to make yourself feel even worse. Shit is bound to go wrong with so many factors working against us. So take a deep breath, and thank yourself for trying.

 

2. You Made a Solid Effort

I personally believe that you should reward for yourself for TRYING more so than for WINNING.

Focusing on things going perfectly is a great way to develop an anxiety disorder, because we all know things are bound to go sideways at some point. And that’s not me being a pessimist – that’s just a fact. Those who are happiest in this life are those who don’t worry about winning or perfect – they focus on the process of it all.

And that’s what I’m asking you do to right now. Focus on the process. Did you put some effort into it? Did you try to offer the best you could? Then that’s good enough for me. And it should be good enough for you, too.

But…before you say, “Yeah…but I could have tried harder!” – I encourage you to take pause. We physically cannot give 100% of our efforts everything. We don’t have the time or the energy or the knowledge or the bandwidth or whatever else to do so. And not only that, we shouldn’t.

Things in our life need to take priority. Things like….keeping our stress levels at bay. Spending time with friends and family. Producing quality work. Being creative. Enjoying ourselves. We need to be able to disperse effort in a proportion that makes sense to our values. Otherwise, you’re going to burn out. So next time you start to beat yourself up over the concept of “effort” – ask yourself if this situation is the MOST important thing to you. Is it really a huge deal breaker in your life? Will you even think about it in 5 years?

Didn’t think so. So cut yourself some slack.

 

3. Your Had Good Intentions

Intentions might not be everything, but they sure as hell count.

If you managed to make a big ole mess-up, but know in your heart that you did not INTEND to do so – I am a full believer in giving yourself a break.

However, I’m also a big believer in owning, acknowledging and apologizing for your actions. Even if you didn’t mean to mess anything up or hurt someone’s feelings – it still happened. And you can definitely be accountable for that. But you don’t need to beat yourself up for it. Do what you gotta do, and move on. Beating yourself up for something you didn’t intentionally mean to do is just being cruel to yourself. You already feel bad enough for the mistake, so there’s no need to taunt yourself for days and weeks.

Be nice to yourself. It will all blow over, anyway.

 

4. You Failed

Failure sucks.

But it sucks even more when you blame yourself for it instead of just chalking it up to a normal part of life. Reading too much into failure leads to blame – and that’s unhealthy on all accounts. Instead, try to look at failure as inspiration. Perhaps you learned something along the way that can help you succeed next time. Or maybe whatever you’re trying to succeed in really isn’t for you, and it’s time to move onto other endeavors. Whatever the lesson you pull from failing, don’t let it be that you aren’t good enough. That’s just not true. Loosen up – failure won’t kill you! It will only help you refine your journey.

 

5. You’re Comparing Yourself

When you compare yourself to someone else, you’re just asking to beat yourself up over God knows what. So I’m going to need you to stop doing that ASAP.

Because when we compare ourselves to others – we usually compare ourselves to those who are *seemingly* doing sOoOoOoO much better than we are. And we rarely, if EVER, have all of the facts. Instead, we have a few pieces of information and we fill in the gaps ourselves. And we’re usually dead wrong.

So when you catch yourself comparing yourself to someone else – please refrain from putting yourself down in the process. You have zero clue what the full scope of someone’s life entails, and therefore it’s impossible to accurately compare your life to anyone else’s. It’s fine to notice or support what others are doing – that’s natural! But please don’t spiral into a whole *I’m not worthy of the dirt beneath my feet* episode. It’s not productive and it just creates unnecessary hurt for you.

 

Find yourself continuously being hard on yourself?

It might be time for some one on one support. Blush Online Life Coaching offers personalized coaching for as little as $79/mo. Start working with your very own life coach so you can ease up on yourself, and finally enjoy the life you live.

 

easy tips to boost confidence

10 Easy Tips To Boost Your Confidence

By | Self Love & Empowerment | No Comments

Not sure if you’re doing anything right? Feel like you’re constantly criticizing yourself or doubting yourself? Wonder how everyone else around you seems to navigate this life flawlessly, but you seem to be behind? Then you need some easy tips to boost your confidence, because trust me, you’re doing better than you think.

Confidence is not something we’re born with – it’s something we develop over time through good habits and good people. So if you’re feeling like you are resigned to being insecure your entire life, I love you, but you’re wrong. You can be just as confident as Lizzo if you just take the time to work on it. And I’m here to help you get started. Read more about ten EASY tips you can use to boost your confidence:

 

1. Spend More Time Alone

One of the easiest ways I’ve found to build up my confidence is to spend a lot of time by myself. And my cats.

Ok, I can see how that makes me sound like somewhat of a loser, but just stick with me here.

Spending time alone forces you to get used to hearing your own thoughts. You realize how smart you are, how insightful you are, and how funny you are. You’re a hoot! You realize that you have more opinions than maybe you thought you did. Or maybe you finally admit that you don’t give an F about sports and would rather go take a long walk outside. It’s good to clock these things – because the more you get to know yourself (and get comfortable with it), the less insecure you’ll feel around others.

In grad school I was taught that proximity leads to familiarity, which leads to likability. Meaning, you tend to grow attraction for people you’re around all the time. Very rarely do I hear “love at first sight” stories in my line of work. Usually people developed feelings for each other over time, like at work or school, because they see each other a lot. The proximity to each other lead to being familiar with each other, and we tend to like things we’re familiar with. This is all a long way to say SPEND TIME WITH YOURSELF SO YOU CAN BECOME FAMILIAR WITH YOURSELF AND THEN LIKE YOURSELF. It works.

Maybe most importantly, spending time alone showcases just how much of a bitch you are to yourself.

Have you ever looked in the mirror and silently said, “…ew.” 

Yep, me too. And it’s really fucking rude.

Call yourself out when you catch yourself doing this. It’s a lot easier to do it when you’re home alone because you aren’t distracted by other people’s yapping. And, when you get good at recognizing what you’re saying and when you’re saying it, you can try to reframe it before it even happens. Which leads me to…
 

2. Ask The Magic Question

“What would I say to a friend?”

It’s that simple. Confidence is all about feeling *good.* And when we are MEAN to ourselves, we don’t feel good. I bet half the shit you say to yourself you would NEVER say to a friend. Absolutely never. Because if you spoke like that to others, you probably wouldn’t have any friends.

So before you silently spat off to yourself, ask yourself if you would say what you’re about to say to a friend. If the answer is no, then go deeper. What WOULD you say to a friend when she’s feeling insecure?

You’d say to your friend that she looks amazing. That she’s smart. That she’s the perfect combo of classy and sassy. That everyone loves her. That she’s going to get the job. That if he doesn’t text her back, he’s insane. That she’s a rockstar. That she’s going to be so successful. That she deserves that ice cream. That she’s earned that promotion. That she’s kind. That she’s special.

If you can say it to her, you can say it to yourself. Because guess what? Friends attract like-minded people. So if she’s all of those things, you are, too.
 

3. Surround Yourself with Positive People

Here’s a shortcut to being confident: hang around people who support you no matter what.

It is infinitely easier to feel secure about yourself and your choices when your group is always here for it. And on the flip side, even the most confident person can feel like utter poop when they’re around negative people who question or judge their every move. No one is that resilient! We all have insecurities and achilles heels we don’t want poked by others. But negative people, man, they have a way to get under your skin no matter how clever you are at hiding your flaws.

If you’re having issues finding negative people, go solo for a bit. Protect your energy and hole up while you figure out what kind people bring out the best in you. Once you figure that out, think about where they might be hanging out. If you’re tired of being surrounded by workaholics, try going to the dog park at 5pm on a Tuesday. If you’re ready to hang out with people who like being outdoors, campsites and hiking trails will be full of adventurers. And so on and so forth.

Point is, feeling confident is an uphill battle when you’re surrounded by people who will tear it down the first chance they get. Confidence is contagious, so focus on being with kind, good natured cheerleaders who can help you find your inner Positive Polly.


 

4. Talk to Someone

The :::easiest::: way for your confidence to take a nosedive is to ruminate over stupid things. Your brain has a funny way of spinning small crap into massive shit storms in a matter of minutes. It’s not healthy to have our negative thoughts bounce around our minds with nowhere to go. Which is why you need to release them when you can.

But you gotta be careful about releasing negative, vulnerable thoughts to just anyone. Like I already said – it’s crucial to surround yourself with positive people. Ideally a few of them are great confidantes who won’t judge and who can even offer some sound advice/encouragement on the backend. And if that’s the case, you are extremely lucky. But if you don’t feel super secure (or safe), it’s good to practice with a professional.

Counselors and coaches are the perfect starting point for building confidence. They will teach you how to eliminate negative thinking, offer feedback when you start to slip, encourage you when you need it, offer validation when appropriate, and cheer you on the entire way. Plus, once you feel comfortable gushing out your thoughts and feelings to a coach/counselor, it’s MUCH easier to become vulnerable with friends and family. What’s even more – coaches and counselors can help you identify the people in your life who seem like good eggs, and help you weed out those who could be contributing to your deficit in confidence.

Sounds like a pretty incredible solution if you ask me. Shameless plug – this blog is part of an online life coaching site that offers personalized coaching for $79/mo. And it’s all online. Come check it out!

5. Take Care of Yourself

It’s hard to feel good about yourself when you haven’t had a sip of water in a week and you’re averaging 4 hours of sleep per night.

The little things matter. Hydrate. Sleep. Wash your face. Put decent food into your body. Exercise a bit. Call your mom. Do things that you know are good for you, but you’ve been putting off. The little things add up over time. Our body can sense when we are investing in it, so of course it’s going to feel like a big sad face if you are ignoring it! Your physical self is highly connected to your mental and emotional self. You cannot ignore one part of the triangle and expect the rest to pick up the slack – it doesn’t work like that. So if you’re filling your head with god awful slasher movies and influencer beauty tutorials while running on iced coffee and advil, you’re probably not going to feel too hot about yourself. When your confidence is slipping, look into other pillars and see if you can make some healthy adjustments. You won’t regret it.
 

6. Do Nice things For Others

I think Kristen Bell explained this one more eloquently than I ever could on the debut episode of Dax Shepard’s podcast Armchair Expert. She talked a lot about happiness vs. suffering, and how she tends to live her life by doing things that create happiness, and avoiding things that generate suffering. I liked her take on it. As she continued on, it dawned on myself – and her – that a lot of the happiness she generates is by doing nice things for herself and for others. It’s really that simple.

When you do something good for yourself (going on a long walk) or for someone else (carrying someone’s groceries) – we feel good. We know that our time was productive. We feel like we have purpose or that we contributed to society in some small way. It’s a great feeling. And the more we concentrate on the amount of happiness we strive to generate, the better we are going to feel about ourselves. This is not to say we need to adhere to loose boundaries – no ma’am – but we can search for opportunities that help others in ways we are capable of providing.
 

7. Resist Comparing

This is going to be the hardest one on the list. It’s so, so, so, so hard to not compare yourself. There are days when I absolutely suck at it, and days where I’m the master guru for all of humanity at it.

Today I’m at a solid medium, so I’ll try my best!

There is a difference between noticing or supporting what others are doing, and comparing yourself to what others are doing. It is virtually iMpOsSibLe to never have any sort of pulse on what others are up to thanks to social media. But, even if you aren’t on Twitter or Insta (but you should really get on Twitter, it’s friggin hilarious) you would STILL be in the loop with what your family members, friends, friends of friends, and coworkers are up to because you have conversations with other humans.

It’s inescapable.

So here comes the tricky part. You’re going to have to draw a boundary with yourself. You cannot line up what you are doing next to what someone else is doing. Why? Because there are simply too many variables at play. It’s not a logical comparison, and it’s not helpful to anyone. You have zero clue where this other person is in their journey, what their childhood was like, how much student debt they had to deal with or not deal with, whether or not they are happy, if they like their boss or career, what their relationship is like behind closed doors, or what their hopes and dreams for their future hold. There’s just no way you have all of that information. So comparing your own journey to theirs is simply unfair. You don’t have any of the necessary data to make a sound judgment. Period.

But subconsciously, you know that already. Which is why you fill in the gaps yourself.

You assume they are the HaPpIeSt person alive. You make up whatever story in your mind to make you feel even WORSE about yourself. If you admire hard work and feel guilty for having a privileged background, then you decide this person you’re envious of worked for every single thing they have. If you have a chip on your shoulder from a rough upbringing, you assume they had everything handed to them. It’s a trick of the mind that affects all of us – and all it does is point out what we’re insecure or upset over at the moment. But you already know what you’re upset about…so again…it’s pretty useless.

Instead, learn to acknowledge and support others. Resist the urge to do a side by side comparison, and just ASSUME that you two are in completely different hemispheres when it comes to starting point and ending points.

When I’m really struggling with this, sometimes I try to fill in the gaps in a way that helps me feel better. I don’t necessarily put others down – but I do try to push myself up instead of shoving myself down like I used to do.

For instance, not too long ago I found myself at a 3 million dollar Los Angeles home in the Hills for an event. I walked in to meet the host, expecting to be greeted someone 20 years my senior, but instead found myself staring straight in the face of a woman who looked just like me. Except she was skinnier, had nicer clothes, was obviously more successful, and was definitely MY AGE.

I mean mother f#@%$*!

Notttttttt what I was anticipating. And it took just about all of me to not spiral into a frenzy of “WHAT IS MY LIFE EVEN? HOW DID I END UP HERE AND SHE’S THERE?” I mean, don’t get me wrong, I obviously did for a second. Like c’mon guys, I’m not made of stone. But then I realized, ok. Breathe. Perhaps I’m in the beginning of my journey and she’s at the end-ish. Perhaps she started on third base. I don’t really know. Because I don’t know her at all.

I used those tactics to calm myself down and reach equilibrium. Then, I started going over my values, and realized there is no reason to compare myself to someone just because of their social status. It’s silly. But I’ll get to that later.
 

8. Remember, Life Isn’t a Contest

Life isn’t a contest because there’s always going to be someone better than you. oOoOoOoO BURN.

lololol I know that’s so harsh, but omg it’s so true. Name a singer, and I’ll name someone better. Name an athlete, I’ll name one better. And guess what? We will both be right, because it’s virtually impossible to compare these things. It’s all in the ears or eyes of the beholder.

But the point is, there’s a lot of people sharing this earth. And a lot of us are extremely talented. So if your goal in life is to be THE BEST…then this is going to be one long and miserable life for you. I’m not telling you to give up on whatever your dream is, but I am telling you to be ok with the fact that you might come across people who are better. And once you accept that, life is going to be so much more enjoyable for you! You’ll be able to practice your craft or enjoy your hobbies or meet your goals without this crazy intense pressure of winning. Instead, you’ll relax. You’ll realize it’s all apart of the journey, and it doesn’t really matter how everyone else stacks up. All that matters, is that you’re happy and confident in your choices.

TL;DR: Winning won’t make you confident.

Just ask any famous rockstar who found themselves in the terrors of addiction or Kevin Pearson from This Is Us. It doesn’t work that way. Confidence and happiness come from within, not from awards, accolades, or recognition. You have to think your life is amazing before anyone else.
 

9. Focus on Your Values

Confidence is a product of self love and security. When you feel love for yourself and love from others, confidence will burst out of your seams. Love from others comes from being vulnerable with family members or sourcing a chosen family that will stand by you always. The other part, the self-love, is harder to develop.

But the more I think about it, the more I’ve realized that self love really stems from respecting and loving your values. Values are what drive our decision making in our careers, relationships, friendships, faith, finances, and pretty much anything else. So if you don’t respect your own values, your chances at self-love are going to be slim.

Perhaps that means you need to make some adjustments. Earlier, I wrote about feeling inferior and insecure while comparing myself to a woman owning a $3 million mansion in the Hills as a young 30-something. After I quickly spiraled into an anxiety frenzy, I was able to recognize that monetary value should not be one of my top values. And in fact, it isn’t. Sure, I have monetary goals just like anyone else – but I don’t want it to be my end-all-be-all. If I did, I’d probably be in a different profession. Pretty sure Wall Street pays better than counseling and coaching.

But I like that about myself. I like that I value helping others more than money. I like that I also value creativity and ambition more than security and routine.

But not all of my values are admirable. For instance, I get judged A LOT for my two bengal kitties whom I did not adopt. I have a severe allergy to cats (and dogs, too), but my husband, a devout cat person, and I wanted a furry companion at home. So, when I found out that Bengal cats were hypoallergenic (it’s true!), I went for it. I chose to purchase a pet for the sake of my own allergies rather than rescue a kitty that would create a sneezing frenzy daily. Plus bengal cats are SO cool.

It’s fine. You can judge me. After reflection, I’ve decided I don’t feel bad about it and I can be confident in showing off my ridiculously cute pets. All because I focused in on my values (comfort, health, productivity) instead of bending the will to others’ values (adopt don’t shop no matter WHAT!). If you fall in the latter camp, that’s amazing. I really respect that and am so glad people like you exist. Sorry you might probably definitely hate me!

Point of all of this is to encourage you to dive into your values. Focus on what you want out of life and boil it into one word. Reflect on your choices and see if you can figure out what was driving them. The better acquainted you become with your values, the more secure and confident you’ll feel, because your behaviors and thoughts will start to make PERFECT sense. Everything will feel congruent, and not feeling proud or confident about it would be so bizarre. And if that’s the case, then you need to CHANGE your values so you feel more aligned with who you really are.
 

10. Do Nice Things For Yourself

We covered doing nice things for others. We covered taking care of yourself. But now I want you to do something nice for yourself.

Maybe that means buying nice mascara and putting it on when you’re feeling a little blah. Maybe it means going to see that movie you really wanted to see by yourself. Or perhaps it means canceling all your plans and taking a bubble bath while listening to Prince (Oh wait…that’s Pretty Woman. But still you get it.) It’s not just about doing all the “right” things like sleeping and eating well. Life is meant to be enjoyed – and it’s hard to feel confident when we are constantly worrying about what is “good” for us and what is “bad” for us. Indulgence can be FANTASTIC for us. I have no doubt in the world it releases dopamine and serotonin and all of those happy feelers.

I also would think that it gives you that much needed release of just NOT giving a FUCK.

I don’t know about you – but I’m one of those girls who gives a fuck about everything. This whole “IDGAF” culture and I do not mesh. I was born caring. And it’s only gotten worse with age. So I need to be nice to myself, otherwise I’m just going to be constantly taking EVERYTHING too seriously. People actually comment on the fact that I seem so “laid back” and “anxiety-free” which is hysterical, because I can definitely be tightly wound. But instead of leaning into that tendency – I try to lean out of it whenever possible. And that usually involves The West Wing, a long walk, cuddles with my kitties or a glass of red wine.

I want you to be able to relax and invest in yourself in ways that aren’t necessarily “healthy.” Focuses on whether or not it’s healthy is still stressing out about something, and that creates an atmosphere of self-doubt or judgment, and that isn’t a great environment for confidence. So just go offline for a bit (literally and metaphorically) and eat a cake pop in your robe. You’ll be fine. And probably feel better for it later.
 

Need a big girl boost of confidence?

I hear you, girl. Life can be rough – especially if you feel like you’ve got no one in your corner. But that’s what Blush is for! Work with one of our professional coaches online and see your confidence uptick with each month that passes. Coaching starts at $79/mo – so you have no excuse. Join us today so you can leave self-doubt behind.

setting boundaries

9 Benefits of Setting Boundaries

By | Career + Academics, Friendships, Relationships, Self Improvement | No Comments

 
Let’s talk about the benefits of setting boundaries.

But, before we go into the benefits…what exactly is a boundary?

A boundary is an imaginary line that separates your body, feelings, thoughts, needs, and responsibilities from others.

 
They can come in many different forms, but are typically put in place to protect yourself from poor treatment or situations. In its simplest form, boundaries are one word: “No.” But they can become much more complex than that, such as “I will not stay at the office past 6pm for my own mental health,” or “I will unfollow people on social media who bring up my feelings of insecurity” or “I will not stay in friendships or relationships with people who disrespect me.” 

Typically when you set a boundary, it has to happen more than once. The best way to know if a healthy boundary has been set, is to see how fiercely people push back. The stronger the pushback, the more necessary the boundary. 

While boundaries are definitely not easy to set, the rewards and benefits that come with them make boundaries more than worth it. Read more about nine benefits of setting boundaries:
 

1. Setting Boundaries Means You’re an Actual Adult

The most obvious benefit of setting boundaries is not having to do the things you don’t want to do, so you can do things you do want to do. Even if that means doing nothing.

Being an adult is hard enough. We have to constantly think about paying bills, to-do lists, performing at work, taking care of whatever critters back at home, being nice to strangers, and not getting abducted walking to the grocery store (wait, that’s just women!). But you get the point.

So the L A S T thing we want to do is take over some bullshit committee at work, arrive early to a dog’s birthday party to help set up, or write some unpaid article “for exposure.” We just don’t have the time or energy for it. And frankly, even if we DID, that doesn’t mean we need to be jumping out of our seat for every favor someone asks of us. We don’t need a reason. We are fully functioning adults with agency and we can spend our time HOWEVER we LIKE.

But we forget that rule! Like, every day!

So next time you’re thinking about setting a boundary and feel a bit iffy about it – remember that you’re a full blown adult. And you can do whatever the fuck you want.
 

 

2. Boundaries Protect Your Energy

Ok so if the whole “I’m a Big Girl Now” logic didn’t quite stick with you, I’ve got another one for you.

When you continuously jump through hoops for others, you leave little to no time to energy for yourself. And you need time and energy. You need time and energy to do house chores, you need time and energy to play with fur babies…(or actual babies)…you need time and energy for your job so you don’t get fired, and you need time and energy for your friends/family/spouse.

So if my math is correct…you need a lot of time and energy.

Which means you can’t be giving it away all willy nilly! No ma’am! You have to be really selective!

Creating boundaries with others protects you from totally depleting your energy before using it up on things you actually need in your life. You need to be present for people and you need to take care of yourself. You don’t need to listen to a neighbor vent about their grandchildren’s poor decision choices for an hour.
 

 

3. Boundaries Reduce Resentment

We all know what it feels like to be taken advantage of. It’s the actual worst.

Not only do you feel betrayed by someone you trusted who completely abused the relationship, but you also feel pretty stupid for getting yourself into this situation in the first place. Very rarely do you not have a hand in getting yourself trapped into a thankless dynamic. You are responsible for deciding how you spend your time, and when you say “yes” to a small thing…and another thing…and oh yeah, that other thing…people start to think you have all the time in the world. Or that you’re super woman. Or that you don’t sleep. So they keep piling it on. And then eventually, you grow pretty freaking resentful that you are even involved in whatever it is in the first place.

So let’s avoid those situations, yeah?

It’s really easy to do so, too. Whenever someone asks you to do something you don’t want to do, just say no.

That’s all. It’s pretty easy.

Don’t worry, you won’t turn everything down. There are plenty of people and plenty of events and plenty of situations where you’ll actually want to help out! I promise. We are all surrounded with enough inspirational causes and humans that lending our time or energy will feel like an honor instead of a burden. The important thing is that you are taking pause to THINK about how your time and energy are being spent.

When take the time to decipher whether or not something sounds enjoyable/honorable/exciting/rewarding, then we feel a sense of control. We feel power in our decision. When we don’t, however, we can easily feel resentful. For instance, if a relative of yours is in the hospital and someone asks you to visit them, you’d probably say yes. Not because trips to the hospital are your secret guilty pleasure, but because you want to be there for someone. Being a good person to others makes us feel good about ourselves. Trust yourself to make the right call in the moment, because when you actually take a second to think things over, you’re going to realize it’s SO EASY to make the right call. It’s just a bit harder to say no.

But you gotta do it. Otherwise, you’re going to become resentful as hell. Resentment is essentially cyanide to any functioning relationship. It will poison everything in its path, and you will lose so much more than you anticipated. So don’t let resentment take over. Set the boundary instead.
 
benefits of boundaries
 

4. Boundaries Let You Show Up For The People You Love

We all have those people we would do ANYTHING for, and when the time comes, we’re so excited to be able to show them how much we love them. But the problem occurs when we have too much on our plate, and aren’t really able to be there for them because we’ve promised ourselves away earlier. So in order to create space for the people who deserve it, we need to set boundaries across the board.

I’m going to take it even a step further.

In my humble (not really humble) opinion, I think it’s better to OVER set boundaries than to under set boundaries. That way, if you are all rested up with some time on your hands, you can call up whoever you need to and volunteer your time. Otherwise, if you under set your boundaries, you’re going to show up for the people in your life tired and drained – or worse – not show up at all and make the situation even worse.

I can tell by the way you’re cringing that you’ve totally done that before. Tsk tsk.

So by over setting your boundaries, you surprise people with your generosity instead of causing additional stress and anxiety by letting them down at the last minute. I mean, think about it: Would you rather be a superhero, or an unreliable twat?

Your choice.

Give yourself the time and space to show up for the people you love by protecting your energy from distractions. Focus on what you love, and you’ll have the energy for everything you want to do.
 

5. Boundaries Increase Relationship Longevity

Boundaries are paramount to keeping relationships healthy. Without boundaries, relationships have a tendency to become messy and unruly. They need structure to thrive. And you have to be the one to provide it.

It seems counter-intuitive to those who are new to boundaries (or maybe that was just me!) and might take some practice. You may think, “Telling people ‘no’ all the time is going to help my relationships? Everyone is going to hate me!!’ and to that I would say – YES, saying “no” to people keeps relationships healthy, and also you might need new friends if you’re seriously concerned everyone is going to hate you for telling them ‘no.’

By protecting your own energy and decreasing any future opportunities for budding resentment, you are establishing the expectation that you are not on call for others. You have a life, you have your own responsibilities, and you have your own priorities. If others can get on board with that, then there will be less things to quarrel over. People won’t have false expectations or assumptions about you and your time, and you won’t feel taken advantage of by others.

Realistic expectations + not being taken advantage of = healthier, happier relationships that can last a lifetime. Everyone stays in their lane, supports each other when they can, and focuses on how to be the best person they can be. Trust me, you’ll like it!
 

 

6. Boundaries Weed Out Toxic Relationships

Deep breath: not all of your relationships are going to survive your boundaries. 

Eeeeeeeeeeeee sorry. I hate to be all negative and such, but it’s just true. If you’ve been living your life boundary-free, then you probably have some horrible friends that are used to your spineless style. It’s just how life works. People who like to take advantage of others tend to cling to those with weak boundaries. So yes, unfortunately, some of your friends are only friends with you because you say yes to everything.

Don’t! Shoot! The! Messenger!

What I am really wanting you to take away from this, is that you are a lovely, caring, beautiful person who deserves to have relationships with no strings attached. 

And if those “friends” don’t like an arrangement where you get to enjoy yourself instead of slaving away for them….then is this really a loss? Do you really care if these relationships slip away? To me, it sounds like a friendship that should have died a long time ago. If I were you, I would definitely be asking myself WHY I decided to stick around with such a selfish butthead who clearly cares more about themselves than anyone else…but that’s just me.

You are worthy of a friendship/romantic relationship/career that doesn’t ask everything from you while providing barely anything in return. And hell, even if you DO get something in return, isn’t that still weird?! Don’t you want friendships to be an organic flow of give and take, instead of a massive game of keeping score? That sounds exhausting.

So give boundary setting a try. Start saying no, and see who’s really a friend, and who can see themselves out the back door.
 

7. Setting Boundaries Help Solidify An Abundance Mindset

Quick refresher: subscribing to an abundance mentality means you believe there is more than enough resources, people, opportunities, wealth, nourishment, or whatever else in the word that will contribute to your happiness. And not only that, but there’s more than enough for everyone. Subscribing to a scarcity mindset means you believe there is a scarce amount of resources in the world, and therefore we must cling to what we have, because we don’t know if we will ever have the opportunity to have it again.

Meaning…some of you who have been holding onto shitty relationships may have been doing it because you’re scared you won’t find anyone else.

That kind of thinking practically invites a full-blown scarcity mindset to set up shop in your head. And it’s really not healthy for you.

The good news is, boundaries are in total alignment with an abundance mindset. When you set a boundary with someone who doesn’t respect it, they’ll try to pushback. Again. And again. And again. And you’ll be in charge of continuing to set the boundary – until you give up and decide to walk away from the friendship for good.

But you can do that. You can literally just walk away. You know why? Because there are plenty of people out there who will RESPECT your boundaries and love you for exactly who you are without any expectations. They’re just waiting for you to ditch your narcissistic buddies and come and find them.
 
boundaries

8. Setting Boundaries Sets a Precedent With Others

Here’s the lovely thing about setting boundaries with people already in your life: other people will take note.

Let’s take MoviePass for example. They started out about, what, two years ago? Their initial offering was unlimited movies per month for something ridiculous like $9. Absolute bananas. And because the deal was SO good, it caught on like wildfire. Until…MoviePass couldn’t handle the volume anymore. Passes were being declined, the app was buggy, and customer service took about 4 months to respond to any sort of claim. While I’m sure initially they fanatic about their ability to scale overnight, they quickly regretted it. It was a business nightmare.

So they recalibrated, and released an amended business offering. You could only see three movies per month, no opening weekend showings, blackout dates all over the map, and the price increased.

I think we all know the ending to this story, but if you can’t remember, they went out of business. Current customers realized, hey, MoviePass, y’all don’t know WTF you’re doing. And those who weren’t customers probably heard the complaints from their friends. So, with no customers, they went away.

So who are you in this metaphor? You’re MoviePass! The “company” that can’t figure out how to maintain giving an offering away for way less than it’s worth. I’m not sure what phase you’re in, but more than likely you’re in the HOLY F&(# THIS WAS A BAD IDEA phase. And we really want to get you to the going out of business phase.

Because the business you’re in is giving your time and energy away to anyone for free. And let me tell you – that’s just bad business. 

You don’t want to be known as the person who habitually says YES! no matter the circumstance. People talk. And more and more people will come out of the woodwork asking for this or that due to your reputation.

So let’s get the OPPOSITE of that in full force! Become the person who says NO! and needs a friggin Powerpoint presentation before agreeing to give your time away to ANYONE or ANYTHING. That way, when someone asks you for something – they aren’t doing it just because they think it’s an easy ask. They’re doing it because they believe it’s something you would actually enjoy or they truly need your unique help. And those are the exact kind of requests you’d like to field in the future.
 

9. Boundaries Are Great For Your Career

So some of you are reading this and might be thinking – Ok, I’ve got the relationship boundaries down, but what about work? 

Oh, girl. You need boundaries at work arguably more than you need them elsewhere! The entire concept of boundaries is to prevent you from giving your time and energy away for little to nothing in return…and I don’t know of a more egregious example than having a boss asking you to work FOR! FREE!

This is a little more cut and dry when you’re an hourly employee. If you’re not on the clock, you don’t work. It’s that simple. It’s also ILLEGAL for there to be any other sort of arrangement anyway. So just stick to that rule.

If you’re salary, things get a bit more dicey. There might be duties outside of your job description you’re expected to cover, and staying extra hours doesn’t get you paid more. So here’s my take:

Working past normal business hours isn’t a great look. Aside from the fact that it causes a lot of stress to grind it out beyond the conventional hours humans are supposed to work in a day, it also cuts into your personal time that you NEED in order to recharge (whether that be hanging out alone, being by yourself, spending time with family, etc). Plus, working long hours is telltale sign of inefficiency. Bosses don’t like inefficiency. It signals that you can’t handle the workload you already have…so why would they promote you?

Instead, set boundaries. Work on what you can during working hours, and go home. You’ll be refreshed, replenished, and ready to take on your workload the following day. Your ability to work smarter will increase when you have enough sleep and free time to disassociate from work and gain perspective.

What I’m saying is boundaries will make you a better employee. Don’t be afraid to set them whenever possible.

 

Having issues setting boundaries?

 
Don’t panic. Most of us aren’t that great at setting boundaries because we were not raised to do so. But that doesn’t mean you won’t ever be able to live with healthy boundaries! All it means is you might need a little extra help. Luckily, that’s what Blush Online Life Coaching specializes in. Check out our affordable and convenience private life coaching memberships so you can learn how to set boundaries quickly for healthier and happier relationships.

get over being cheated on

How to Move on After Being Cheated On

By | Breakups | One Comment

Cheating: it’s the ultimate betrayal. The person you thought would protect you, defend you, and comfort you has now put you through the worst kind of pain – and you have to live with it. If you’re looking for an article that’s going to help you get over being cheated on while staying in the relationship – I would “exit” out of this article now. I am NOT going to spend the next few minutes convincing you to stay in a relationship that has caused this kind of pain. I think you deserve better. If you’re ready to move past it, then continue on. This is how to move on after being cheated on.

 

This Isn’t About the Other Person

Before we dive into anything else – which we will – spend as much time as you need to release anger towards the other person in this debacle. No matter who he or she is – they are the wrong target for your anger.

And that sucks, because they are the EASIEST scapegoat. More than likely you don’t know them very well (and if you do – yikes – that’s even worse?) and aren’t familiar with the context of their situation. Which means it’s REALLY easy to fill in the gaps yourself and create a scenario where your significant other is the presumed “innocent” party, and the other party instigated the entire thing.

But that’s not going to help you in this situation. The longer you hold onto that anger, the longer it’s going to take to realize who the real offender is. You will agonize over the wrong issues, and extend your hurt unnecessarily over time. Because at some point, you’re going to realize that this person isn’t your business. They aren’t the reason you feel terrible right now. And their trajectory doesn’t really affect your life. They can go on and have karma eat them alive later on, or they can go on living a perfectly happy life. Neither scenario affects how you are going to move forward.

So instead, assume they are completely innocent in this situation. Assume they didn’t know your significant other was betraying you. Assume they thought this was fair game (because , and this is harsh, but that’s usually the case). That way you can focus on what really matters in order to properly heal in a reasonable amount of time.

 

Forgive Yourself Immediately

Once we have zeroed in on the true offender in this situation, it gets real gnarly real fast.

And for a lot of us, the next immediate response is to blame ourselves. Now, know that a lot of us are going to move through the different stages of grief out of order and for different lengths of time – but this note is so important that I want to cover it early.

You are not to blame for a significant other callously violating the terms of your relationship. It’s easy to reflect back on everything you did wrong (and I’m sure there are some greatest hits!), but cheating is never the correct answer to retaliate against bad behavior. You simply do not have the power to make someone with agency do something against their will. Therefore, you cannot be held responsible for their actions. No matter WHAT went down in the relationship, this act does not need to be forgiven.

If your significant other was thinking about your feelings, they would have summoned the maturity to break it off with you before embarrassing you in such a demeaning way. I don’t know about you, but I’ve been in this position many times before. I’ve wanted to walk away from a perfectly good relationship because I simply wasn’t feeling it like I should have anymore. And every time I probably (definitely) botched it. But at least I can hold my head up high and say that the second I realized I was not in love with my significant other(s) anymore (and maybe even felt a twinge for somebody else) – I called it off. And if my idiotic 17, 20, and 23 year old self can manage to pull that off – so can they.

And if you’re sitting here thinking “Well what does she know, she only DUMPED people before, not the other way around” LOLOLOL I wish girlfriend. My 21 and 24 year old self beg to differ.

 

Try To Be Sad Instead of Angry

This is a toughie.

While I’m all about getting angry (I am “pro” almost every emotion except for guilt and jealousy!) – I think sadness is going to do you a lot more favors.

Yes, you are pissed at how things went down. Yes, you are furious that a person you like/love did this to you. Of course, you are livid that the relationship can never go back to what it was, no matter how hard either of you try.

But in reality, you’re sad. You’re really, really, really, really, REALLY sad.

Getting dumped is bad enough, but you have to deal with the shame, embarrassment, and confusion of being cheated on. I know. It’s not fair. And it’s so easy to let yourself fall into anger because the situation is worthy of it. But instead, try to lean into the blue. Soak yourself in tears and mourn the relationship you wanted longingly to work. Processing your sadness is what will help you move forward. Anger will only keep you here for longer.

If you think about it – anger and excitement have almost identical physical sensations. Your heart rate excels, you get a tingly feeling, sometimes your stomach flutters, and your face gets hot. It’s easy for your body to actually *like* being in that state – and it’s probably a lot more comfortable than feeling sad. So you’ll stay there for awhile. You can function as an angry person. We see them every day! The people who scream at servers and cuss at the the weather and lose their shit when their team loses. They got angry about something and just…stayed that way.

Is that what you want?

No. So instead, just be sad for a bit. It’s normal to have periods of sadness. However -if you are feeling genuine signs of depression (loss of appetite, disinterest in activities you found entertaining before, weight change, sleep change, feelings of hopelessness, fear of the future) for a sustained period of time, talk to a psychiatrist immediately. I do not want anyone confusing sadness (situational) with depression (chemical).

But good old fashion sadness is nothing to be ashamed of. Live in it for a bit until you’re ready to release it.

 

Focus on Empowerment

At some point, you’re going to get sick of feeling sorry for yourself.

The “woe is me, how could they do this, what a bastard” phase is going to get old. Your friends will fein concerned head-nods, you’ll run out of new phrases to describe the heartache, and while you might still continue to fixate on what happened – it’s not going to cause the same stomach-drop sensation it used to.

My strongest advice is to listen to your frustration. In fact, let it guide you to a new place of empowerment.

This is when things get fun. This is when you get to use your old friend anger and mesh her up with some feminism!

Here’s what cheating empowerment affirmations sounds like:

“I am better than this.”
“I deserve someone who will treat me with respect.”
“I am above this drama”
“This was just an obstacle on my way to better things.”
“I will find a love that will never cause me doubt again.”
“I do not need anyone to make me happy – I am in charge of my own happiness.”
“I am stronger than I believe.”
“This experience will help me relate to others in the future.”
“I am stronger because of this.”
“I am grateful they showed their true colors earlier rather than later.”
“I will attract more positivity now that I know what I want and what I do not want”
“This experience taught me so many lessons I will carry with me.”
“I lived through it once, and I never will have to live through it again.”
“Thank you, NEXT.”

And there are plenty more where they came from!

This is where you can reflect back on the hurt you endured and your decision to not let it stop you from finding a better life. You chose to look at this situation and say, “not for me.”

This isn’t to judge anyone who stays in a relationship where cheating occurred. Every situation is different and people have their reasons. There is strength in forgiveness just as there is strength in moving forward. This is just to say that you know yourself well enough to trust that cheating doesn’t fly with you. Find power in it. 

 

Gratitude Will Help

I know, I know.

Don’t feel pressure to get to this point right at this exact moment – but maybe clock it for later. But I  want to elaborate on this point real fast so you can use it to your advantage when you’re ready.

While you do not have to pull an Ariana Grande and be super thankful for your ex, you can at least be grateful that you are not going to spend the rest of your life with someone you cannot trust. You are so lucky (don’t hit me) that this person showed who they were at this point in time instead of later on. And whether your significant other cheated after five months of dating or five years of marriage – you are still better off for knowing now than finding out next week, next month, or next year.

Be grateful that they cheated on you during a time when you can handle it. Because you reading this article right now shows that you CAN handle it. You are brave enough to keep reading through the pain. You are courageous enough to research help during this shit time so you can move on. And you are smart enough to know that you are better off by yourself than with someone who could dare to cheat on you.

 

Reflect and Learn

Once you’ve moved past the anger, you’re on your way out of the sadness, and you’ve found some empowerment through this process – it’s time for some lesson-learning.

Ideally you’ve already released yourself from any blame or guilt. If you haven’t – please go back and spend some time focusing on this. In fact, it might be in your best interest to work with a professional coach through these issues. Guilt and blame simply do not have a place in the healing process and will impede your ability to clearly reflect and learn from this experience.

I find that learning something through every tough life experience expands my ability to feel grateful and proud of the obstacles I faced. Once I’m able to identify exactly what I would change and what I would keep the same – I’m able to release any fear that this will happen to me again.

The goal is to figure out exactly what went wrong, and prevent it from happening again in the future. These lessons will not only help you avoid mistakes again, but they will also steer you closer to a relationship or life experience that’s much healthier for you.

For example, if your significant other was jealous during the relationship – always suspicious of you and other men/women, requiring constant check-ins when you were apart, or always accusing you of being unfaithful – that’s something to note. Scratch that – that’s something to circle in red ink. You know now not to even touch relationships that are mired with jealousy. But maybe it was the opposite – perhaps you felt suspicious of your ex and someone else – and you turned out to be right. Now you know to trust your gut and to listen to yourself.

The more lessons you can extract that DO NOT place blame, the better. Again, it might be worth working with a coach on these issues because they can be complicated and hard to tease out.

All right, girl. I know you’re *in it* right now – but you’re going to pull through. If you need more help recovering from the breakup – look no further. We have plenty of breakup articles ready to assist you in your healing process. And if you need some extra, tailored help – you know where to find us.

Good luck!