Category: life advice

10 Things to Do on Your Lunchbreak That Aren’t Facebook or Lean Cuisine

There are so many things to do on your lunch break that are more fun and more invigorating than social media or a sad desk lunch. Click through for 10 lunchbreak ideas that will improve your whole day! >>

I would love to tell you that my lunch breaks are rife with whimsy and sunlight and well-planned salads prominently featuring goat cheese.  But that’s not true.  On the rare occasion that I’m working the 9-to-5, my lunch break consists of eating a Lean Cuisine while I read  blogs.  Sexy, no?
No more!  I’m going to use that time wisely!  Let’s all use that time wisely!

10 things to do on your lunch break

Have a picnic

Do a bit of prep work the night before researching nearby parks and packing up the perfect picnic lunch (great picnic recipes here). Come noon time, hunker under a tree with your couscous salad and strawberries and watch the ducks paddle around the pond and the cute hippies play Ultimate Frisbee.

Hit up your local book store

Few things beat drinking coffee, flipping through magazines, and reading the back of self-help books, amiright?

Meet up with a friend

Make a pact that you will not talk about work, not whine about your boss, not gossip about the co-worker with questionable fashion sense.  Talk about the good things in your life, your plans for the weekend, why your cat is awesome.  You’ll go back to work feeling positive and refreshed.

Go to a beach

This is surprisingly doable in Minnesota with our 12,000 lakes.  A few times last summer, I changed into my bikini and spent 45 minutes lounging next to the water, drinking lime soda.  You’ll feel oddly unstoppable, returning to the office smelling like sunscreen with sand in your shoes.

Try a new, international restaurant

Go eat Ethiopian food with your hands!  Try some super hot, super healthy kimchi!  Check out that Mongolian barbecue place and see what all the fuss is about!  You’ll be out of the office, trying something new, developing bad breath from yummy food.

Buy a disposable camera and wander around your work neighborhood taking photos

Am I the only one who finds disposable cameras oddly charming?  Waiting to see what your pictures look like!  How adorably vintage!  And we all know that film photos really do look different than digital prints.  Spend your lunch hour stalking your work neighborhood on a one-person photo scavenger hunt.  Here are some great photo lists.

Try every restaurant within walking distance

The rules are: if you can walk there, you have to try it.  Maybe it’s a mom-n-pop Mexican place, a hippie coffee shop or a TGIFridays.  This is a fun way to explore your neighborhood, try new foods and support your local business.

Try a little office yoga

Close your office door and engage in a bit of downward dog.  You’ll feel heaps calmer and better. Then, for good measure, do nothing for two minutes.

Window shop at luxury stores

In your fanciest outfit and your nicest lipstick, spend your lunch hour fondling the purses at Coach and the shoes at Jimmy Choo.  Try things on, announce that this isn’t quite right for your ladies’ luncheon, smile charmingly at the sales girls.  Return to your real life, thankful that your priorities lies elsewhere.

Nap in your car


How do you spend your lunch breaks?  Any ideas to add to the list?

P.S. Having an awesome lunch break is a habit you can build, just like any other habit! This will help (and it’s free!)

Photo by Pj Accetturo on Unsplash

How To Stop Being Jealous

Want to stop being jealous? Wish you didn't feel envious of other's success? Click through for tips on ending feelings of jealousy now.

This fantastic guest post comes to us from my fellow Virgo Lady Smaggle. If you love her advice on this topic, you’ll love everything on offer over at her blog. Go say hi!

The green eyed monster comes to visit us all once in a while. My current obsession is with Mia Wasikowska who was plucked straight from the Canberra theater stages and delivered into the loving arms of Tim Burton. I want to bury myself in a big black pit of jealous screaming ‘SHE’S SO LUCK-EEEEEEEEEEEEEE!!!!!!!!!!’…

But calm down just a minute there Miss Smaggle. She’s not lucky, she’s ambitious. Aside from sacrificing life, time, sanity, food and her childhood years that should have been spent pashing Stussy-jeans wearing pre-pubescent boys at the bus interchange she obviously did something to get noticed. Tim Burton doesn’t generally wander around going ‘Hmmm… I wonder what the Canberra Philharmonic Society have on at the moment.’

She worked. And it worked.

When was the last time you ran into a friend who was half the size she was then when you last saw her? Did you gush and say she looked great? But secretly wanted to liquefy donuts and feed them to her intravenously as she slept?

Why? We all know weight loss is hard and there’s no easy way to do it. So why after spending months on the couch drinking wine and eating refined cellulite do we sneer ‘lucky bitch’ at our newly size ten friends who have been counting calories like Oprah counts money and – Shock! Horror! Actually have a banging bod to show for their hard work? Why?

What about that friend from high school that has been interning pro-bono at a fashion magazine while struggling to make ends meet at her part- time job only to be rewarded with an assistant editors position? It was all peachy keen and BFF when she was ‘chasing her foolish dream’ but now that it’s been realized suddenly we put our jealous hats on. Why?

Or that friend who just bought her first house? The one that you stopped inviting out because she could ‘never afford it’? Why are you jealous with your 15o plus pairs of shoes and Chloe handbag?

It’s not that you’re bitter your friends have achieved amazing things. It’s that you’re annoyed at yourself because you haven’t. Click To Tweet

Ouch. That hurt a little didn’t it?

No one will know you are writer unless you write something and show them. You will never buy a house unless you stop getting mani-pedis every week. You will never lose weight while you have a Mars Bar in your hand. And you will never be handed a gallery exhibition unless you draw something and wave it around in front people.It’s time to be honest with yourself.

What do you want? Write it down. Figure out how to get it.

You don't reach your goals by accident Click To Tweet

In fact… tell me! What do you want? And what are you going to do today to achieve it?

P.S. 14 ways to show your friends you love them + How to be less annoyed with everyone

Photo by Liam Simpson on Unsplash

3 Somewhat Easy Ways To Stop Fearing Failure

Are you spending your days fearing failure? Do you put off trying new things because you only like to do things you're immediately good at? Want to be braver and less anxious about failing? READ THIS. Are you afraid of failure? HA TRICK QUESTION if you’re a human you probably are!

Fearing failure is ordinary. Moving past that fear can make you life extraordinary. Michelle tells us how she’s doing that.

I recently read The Happiness Project by Gretchen Rubin.
In case you’re unfamiliar with the book, the idea is that the author decided that she wanted to dedicate a year of her life to actively becoming more happy and then set out to do so. The book is a chronicle of that year. It’s worth reading as a whole, but the most useful and applicable idea I got out of it was this: the fun of failure.
Gretchen writes about how many of her resolutions required her to push herself and she realized that one of the reasons she was so reluctant to do so was her paralyzing fear of failure. However, having more success requires accepting more failure, and so to counteract the fear, she told herself that she enjoyed the fun of failure.
When I read those pages in the book, I literally had to stop reading to sit with this idea. That thought would have never in a million years occurred to me!
Because I hate failing. Hate with all-capital letters. I know that most people don’t exactly enjoy it, but the very thought of past failures is enough to make me blush and feel embarrassed (as well as slightly nauseated).
This is a problem since, as mentioned above:
After reading Gretchen’s thoughts on failure, I decided to make a few changes in that area of my own life.

3 somewhat easy ways to stop fearing failure

Rethink how I feel about failure

I’m not sure if I can convince myself that it’s fun (although it can’t hurt to try!) but failures are always learning experiences, and I do love learning. So that’s what I’ll keep in mind when I fail – it’s just another chance to learn.

Let myself fail

Learn to quit when it’s necessary, before wasting lots of time and effort on something that’s not going well and isn’t meant to be – just because I refuse to fail. When I do that, it usually doesn’t work out anyways, so I might as well fail early and move on to something else.

Learn to joke about past failures

Embarrassing secret: I failed my driving test twice before I finally passed it. (I get really nervous with people looking over my shoulder, okay?!) If I can joke about past failures, that helps disassociate the word “failure” from something really negative for me, which means I can learn to roll with future failures.
This year, I’m going to let myself be someone who can learn from failure without feeling horridly ashamed and embarrassed about failing. I’m going to let myself try new things and not care if they turn out 100% or not, and instead take joy in the fact that I stretched myself and tried something. (And learned from it!)
How do you react to failure? If you’ve gotten past your fear of it, tell us how you did it in the comments!
Photo by Victoria Palacios on Unsplash

How To Help A Friend

How can you help a friend who's going through a rough time? How can you be a better friend? This post is full of friendship tips for anyone who knows someone who's struggling.

Are there rules for how to help a friend? Is there a one-size-fits all manual for when your friend has a health crisis, a break up, a tragedy in the family?

Not really. But there are a something any of us can do to help a friend in any tough situation. Amy tells us what we can do.

The Important Difference Between ‘Want To’ and ‘Have To’

Be careful about how you talk about your creative work. Remember, you have to be specific about wanting to do creative work. If you don’t have the desire to do it, you have no reason to do it. And then you won’t. >>

This fantastic guest post comes to us via the lovely Amanda Lee (whose blog is now defunct). 

Be careful of using the phrase “have to” when you’re discussing your personal endeavors.

In conversations with others, I try my best to reserve “have to” for the things that I actually do have to do, and say that I “want to” do.


How To Deal When Your Life Is In Shambles

We all go through rough patches and everyone's life is (occasionally) in shambles. In this post we work through 13 doable, life-turn-around-ing things you can to today. Click through for more >>

This lovely guest post is brought to you by the lovely Amy of The Anxious Hippie. She writes about life, inspiration,  and million other great things. I bet she’d love it if you dropped by and said hello!

 There’s no science here, to what to do once things have really fallen apart. This guide could seem like a waste of time to you, but this is what worked for me. Try what sounds like you, and leave the rest.

1. Admit that things suck right now.

I wasted so much energy trying to put on a happy face when things were bad. Once I finally admitted that I felt sad, lonely, worthless and confused about what I was doing with my life when it all fell apart, I felt like a weight was lifted. This doesn’t mean wallow in it—it means admit it and use it as a point to move forward from.

2. Remember who you are/were.

There’s that classic part of the movie Runaway Bride where she has to figure out how she likes her eggs and in the end, realizes she loves eggs benedict. One of the hardest parts of losing what I knew and loved was that I felt as if I’d forgotten who I was before.
I spent a lot of time reclaiming those things that were close to my heart: I read, wrote, started blogging, did crafty things, cooked, went to hot yoga and hung out in coffee shops. I did the things that made me tick and I started to feel a lot better.

3. Get on a schedule!

If you’re anything like me, when you’re down, you spend a lot of time alone, in front of the TV, eating, moping and doing nothing. I used to set a daily schedule of what I’d do after work. I tried to set small goals like, “Tonight, I will bake cookies and wash my sheets.” When I felt like I had something to achieve, my alone time seemed less alone, and more purposeful.

4. Reach out.

I kick myself over and over again for not reaching out sooner to the amazing family and friends I have for help during the struggles and end of my marriage. I know that there were many times I didn’t feel like talking but I wanted company. If you do feel like talking about it, find a few people you can trust and confide in. Be vulnerable and don’t bear it alone.

The truth is, everyone’s going to be in a bad spot some time, as awful as it sounds. If that’s overwhelming for you, find some people online to connect with. Go hang out in a coffee shop or bar just to be around others. Don’t hide.

5. If you’re overwhelmed and stressed, figure out what’s MOST stressful, and fix that first.

For me, this was financial. I’d been very naive when it came to paying bills because my ex did it. My job as a massage therapist was incredibly unsteady and I loved to spend money. I finally came to the conclusion that my expenses to live were more than what I was making, so I moved in with a roommate.
If you hate your job, work on changing that; if it’s a relationship, get out. Tackle this like you would any good to-do list: do the toughest, biggest one first.

6. Get over yourself.

Gandhi says, “The best way to find yourself is to lose yourself in the service of others.” Find a way to do something that’s not just about you.
For me, working at the group home and being a teacher got my head out of my own issues and on to others. So did caring for my cat, and yeah, I know that’s lame. Some people choose to volunteer. Basically, do something outside of yourself to get your mind off your own stuff.

7. Try new things.

I did a million different things when my heart was healing. I took Nia classes, went to figure drawing, went to lunch/dinner/movies by myself, went out dancing at clubs for the first time, and tried to experience as much life as I could.
Some of it is stuff I’d never do again, but I did discover a new love of watercolor paints, the club and doing things alone. Try to re-frame this time as a time of discovery and adventure where you have few things or people holding you back.

Related: Trying times are for trying new things

8. Take good physical care of yourself.

Eat well, get sleep and break a sweat regularly. Oh, and let’s be real: don’t drink too much! I ate well for awhile, and then slowly got caught up with eating poorly and going out waaayyy too much. When I finally got it together physically, I felt like a huge cloud was lifted.

9. Sit with your feelings.

If you feel sad, let yourself feel sad, no judgment. If you feel angry, feel angry. Don’t beat yourself up for having emotions. I know I used to tell myself that “I should be over this by now” or “I’m stupid for letting this affect me.” Pretty sure that those feelings just mean that you’re human. That’s it.

10. Don’t run your mouth about the other person/situation.

I think it’s really tempting during a divorce, break-up, firing, loss of a friendship, etc. to want to bash them to anyone with ears. But seriously? Don’t.

It gets blown out of proportion and makes you look like a jerk. I don’t mean don’t tell anyone: believe you me, I’ve shared “the rest of the story” with a lot of people, just be smart.Don’t be that person who brings down everyone’s night at the bar by whining about your horrible ex. Also, remember: what goes around comes around AND it always gets back to the person.

11. If you need help, get it.

I realize this is a cliche, but if you’re depressed and feel like you can’t climb out of it, than get professional help. It used to humiliate me to admit that I’ve seen a therapist, but the truth is, therapy and meds saved my life.
Depression is part of my story (and something I’ll likely blog about in the future) but even if you’re not sure that you have the disease, there’s nothing wrong with talking to someone unbiased and objective to sort things out.

12. Get out of the bitter barn and play in the hay.

Many of my journal entries from this time are simply lists of the good things going on. Even small things like, “I found matching socks” or “I’m still alive” can get you thinking about all the good things. Try and find whatever good you can, even if it’s small. It’ll change the way you think.

13. Take the long view.

Look to the future. Circumstances are short, really. They don’t last forever. Use this time as a springboard to create the kind of life that you want. I did a lot of dreaming and planning and list-making about how I wanted things to be different.

And then, I tried to put them into action. I’m still working on some, but my life now looks a lot more like the life I’ve always wanted than the one I used to have.

Look ahead, and vow to yourself that you’ll learn, and do better. Because now you know what you’re worth and what you want, and hopefully you’ll be figuring out how to make it happen.

How do you deal when your life is a mess? I’d love to hear your tips in the comments!

P.S. Life has big plans for you + What to do when people disappoint you (or act like dillwads or a-holes) 

Photo by on Unsplash