Disclosure: This is a sponsored guest article submitted by McNemar Cosmetic Surgery.
I had an accidentally enlightening weekend a few months ago. I went online to research the best ways to organize my kitchen (yes, seriously), and hours later I finally came up for air. I completely fell down the virtual rabbit hole, stumbling from one online "lifehack" article to the next. What started with organization tips turned into "maximum productivity" day planning, then how to live in the present every second, and somehow I ended up feeling sure I had learned how to feel young, be great all the time, and love life. All I really needed was a better strategy for spice storage, but once I started reading motivational material, I couldn't wait to start changing my life immediately. Sunday night, after reading all of this, I was on top of the world with plans in hand to change my perspective. I was ready to truly live, laugh, and love!
Then Monday morning came.
As usual, I didn't even want to drag myself out of bed, and all the energy and zeal I had the previous night had sputtered out. On my drive to work, I realized it wasn't realistic for me to change my entire life overnight with a whole new routine. I brought myself back to reality and thought about small, real things I could actually do to achieve the life, laughter, and love that all those bloggers promised. I think the key was realizing that I already have some of each of those 3 L's in my life, so I just needed to ask myself what I was doing right.
One hack that I had sort of been putting into practice for the past couple of years was to have one day every so often that was strictly a "me day." This means no chores, no errands, and no commitments to anyone besides myself. Lately, since my online epiphany, I've ramped this effort up to having a "me day" once a week. You would be amazed at what an entire day of doing whatever you want does for your mental health. I let this day float to different days of the week to accommodate other commitments, but I always make sure I take it. Sometimes I hit the gym on "me day"; more often I let myself eat that pasta I've been craving. Sometimes it feels right to spontaneously grab lunch with a friend, and sometimes I go see a movie on my own. I do whatever I feel like that day. This small change in my schedule gives me something to look forward to all the time and provides one of the biggest rewards I could ask for — peace of mind.
Another hack that I have learned really works is to put a few extra minutes into my physical appearance. I know, there's nothing like yoga pants. But recently, I've made a concerted effort to dress well (even ironing occasionally) and watch some hair and makeup tutorials online. I can't believe how many compliments I've been getting, from people I don't know as well as longtime friends and co-workers, who quickly noticed something was different when I bought a few lip glosses and learned how to do 2 simple up-dos. I now have a strong belief that when you look good, you feel good, and when you feel good, you do good! I find myself branching out at work and smiling at fellow grocery shoppers. A small effort goes a long way when it comes to confidence, allowing me to feel my best when I need it the most.
In the same vein of looking and feeling good, I've also been juggling the idea of visiting a plastic surgeon for the past few years. I've dreamed about getting breast implants for most of my adult life, and I've always envisioned a more confident and feminine me. Usually, the thought of seeing a doctor makes me want to turn around and run in the opposite direction, but I realized that in this case, I'm actually excited to pursue cosmetic enhancement, rather than nervous. Going after what you want is the best lifehack I can recommend. This one pops up on a lot of those articles for a good reason. I recently decided to pull the trigger on what I want and started researching a board-certified plastic surgeon who performs breast augmentation surgery around my hometown of Stockton. I'm considering heading closer in to the Bay Area for some consultations, and I found lots of promising information. It was empowering how little hesitation I felt when it came to bettering myself and officially starting the journey toward something I've always dreamed of.
I guess my best advice is to not beat yourself up if you can't follow all that supposedly life-changing advice online for how to live, love, and laugh. It's likely that the best hacks for you are the ones you already know. Ask yourself what has improved your life lately or what you've always wanted to do for yourself, and then don't hold back.