1. push yourself to get up before the rest of the world – start with 7am, then 6am, then 5:30am. go to the nearest hill with a big coat and a scarf and watch the sun rise.
2. push yourself to fall asleep earlier – start with 11pm, then 10pm, then 9pm. wake up in the morning feeling re-energized and comfortable.
3. erase processed food from your diet. start with no lollies, chips, biscuits, then erase pasta, rice, cereal, then bread. use the rule that if a child couldn’t identify what was in it, you don’t eat it.
4. get into the habit of cooking yourself a beautiful breakfast. fry tomatoes and mushrooms in real butter and garlic, fry an egg, slice up a fresh avocado and squirt way too much lemon on it. sit and eat it and do nothing else.
5. stretch. start by reaching for the sky as hard as you can, then trying to touch your toes. roll your head. stretch your fingers. stretch everything.
6. buy a 1L water bottle. start with pushing yourself to drink the whole thing in a day, then try drinking it twice.
7. buy a beautiful diary and a beautiful black pen. write down everything you do, including dinner dates, appointments, assignments, coffees, what you need to do that day. no detail is too small.
8. strip your bed of your sheets and empty your underwear draw into the washing machine. put a massive scoop of scented fabric softener in there and wash. make your bed in full.
9. organise your room. fold all your clothes (and bag what you don’t want), clean your mirror, your laptop, vacuum the floor. light a beautiful candle.
10. have a luxurious shower with your favourite music playing. wash your hair, scrub your body, brush your teeth. lather your whole body in moisturiser, get familiar with the part between your toes, your inner thighs, the back of your neck.
11. push yourself to go for a walk. take your headphones, go to the beach and walk. smile at strangers walking the other way and be surprised how many smile back. bring your dog and observe the dog’s behaviour. realise you can learn from your dog.
12. message old friends with personal jokes. reminisce. suggest a catch up soon, even if you don’t follow through. push yourself to follow through.
14. think long and hard about what interests you. crime? sex? boarding school? long-forgotten romance etiquette? find a book about it and read it. there is a book about literally everything.
15. become the person you would ideally fall in love with. let cars merge into your lane when driving. pay double for parking tickets and leave a second one in the machine. stick your tongue out at babies. compliment people on their cute clothes. challenge yourself to not ridicule anyone for a whole day. then two. then a week. walk with a straight posture. look people in the eye. ask people about their story. talk to acquaintances so they become friends.
16. lie in the sunshine. daydream about the life you would lead if failure wasn’t a thing. open your eyes. take small steps to make it happen for you.
–Sixteen Small Steps to Happiness
1. Do not kill yourself. Killing yourself is very messy and your mother will cry over you. It is not beautiful or brave, and even if it was, you will not be around to see that.
2. Washing your hair is going to be a chore. But you should do it anyway. Because you will feel better about yourself.
3. Get up late. Have a lay in. Sleep past your alarm. You have a very long life ahead of you and for now you should appreciate the cold side of your pillow.
4. He is going to break your heart but he’s just another male human who finds it hard to deal with Mondays, too. So in a month you’ll wake up and you won’t even remember that little scar on his knuckle you kissed.
5. Don’t spend hours looking up what your name means on google. Your name is your name and you should go out there and do heroic and good deeds and give your name your own meaning.
6. Don’t fight your demons. Your demons are here to teach you lessons. Sit down with your demons and have a drink and a chat and learn their names and talk about the burns on their fingers and scratches on their ankles. Some of them are very nice.
7. Music is good for your soul. Rap music will energise you and boost your ego and pop music will cheer you up. Indie music will make you think and emotional songs will make you cry and think about that boy again. It’s healthy.
8. Victim complexes are not attractive. Boys and girls will not date you because you are sad. They are not going to date you and kiss your aching bones and cure you of your dragging depression. Wake up. Take a bath. Do your hair. Be attractive.
9. Sadness is not poetic. Depression is not beautiful. Laying in bed all day and eating too much is lazy and disgusting and it is not tragic or pretty. Get up. Go outside. Let the sun warm your bones. Live.
10. If it makes you happy, buy twenty of it. Dedicate your life to it. Print it on tv shirts and collect things and draw art of it. Do not care what people think. They are the unhappy people you need to avoid. The abuse they will hurl at you is painless compared to how sad they are. Pity them. Remain happy.
11. You are allowed to he angry. But the world is not working against you. The flowers do not bloom for you and when your mother shouts ask her if she is okay instead of thinking she hates you. She never will. The world walks beside you and is silent. It does not trip you up or carry you.
12. Day and night cycles are natural. Humans only sleep at night because we used to avoid predators in the dark because of our poor eyesight. Stay awake until 5am watching bad reality shows. Wake up at 7pm and have breakfast.
13. Eat when you are hungry. Being bored does not constitute a chocolate bar. Sleep with you are tired. Do not mindlessly obey the sleep at night rule. If you are not tired, do not sleep.