Helping You Help Yourself

feature image via shutterstock

Turn your phone off for at least ten minutes today, like just completely powered off.

Every time you see a headline that makes you want to scream get up and pour yourself a glass of water. Drink the whole thing and see if you still want to click on that link.

Mute or unfollow that person that you follow on Twitter even though you hate them.

Buy some candy and hide it somewhere that you feel confident you’ll forget about so that you come across it in a few weeks and it’s a total surprise.

Pick up some paper towels on your way home, you’ll probably be glad you have them.

Look at all these puli dogs!

Have you cleaned your coffee maker recently? Do you know how to clean your coffee machine? Learn!

Find an old email, text or message where someone you respect said something nice to you and read it again. Optionally, draw a tiny doodle of their face and then a speech bubble where you write out the words they said. Stick this where you will see it but other people mostly won’t.

Don’t read the comments, especially not on Youtube.

Do that one thing you’ve been putting off doing. You know the one. It won’t be as bad as you think.

This is how you say Quvenzhané Wallis’ name.

Go through your wallet and take out the cards you don’t use anymore, the empty transit cards, all the unnecessary receipts and weird ephemera. Let’s be honest, you probably aren’t actually going to remember to claim that $3 coffee you had while ‘networking’ as an expense on your taxes.

Imagine that the person who makes you feel shitty about yourself is very tiny, like a Borrower, and is trapped inside a Mason jar. They’re perfectly safe there and they can breathe just fine, but you can’t hear their voice through the glass and in fact you can barely even make out their face because they’re so small and now you’re putting the entire jar into a filing cabinet drawer out of sight and you never have to think about them again. .

Hey, here’s how to give yourself a scalp massage.

Put some lotion on. Your elbows too.

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Originally from Boston, MA, Rachel now lives in the Midwest. Topics dear to her heart include bisexuality, The X-Files and tacos. Her favorite Ciara video is probably "Ride," but if you're only going to watch one, she recommends "Like A Boy." You can follow her on twitter and instagram.

Rachel has written 1142 articles for us.


  1. I genuinely benefited from the visioning exercise at the end. Like, I really feel better now. Maybe I can pay you to send me one of those every day?

  2. Wow this is amazing. The coffee one blew my mind–I didn’t know and I didn’t know that I needed to know. My sincerest gratitude.

  3. <3 thank you. The turn off the cell phone and get the glass of water before clicking infuriating links tips I find most helpful.

  4. This has been a horrible 24 hours of a fight turning into ignoring each other turning into passive aggressive texts with my partner. Thank you, Rachel. I would be grateful for this weekly, if possible.

  5. Oooh I really needed to read this… Especially since today was my first day back to classes and being in my dorm with roommates who really aren’t that cool with my whole not being straight thing. That last paragraph brought a smile to my face. Thank you Rachel!!

  6. This is exactly the gentle practical advice I needed today.

    Mine would be: greet your pet when you get home, first thing, because they love you. Yes, even the turtles and frogs and hissing cockroaches.

  7. This was super-incredibly helpful– especially at the beginning of the week. This is what self-help books *should* be (instead of being lame and cheesy pet-your-head crap), but you nailed it in one article.

    Pete the Cat (my personal guru) approves.

    • This is really random, but I once wore a Pete the Cat costume at a book fair, but I actually know nothing about the character, so thank you for this!

  8. DO read the comments on Especially in the comment award section.

    Cuddle with your cat. Give your cat tuna. Watch your cat delight in the tuna.

    Light a nice smelling candle.

    Also, I turned off my phone completely off for 1 h today while in my shrink’s office – that’s like 2 self-care things at once, right?

  9. Be careful with the candy! Or else the ants may find it before you do!

    Signed, someone with such an ant problem that there are ants in my freezer and I don’t know why and Terro does fuck all

    • We used to have ants REALLY bad for years and Raid, etc never worked, but then we heard that this spray cleaner called Mrs. Meyer’s worked to get rid of them (it’s lemon verbena something or other and it’s non-toxic to kids and pets, which was important because we have 3 dogs and 2 cats), so we got some and holy crap the ants were gone. This was like 10 years ago and they never came back. Every once in awhile we’d see a couple and just bring the Mrs. Meyer’s back out and use it to clean the whole area where we saw them and they would just vanish! We gave some to my grandma when she had an invasion and it seemed to work for her, too. Couldn’t hurt to try?

  10. Much appreciated! Especially the scalp massge one. How to give yourself or others massages should be taught in schools. Like seriously, it’s spreading love!

  11. So very helpful, especially in the midst of finals week and finishing my writing portfolio! Please write one of these every week.

  12. Weird…I’ve never been taught how to do scalp massage but when I stroke a snuggle buddy’s head it inevitably turns into exactly everything she demonstrated in that video. Hooray for naturally knowing how to do a thing!

  13. I love the hiding candy thing! I bought three bags of holiday hershey kisses when they were in season cause they are my favorite varieties, I’ve hidden in them in my closet and I’m just waiting a few months until I finally forget about them to surprise myself with all the wonderful chocolate.

  14. Borrowers! Also: accept being the weird childless adult going into the library’s children’s room. Or just find a child to borrow to take the library with you.

  15. she is there in that jar. Telling me I’m horrible. And I can’t fucking hear her. That bish just gon stay there till she runs out of words. #byefelicia

  16. It’s impossible for me to forget about the existence of candy! Maybe I could get m’lady to hide it..

  17. I have such a hard time muting/defriending/unfollowing people, even when I know it’s for the best.

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