Are you feeling bummed out? Perhaps your boyfriend dumped you? You didn't get into your third choice law school? Maybe you lost some money in a bet on something like, oh, I don't know, an election!
No matter the reason, if something's got you down and, like me, you're way too poor/cheap for therapy, you need a plan to drag yourself out of your slump. And you're in luck, readers - I've got one.
Follow these simple suggestions, dear friends, and you'll be feeling like a million bucks in no time.
How do I know they work, you ask? Why, I've done all of them! In the past five days! And if there's one person you should model your emotional well-being after, it is definitely me.
Step 1. Attempt to manually unfollow basically every one of your Facebook friends. Do this so quickly, thoroughly, and mindlessly that Facebook bans you from blocking people when you're halfway through your list. Now, instead of seeing political posts or life updates from people you only mildly care about, you'll see every single update, like, and comment from the totally random people you weren't able to block before Zuckerberg brought the hammer down on you. Hope you're ready to see every meme that your old summer camp acquaintance tags his roommate in!
Step 2. Buy yourself a ticket to your earliest local screening of Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them this Thursday. You will go alone and eat popcorn and a slushie for dinner. It will be totally normal and not at all creepy, I'm sure.
Step 3. Finally crack open the copy of Harry Potter and the Cursed Child you've been hoarding since July and read the whole thing in one sitting. This is, again, totally normal adult behavior and a great use of your time.
Step 4. Browse Netflix for something to watch, and settle on The Chronicles of Narnia, which popped up in "family features," a category you're not quite sure why you have on your dashboard. Watch the whole, 2.5-hour thing, making multiple comments aloud to your empty apartment about what an idiot Edmund is for risking his and his entire family's lives for Turkish delight. Send a lot of texts about how fierce Tilda Swinton is.
In all of these things, ensure you are as immersed as children's science fiction and fantasy as you can possibly be. This will not at all make you feel weirder about your life than you already felt!
Step 5. Distract yourself for some time with a Google image search of the love of your life, Stanley Tucci.
Step 6. Eat nothing but Whole Foods falafel, raw carrots, and veggie juice for one meal.
Step 7. For your next meal, eat a pint of Ben and Jerry's.
Step 8. If you're watching something stressful on live television - again, like, I don't know, the results of an election - accompany your watching with enough Pizza Hut wings and cheesy bread that you are physically unable to move. This way, if your television viewing doesn't go your way, you can blame your nausea on the honey barbecue and not on your racking sobs!
Step 9. Look into Celtic Woman tickets and become enraged when you discover they've REPLACED THEIR FIDDLE PLAYER, ARE YOU KIDDING ME???!!!!!!?????!!!!!!
Step 10. Wear your Celtic Woman merch for a day in mourning/protest. Yes, that's right, you lucky dog - you own Celtic Woman merch in this scenario.
Step 11. Unpack various boxes of things and leave their wrappings strewn all over your apartment. This will make you feel way better when you return home from work later, mood having finally improved somewhat, only to discover that your home looks like a tornado recently blew through.
Step 12. Lose something in your tornado zone apartment. Recalling steps 2-3, wander around mumbling "accio" until you've lost all will to live.
Step 13. Open all the blinds on your west-facing wall of windows because it's chilly in your apartment and you've heard rumors of a thing called the sun that could be worth experiencing. Watch three consecutive episodes of SVU from an armchair in the direct path of said sun. Emerge from your Mariska marathon with a sunburn on half your face.
Step 14. Decide to light a candle on your nightstand and try some breathing and mindfulness exercises before bed. Fall asleep. Wake up at 1 AM fully clothed with your contacts in feeling great about how your sleep cycle is going to go for the next few days!
Step 15. Decide that same process needs another try the next night. To the surprise of no one, fall asleep again! Wake up at 1 AM with your contacts still in; with a firm, bright red imprint of your left hand on your right arm from whatever convoluted position you nodded off in; and fully confirmed that your sleep cycle is going to be great for the next few days.
Step 16. Fall into a YouTube black hole so deep (dog weddings? Office supply hauls?), you come dangerously close to a permanent vegetative state. Congratulations! You have forgotten all about your old boyfriend/failed attempt at academia/new demagogue. Now enjoy that Harry Potter screening!
(Disclaimer: Yes, I actually did all these things this week, but first of all, chill out parents I'm fine; second of all, most of them - lookin' at you, Ben & Jerry's - describe a normal Saturday in my life; and third, no I'm not actually responding to the election with five full days of hopeless depression. I have, in fact, been looking into service opportunities. So should you.)
(Disclaimer 2: If you are worried about your mental health and are in need of actual care, please get some!)