The One Thing I Will NEVER Do: Setting (And Breaking) Limits

What is the one thing I’d never do? I’m torn between two:

  • Scuba diving

  • Space travel

Unfortunately, I see two flaws with these choices. For one, if the apocalypse happens, I may not have much of a choice on the space travel. The second is that murder should have been the first thing that came to mind and it wasn’t? And now I’m having some really weird moral debate with myself. Would I kill someone to save my dog? Isn’t that a bit much? Why am I talking about killing people? How do I get out of this topic I’ve fallen into?

Anyway, this was the question that popped into my head the other night and I couldn’t stop wondering what would be something I would absolutely never do, and how there were definitely things I used to think I would never do but then did.

How about smoking a cigarette? I only did it once, and to be fair, my friends and I had just been abandoned in a bar at 3:00 a.m. in the middle of Oslo, Norway with no idea where we were, and someone offered me a cigarette. I figured, what the hell, I’m probably going to get kidnapped and die tonight anyway. Might as well have one final (well, first) puff before I am trapped in a cell for the remainder of my days.

It was gross, I handed it back, and spoiler alert, I was not kidnapped and caged.

 When I was in Oslo, we ended up on a party bus with old men and this guy, Mads, is apparently a Norwegian celebrity. I promise I will tell you this story one day, dears.
When I was in Oslo, we ended up on a party bus with old men and this guy, Mads, is apparently a Norwegian celebrity. I promise I will tell you this story one day, dears.

How about ordering a medium Meatzza from Dominos and eating it all in one sitting? I had some adorable body image issues growing up, and for some reason, Teenager Elaine decided that the truest sign that she had fallen off the deep end and had become “fat” was if she sat down and ate a whole pizza in her adulthood.

Ha. Ha ah. Ha ah ha ah ha ah ha.

I definitely did this three times in 2018. I didn’t feel great about it, and it’s definitely not a decision I would recommend to others (I mean, the Meatzza is amazing but it’s also called a Meatzza). In a weird way, it felt empowering? Like, fuck you Meatzza, you are mine now? Anyway, one unhealthy decision doesn’t suddenly make you “fat” and mean that you’ve completed made your life go down the drain. So, I work actively hard to not eat whole pizzas by myself, but accept that life happens.

How about murder? I was five years old when I first wielded my battle ax.

You know what, never mind. I’ll save that story for my tell-all in twenty years.

We change as people over the years, and sometimes we end up doing things that our older selves would have thought completely unacceptable. Whether that’s a good or bad thing really depends on the situation. It’s healthy to look back on your past and see why you had reasons for “never doing that one thing.”  Do you have a habit you’ve taken up that maybe you shouldn’t have? Or, have you let something slide that you can forgive yourself for?

Also, sometimes we change and grow for the better with our list of nevers. I was never going to get on an airplane because the sheer terror I felt at the idea made me feel sick. But travelling is one of my biggest passions in life, and I’d never have that part of my life if I didn’t do my never thing.

 If I hadn’t gotten over my fear of flying, I never would have made it to Japan to have the biggest naan of my entire life.
If I hadn’t gotten over my fear of flying, I never would have made it to Japan to have the biggest naan of my entire life.

In the end, perhaps never doesn’t have to mean always.

And that sounded really profound in my head, but now that I’ve written it down, it sounds like some kind of crap I would pull out in English class.

What’s your never thing?

Episode Notes “Sunday Scaries:” My Weekly Pity Party

This blog accompanies the podcast episode below!

Sunday night is the absolute worst. Usually, my Sunday evenings consist of a mountain of dishes, no groceries, dirty floors, and me – unshowered and in the same sweatpants I put on Friday.

It’s not super glamorous.

When I recorded “Sunday Scaries,” it was actually a Sunday night and I was using recording as a way to avoid my list of to-dos that I had put off the entire weekend. To be fair, meal prepping is incredibly boring and I never have enough clean tupperware to last me the whole week. Is that my fault? Maybe. Mostly. It is. But why can other people not keep up with their household and they are completely fine?

Why me?*

*Please note that some sad violins are playing in the background when I ask this, and I’m usually three glasses deep into a bottle of Merlot.

I think sometimes I feel like I have to blob, otherwise I haven’t properly enjoyed my weekend. When else do I get to just sit on the couch? Does it matter that it makes me miserable? No, because I’m going to do my weekend.

So, as you can see, I’ve created a vicious routine for myself.

I wish I was one of those people that had a helpful anxious habit. If every time I got stressed I had the urge to clean dishes, that would be fabulous. Or, if each time I felt a panic attack coming on, I felt like doing a forty-five minute HITT workout instead, that would be great.

Instead, these are my varying states of woe:

  • Stress eating with my hands – no plates.

  • Watching a show I don’t like for hours on end.

  • Checking all of my apps for about three seconds at a time.

  • Staring forlornly out of my window.

These habits contribute nothing except maybe a fluctuating ten pounds or so. There’s also this weird time warp that will happen on Sunday evenings when I’m laying on the floor or looking out the window when I feel like I finally see how depressing my life is.

I wake up. I eat. I go to work. I come home. I eat. My dog deserves better. This is my life. A bird that shits on a statue has more going on than me.

I basically am the queen of throwing my own pity party and then revising my history into gray scale. It’s like being Stalin. Kind of. Not really. Not even close.

Moving on.

It’s hard to change a habit, especially if you revel in it. That’s not to say that I want to be miserable. But I almost feel like I’m supposed to be miserable. Or, rather, I’m just used to being miserable Sunday evening, so why bother.

This month, I’m working to change that attitude. I won’t beat myself up when I do end up blobbing, but I want to be aware when I fall into my spirals. I also want to stop complaining about my life when I don’t try to take steps to make it better.

I mean, I plan to complain the whole time I’m trying but at least I’m trying.

I chose three goals I wanted to accomplish this month. They aren’t crazy. In fact, they are very damn attainable. But they’re dumb things I have been putting off for no good reason. In fact, here are some other dumb goals I need to work on that didn’t make the cut this time:

  • Doing my dishes. Regularly. To any extent.

  • Folding my laundry each time I wash a load. And then putting it away. In normal place. Not on my floor.

  • Giving my dog a bath. At some point. Actually, never mind, let’s push that off still.

  • Washing my bathrooms.

  • Responding to texts within a day. Or two. Or a week. Oops.

  • Budgeting my money. Or even tracking it. Having any sort of knowledge of my money. Do I even have money left?

  • Make my bed. That’s pretty easy and I don’t do it. I’m still riding high in that teenage-rebellion against a mother who made me make my bed every day. My inner child has officially died.

  • Buy a new bed. My current bed sucks. But this requires me to budget. So.

Taking all of that on at once, however, would be incredibly overwhelming. That’s why I’ve chosen to only focus on three goals instead of My Top Twelve Reasons To Have A Panic Attack. I’m hoping that this will change my Sunday Scaries into something more pleasant. There is no point in freaking out about my list instead of just…doing it!

And that’s what I recommend you try this Sunday. See what habit you can change that leads you into the weekend blues. What thought triggers the panic? What action makes it worse?

Here’s how I’m tracking so far with my February Anxiety Goals:

 I’d say I’m at a 33% success rate as of now.
I’d say I’m at a 33% success rate as of now.

How do you deal with the sunday scaries?

Angus Eye Tea episodes come out every Wednesday, which you can check out here.

Episode Notes “A Year of Disaster:” Tarot, Horoscopes, And The Truth

A Year of Disaster: 2019

After a month-or-so long break, it is FANTASTIC to be back in the swing of things on this podcast! I had so much existential dread about Angus Eye Tea that I almost needed to make a podcast about making my podcast about anxiety.

You’ll notice a few new things around here – first, that now we’re on SPOTIFY. Second, that I’m uploading on Wednesdays now! And third, that each episode will have an accompanying blog post to expand on any shenanigans I briefly touch on in the podcast. I want Angus Eye Tea to be available to all sorts of media users, so if you’re hard of hearing, listening to a podcast is probably a drag. So, voila! Episode Notes are here!

I-haven’t-had-a-good-year-ever-itis

Right, so, uh…my tarot reading for 2019 basically suggested I would have bad relationships, nothing would last, and vacations/plans/projects would be cancelled. That was not really the inspiring, I am one with the Universe sort of mystical wonder I was looking for. I was hoping I would get some cards that would say, “Wow, you’re going to buy a house! And have ten boyfriends who are ALL RICH. Oh, and you’re going to travel the world for free and have no worries at all.”

But, as you heard, that did not happen. Do these cards actually determine the outcome of my life? No. I have free will to act against them, be aware of their warnings, and also, this deck was from Barnes & Noble. How mystical can it really be?

The problem actually stems from an issue where I tend to look back on each year and go, “well, damn. That’s another one down the drain.” I haven’t had a kick-ass year in a while. I have some pretty good stretches, but I can’t help but think of overarching issues that clouded my years. The first example that comes to mind for me would be the year I studied abroad in Dublin. That was the most incredible experience. I pushed so many of my anxiety boundaries, saw Europe, made great friends, and had a great time.

But, after those four months, I came home and fell into a horrific depression. I was coming to terms with the fact that something actually was up with my mental health. It had become apparent during my travels that I had an anxiety “issue” that made me irritable and unable to enjoy certain outings that everyone seemed completely fine with. Coming back to my life, I had an overwhelming feeling that I had settled in so many aspects of my life. That made me incredibly sad after months of adventure, and I continued to spiral from there.

Then, my senior year of college began and I was bored. So, so, so bored. I had a lot of time to think. Too much time, really. I thought about how I was stuck in Spartanburg, South Carolina. I thought about how I would most likely end up back at my parents house in Ohio after graduation. I thought about how I would become scared again and lose the anxiety-fighter muscles I had gained in Ireland. That I would never travel again, and I’d be too afraid to interview for a job. In my eyes, I had peaked and life would offer me nothing moving forward.

And yes, if you guessed “wow, was Elaine depressed that year?”, congrats! You win!

Long story short, I started seeing a counselor, I survived that year, got a job, and here I am today! But if I looked at 2015, would I say it was a good year? Eh. First part – fabulous. Second, bigger part – shit show.

I could go on, but you get the picture – my years tend to have golden months or moments, but I usually can only see the times my depression or anxiety clouded over and took away time from me.

Anyway, going through the tarot reading and the horoscopes made me realize that I want to change how I view each year of my life. It’s easy for me to connect every depressive episode I had sprinkled throughout the winter and perceive my whole year as those darker moments. I’m not someone who can remember all the good parts, especially when I’m in the thick of anxiety/depression fun.

This year, I want to be outside of my head more. I want to help others, whether it be supporting someone’s dream or donating to a cause or donating my time to help someone. It’s easy for me to stay trapped in Elaine’s Doomsday World, and I think this year it’d be nice if I took more vacations. I’ve come up with a quick list below of ideas on how you can better your year and avoid “bad-year-itis.”

How to defeat your “bad year streak”

  • Keep a journal that you write in frequently. It can be bullet points, blurbs, or really annoying prose that hopefully no one will ever read. The journal will act as your evidence throughout the year to stop you from making blanket statements such as, “this entire year has sucked so far.”

  • Plan ahead so your year isn’t a shit-show. Sorry, was that aggressive? Right, any who – if you dedicate one day a week or even a month doing something you know will be relaxing, enjoying, or fulfilling, then scientifically you can’t have a bad year. Science and maths say so. Algorithms. Yes.

  • Stop evaluating how good your life is by one year. Nothing stays the same, so why would you try to judge your life by such a large and varying measurement? You can still have good years and bad years, but that doesn’t mean that your life is graded at the end of each year. And if you feel like your year is graded, who are you competing against and why?

  • Lastly, stop trying to support your theory that you’re on a bad year streak. If you believe it, you’re going to try to find evidence to prove it. There will obviously be things we can’t control, but try to focus on the parts of your life that you can control

Angus Eye Tea episodes come out every Wednesday, which you can check out here.

How To Avoid Your Problems: Your Guide To Self-Denial

I love so many cheeses. I like them hard and soft. I like cream cheese; I like cottage cheese… I’m a true Midwesterner.

— Cecily Strong

Inspirational quotes such as these can help us find the truth within ourselves. I, for one, love cheese. But you know what  I don’t love? Dealing with my problems.

I have become an expert at avoiding all types of conflict and problems in my life through my tried-and-true method of Self-Denial. Below you’ll find these amazing tips that you can start using in your life to hide your issues from not only those you love but most importantly, yourself.

1. Whenever the problem presents itself, laugh and take a shot.

This option could lead you to get blackout drunk which, let’s be real, is the ideal situation. Let’s say the issue is an event that made you really mad, but no one else was pissed off by it. Each time someone brings it up and laughs, pull out your “medicine” and drink up. When your vision starts to blur, you know you’re on the right track to forget your woes!

2. Tell everyone that the problem is actually something else.

Did you stay up late last night crying and friends are asking you this morning why you look so tired? Psh, you did not weep over Mufasa’s death at 1:00 a.m. Come up with a story that explains your state, but also makes you seem cool, hip, and jiggy. Here, you might say, “Oh, gosh, no, I was up late talking to be Swedish boyfriend who is rich.” Very believable and chic.

3. Run Away

Some people in your life may try to confront you directly. The most mature way to handle such confrontations is to throw whatever is in your hands into the air, scream, and then sprint away. It doesn’t matter if you are in your house or at the mall, the Roar ‘n’ Run method works 8 times out of 10.

*We found the two other times it does not work happen to be when the police are involved or if you’re on an airplane.

4. Eat

Nothing is healthier than eating your feelings. Hell, eat other people’s feelings, too. Walk up to the saddest person near you, swipe their fries, and go about your day. My, don’t you feel better already?

5. Distract With Flatulence

Your therapist says you seem defensive. Ha, sucker doesn’t know defensive yet! Eat some beans and have your cannons at the ready for these sort of caring and important questions that attempt to break down your walls. Once the intrusive question is released, it’s time to spread your cheeks and let your butt-trumpet sing. Everyone will be flabbergasted by your gas, causing the perfect distraction to move on to other topics.

Self-awareness is overrated and you don’t need anyone! Take a look in the mirror, try not to gag, and look at yourself dead in the eye. You are invincible! Sort of! And beneath your calm exterior is a raging and dark self, fighting to get out and decay your whole body. Cute!

What’s your best way to stay in self-denial? An igloo of isolation? Retail therapy on miniature figurines? Cheese?

Never mind, it’s cheese.

Easy Meals For When You’re Depressed: Painless Plates You Can Put Together Even When You’re Down

Accompanying Episode Suggestion: MY DOG ROLLED IN LLAMA SH*T AND OTHER TALES FROM ADVENTURE AUGUST

When I get depressed, I am completely useless when it comes to feeding myself properly. I get too anxious to go grocery shopping, so I end up ordering in a lot of food. And that food is, uh, not salads. Because I’m already depressed soooo why would I order a salad? Right? Hm.

Anyway, that causes a ripple effect where I start to stress while depressed. I get worried about:

  • All the money I’m spending.

  • The weight I’m gaining.

  • My inability to go grocery shopping (and that’s more a frustration than a stress).

  • How I’m depending on these meals to make me happy and, in the end, it never cures me. Like, how rude of you, burger.

As the years have gone by, and I’m now an adult with a job and a home, I’ve had to find ways to properly feed myself even when I’m depressed. I’ve put together a list of EASY and SIMPLE meals so that you can continue to be a functioning human being.

TWO DISCLAIMERS

  1. I am not a doctor or a nutritionist.

  2. These meals are not meant to treat your symptoms or cure you in anyway. I’m not even sure they are all SUPER healthy. The idea with this list is you eat one of these meals instead of eating chips for every one of your meals.

With all that being said, here’s my menu:

BREAKFAST

MUGGLETTE

I absolutely hate the name I gave this dish, but once I thought of it, it refused to go away. It nagged me in my sleep, haunted me throughout the days. The horrendous combination of mug and omlette into mugglette could not be undone.

Ingredients:

  • A quirky mug. If your mug is not quirky, GTFO LOSER. Jk, hope you feel better soon.

  • Eggs

  • A dash of liquid: Milk, Water, Tears of Your Enemies

  • Optional: Veggies, cheese, whatever the hell you like in your eggs.

Grab your quirky mug that you never use because it’s “hand wash” but you totally put it in the dishwasher. Each time you put in the dishwasher, a piece of you dies and you realize you are way too emotionally attached to an inanimate object.

 Delish.com thingks you should be bougie and put them in a mason jar instead. So, if you feel extra fancy, by all means, do this. The glass will burn your fucking hand off but yeah, no, love this idea. Love the aesthetic. Yasss.
Delish.com thingks you should be bougie and put them in a mason jar instead. So, if you feel extra fancy, by all means, do this. The glass will burn your fucking hand off but yeah, no, love this idea. Love the aesthetic. Yasss.

Crack 1-2 eggs into the mug. I usually aim for two. If you’re feeling super #swol, screw it, put three in there. Who cares – the eggs are giving you protein and are real food, so good for you!

Then, you’re going to add your liquid. I like to use almond milk because every time I have cow milk in my house, I guzzle it. And while milk has some cool things like vitamin D and some other stuff for bones or whatever, it also has fat and I tend to eat a shit ton of cheese, so for me, this is my compromise where I’m like, k almonds, do your thing.

That was a long paragraph to say that you can use the milk of your choice. If you have no milk, water actually works just fine. Your eggs just won’t be as creamy. And I hate that I called this Mugglette ‘creamy.’ Hm. One more time: creamy.

Thank you.

I put in just a dash of milk – like a .5 second tipping of the container so that enough pops out but when it pours onto the eggs, it doesn’t cover them all the way. Is that a description cooks use?

Once your liquid is poured, grabbed a fork and destroy those yolks. Whisk it like you mean it. If you have veggies or cheese or regrets, pour those in now and give it a stir.

Put the mug in the microwave for 1 minute. Stir. Put it in the microwave for 30 seconds to 1 minute. Make sure your eggs are cooked all the way and then just freaking eat the dang thing out of the mug.

Despite this long-ass description, total prep and cook time is three minutes.

BOWL OF FROZEN FRUIT

Ingredients:

  • A bag of frozen fruit.

  • Your hand.

  • A plate.

You go to the frozen section of the grocery store. You avoid the ice cream and instead, buy a bag of sugar-free frozen fruit. I like strawberries, so I buy that. Frozen fruit doesn’t rot as fast as the fresh fruit does that I buy and then neglect, kind of like how I neglect myself! Ha ha ha! FUN.

Fill up a little bowl or plate with the fruit and either wait for it to thaw or just eat it cold. Some therapies suggest a drastic temperature change can also help you get out of a funk or an anxiety high. Thus, you should most definitely take two handfuls of frozen fruit and shove it in your mouth.

OATMEAL

Ingredients:

  • A packet of oatmeal.

  • Hot water.

  • A vessel to contain your hot oat mush.

Get hot water. Get packet. Merge. Feel free to add some of your frozen fruit here as well. If you don’t have clean bowls left, you can do this in your handy-dandy mug as well!

 Sexy.
Sexy.

CEREAL

Ingredients:

  • Store-bought cereal.  Preferably one that isn’t 100% sugar and one that is only 85% sugar. (Fruity Pebbles vs. Special K).

  • If you like wet cereal, your liquid of choice.

  • A bowl.

  • A spoon or, if no spoons, a sassy fork.

Open box of cereal. Open plastic bag. Pick up half of the cereal that flung out when you opened the bag. Pour desired amount into bowl. Add milk of any kind. Put spoon it and bring it to your face. Repeat until finished. Optional to add fruit (bananas go well here!).

PB BANANA WAFFLE

Ingredients:

  • Frozen waffle. I get whole wheat because I’m soy healthy.

  • Peanut butter – preferably sugar-free.

  • A banana.

Plop the waffle into the toaster. Once it’s toasty-woasty, smear peanut butter onto that bad boy. Then, slice up some banana coins and place the fruit on top. If you’re not used to sugar-free peanut butter, feel free to add some honey.

lunch/dinner

SANDWICH

This is such an easy meal that I actually forget about it a LOT. Oops.

Ingredients:

  • Bread.

  • Meats.

  • Cheese.

  • Condiments.

  • Optional veggies.

Get bread. Get cheese. Get meats. Veggies optional. Get a condiment. Merge in any order that pleases you. Recommended that bread goes on outside, but live your best life.

While you have all this shit out, go ahead and make two or three sandwiches. This will save you the hassle of having to make meals later. Look at that you productive, depressed person!

SOUP

Ingredients:

  • A fucking can of soup.

If you were unable to clean your dishes, you can rinse out the fruit bowl you used earlier and now make it a soup bowl. Open the can of soup, preferably into the bowl. If you choose to splash it onto your counter using the blow dryer method, please seek professional help. I cannot help you.

Microwave the soup according to directions or, you know, feel it out. Save the rest of the soup for another day or your next meal (there’s no shame in repeating meals in the same day as long as IT’S NOT CHIPS).

 Delicious.
Delicious.

BAKED POTATO

Ingredients:

  • A russet potato.

  • Toppings of choice: cheese, nonfat Greek yogurt, chili/beans, meats, veggies, etc.

Wash that tater. Wrap it in a paper towel blanket like a newborn. Wet the paper towel, preferably with water. Microwave for a long ass time – usually 6-8 minutes depending on your wattage. Try stabbing the potato to see if it’s ready or not.  Once cooked, open the potato and throw shit all over it. I like to use Greek yogurt as a sour cream substitute because when I smother my potato in toppings, I truly can’t taste the difference and it’s a slightly healthier option. But feel free to sour cream it up!

While your potato is sizzling in the microwave, use those minutes as a countdown clock and see how much of your kitchen you can tidy up.

SALAD

I know this is pretty hypocritical of me to put since I just roasted salad in my intro, but they are easy to make and healthy (depending on what you do to it) so alas, here is a salad:

Ingredients:

  • Buy lettuce of choice. The bagged lettuce tends to wilt fast so either shove that thing in another bag/container, or buy that fancier organic shit in the plastic container because it will last longer. Yeah, it’s more expensive, but I actually have time to eat the whole thing vs. the bags I have one salad from and then toss.

  • Choose a dressing. Ranch is yummy but also not the healthiest. But again, the point is that WE’RE EATING REAL FOOD. If you have no dressings on you because you forgot, see if you have some olive oil. Drizzle that on salad with salt and pepper.

  • Veggie add in suggestions: tomatoes, cucumber, carrots, mushrooms, corn.

Pretty simple – stick your grubby little paws into everything, throw it in a bowl, mix it up and voila – a salad. This can be a really good way to make sure you’re getting some vegetables in your system which, in turn, will give you more energy. I get very fatigued with my depression, and my burgers definitely do not do me any favors.

 

These meals aren’t mind blowing, I know, but when I fall into an episode, I forget that meal prep can be easy. Not every dish has to take 30+ minutes to make, and sometimes my kitchen and my energy are equally a mess.  Enjoy each victory you have with each meal you make yourself. Instagram your ugly-ass megglette. It’s a fucking win. #Megglettes.

Do you have a Depression Dish that helps you get through the day? Share below!

The Ultimate Gift Guide For Anxious Folks

Know what’s stressful? Christmas shopping. Know who’s stressed? You. Them. All of us. We are all crying on the inside when we’re in Walmart waiting in line.

I decided I wanted to save your soul and not only find you things that are perfect gifts to ask for or give to others, but that don’t require you to interact with human beings.

You can thank me later.

I provided links to Amazon for all of these items! I may make a commission if you go through my links, just so you’re in the loop!

  1. Gravity Blankets

Gravity blankets or weighted blankets are like having the luxury of feeling buried alive minus the agony of being buried alive. Like, if you could die smothered in chocolate, you’d be down, right? No? Am I doing this wrong?

According to the research, weighted blankets simulate the stimulus of being hugged or in your own cozy cave. This in turn makes you feel relaxed and secure. If you’re like me and find yourself lying awake at night, tossing and turning, wondering why you started a post about dying via live burial, this may be the perfect request for your holiday gift list!

Lots of weighted blankets are sold separately from their duvet cover (the cover is what will give you that extra fluff factor), so just an FYI!

2.  Brene Brown books

I will support Brene Brown till the day I die. Unless like, some horrible news comes out that she’s a Nazi or something. I doubt that’s the case but hi, welcome to 2018. To be clear – Brene Brown is  not a Nazi, but rather an inspirational sociologist who focuses on the research of vulnerability. How do you research vulnerability? Yeah, it’s as complicated as you’d think – and Brown’s work on the topic is not only fascinating and readable, but SO incredibly helpful. My therapist recommended Braving The Wilderness to me, which led me to Daring Greatly and then Rising Strong. I absolutely loved these books and they helped me understand some of the emotional blocks that I have and weirdly, how I interact with my family. Gross. Love it!

4.  Cozy tea

 Harney & Sons has my favorite tea - the Hot Cinnamon Spice. It tastes like Fall punched you in the throat and then, you spat out Ugg boots.
Harney & Sons has my favorite tea – the Hot Cinnamon Spice. It tastes like Fall punched you in the throat and then, you spat out Ugg boots.

Want some mental health tea? Cool, how about this brew? Tea is the perfect way to have caffeine without getting coffee-level jitters and it’s got some antioxidants or some shit you can claim to know. Tea just tastes good and is the part of any cozy aesthetic. You heard it here last, folks. The tea I linked is the shit, and the cinnamon spice specifically tastes like fall slapped you in the face and then knee’ed you in the nuts, but in a fun way.

I love how good I am at this.

4. A Damn Good Planner

Sometimes, those of us who are depressed/anxious are SO busy focusing on the things that are setting us off that we let the rest of our life go to hell in a hand basket. Example: freaking out about doing your dishes, so you keep doing your dishes, but keeping up with your ship modeling hobby? Goodbye. Paying bills on time? Cute idea.

I have used the Best Self Planner three times now. The first time I used it, I found a new job by the end of the 13 week window. The second time I used it, I lost 15 lbs. Something about this planner makes me focus on goals that I agonize over and I feel so empowered. I gave this to my mom last Christmas, and I think it’s perfect as a gift. Even if the person has a planner, this is a good goal-planner they can use as well.

I’ve left you the Amazon link, but if you also go to the Best Self Journal website, you can find some other cool planning things as well!

5. Salt lamp

I get it, salt lamps have turned into the frappuccinos of the home decor world but also fuck you, salt lamps are calming and precious as hell and yeah, a frappuccino is nice to have once in awhile, thank you.

Salt lamps are also good for light therapy and helping with SADD. The red light also helps conquer the naggy blue light that comes from electronics that actually keeps us awake at night. Ooooh, ahhhh!

6. Face/Body Wipes

Sometimes, personal hygiene comes last when you’re in a funk. Face and body wipes can help someone you love who’s unable to meet some basic cleaning tasks like showering often enough and yeah, even washing their face. Obviously, don’t hand this to them and be like “u r gross,” just include this maybe in a first-aid-kit for when a funk hits. Other fun items you can throw in: tooth paste, toilet paper, deodorant, chocolate, a puppy, $500, a plane ticket, etc.

7.  Give Them A Craft Because Idk What To Do With My Hands!

For some people, it’s baking. Others, it’s cleaning. And then, for those of us who refuse to be productive in our lives, it is crafting. Crafting allows the mind to focus on a task and shut out endless negative thought cycles. Or, it makes you pause and mull things over – a chance to cool off and really assess the sitch you’re in. Not to mention that at the end of the craft, you have something you can show off and be like, yeah, I tied a bunch of knots together for hours on end and now have a scarf. Craft kits or crafting supplies can be a cute stocking stuffer or something you even make yourself and hand out to the masses.

8. An Office Mood Lifter

Succulents, sure, but silly name plates, punching bags, and journals? Yes. Help your loved ones survive the capitalist regime and their 9 to 5 (or 8 to 6 because lol money never sleeps) with something fun to take their frustrations out on. And yes, that means you no longer have to be their emotional dumping bag! Yay!

9. A Reminder Of Awesomeness

I know I just talked about how much I enjoy crafting, but my crafts don’t usually end up in a state where I feel like I could properly gift it to someone without them thinking I was saving myself a trip to the dumpster by giving it to them.

Scrapbooks or photo albums are such a nice touch. I think it’d be really cool to give a friend or family member who is feeling down a book that focuses on why they are important, and why what they are doing is right. It can be a “look at all the cool things you’ve done, remember?” to a “look at all the people who love and support you!” and can even be a “look at all the things that your future could hold!”. It’s so easy to get stuck in your head, and having a physical item that’s not attached to the internet where you can get sucked into a two hour app cycle can be SO helpful. The great thing about these kind of scrapbooks are that they don’t need to be that fancy. The reminder does a lot of the talking for you.

At the end of the day, if you are unsure of what someone needs for Christmas because they’re having a rough time, the best thing you can do is give them something that’s thoughtful and just be there for them! The holidays can bring up not only painful memories for some people, but a lot of stressful events as well, like if you’re anxious about people’s reactions to your gifts.  It can be hard to give a present to someone who’s not in the spirit, but know that they most likely appreciate the gesture.

Happy holidays! Sorry if you don’t celebrate Christmas and this whole time period is annoying af, love it, jingle bell hell, #RedCup.