I am a grown-ass adult, and sometimes I get hollered at for not being fancy enough or for driving too fast or that I need to stop singing “Hello”—by a 4-year-old.
I often find that I need something to help me get through these days of being hollered at, simple things that give me happiness and help me feel like I’m more than a walking human Kleenex. Not that my children don’t give me happiness, they do, but they also give me fistfuls of food that they don’t want to eat and the common cold about 10 times per year.
It doesn’t take much to make me feel better, so here are some examples just in case you need to feel better too:
1. ’80s music
I’m looking at you “Total Eclipse of the Heart” and anything by ’80s Madonna or U2. There’s just something about certain songs that make me feel like I don’t have to be responsible for anybody else’s bullshit but my own.
It helps so much, and sometimes I don’t even realize how much I need the sun until it’s been gone for a while and my kids start looking at me fearfully whenever my head turns full circle in their direction.
3. Online Shopping
Even just for regular stuff like noise-canceling headphones, sturdy bathroom locks, or vats of chocolate wine (this seriously exists).
I know, I know. So cliche. But really, where else can I go in for deodorant and come out the proud owner of many somethings that are not deodorant and also fill the consumeristic void in my soul?
5. A Siesta
I am the master of sneaking short naps, even when my kids are around. I pretend to be a “baby” and get tucked in a lot, or play hide-and-seek and find a comfy corner for 15 minutes. I can be a cat and sleep in the sun, or someone who is very sick, a narcoleptic, a hibernating bear, a baby sloth, or Grandpa at Thanksgiving. Obviously, I’ve thought about this a lot.
6. Controlling Just One Thing
When I’m really struggling, it’s usually because I feel like everything is totally out of my control. Sometimes just taking my junk drawer and dumping the whole thing out and organizing it makes me feel more normal, which may say something about me that screams OCD, but oh well.
7. Comfortable Pants
I won’t say yoga, because well, I’m sick of people talking about yoga pants. But you know what I mean. And while I’m at it, I would probably chuck off my bra, and all of a sudden, my whole worldview would be clearer and zipper-free.
I once tried to stop drinking caffeine, but then I realized that I like being a functioning member of society and recognizing my loved ones’ faces.
9. Looking at Old Journals
Or love letters. Laughing at how angsty and lovelorn the younger me was is quite refreshing as I gaze upon my husband’s unwashed underpants. I kind of want to reach into the paper, and shake myself every once in a while, but overall, it makes me feel better about where I’m at now.
Talking to women who are dealing with similar life challenges is probably the easiest way to help me feel like I’m not as crazy as my therapist sometimes suspects I am.
11. Friends Reruns
Or whatever show makes me feel the most like a younger version of myself with hopefully fewer worries and more elastin in my skin.
13. A Bath and a Locked Door
14. Laughing at Stupid Stuff on the Internet
I really don’t know how our mothers survived without access to Damn You Autocorrect.
This sounds annoyingly healthy, but I find that if I want to keep from flinging someone out a window, I need to have at least a skeleton crew of endorphins floating around my system.
16. A Trip to the Grocery Store Alone
I realize this is a sad testament to where my life has devolved to when I consider this as a luxury or vice. But there you have it.
I think I’m required to put this one in here or else something of mine is going to be revoked—probably my Discount Liquors punch card.
18. Shaking the Day Up
Sometimes just throwing an entire planned day out the window and going to get a freaking ice cream cone can be better than therapy.
19. Celebrity Gossip
What’s a better way to feel like everything is OK than to read about people who seem to have everything, but then you see that they still have to take children into public places.
20. Just Saying, ‘Well, Today Freaking Sucks’
Admitting defeat can be oddly freeing when you’re standing on an unidentified turd from an unidentified child. Tomorrow may suck too, but it’s tomorrow and you can really only deal with the suckage at hand.
So there you have it—who knew we were all just a bagel away from turning into Mommy Dearest.
This article was originally published on