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Tips for when you feel like a sad, sad, sad panda

Every girl has her bad days. Whether it’s finally breaking up with that person who was just no good, a rough day at work, or an existential crisis of epic proportions, horrible days are bound to happen. Though you may be tempted to break out a sour attitude and read a ton of Camus—please don’t. You’re only torturing yourself.  Here are ten tried-and-tested ways to pick yourself up when you’re feeling super down.

1. Read. Whether it’s finally starting that epic tome, or simmering down with a salacious tell-all, picking up a book is the easiest way to transport yourself elsewhere. Our pick? Proust’s In Search of Lost Time. With its meandering prose and engrossing characters, it’s hard not to get lost in this French writer’s magnum opus. I’ve never finished it, but think of how much literary cred you’ll have if you do?

2. Watch this video. There’s something so satisfying about Marty McConnell’s spoken word. She challenges you to live bravely and fearlessly, even when all you want to do is hide under the covers.

3. Take yourself out. Yes, alone. Yes, without your friends. For some people, the thought of spending time by oneself is more terrifying than being submerged in a pit of poisonous snakes. However, it’s also the perfect way to recharge. Try a new cuisine like Ethiopian food, watch a film at the TIFF Lightbox or take in some art at some of the city’s smaller, independent galleries—you’ll come out if it with new experiences, and perhaps a new perspective.

4. Cuddle with an animal. Sometimes you just need a little love, and your pets are more than happy to give it. Don’t have a fuzzy friend at home? Check out the nearest animal shelter, or visit a friend who has a pet.

5. Volunteer. Sometimes, the best way to deal is to give your time to a worthwhile cause that needs your support.

6. Start a project that you’ve been meaning to do. Want to learn to shred on guitar? Become a prima ballerina? Get fluent in conversational Latin? Now’s the time to do it.

7. Make a friend. Whether it’s reconnecting with your bestie, or reaching out to an interesting acquaintance, hearing other people’s stories and creating new memories is a great way to feel better. 

8. Cook. Because really, isn’t life just a little easier when you’re licking the mixing spoon?

9. Dance. There’s a reason why the theme of so many classic pop songs is “dance your troubles away.” Whether it’s hitting the town, taking a class or just dancing in your living room—the endorphins will instantly make you feel better.

10. Reflect. Distraction is all well and good, but no matter the situation, it’s important to take a little time to think about what’s got you bummed. If it’s by yourself on the subway, in your journal, or with another person—you’ll at least have it out of your system.

~ Natasha Hunt

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