10 Ways I Get Through A Bad Day

You will notice the title of this blog is strictly  “ways I get through a bad day” – and not advice for how YOU should get through a bad day. Some of my tips and tricks I use to make myself feel better are not what self-help sites on the internet and books will tell you, but this is not a self-help site. This is a site to be fucking real.

We have all had days like this. I’m not talking about when you have a heartbreaking breakup, or someone passes away. That is a totally separate beast. I’m talking about the kind of day when maybe work sucks, or maybe the kind of day when every single thing is just not going your way and you feel like you can’t win. Or maybe the kind of day when you just are sad for no fucking reason and can’t shake your way out of it.

Here are some ways I get through a bad day.

Go to the gym.

I’m not talking about the whole “exercise gives you endorphins, endorphins make you happy, and happy people just don’t kill their husband kind of thing.” I’m talking about when something is just pissing you off so much that you pop in your favorite playlist (in this kind of state, I go for 2000’s emo hits – A Day to Remember, My Chemical Romance, Taking Back Sunday – yes PLEASE) and just fucking RUN until you are so tired out from it you’re completely beat. This is what I will do on a bad day when I’m really pissed, angry or worked up about something – if I’m just straight up sad, I definitely won’t be at the gym.

Take a long, hot shower.

There is no better place to be alone with your thoughts than a long, hot shower. No matter how shitty of a mental place I’m in, a shower always makes me feel (slightly better). I stay in there until I’m sick of thinking about what is pissing me off so much, and once I notice my mind has shifted, I get out. If I’m up for it, a face mask after will do wonders.

Play my guitar

Playing guitar is a new hobby for me, in fact before I picked it up I didn’t have much of a hobby at all. Channeling my thoughts into something creative does help me distract from whatever is bothering me.  I’m so new at it, that I have fun practicing and playing around with chords and notes, and it requires a different part of my brain’s attention than if I say, am turning on a funny movie that my mind can easily wander from.

Watch “Friends” 

Literally anytime I’m having a bad day (or a good day, sometimes) I turn on Friends. I’ve seen every episode a million times but it makes me laugh, I don’t have to concentrate on something new, and it just always makes me feel better. Friends has been there for me at truly the hardest of times.

Drink Alcohol

I told you this is not what the internet would recommend. I know you’re not supposed to “drink to feel better, you’re supposed to drink to feel even better.” But you know what? I’m not saying I get wasted by myself, but on a bad or stressful day, having a glass or two of scotch neat makes me feel better. The catch to this, is I try not to drink wine if I’m feeling sad or in a bad mood. I don’t ever want to start associating my favorite white wine with negative emotions – and usually when I’m in this kind of state I want the hard stuff anyway.

Cook

Similar to playing the guitar, I find that doing something hands-on and channeling energy into something else really helps me. I love to cook – I’ll find a new recipe, blast some music and get to it in the kitchen to make myself feel better.

Vent to One Person You Know Who Will Care

There was a point in time I used to vent to anyone and everyone who would listen, but found that was not fulfilling at all and would honestly just piss me off when people couldn’t totally understand or didn’t react exactly the way I wanted them to. Now, I go directly to one friend, who I know I can vent to and who will be there. I definitely prefer text over phone call in these situations because I just want to lie in bed and fire off thoughts.

Journal

I’m a big fan of journaling – I try to at least once a week  to recap the week and set intentions for the next. If I’m having a bad day, I definitely just write whatever the hell is on my mind, what’s pissing me off, and try to make sense of my emotions.

Lay on my couch and feel sorry for myself 

You heard me. Sometimes, you just need to  lay down and wallow, and do whatever the fuck you need to do in this moment. Whether that’s mindlessly surfing TV stations, scrolling through social media (yes, I know there is probably no better way to feel worse than to go on social media, I told you I don’t recommend it but that is what I do) or texting a friend, I just do whatever I feel I need to do. I spend so much time doing what I think I “should” be doing and sometimes you just need to stop for a minute and breathe.

Plan something for the future

For me, planning my next trip is always something that makes me feel better, because it makes me hopeful for a time that I will be out of the state that I’m in. Travel makes me excited and inspired, so looking up flights and planning my next adventure helps to pull me out of my funk.

What do you do to make yourself feel better on a shitty day? Let me know in the comments below!

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Solo Trip to Toronto/Niagara Falls – Part 3

If you haven’t read Part 1 and Part 2 of my solo trip, check them out here to learn about my trip so far.

On day 3, I had purchased a tour to Niagara Falls through Kings Tours. They picked me up at my hotel and took me to the bus stop where we would meet everyone else from the tour. The drive to the falls was about 90 minutes, and we got to see great views of Lake Ontario and Canadian sites on the trip. I loved our tour guide, he was hilarious and it was great getting to know everyone on the tour. We all came from different countries and backgrounds – I spend most of the time chatting with a man from London, one from Poland, and one from Australia. Talking with these people about their countries and backgrounds and sharing my own experiences was one of the most enriching experiences of the whole trip.

Once we got to the falls, there was an option within the ticket to pay for a boat ride around the falls. I didn’t buy that part of the package, so I had 3 hours of free times. I originally thought that I was going to hit the Niagara Falls Casino and explore the town to pass the time, but I ended up being so enthralled by the falls that I just walked up and down taking them in the majority of the day. Again, we had an extremely cloudy day but the falls were absolutely unreal. I have never seen anything in my life that was so amazing – and this was where I got the inspiration for this blog. I definitely understand why this was one of the 7 Wonders of the World.

I popped into the gift shop for lunch and tried the Niagara Falls Lager, a light and refreshing lager. After that, I walked up and down the falls, in awe, until it was time to get back on the bus.

Once back on the bus, the driver took us to Niagara on the Lake, a quaint little town right on Lake Ontario. The group and I walked up and down the shops and down to the lake. There’s tons of small boutique shops, little cafes, and clothing stores. Then, we all went to the Eastdell Estates Winery for a complimentary wine tasting and a relaxing way to end the day. We tried a red and a white, along with two iced wines. The iced wines are super sweet wines which I didn’t care for me because I don’t love sweet wines, but it was definitely interesting to try and learn about how they are made. All the wines are sold in Canada and I was so bummed I couldn’t take home the white I tried, one of the driest most amazing whites I ever had, from Lakeview Cellars.

Then, we headed home. I wanted to go out that night so went to a few different bars in Queens West, but was pretty tired from the day so called it a night early. The next morning, on my last day, I went back to Tim Horton’s for breakfast,  packed my stuff and checked out of the hotel.

I had time to kill before my flight so walked down to Kensington Market, a trendy bohemian neighborhood with tons of grocers, vendors, and boutique shops. This is where I bought some souvenirs for myself and my family members.

On my way back, I walked into the Art Gallery of Ontario (AGO). If I had had more time, I definitely would have bought the ticket and walked around the gallery, but because I was short on time I just walked around the gift shop. It was a really cute store with all sorts of cool art and items made by local makers. Then, I headed over to Eaton Centre for my last stop before heading to the airport.

Right by Eaton Centre is Yonge-Dundas, a popular public square that hosts music, film and community events. When I walked by, they were having a poutine eating contest. Man, I love Canada. I stopped into Eaton Centre which was a local mall and I decided I wasn’t in the mood to shop – and, I definitely had zero room in my suitcase for anything else! The bartender from the first night had recommended 3 Brewers, a micro-brewery within a restaurant and with about a half hour left before I needed to go get my luggage, I went for one last IPA. With that final beer, it was time to go home.

I definitely recommend Toronto for anyone looking to go on a quick trip. I want to go back – ideally during baseball season to catch a Blue Jay’s Game to Roger’s Stadium, hit the hockey hall of fame, and check out some more local sights. Most of all – I recommend the hell out of solo travel. It was truly one of the best vacations I have ever been on and I became so comfortable with my own company.

Have you been Toronto? Is there anything else you would recommend? If you have any questions on solo travel, let me know in the comments below.

Solo Trip to Toronto: Part 2

If you haven’t read Part  1 of my solo trip check it out here to learn about my trip so far. Now we’re on Day 2 of my Canadian adventure, and up to this point, I was having an absolutely wonderful time walking around, taking in this beautiful new city, and meeting new people. I was a little tired the night before and threw my initial plans of hitting the hotel gym out the window, and started on my day.

I kicked things off with a stroll to Tim Horton’s because #Canada. My first experience at Tim Horton’s really just taught me that they won’t give you coffee black unless you ask for it. I got my iced coffee loaded with cream and sugar which in New York, I would have sent back in exchange for a black coffee, but I wanted to do things the Canada way. I got it with their breakfast sandwich biscuit which was delicious. Canada was surprisingly warm that day so I ventured on a long walk to the Royal Ontario Museum.

I definitely got lost a few times on this walk which ended up taking the 25 minute walk over an hour. I didn’t mind the detours at all because I saw so many beautiful parts of the city during this walk – leaving downtown and headed towards the cute neighborhood of Queen West I saw amazing architecture and stunning buildings like the Legislature Buildings, I saw the beautiful Queens Park and the University of Toronto. When I finally got inside the museum, I bought a general admission ticket (which was $20CA.)

As soon as I walked into the museum, I had to smile at the huge dinosaur sculpture you see right there – it’s just like the one at the American Museum of Natural History back in New York. This ROM is one of the largest museums in North America and has a huge range of nature and culture exhibits. I easily could have stayed all day, but I spend around 4 hours there. Highlights for me definitely included the room of minerals and rocks – I’m a sucker for minerals – I think they are just so fascinating! Another highlight for me definitely included the third floor which was full of decked out rooms from victorian eras – living rooms, dining rooms, bedrooms all set in beautiful old fashioned decor.

After a break for lunch and a little decompression (and resting my feet after walking around for hours), I ventured to the CN tower, only about a 15 minute walk from the DoubleTree. Before I headed to the tower, I stopped by the Steam Whistle Brewery right by the tower. The outside decor of this was definitely a highlight – right by the train museum, there are train tracks and trains surrounded the area. I went into the Steam Whistle Brewery and they had a special that if you follow them on Instagram they would give you a free Pilsner.  I’m not a big fan of Pilsner’s (more of an IPA girl) but the beer was pretty good and the brewery had a really cool, rustic vibe.

Then, I went to the CN Tower and paid the $40 to go up to the top. I debated paying so much money for the experience and I am SO glad I did. It was a super cloudy and dim evening so I can only imagine how amazing the view would be if it was a clear night. I also didn’t stay for sunset, but would definitely recommend doing so. The views from the top are absolutely unreal – overlooking the entire city of Toronto at  553.3 meters high, you see the Toronto islands, all of the city and I of course enjoyed it with a glass of wine. They do have a restaurant up there which I have heard great things about.

I ended the night with dinner and a glass of wine at the hotel restaurant, and went to bed early with a face mask to get ready for the next day – I had to be up early for a trip to Niagara falls.

Stay tuned for the third – and final – post of my Toronto adventure!

Solo Trip to Toronto: Part 1

This is a long one, so grab a glass of  Pinot Grigio, a snack, and settle in.

I had toyed with the idea of a solo trip for a few years, but never had the balls to actually take the plunge and go. I have always enjoyed being by myself (I consider myself an extroverted introvert) but wondered how it would be to travel alone. I’ve always read and been inspired by solo bloggers liked Nomadic Matt and how enlightened they were after traveling alone.

During this phase of my life when I finally became so comfortable being alone (and have never been so single), had a little money in my pocket I knew now was the perfect time to take a solo trip. I wanted to go somewhere international, but wasn’t ready to go somewhere so far that I didn’t speak the language. In case I wasn’t comfortable being alone, I wanted to be able to be on the time zone as my friends and family, and be able to communicate. Canada seemed like the perfect middle ground, a place where I could go for just a few days,  but required my passport to get there.

I booked a trip from LGA to Toronto from a Wednesday to a Friday,  with my flight getting in around 11 am. I’m someone who likes to make plans in every aspect of my life – making a to do list every day, and travel is no different. Even if I don’t stick to the plan (which I usually don’t) I need to have it written. So that is what I did.

Day 1

I am super weird in the sense that I love airports. I love the idea of being in this hub when you’re able to soar thousands of feet in the air, around thousands of other people jet setting to different states and countries, and are gearing up to go somewhere different   – and the fact that airports are a totally no judgement zone.  I hopped on the plane and landed in the Toronto airport around 12 pm.

After getting through customs I planned to take a cab from the airport, but I kept seeing signs in the airport for the Up Express and decided to take the train to downtown, where I was staying. The train was super easy to take, and cost around $12.50 CA instead of the $70 or so a cab would have been. I took the train to the DoubleTree Downtown Toronto where I stayed and of course, was greeted with a warm cookie. I definitely recommend the Downtown Doubletree if you’re staying – it was a central hub for everything and there was so much in walking distance. And the hospitality of the staff and crew was welcoming and great.

I didn’t stay long before I was eager to hit the town and explore – and I was super hungry at this point. I took a long walk down to the St Lawrence Market, a really cool indoor marketplace famous to Toronto with over 100 vendors, everything from meat and cheese vendors, to live oyster shucking, to classic Italian vendors – and of course, tons of maple syrup. As soon as I walked in, I was greeted by amazing aromas, but what caught my eye right away was a wine tasting (obv.) I chatted with the vendor as I tried a few different wines from the 13th Street Winery. I ultimately settled on a delicious Italian salad from. After walking around the market a little while I headed on my way.

Coming from New York City, I am used to walking, and especially when I’m traveling I love to walk everywhere I can – it’s such an amazing way to see a city and find hidden gems. On my walk, I took in the beautiful glass buildings and cool architecture.

I walked down to the Harbourfront, which took me around 30 minutes to get to. There, I saw where the Ferry takes you to Toronto Island – an item that was on my list but I didn’t get a chance to do. All the locals I talked to said it was a must-do, so I definitely recommend if you have the time! Here, I was able to sit by the water (the Harbourfront overlooks Lake Ontorio) reflect and relax. I felt so at peace in that moment – water views always gives me a sense of serenity and there was something about the calmness around me. I brought a book with me and headphones if I wanted to listen to a podcast, but I found myself restricting my time on both of those things.

Then, I walked another 15 minutes or so other to the Amsterdam Brewhouse, a large lakefront brewery, with dark wood everywhere and a fun atmosphere. I sat at the bar and tried their Space Invader IPA – a delicious and hoppy beer. I ubered back to my hotel to get ready for dinner. I didn’t know where I wanted to go, and I will admit that eating out so the one thing I had trouble adapting to. I walked around the town and stopped into a bar called Duke’s of Richmond. I didn’t end up eating at this bar, but chatting with some gentleman at the bar. Everyone at the bar seemed to be locals who knew each other and the bartender. It was so interesting chatting with a gentleman named George about his background. He was a bit older than me, maybe in his 60s, and we just had an interesting conversation about how he grew up in Prague, his past, and I was able to share about New York. In New York, I never would have just sat at a bar and had the pleasure of these conversations.

Then, I went to this little Italian wine and tapas bar for dinner. Had my go-to Pinot Grigio and some pasta at the bar. I was going to head to bed after this, but a little pub called the Village Idiot that I passed on the way caught my eye. I’m so glad I went – I had a blast, I chatted with the bartender who was this VERY attractive man from France – he had such an interesting background and story, and another man came and joined us. We all had so many interesting stories to share and had a blast. I got back to my hotel a little drunk, at 12:30 am.

Read part 2 for my adventure to Niagara Falls, the rest of my trip, and my travel tips and learnings from this trip.

25 Things I Did in 25

On October 18th, 2018 I turned 26 years old, and took a minute to reflect on the past year. 25 was an extremely pivotal year for me – and an emotional rollercoaster, to say the least. I started 25 in a serious relationship, fully thinking that I was going to get married to the man I was with. Needless to say, that abruptly ended (more on that later) and I ended the year in the most special relationship I never knew I could have – the one with myself. I ended the year with a sense of empowerment, a new perspective on life.

As I look back, here’s 25 things I did in my 25th year of life.

  1. I took a solo trip to the beautiful city Toronto and scratched solo travel, Niagara falls, and exploring a new country all off my list.
  2. I got my heart broken, and I made it through that.
  3. Before realizing how happy I am being single, went on a handful of mediocre (and some outright bad) dates through dating apps. I also went Speed Dating. Spoiler alert – I’m still single.
  4. I expanded my guilty pleasure for reality TV and started watching Vanderpump Rules from the beginning. And watched a whole lot of the Bachelor.
  5. I listened to a whole lot of podcasts – my favorites are U Up, Scrubbing in With Becca Tilley and Tanya Rad, and Almost Famous. Fun fact, I even was a caller into one of those podcasts once.
  6. I left the job in public relations I had for 3+ years for a new job with a higher title and new clients.
  7. I got involved with Children.org and started sponsoring two beautiful children – Angel in the Dominican Republic and Oscar in Honduras.
  8. I started (sort of) participating in the Tone It Up nutrition plan. I’ve had so much fun trying new recipes and playing around with ways to get healthier.
  9. But then, I also ate a WHOLE lot of food and drank a shit ton of beer and wine. #Balance I went to beer festivals, wine festivals, breweries, and countless bars and restaurants.
  10. I traveled for work and pleasure – Some places I went include Detroit, Denver, California, Tampa, Washington DC, Virginia.
  11. I visited the beautiful St. Croix in the USV1 and volunteered with local organizations to help families bounce back from last year’s destruction.
  12. I joined Bumble BFF and made some amazing new friends.
  13. I saw some awesome concerts, including queen Taylor Swift, 5 Seconds of Summer, and one of the biggest highlights of the year – the Stagecoach Festival in Palm Springs.
  14. I started taking guitar lessons. I had wanted to learn my whole life, even had friends chip in and buy me a guitar when I was 15 and I never learned to play. At 25 I decided better late than never.
  15. I tried Drunk Yoga – highly recommend. Rules of Drunk Yoga – if you have to re-fill during the class, you have to pour your glass in a yoga pose of your choice in front of everyone.
  16. I held parties for Halloween, the Super Bowl and the holidays. I have so much fun hosting in my small New York City apartment.
  17. I went to the Belmont Stakes. My roommate somehow won a VIP package  and we got access to the Champagne Room, open bar, and got to witness a Triple Crown win.
  18. I went to the Jersey Shore.
  19. I tried a bunch of meal delivery services – my favorite is Hello Fresh.
  20. I went to Santa Con.
  21. I started keeping a journal.
  22. I tried a bunch of new work out classes – from barre, to mega-former pilates, to Soul Cycle, to Peter Kraus’s from the Bachelorette’s workout class. Obviously, there’s a recurring theme here that I love the Bachelor.
  23. I went to several events – some highlights were Secret Summer and the Jazz Age Lawn festival.
  24. I finally straightened out my mess of teeth through Smile Direct Club.
  25. I went to the vineyards in Long Island for a day to celebrate a friend’s engagement. There is nothing like a day at the vineyards – my favorite way Baiting Hollow, a really fun vineyard with a life band which was playing Honkey Tonk all day and a small barn where horses are roaming around.

What are some highlights of your year? Let me know in the comments below!