Tips To Save Your Life

Life Lessons: How To Be A Lazy Summer Slug

Get the lackadaisical summer you've always dreamed of.


Tips To Save Your Life is a monthly column that offers fearless, silly, and delicious advice for how to survive the mosh pit we call life.

As soon as it gets warm in New York, our favorite haunts start looking like a Where's Waldo scene. Who can blame us for overpacking subway cars? After months of seasonal affective disorder, I want to be a creature of the gutter, slithering into ramshackle garden furniture and sipping my $26 frozen drink until the wire chair imprints a pattern on my legs. With all this burnout, a sunburn doesn't feel like a singe on my skin anymore, but the shedding of my exoskeleton, a wintry layered past self.

On our way to Rockaway Beach, my most extroverted friend recently mentioned that he finds summer exhausting. The sun rises and sets from behind our Slack screens. The free, outside time is a hot commodity, and it comes with a distinct pressure to make today better than yesterday. I blame High School Musical 2 for the unwarranted urgency to be over-productive during the summer. Those singing kids were so excited for summer, but as soon as it started, they were juggling relationships, life crises, toxic friendships, and teaching hot girls how to play golf. They barely had time to sing! At what point does hustle culture become a rat race, or worse, a bunch of ants on a hill? We numbly move from scene to scene, finding fulfillment only in the tasty indulgences we can carry to our colony's center.

“At what point does hustle culture become a rat race, or worse, a bunch of ants on a hill?”

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This past winter wasn't very cold, which means this summer will be so hot. Miserable slow-moving hot, diving into the ice box at a bodega hot. No one should have to be clever or even on time when it's hot hot. I can confidently say that we deserve something else out of summer: the chance to be an absolute baby girl, an utterly lazy bitch.

To do so, we must first reject apathy. Laziness and sedentary nihilism are not the same. Flittering about the city like a lackadaisical critter is more enriching than doing nothing out of avoidant spite. Apathy is running away from your problems. Being lazy is muffling them in a sweaty hug. As someone with HSM2 Summer Syndrome, I've had a hard time with relaxation. But this summer, I'm going to actively rest.

Here's how you can do the same:

  1. Do simple activities that make your day sound like a children's book. Here's an example: She dressed in her favorite sundress and matching pink shoes, then walked to the park to meet her friend. They sat in the sun and talked all day, pulling up weeds and making daisy chains. Small, silky tasks like these will help smoothen a wrinkly brain by encouraging you to move intuitively. There are watering holes & appetizer shacks spread out like bird baths all over the city. There is no need to hunt for the best one.

  1. Accept that diagnosing yourself won’t solve all your issues. In ten years, there might be a completely different term to describe the satchel of symptoms we are now calling BPD. At the end of the day, what you do to soothe matters most. When you have a cold, you don't try to figure out if you also have trauma-induced syphilis. You rest, take your meds, and put on your humidifier. So put on your emotional humidifier and treat the symptoms.

  1. Stop romanticizing your life and start romanticizing yourself. The soft life, cottage core, coastal grandmother girlies all ask us to edit our habits and dive into our wallets to make our dream looks come true. While molding into an aesthetic, I've made worse friends and lost better ones. I've told myself I can't wear crop tops when literally everyone should go tummy out. “Masc outfits for spring” has been an open tab on my phone since November. I am exhausted by all the effort it takes to make my life more clickable when self-expression is effortless. Save those rosy-colored glasses for festivals, girlies, you don’t need them to feel good.
“Ask yourself, what would Amelia Bedelia do?”
  1. Ask yourself, what would Amelia Bedelia do?

Amelia takes people at their word. In doing so, she’s the queen of work-life balance. Happy hour moves fast, if you don't log off at 5 pm, you might miss it. Close those tabs and put on do not disturb. You’re not paid enough to deal with bullshit. But you are paid enough to have a lil side of potato wedges.

  1. Find your sea lions. As a kid, I would scurry over to the San Francisco docks to watch the sea lions. They lay out together like raw sausages cooking on the grill, flopping off the barge for food and returning moments later. Whenever the days get extra hot and lengthy, I think of the sea lions and friends who do nothing together. Collect your friends in gaggles, chat with strangers, and marinate in the sun.

I declare June 2023 to be the year you and I have a soft, slug girl summer. My dream body is a radish forming roots in the ground until I'm too plump and must erupt to show my scrumptious curves off to the world. My dream plans are to have a spritzy mocktail. I'll see you out there. Maybe we'll find Waldo.

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