Tips From The Top

44 Things To Do Instead Of Blowing A Gasket

A list of things that sometimes actually calm the nerves, at least for a moment.


I’m writing this while wearing two cold under-eye patches and one of those chin-lifting face masks because, um, the internet has ruined my perception of what an actual face looks like. It’s 11PM on Sunday night and I have two other looming deadlines ahead, both of which are due tomorrow.

If this were a different time, I’d be properly freaking out. Instead of indulging in not one but two masks, I’d send my cortisol levels into overdrive and waste energy on what TikTok calls “fear mentality.” The work would get done, but with an unpleasant hum of unnecessary anxiety and catastrophic thoughts drumming on in the background.

I’d like to think that time spent worrying in my early twenties led me to find my inner “whatever man” now. Do I still freak out? Obviously. Just for less stupid reasons (most of the time). I'm having melt downs just as much as the next girl — this is merely a template for not sweating the small stuff. I’m not sure if there is any freak-out remedy better than years spent witnessing one's own misplaced worry, but here are some alternative frontrunners for keeping from flying off the tracks.

1- We’re all going to die anyway.

2- Write a haiku. About anything.

3- Take a quick break and buy some fun socks online.

4- Buy one of these chin lift things to keep your face from falling (from all that worrying).

5- But also stop buying so many things because that’s stressful.

“ Write a haiku. About anything.”

6- Think about the fact that all of the cardigans Mister Rogers wore were made by his mom.

7- Breathe like a whale. Biiiiiiig exhale.

8- Cut some side bangs with kitchen scissors.

9- Tidy your room.

10- Think about the worst case scenario. Not that bad right???

11- Imagine how many friends you would have never met without the internet!

12- Remember that Beyonce really did sing “it sucks to be you right now” about her ex.

13- Chug water.

14- Put feet in grass.

15- Think about that terrible job you don’t have to work anymore.

“Listen to a Jia Tolentino interview. Any of them! Soothing voice and sage words.”

16- Perform some pop star-level choreo (in privacy.)

17- Buy some Trader Joe's flowers and make a bouquet.

18- Remember that the moon you see today is the same one your ancestors saw!

19- Listen to a Jia Tolentino interview. Any of them! Soothing voice and sage words.

20- Think about the most embarrassing people you know. Thank god you’re not them!

21- Hug a tree. Tell the tree it’s doing great.

22- Jump in the ocean.

23- If you can’t do that, take a cold shower.

“Perform some pop star-level choreo (in privacy).”

24- Sage the area.

25- Sing for real. (Any song of your choice.)

26- Make some tea.

27- Take a hot shower.

28- Ice roll your face.

29- Put together a little outfit.

30- Grab a pal and recount your most embarrassing stories ever together. (Only if it makes you laugh, not die of shame.)

31- Embrace your cringe!

32- Find a fancy public restroom, close the door behind you, and sigh.

33- Learn the lyrics to The Happy One by Eddie Coker.

34- Ditch your AirPods. Those things are terrible. Wires or cans only.

“Ditch your AirPods. Those things are terrible. Wires or cans only.”

35- Look for Angel Numbers (222, 1111, 444). IDK what they mean but finding them is calming.

36- Go get some pho at Pho Bang on Mott Street.

37- Do a craft! My go-to is beading bracelets.

38- Stop pitying yourself and read Joan Didion's essay on Self Respect.

39- Walk around the block.

40- Chug water again.

41- Pay your taxes.

42- Text him! Who cares!

43- Remember that Bill Murray said when you’re relaxed you’re better at everything.

44- When all else fails, let the freak out happen.

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