Taylor Swift Charm School: How to Survive Mondays in the Winter

Winter may not officially arrive for another 12 days, but… let’s be real. Winter has basically arrived. It’s snowy and icy and freaking cold, and it gets depressingly dark at, like, 4:30 p.m.

You guys, seasonal affective disorder is a very real thing. There are days when all you want to do is cry and feel sorry for yourself, but you have to force yourself out of bed because there are things like Mondays and School and Work and Responsibilities.

Everything totally sucks sometimes, but do your very best to work through it and find a reason to get up and get dressed and do your thing. Here’s a couple things that might help.

Wear an identity.

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When you wake up knowing you want to look like a specific someone – Shirley MacLaine, for example – it’s so much easier to pull yourself out of your warm cozy blankets. It’s always good to change it up a little bit, especially since we tend to fall back into our oversized sweaters and heavy coats and big scarves and unbrushed hair during winter months.

Or maybe you just want to stick with your oversized sweater and heavy coat and big scarf and unbrushed hair but swipe on your reddest, baddest lipstick. That’s cool too. Just make sure to do what’s good for your brainspace.

Listen to songs that will either pump you up and make you feel strong OR make you feel completely understood.

"Ours" by Taytay is completely applicable here. After all, Mondays are always full of elevator buttons and morning air. I mean, who wouldn’t want to take the stairs when faced with the prospect of strangers’ silence?

(And yes, it’s true that here at the Taylor Swift Charm School we tend to use music as a solution for everything. But we really think it does work wonders for your mental and emotional well-being. Also, have you ever noticed that m-u-s-i-c and m-a-g-i-c are only different by two letters? Coincidence? I think not.)

Read through old emails in your personal email account.

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Emails and chats from former boyfriends and/or crushes can be a good way to spend 30 minutes, and they are often a good reminder of what a babe you are. Get out of those doldrums! Someone thought you were a babe that one Monday three years ago, and hey guess what? You’re still a babe today! You go girl.

Note: This is NOT recommended if you’ve just gone through a breakup. We would not recommend checking up on an ex-beau. The purpose of this exercise is to remind yourself that you are freaking AWESOME and shouldn’t let Mondays get to you!

Need some activities to help you get over a breakup? Peep our post: On Breakups

Ignore that burnt sludge in the breakroom and treat yourself to a nice cup of tea (or coffee, if that’s more your thing).

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Chamomile and lavender are lovely, in particular. Bonus points if you can stare out the nearest window with a wistful look on your face. (But if you work in an office, don’t let anyone else catch you!)

Remember that you don’t need to run the rat race. You are a magical human bean and you do magical human things, like bake brownies and fall in love with strangers and kiss dogs on their noses. Don’t let them grind you down.

What is your advice for getting through Mondays?

Taylor Swift Charm School: How to Have a Night In

Ugh. Going out on the town is, like, totes overrated. It’s loud and dirty and drunkies are touchy-feely and just, please, no. Staying in and being comfy is where it’s at.

There are a few basics you should know about having a night in – master these things and you’ll be a professional homebody in no time! (We are sincerely excited for you here. No sarcasm detected.)

The Apparel

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Get thee into thy pajamas. Bonus points if you can bathe and be squeaky clean first, but NBD if you aren’t feelin’ it. After all, it’s YOUR night in. If the first thing you do when you get home from work or school is take off your shoes and your tights and your dress and switch into a baggy shirt and lounge pants, more power to ya. We won’t judge.

The Entertainment

Pick your movies or your TV shows. Or decide to spend the rest of your night gallivanting around YouTube-land, watching acoustic covers of indie pop songs and One Direction concert vids. Or videos of dogs and their humans. Or maybe you want to catch up on some light reading. All of these are good choices.

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The Snacks

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What is the point of a night in if you’re not going to treat yo self to treats? Decide if you want to go simple or fancy, sweet or savory. Maybe you want to make your own ice cream sundae. Maybe it’s crackers and cheese. Maybe you want to bake brownies or eat miniature pizzas. Do it, queen. And feel free to leave crumbs on your couch for the peasants.

The Music

Oh, the choices. Do you go with a theme, like Winter Wonderland? Perhaps songs for dancing around in the kitchen? Or maybe it’s a Bon Iver kind of night, filled with lots of sighs and reminiscing. You do you. It’s all good.

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The ‘Tude

We live in a society where lots of people think it’s weird to be a homebody. Don’t let those people make you feel bad about wanting to stay home on a Friday or Saturday night! Some of the world’s most darling human beans are homebodies, including Taytay herself. So fear not. Wear those PJs with pride. You are doing just fine.

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Taylor Swift Charm School: On Breakups

Hate to say it, but we all know it’s true: Taylor Swift has a habit of getting dumped.

It’s a sad, simple fact of life.

No one wants to be kicked to the curb, whether it’s by a boy we like or a friend we thought would be there for a long time… but fortunately for us, Taylor shows us how to move on and move forward in a healthy-ish way.

1. Fight for what you want.

Example: Speak Now

Sometimes we don’t do the little things that sustain a relationship. Before you let someone go, ask yourself if you’re just being a passive pansy-butt, or if the relationship really has run its course. If you’re being a pansy, then what are you waiting for?? Step up your game and ask for what you want!!! However, if you’re NOT being a pansy, then…

2. Cry it out.

Example: Sad Beautiful Tragic

…because endings are painful. Pain forces us to confront things we’d rather not confront. But this is a good time to remind yourself that feeling things is good. It’s a reminder that you’re alive. And it gets all that negative gunk out of your system. Like extracting blackheads. But maybe a little bit less satisfying.

3. Keep breathing.

Example: Breathe ft. Colbie Caillat

"People are people and sometimes it doesn’t work out." Sing it, Taylor. Bad things happen, but life goes on. Get up off the floor. Put on some clean clothes. Wipe away your eye boogers. Brush your hair – just kidding, that can wait until tomorrow. Inhale. Exhale. Repeat.

4. Know your limits and breaking points.

Example: I Almost Do

Bonus: The Moment I Knew

If watching your ex-whatever have fun without you is going to make you sulk for another week, then ban yourself from Facebook or Instagram. Have someone change your password. Tell people to reach you via text or email while you go on a break. Do things that are good for your mental situation.

5. Distract yourself.

Example: Better than Revenge

Please hear me when I say that under NO circumstances do I condone slut-shaming and girl hate the way Taylor does in this song. However, there is definitely something empowering in focusing your energies away from the ex-boyfriend or ex-BFF and on something or someone else. Similarly…

6. Don’t dwell. But if you must, at least make it productive.

Example: Red

Taylor Swift is the absolute queen of productive dwelling. I mean, she can make a full album out of a breakup. She turned her short-lived but intense relationship with Jake Gyllenhaal into 7.5 songs on her newest album, Red. Smart girl.

7. Rekindle the relationship without getting back together.

Example: Holy Ground

One of the toughest things about any kind of breakup is that it feels like you’ve thrown away so much invested time. At some point, though, you’ll finally have enough distance from that person to recognize mistakes, missteps, and sometimes the inevitability that comes with people growing apart. Like, in middle school, when you’re a Taylor Swift kind of girl and your BFF is a deathrocker who loves Children of Bodom. Not that it can’t work out. But it requires a certain level of understanding your differences. Anyway, what I’m trying to say is, eventually you’ll get to the point where one day you’ll get an email from that friend, ex-boyfriend, almost-boyfriend, and it won’t make you cringe in awkwardness. And maybe then you can think about getting together for that cup of coffee or tea and catching up as platonic human beings.

8. Look forward.

Example: Begin Again

So the person who dumped you wasn’t a good fit after all. But by now you’ve cried enough tears to fill a bathtub and if you try to squeeze one more tear out, you worry you might turn into a saltine cracker. It’s time to move on and open yourself to new experiences, to people who are better for you and for your life… People who will throw birthday parties for Harry Potter on July 31 and support you as you make the trek to Times Square for the only Office Depot in the city so that you can buy yourself a miniature cardboard cutout of your One Direction fave, Liam Payne.

Get it, girl. We’ve got your back.

Taylor Swift Charm School: Enchanted to Meet You

Visualize these lyrics: “This night is sparkling, don’t you let it go. I’m wonderstruck, blushing all the way home. I’ll stand forever, wondering if you knew I was enchanted to meet you.” Sheesh. How do you make someone sing praises like that about you? Well, here at the Taylor Swift Charm School, we have a couple ideas…

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1. The Introduction

If you’re tight with the host of the party, you can ask him or her to introduce you to that babe you’re eyeing. But if no one is around to introduce you, you’ll have to take things into your own hands.

Scope out the situation. Are people pretty chill or is it high school with the cliques all over again? You might get away with flashing that pretty smile of yours and a quick “Hey, I’m _____.” If it’s high school all over, I suggest you employ the greatest tactic in all of high school history: Attack when the wolf gets separated from the pack.

2. The Conversation

THE TRICKIEST THING TO MASTER TBH. Asking questions is a good start. I like to know where people work. I also like to know what people’s living situations are like (I think it’s a nosy New York thing). People love to talk about themselves so basically just ask a bunch of questions that you’d really like to know the answers to.

It’s useful to be able to talk about some of the fun and exciting things you’re doing, as well… So try and make sure you’ve got some fun and exciting things going on in your life that you’re not embarrassed to talk about with new people. For me, it’s my latent goal of mastering the ukulele & becoming an Internet famous ukulele-playing rapper (since I can’t sing).

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3. The Quirk

Once you get the formalities out of the way, you can move on to letting your inner weirdo peek through. I have a habit of saying awkward things like “Where do you buy your jeans?” and “How long did it take to do your hair?!” and “I read somewhere that wearing hats can make you go bald.” SooOo cringeworthy, yes, I know, but sometimes these little things can make for really interesting (and possibly memorable) conversation. Really!!!

4. The Exit

Exits are really important if you’re super into someone but want to play it cool and avoid hanging onto him or her all night. I’m a big fan of candor. The last time I met someone that I really liked, I believe my exact words were: “Oh, I like you. Can we be friends?” In my imagination, people find that charming. So I would recommend going that route and keeping it direct. Maybe a quick “We should part ways now because if we don’t I might spend the rest of the night following you around” will do the trick? Or if that’s too creepy, perhaps try: “I should go socialize with other people, but let’s talk again soon.”

Lately I’ve also been intrigued by the idea of “ghosting,” also known as the French leave or the Irish goodbye. (I think that’s meant to be a derogatory racial thing, but mostly I think it sounds kind of sophisticated. Way nicer than “peacing out,” at any rate.)

Anyway, the idea behind ghosting is that you vanish gracefully without saying goodbye. Maybe you are interrupted or separated by a third party busybody who can’t take a hint. It’s fine. Take advantage and allow yourself to disappear.

It’s a bit romantic, no? Like a scene straight out of a black and white film. The protagonist makes her exit and wanders away to the host’s library to peruse his extensive book collection… or to the fire escape to gaze longingly at the moon… Okay, so I have an overactive imagination. So what? Rule 22 of Taylor Swift Charm School: Turn ordinary everyday happenings into special song-worthy occasions.

5. The Follow-Up

Assuming you’ve been separated from your person of interest already and you’re now planning on calling it a night, make sure to circle back and have a dot-dot-dot moment with that person. And by that, I mean create some space for something else to happen. Taylor wrote “Enchanted” about the dude from Owl City and he got in touch with her after he heard it. Writing the song was basically her dot-dot-dot gesture.

(Yes, his response was an awkward song and an earnest but extremely awkward letter, but remember: Sometimes being awkward and cringeworthy pans out. I mean, granted, it didn’t happen in this case. But don’t give up! Your quirkiness will take you places yet…!)

So whether it’s asking about dinner at that French place you both like, or getting the name of that lumber supply place for all your Pinterest DIY home decor projects… Or even if it’s as simple as saying, “Hey I really liked talking with you. Can we keep in touch?”, do your best to create your own dot-dot-dot moment. Because who knows what could happen? Dot-dot-dot.

What other tips do you have for leaving someone enchanted?

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