15 Funny Tips for an Easier Life

Do you have any advice for how to make the day a little easier — even a little better? Here are 15 teeny tips for big impact, pulled from our archives…

1. Entertain without losing your mind. “Two things to do before you have people over: 1) Make sure the powder room’s trash can is empty. 2) Shove all clutter and paperwork in a closet or in the basement or in the bathtub without organizing or putting a single thing in its proper place. Seriously! Busy, happy houses are messy!” — Jenny

2. Apply a real-life Instagram filter. “You know when you do your makeup for a night out and you’re like, something is just NOT working here? Whenever that happens I know I need an extra smidge of a glowy (not glittery!) luminizer. Just smudge it on your fingertips and tap your fingers lightly above your eyebrow arch, on your temple down to the very top of your cheekbones, and on your cupids bow. Job done.” — Gemma

3. Repeat after me: Your spouse is not the enemy. “A very useful phrase to repeat whenever you start to ask why your baby is doing something confusing and unpredictable: ‘Babies be babies.’ (I think I’ll put this on a needlepoint pillow if I have another child.) And a very useful phrase to repeat when you find yourself turning to your spouse blamefully: Your spouse is not the enemy. The baby is the enemy.” — Emily

4. Give yourself a break. “It doesn’t make sense to call ourselves ugly, because we don’t really see ourselves. We don’t watch ourselves sleeping in bed, curled up and silent with chests rising and falling with our own rhythm. We don’t see ourselves reading a book, eyes fluttering and glowing. You don’t see yourself looking at someone with love and care inside your heart. There’s no mirror in your way when you’re laughing and smiling and happiness is leaking out of you. You would know exactly how bright and beautiful you are if you saw yourself in the moments where you are truly yourself.” – Anonymous

5. Don’t forget the relish. “Add a thin layer of sweet relish into a grilled cheese while it’s still hot. Most people swear by mustard, but relish is the business. The smell conjures up a grilled cheeseburger with a pickle on the side, and the tangy vinegar of the relish helps to balance all that rich, ooey-gooey cheese and butter. Try this trick with other sandwiches, too: turkey and Swiss, a croque-monsieur, Brie and ham, a meatball sub, tuna salad, and so on.” — Posie

6. Wear socks on the plane. “I swear by compression socks if I’ll be in the air for more than four hours. I discovered them when I had to fly to my brother’s wedding late into my second pregnancy — I didn’t wear them, and by the time I got to my destination, my legs had swelled to twice their normal size! It was so uncomfortable. My doctor suggested I pick up a pair of compression socks and wear them on the red-eye flight home, and I could not believe what a difference it made. I had zero swelling but also tons of energy! I didn’t even feel like I needed a nap after flying all night.” — Kendra

7. Trick your mind into sleeping. “My dad, who is a champion sleeper, once taught me a great trick: Pretend that you’re going to fall through the bed. It makes you realize how tensed up your body is and helps you relax.” — Joanna

8. Ask other moms when you forgot the sunblock on the sunniest day of the year. “I’ve been endlessly humbled how generous moms will be to other moms if asked nicely. Motherhood is a powerful shared experience. I was recently traveling alone with my son, overwhelmed, carrying a 50lb toddler on my shoulders and two heavy bags. Just when I was at the edge of my endurance, a mom came up to me and said, ‘How can I help.’ I almost burst into tears and handed her one of the bags. Even if you’re having an off day, some mother somewhere remembered to pack the snack, the water and the wipes.” — Abby

9. Love yourself now, not just later. “Now, when I look back at photos, I think, ‘Oh my gosh, I was so pretty in that picture, what was I thinking?’ I think a lot of people feel like that in retrospect. Everyone has something wonderful about them, and it’s a shame not to realize that. Later, when you’re 64, you look back and think, ‘Wow, I was such a dynamic person and so kind, and that was so attractive.'” — Jean

10. Don’t sweat the details. “Here’s the thing with dating: They either like you, or they don’t, so just be yourself.” — Lucy

11. Wear the shoes you really like. “If you dab some chapstick on the back of your heels (or wherever you usually get blisters from shoes), it forms a shield, reducing friction altogether. There’s a Foot Anti-Blister Balm available, but I’ve found that a tube of Burt’s Bees works wonders and lasts for hours.” – Stella

12. Travel with a uniform. “I was a totally haphazard, stuff-a-million-things-into-a-bag-at-the-last-minute kind of packer, but now I like to leave head space for enjoying the adventure. So, for trips, everything I pack is navy blue. I have two pairs of pants, a skirt and cotton shirt — ALL navy blue. Monochromatic dressing is an easy way to be both comfortable and pulled together.” — Brooke

13. Switch your hair part up. “People part their hair on auto-pilot, but if you’ve been doing it the same way for years, changing your part can update your whole look. Round faces benefit from a style that elongates the face, so try a middle part. Squarer faces, or women with strong jaw lines, look great with a deep side part, which softens their angles. And anyone lucky enough to have an oval face can experiment with either part.” — Vanessa

14. Solve the annoyances you’ve been putting off. “Invest in a good, easy-to-empty bin for your kitchen. A bad bin makes life difficult at least three times a week. And life is too short to be muttering and spluttering to yourself in anger three times a week.” — Dolly

15. Remember, everyone is human. “The realization that something genuinely awful could happen to me, that it could happen to anyone, was the most humbling part of my cancer diagnosis: I’m not the exception to the rule that bad things happen. The silver lining was how it made me feel connected to people around me. Once you let your guard down, you start noticing humility everywhere. I felt like I figured out the secret to the universe: everyone is trying so hard to keep it together. Suddenly, I felt tremendous compassion. That became an entry point into discovering how fragile and beautiful everyone’s life is.” — Kate

We’re taking this next week off from posting, as some of us will be traveling and some will be working ahead on posts like beauty uniforms, personal essays and, of course, Motherhood Around the World. We’re excited to resume posting on Tuesday, September 4th. Thank you so much, as always, for being here.

(Illustration by Kate Pugsley.)