1. Get out of bed. On the days when all you can think about is pulling the covers back over your head and escaping once more into dreamland, get up. Take a shower. Say hi to your roommates or your family, make yourself a delicious breakfast, and don’t crawl back into the cave. Recognize that it takes guts to face the world sometimes, but you’re strong enough to do it.
2. Go to a dance class or out to dinner or to a meeting by yourself. People will look at you funny, because that’s what people do. But mostly they will be admiring you for having the courage to try something new on your own.
3. Tell someone you love them. Not necessarily romantically, although that works too. But make it someone who doesn’t get to hear that from you very often. Maybe you feel like you’re losing them. Maybe they’re going through a hard time. Maybe you’re scared that they’ll leave you because people usually do. Tell them anyway. It’s scary, but it’s worth it.
4. Say no. Just for once, don’t think about letting other people down. If you don’t want to do it, say no. No matter how uncomfortable it makes you. Two letters. One syllable. No.
5. Ask questions. No one is “bad” at small talk; there’s no such thing. Everyone wants the same thing out of a conversation: to hear and feel heard. Ask a stranger about their day. Ask someone sitting next to you why they decided to take that class. People will continually amaze you with their stories if you ask the right questions.
6. Admit your mistakes and move on. It’s so much easier to blame a circumstance or an event or another person when something goes wrong than to claim responsibility for it. Own it, accept it, release it. Your mistakes don’t define you, and the quicker you can let them go, the freer you will be.
7. Seek support. It doesn’t make you a burden, it makes you human. We are not designed to go through everything alone, even if it sometimes feels like we should. Acknowledging that you need help with something is one of the bravest things you can ever do.