Before You "Do You," Do This

Sweet editors share their secret tactics for feeling better—great, even!—as quickly as possible.

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1. Kneel at the Altar of John Starks

Stefan Marolachakis, senior editor, @stefanmymind

John Starks went to three different colleges before he tried to go pro in 1988, and bounced back and forth between the pros and the minors before finding his way to the New York Knicks in 1990. Then, one cool May night in 1993, during a pivotal playoff game, Starks flew high through the air and dunked over not one, but two members of the dynastic Chicago Bulls—including Michael "Air" Jordan himself. Each time I watch video evidence of this, I'm reminded that if a scrappy kid from Oklahoma could write himself into New York City basketball history, I can figure out how to do whatever it is that's freaking me out.

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2. Pose Your Way to Power

Chantal Strasburger, assistant editor, @chantagold

Power poses may sound like a weird gimmick your parents would push on you—but I actually listened to mine and realized the Ted Talk they'd heard about them from was definitely on to something. (Just google "power pose" and you'll find it.) To do the simplest pose, "The Starfish," spread out your body as much as you can, with your arms up in the air and your feet out wide. Or you can just strike a Beyoncé red-carpet stance, whichever makes you feel more badass. Before I go into any interview, I now find the nearest bathroom, do a quick power pose (pro tip: choose a handicapped stall for maximum stretching), and proceed to crush it. 

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3. Remember: Hillary Clinton Is Water

Mallory Rice, deputy editor, @mallory-rice

On the occasions when I need to remind myself that I'm not the center of the universe (so easy to forget!) I most often turn to the essay "This Is Water" by David Foster Wallace. In it, he makes the simple point that it takes effort to free ourselves of the "natural, hard-wired, default-setting to be deeply and literally self-centered." (People who can do this "are often described as being 'well-adjusted,'" which he suggests "is not an accidental term.") Lately, when I desperately need to be less self-conscious—when I'm nervous about a date or standing up for myself or talking in front of a big group of people—I just change my point of view to Hillary Clinton's. When I imagine what she's doing at that moment, or had to do that day, and how high the stakes are, it suddenly makes whatever I'm nervous about doing seem very, very easy. And then I just do it.

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4. Find Your Ego-Boosting Anthem

Chanel Parks, beauty editor, @chanelinezp

I'm the type to get a little anxious before I show up to different social settings—job interviews, important meetings, and definitely parties of any kind. While I ride the subway to these events, I blast Nicki Minaj's "I'm the Best" on repeat in my earbuds and jam until I reach my destination. The song's lyrics are uplifting and get me into the mindset of thinking I'm on top of my game and deserve to be there (wherever "there" is) because, quite simply, "I'm the best" version of myself. A little bit of self-indulgence never hurts! 

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5. Chill Out With Rainer Maria Rilke's "Letters to a Young Poet"

Ryan Duffin, assistant photo editor, @ryanduffin

Use it when you think your art sucks. Sometimes you just need to be convinced that your ideas are good enough, or reassured that amazing ideas will come. This conversation between Rilke and a young poet is packed with quotable insights that will help you grapple with the stress of finding inspiration.

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6. Put on Some Lipstick and Your Moodiest Femme Fatale Playlist

Rebecca Deczynski, editorial assistant, @rebeccadecz

The best way to deal with imposter syndrome, I've found, is to lean heavily into it. I am at my most confident when I create an alter ego for myself. I'll put on my darkest lipstick and play a strut-worthy playlist and, suddenly, I'm not an awkward, anxious young adult, but a total badass. The more you fake it, the more you'll find yourself growing into the confident, competent person you want to be.

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7. Lengthen Spine, Find Inner Badass

Amy Karafin, copy editor, @kalyanafay

I was once walking behind someone with a super-confident walk: they looked so tall and regal and at ease. So I started imitating them, as one does. I uncurled my slouch, broadened my chest, let my shoulders slide down and back, took a deep breath, and lengthened my stride—and I felt so powerful. So now when I notice myself caught up in stress or worry, I just do the walk. Interestingly, my body is so much more relaxed in this position, and we all know that relaxation is power.

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8. (Literally) Kick It Into High Gear

Nicola Dall'Asen, editorial intern, @nicoladallasen

My kickboxing gym is my go-to place when I need to alter my mood. There's one move above all others that will make you feel invincible: The Superman punch. To do it, you basically kick one leg back in mid-air and propel your fist forward. It looks and feels a little silly at first, but it does real damage, and knowing you can kick ass will have you believing you can do anything—within human limits, that is.

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9. Run Headlong Into Battle

Rebecca Bates, senior editor, @re.beccabates

When I need to feel powerful, both in terms of physical strength and mental will, I go for a long run and imagine that I'm riding at the head of a large medieval army clad in chain mail and plate armor, charging down a hill and into the pitch of battle. I play this little scene on a loop, especially as the jog becomes more difficult. At the end of my run, I'm a woman who's won the loyalty of thousands of warriors, warriors who will boast of my courage and their own pride in following me. I've also just exercised.

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