Be Your Own Best Friend: A Practical Guide To Becoming Your Own Source Of Happiness

I used to be the kind of person who sought happiness through everything else but myself. I depended on things like money, success, and companionship to satisfy emotions that I should’ve been nurturing personally.

This misconception caused huge problems in my life when I found myself stripped of these vessels– the absence of money and adoration left me feeling lost, hopeless, and without direction.

For the sake of my well-being, I started to prioritize self-love, and life has been more fruitful ever since! Allow me to put you on to the three ways I learned to be my own source of happiness so that you, too can, learn to be your own best friend and carry your joyousness with you everywhere you go!

Give Yourself The Love You Seek From Others

Sometimes we rely on others to fill voids of love we should be awarding ourselves. We fish for compliments, attention, and displays of affection from other people and are disappointed when we don’t receive it or if it’s not up to our standard.

I used to rely heavily on validation from others in order to feel good about myself. So much so that other people’s opinions affected my confidence, and absences of adoration would be taken to heart.

I didn’t realize at the time that these were all symptoms of low self-esteem.

In life, I’ve learned that you can’t control how other people view and treat you. If you allow yourself to be persuaded by other people’s feelings, you’ll never reach a point of satisfaction. The only person you should be trying to please is you.

Author and spiritualist Don Miguel Ruiz speaks about this in his best-selling wisdom guide “The Four Agreements: A Practical Guide To Personal Freedom”. In the second chapter titled “Don’t Take Things Personally,” he speaks about the benefits of loving yourself:

“When you feel good, everything around you is good. When everything around you is great, everything makes you happy. You are loving everything that is around you, because you are loving yourself. Because you like the way you are. Because you are content with you. Because you are happy with your life”.

Don Miguel Ruiz, The Four Agreements

Practice self-love. If you’re providing yourself with love and nourishment, you’ll never be without it, and you won’t feel the need to seek love from anywhere else.

Here are my favorite ways to pour love into myself:

  1. I celebrate my own accomplishments. Whenever I achieve anything, great or small, I make sure to give myself a pat on the back. Cheers and smiles followed by a “you go girl” is usually enough to keep my spirits high, but if the mood calls for it, I’ll take it one step further and treat myself to something (celebratory J, anyone?)
  2. I don’t compare myself to other people. My looks, life, and process are uniquely mine. Instead of being caught up in an imaginary popularity contest, I accept my life the way it is. With this outlook, confidence comes with ease, and I never feel threatened or the need to compete. I am my own competition.
  3. I build myself up with words of affirmation. Verbal affirmation is my preferred love language. Knowing this, I force-feed myself affirmative quotes daily. I’ll look for a quote that’s specific to the reassurance I need(either in a book or online), and I’ll post it somewhere nearby (like on the wall behind my workstation or as my phone’s wallpaper). This way, I’m constantly exposed to it. Now I have a daily reminder of how amazing I am 🙂
  4. I’m mindful/selective of my language. If words can be used as a weapon against others, why not ourselves? I started paying close attention to how I speak about myself, especially when I make a mistake (ex: OMG! I’m such an idiot). I refrain from using hurtful language and make sure that I am kind and patient with myself at all times.
  5. I use self-help books and music to keep my spirits high. Nothing like a self-help book or an upbeat song to remind you that you’re the shit. Whenever I need help restoring my inner faith , I read, or I put on a playlist. My ‘boss bitch’ playlist is a sure-fire way to put my confidence on 1000.
  6. I pamper myself. Whether it’s a relaxing candlelit bubble bath, my favorite yoga routine, or a face mask, I dedicate time to pampering myself. I do this daily and the luxuriousness of it all makes me feel like a goddess.
  7. I protect my peace. Establishing boundaries is a form of self-care. To raise my self-confidence, I stand up for myself whenever I feel my happiness is in jeopardy (one of my favorite ways to do this is by putting my phone on DND whenever I need alone time). By establishing a standard for myself, it helps me take myself more seriously and sends a message that I am worthy of respect. I do this as often as I can, even when it seems intimidating, and every time I succeed I can physically feel my self-worth rising.
  8. I stick to my guns. I used to feel compelled to explain myself or apologize to people, even when explanation wasn’t necessary or I didn’t do anything wrong (like if I was too busy to respond to a text or I didn’t want to go to someone’s event). Now, I practice trusting my thoughts and feelings instead of feeling bad about them which eliminates the need for me to explain or say I’m sorry.

Hang Out With Yourself

Spending time alone is a great way to reunite you with your sense of self and get familiar with your inner voice, which can be smothered or have to take a back seat when you’re hanging out with other people (like Eleven of Stranger Things would say, “halfway happy“).

I recently discovered the majesty of hanging out with myself, which reminds me of a story…

A few weeks ago, I learned about Japanfes NYC, an annual festival that celebrates all things Japan (everything from food to music to anime cosplay.)

Since I was a kid, I’ve been a huge fan of Japanese culture, so you could imagine how excited I was to go! Feeling spontaneous, I told my family to get dressed so that we could have this experience together but, they didn’t seem as excited as I was. Feeling disheartened by their lack of enthusiasm, I canceled our family outing. My Husbae saw how disappointed I was and suggested I go alone. My eyes beamed with joy and, after I left the house, I was so glad I went dolo.

I didn’t have to worry about my daughter getting tired and complaining about all of the walking or my Husband getting irritated by the large crowd; I got to enjoy the experience 100%, and even though I was only able to be there for a few hours (next time I’ll get you rolled ice cream!) I had so much fun!

When I was young (and yes, dumb), I thought that hanging out alone was only for weird, lonely people, and fun could only be experienced with company…that all changed during the pandemic. Constantly being surrounded by people caused me to feel overwhelmed and without a sense of self. When I finally got a chance to be alone, I had no idea what to do with myself. When I could think of something to do, I always wanted to involve other people. I found myself constantly craving company. When I couldn’t get ahold of a friend or a loved one, I took it personally and would take my insatiable loneliness out on other people. Who can relate? Eventually, I learned that what I needed wasn’t to see people more often; it was to learn to be comfortable doing things alone.

Hang out with yourself! Relish in your own solidarity and bask in doing things just because you WANT to. Enjoy alone time pursuing your own hobbies and interests and do things exclusive to you and your happiness. Take yourself on a date and learn to move throughout the world uninhibited, free from worry, judgment, or duty.

Here are my favorite things to do in my alone time:

1. Explore the city (I’ll walk down a new block, visit a new place, or visit my favorite places just by myself)

2. Hike/nature walk (nothing but me, my music, my lemon water, and my walking shoes)

4. Travel (I recently got to fly alone for the first time and it was truly bliss. I’d love to solo travel more often)

Happiness is something that has to come from within. If your happiness is tethered in other people, places, or things, then you’ll never get to the point of satisfaction because you’ll constantly be stuck in a cycle of pursuing happiness. This way of thinking can be dangerous and detrimental to your mental health and self-esteem. When it’s all said and done, and the dust settles, all you’re left with is yourself. Make sure you’re treating you right.

*How are you your own best friend? What ways do you like to practice self love?

*Don’t forget to like, share, and leave a comment ^_^

*Like the post? Show me some love! https://www.buymeacoffee.com/kaillaby

The Energy Boosting Powers of Song: How I Use Music to Increase My Productivity

As a wife and Mom, my life is always busy.

Add full time blogger and editorial writer to the mix, and there’s never a dull moment in the Kaillaby household.

Any given day, I can have a laundry list of things to do, and I always use a Spotify playlist to keep me company.

Whether I’m finishing up an article, scrubbing floors, or washing my daughter’s hair, music always helps me put my best foot forward and help make even the most boring and mundane tasks seem, dare I say, fun.

Here’s how I use music to help increase my productivity.

I Use Music to Keep Me Focused

Music helps a lot with focus.

Whenever I have trouble starting a task, either because I feel lost or my thoughts are all over the place, music helps anchor me to the Now and zero in on whatever I have to do at the moment.

In addition to helping me stay present, music helps me focus by drowning out excess noise.

When I put on an Apple playlist, I’m blocking out the noisy world around me, which helps me immerse myself in my duties and really get some work done. This is especially useful when you live on a main avenue in a major city where labor is constantly being performed every which way you turn at all hours of the day, and you have a job that requires elite mental clarity and peak concentration (i.e., being a writer). In New York City, noise pollution is everywhere, and hearing blaring sirens and people screaming at the top of their lungs (for some reason) can be unnerving and distracting. Not only does music shield me from the distraction of my city’s hustle and bustle, but it prevents me from being distracted by people, too.

The presence of others can definitely be distracting. When your speakers are blaring, you’re putting out a signal to the World that your current mood is “D.N.D.” Trust me, nothing shuts up a chatty coworker quite like turning up the volume on your Mac’s speakers. I remember working in an intimate office on the Upper West Side that literally thrived on gossip (as is the fate of most office jobs). Although I looked forward to my mid-day kiki’s with B when it was time to grab my print jobs, there’s no denying that it pulled me away from my work.

Plus, being distracted can cause you to make mistakes you otherwise could’ve avoided had you been giving your task your undivided attention (yay! no more mini panic attacks).

Focus is the creme de la creme of productivity; you won’t get work done without it. If you’re having trouble focusing, either because you’re feeling scatterbrained, there’s a lot of noise going on, or there are chatty people around you, try putting background music on.

Pro Tip: The best kinds of songs for focus are instrumentals. Lyrics can be disruptive.

My favorite genres for focus: Lo-fi, Trance, Retro Video Game Music

I Use Music To Help Me Relax

I’m always rushing because of my anxiousness, but over time I’ve learned that doing things faster doesn’t always translate to efficiency (work smarter, not harder). Whenever I’m doing a job that’s stressful, meticulous, or requires precision, a gentle, slow-paced melody is just what I need to put me at ease, slow down and take things one moment at a time.

According to unr.edu, slow-paced music can “quiet your mind and relax your muscles, making you feel soothed while releasing the stress of the day. Music is effective for relaxation and stress management.”

Recently, I had to complete a trial shift for a company I applied to work for. For this trial, my job was to research and write two completed and error-free articles in a limited amount of time to be considered for a position. You only get one chance to make a first impression, and it’s a job I really want, so you could imagine the amount of pressure I must’ve felt.

Before I got started, I put on the “Peaceful Piano” playlist on Spotify, and it helped me set the mood. Instead of feeling stressed out, scared, and anxious, I was completely relaxed and at ease, and it made a world of difference in my work performance. I was able to spot errors, correct mistakes, breeze through my research process, and even have time to ask questions, which helped my submission out a lot. Instead of allowing the pressure to get to me, I used music to put myself in a calm, tranquil state. Thanks to my increased focus and mental clarity, I walked away knowing that I gave 100% and I was extremely confident in the outcome. All thanks to music for providing the perfect setting.

Pro Tip: Music is perfect for setting a tone/mood. That’s why whenever I have company, I have music on–it’s a great way to control the mood in an environment.

My favorite genres for relaxing: Classical, Jazz, Coffee Shop

I Use Music To Motivate Myself

Sometimes the reason we’re not performing at our best is that we’re not feeling motivated. If a task requires a lot of energy (like exercising) or it’s just boring A.F. (like filling out spreadsheets ), adding music to the mix will definitely help with that.

Here’s how it motivates me:

  • Makes tasks enjoyable. An upbeat tune creates an atmosphere that makes you feel like you’re having a good time making painful tasks seem fun 🙂 I hate doing dishes, but pair that with some Calvin Harris, and it’s a party!
  • Provides words of affirmation. Sometimes a singer will give you all the words of encouragement you need to keep up the good work and get your light feet going. I swear by the statement that no genre’s lyrics are more motivating than Electronic Dance Music. Just put on Swedish House Mafia’s “Don’t You Worry Child” if you want to see what I’m talking about.
  • Gets my heart pumping. Research suggests that music can literally increase your heart rate, which comes with mood-boosting effects like increased adrenaline. That definitely comes in handy if you’re doing something boring or that needs a lot of energy.

Good music makes the day seem brighter, makes your time pass quicker, and takes the sting out of drawn-out, dull duties. (Like doing laundry. Nothing makes getting up at 8am on a Saturday suck less than Coldplay)

My favorite genres for motivation: EDM, Hip-hop, Rock

A Few Things To Keep In Mind

Here are some helpful tips for customizing your productive playlists to get the exact results you’re looking for:

Tip # 1 Make sure your soundtrack pairs with the tone and energy you need

Do you need mood-boosting, high-energy music, or something chill that will help you destress? 

Tip # 2: If you’re doing something that requires clarity, listen to music without lyrics

Your main priority is increasing productivity, so the music you listen to is really only background noise. If it’s preventing you from completing your work, it’s distracting, which defeats the purpose. As much as I love Megan the Stallion, twerking in my living room will not help me write these articles faster (no matter how fun it might be).

Tip # 3: Sometimes, you need silence

Take a break from noise once in a while. It helps sharpen the mind (completing tasks distraction-free helps with memorization and alertness)

Oh, Here’s a Playlist ❤

I customized a productivity playlist for anyone who needs help getting into work mode. This playlist is mostly chill, upbeat instrumentals which should really help with focusing.

(Here’s one if you need something more upbeat)

It’s ever-growing, so like all of my Spotify playlists, I’ll add new music from time to time, but for now, I’ll start you off with these 15 songs.

I hope it helps 🙂

Give it a like!

*What are some other methods you use to increase your productivity?

*Don’t forget to like, share, and leave a comment ^_^

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Trusting YOUR Process

Thanks for believing in me < 3

Why it’s 100% necessary to be patient with yourself and stop monitoring the success of other people. Oh, the places you’ll go…


In the internet age, it’s hard not to compare yourself to everyone else– you see the glorified pics, the constant portrayal of success. How can one witness these things and not start self-reflecting about where they have (or haven’t) accomplished.

It’s happened to me.

Once upon a time, I took a hiatus from social media because it wasn’t breeding inspiration. It started to become a reflection of all the things I wasn’t doing and it showed me all the goals I wanted to achieve but couldn’t.

I started to get jealous and envious. I began to not have love and appreciation for the things I had going on because I was too busy trying to live someone else’s life.

That’s where I went wrong.

Instead of monitoring and focusing on my own success, I was distracted by the paths of other people. I found myself checking the pages of people with more established followings and endorsement deals thinking to myself how could I be like them? What are they doing that I’m not doing?

Who can relate?

Ladies: how many times have you seen a picture or a video of a trending woman and started to think about all of the improvements you needed to make?

How your body could be: thinner, thicker, toner. Your hair could be longer, fuller, healthier.

You get swallowed by the popularity contest and lose yourself in light of being liked; not knowing all the while what their real-life experience is like. You’re just caught up in the glorified image that’s portrayed online.

Don’t lose Yourself in light of being liked #trustyourprocess

Being someone new on the scene, I was definitely tempted by the bells and whistles that would take me to faster stardom: I considered playing up my sexiness, being a brand ambassador for an online fashion boutique, and thought about switching to lanes that had nothing to do with my art just to get attention.

It was my best friend that told me to keep my eye on the prize. She recommended that I stick to what makes me an individual versus trying to hop on the bandwagon. It reminded me of that scene in A Star Is Born where Bradley Cooper is giving Lady Gaga advice on her stardom, he says:

If you don’t dig deep into your fuckin’ soul you won’t have legs. I’m just telling you that. If you don’t tell the truth out there you’re fucked. All you got is you and what you have to say to people and they are listening right now and they are not going to be listening forever. Trust me. So you gotta grab it and you don’t apologise or worry about why they’re listening or how long they’re gonna be listening for. You just tell them what you want to say.

Bradley Cooper, A Star Is Born

I realize now that people aren’t following me on social media and coming to my website because I’m like someone else: you’re here for me.

There was something about me that interested you and it’s that exchange that’s so important!

I don’t want to waste any time or energy on trends. After a while, I’d exhaust all of my efforts just trying to keep up. It would mean so much more to be noticed for being me ^_^

The focus should be on figuring out what I could do better not how I can be like other people.

Remember that!

One can easily get caught up in the scene but remember that even the trendsetters were once where you are now: in a space trying to figure out their path to success.

They figured out a way that works best for them, now it’s up to you to pave the way for yourself. Comparing your process to that of others is just counterproductive.

Find your “it” factor and construct a plan on how to make it work for you!

  • Try a vision board.
  • Check-in with yourself, often.
  • Celebrate your small victories, not just the big ones!

Don’t forget to add the energy!

*Don’t forget to like, share, and leave a comment ^_^

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