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Jujubee’s guide to making 2021 just a little brighter

The Boston drag icon shares nine ideas for supporting local businesses and yourself.

To help make 2021 a good year, Airline Inthyrath suggests pampering yourself a little.
To help make 2021 a good year, Airline Inthyrath suggests pampering yourself a little.Eric Magnussen for the Boston Globe

What are small investments you can make in a better year for you and those you love? Airline Inthyrath, a.k.a. Boston’s own drag star Jujubee, gave us a to-do list for joining him in a more hopeful, optimistic 2021. Start with supporting local businesses, the US Postal Service, and yourself. And then let us know the things you’re doing to take care of yourself at magazine@globe.com.

1. Pamper Yourself a Little

For his hair, Inthyrath swears by Bradley & Diegel Salon on Newbury Street. “I’ve been seeing Maria for over a decade,” he says. And he loves soaking in a tub with a bath bomb, especially if it’s “deep sleep” by Lush.

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2. Buy Flowers

Inthyrath says there’s nothing like fresh flowers to brighten his mood. His favorite floral retailer is Central Square Florist. He recently took the T there with a friend and it felt like normalcy.

3. Support the Places You Love

Late-night dancing at Club Cafe might be off-limits at the moment, but please know that the venue serves great food, Inthyrath says. “I have always enjoyed going to Club Cafe, because it is a safe space for the LGBTQIA+ community and it’s been around since 1983! I love ordering takeout from them.”

Mariah Carey's book is on Jujubee's reading list.
Mariah Carey's book is on Jujubee's reading list.

4. Find Some New Books and Music

“I am so excited to start reading The Meaning of Mariah Carey,” the singer’s memoir published last fall, Inthyrath says. And for music, may he recommend streaming Jujubee’s new albums, Good Juju: Vol. 1 and Good Juju: Vol. 2? They’re available on Spotify, Apple Music, YouTube, and other services.

5. Make Time to Meditate

Yes, this is difficult, and maybe you’re already trying, but Inthyrath says he depends on the Calm app, specifically its daily meditations. “I tend to overthink and over evaluate even the tiniest things,” he says. “The Calm app has helped me maintain centeredness.”

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Write a handwritten letter to a long-distance friend can help brighten their year.
Write a handwritten letter to a long-distance friend can help brighten their year.Adobe Stock

6. Write a Letter

Inthyrath recommends writing a handwritten letter to a long-distance friend, and taking the extra step of sending it with a self-addressed stamped envelope to encourage a return note. Better yet, why not include some extra stamps? “Everyone needs a book of stamps,” he says. “Support your local post office.”

7. Fill a Happiness Jar

A happiness jar is a pocket full of sunshine. “Write down one good thing that happened today and put it in the jar of happiness,” he says. “I like to do this to remind myself that I will always have something to be grateful for.”

Try calling a friend and talking only about them.
Try calling a friend and talking only about them.Adobe Stock

8. Call a Friend — and Talk Only About Them

“I find myself constantly thinking about what I am going to do next or about what I’ve just done. It’s usually about myself. This practice helps remind me of all the things I have to be grateful for,” Inthyrath says. “Something important I’ve learned is that humility isn’t thinking less of yourself; humility is thinking of yourself less.”

9. Make a Day of It

Inthyrath recommends dressing up like it’s a special day on a random day, and then going window shopping with a coffee or tea in hand. It’s about the joy of playing pretend. “I frequent the Boston Common and Public Garden on the way to Newbury Street,” he says. “I love pretending like I can afford expensive things, and Newbury is the place to do this.”

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Meredith Goldstein is a Globe staff writer and the advice columnist of the Love Letters column and podcast. She can be reached at Meredith.Goldstein@globe.com.