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self-care

Self-care: Not just for bourgeois narcissists

Watery
Mmmm, watery!

As some of you no doubt noticed, I didn’t post over the weekend. The reason is simple: After last week’s Republican convention — that bizarre festival of hate that’s somehow given Trump a boost in the polls — I needed a couple of days to clear my head and remind myself that there’s more to life than Anime Nazis and woman-hating dolts. I’ll probably be doing this more in the future, though I’ll try to store up posts that I can put up on the days I’m taking off.

The weekend was a welcome respite, as was that little staycation I recently took, but there’s a big part of me that still feels guilty for taking the weekend off. Like a lot of those at least roughly on the left, I still find it hard to justify the simple act of taking care of myself. With all the hate in the world, shouldn’t I be on call 24/7? Isn’t self-care a sort of bourgeois cop-out, a narcissistic retreat from collective action?

As Laurie Penny (there’s that name again!) notes in a recent Baffler piece, it’s not hard to understand why so many leftists, especially those of the activist persuasion, look upon self-care with a certain cynicism.

The slow collapse of the social contract is the backdrop for a modern mania for clean eating, healthy living, personal productivity, and “radical self-love”—the insistence that, in spite of all evidence to the contrary, we can achieve a meaningful existence by maintaining a positive outlook, following our bliss, and doing a few hamstring stretches as the planet burns. 

As Penny suggests, you can’t make your life better by running it through an Instagram filter, or by adopting the Coca-Cola ad slogan “choose happiness” as a personal credo. If happiness really were a simple choice, I’m pretty sure all of us besides the most cynical would have chosen it already, even if we had to buy a couple of liters of Coke (or eat some kale) to seal the deal.

But rejecting the capitalist fetishization of consumerist “self-love,” Penny argues, does not require that you “fetishize a species of abject hopelessness.” There’s nothing revolutionary about malignant depression.

It’s also galling, as Penny notes, to see brocialist types “refusing to do the basic work of self-care and mutual care that keeps hope alive and health possible, because that work is women’s work.”

Lefty miserablists, Penny continues, need to look not just to feminism but to queer activists, who understand all too well “that caring for oneself and one’s friends in a world of prejudice is not an optional part of the struggle—in many ways, it is the struggle.”

Self-care can mean a lot of different things. It may be as simple as logging off Facebook and going to look at some art, as a feminist friend of mine did recently when she was feeling so burned out her stomach was churning. Or binge-watching a season of a favorite show. (Seriously, folks, check out The Leftovers.) Or putting this on in the background instead of MSNBC while writing blog posts.

But it can also mean more systematic — and in the long run more effective — ways of dealing with stress and depression and general burnout. Penny, for her part, has taken up yoga, noting almost guiltily that “it’s changed my life to an extent that I almost resent.” I’m learning mindfulness meditation, using headspace.com, and have been systematically exploring other ways to get the better of anxiety and depression and general burnout.

And so, for my own sake as well as for anyone else feeling a bit burned out in this monumentally shitty year, I will be posting more about self-care in the months to come, as well as making a point of posting some more uplifting posts, alongside my regular dissections (humorous or otherwise) of some of the worst people in the world. I’ve also been working for some time on a sort of side-project related to self-care that I hope to be able to share with you in the not-so-distant future.

I’d like to get the discussion going by asking everyone here what sort of self-care strategies you use — what works for you, what hasn’t worked, what you’re considering trying in the future.

H/T — Thanks to the person who linked to Penny’s piece in the comments here

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Valentine
Valentine
5 years ago

ySorry I just thought I might have over shared massively! :/

ej
ej
5 years ago

Thanks (in advance) for the self-care posts, David. I really need to remember self care in the next few months. I’m writing up my thesis and it’s going to be stressful. I find it really hard to justify taking time for myself when I know there is always work to be done. I was at a conference last week and, even though I knew I wasn’t likely to get much done, I still couldn’t justify leaving my computer at home for five days.

I also came back from that conference with a cold, which knocked me out for the weekend. I’m guessing that my stress levels had something to do with me getting sick. I’m feeling better, but I’m still having to remind myself to not feel guilty for not working over the weekend.

I do like walks outside for self care. There are some nature paths behind my university that are really nice. And, of course, any time with animals is good stress relief. I’m pet-sitting this week, so I have borrowed animals (a cat and a bunny) to cuddle.

As for tea, my current favorite is a black tea with orange blossoms.

Valentine
Valentine
5 years ago

@кат,
You’re advice is spot on 🙂 thank you so much. I’m going to have to br honest with myself on this one I think.

MamiMogu
MamiMogu
5 years ago

My form of escapism to get away from the news of all the hate is anime to be honest, mixed with a beer or two.

It makes me genuinely sad that this blog had to refer to some of these people as ‘anime nazis’ – don’t get me wrong I am not denying that this is a thing but just that my interests are being taken over by the alt right. I just need to say that we aren’t all like that still, so please don’t hate us all!

Obviously gaming is suffering the same fate and I must confess I have been forced to withdraw from a lot of the online communities I used to be a part of due to the rampant rise in bigotry and the like.

Meh I’ve just made myself miserable again.

Kat
Kat
5 years ago

@Ohlmann
Wow, that sounds tough to try to choose between a very well-paid but stressful job and a job that’s less stressful but that also pays a lot less.

I hope that your job eases up a bit so that you have the time and emotional space to really think this through.

@Valentine
You’re welcome. Best wishes.

proudfootz
proudfootz
5 years ago

I’m thankful to have found We Hunted the Mammoth, and enjoy the thoughtfulness and humor you have shared. Your diligence and creativity is truly admirable. When I first discovered this site your passion, intelligence, and wit were immediately apparent and I binge-read all the posts that came before the same way one does when they come across any work of art that inspires and entertains.

Glad you are taking care of yourself. I can appreciate the necessity of doing things that help maintain a sense of balance, of perspective, and of hope.

This blog is one of the few I come back to regularly because it is both educational and fun. But it is not more important than you are.

mildlymagnificent
mildlymagnificent
5 years ago

One thing that’s been good for me the last few weeks is binge-watching videos on restoring forest and agricultural environments. Watch the first 90 seconds of this one, and then the segment from 5.45 to 7.15 with the before and after shots, https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sK8JNXHcBMA for the general idea.

I’d been thinking this was a very odd thing to do until I took real notice of one comment from a Chinese farmer who now has a good income and a well-fed family and A Brick House!, our dreams can’t keep up. I was getting the same good feeling just from seeing what other people are doing.

Now I have pages of a tabulated list of such videos from all over India, 20 or so African countries, South America, Philippines and other SE Asian countries on everything from reforestation, constructing check dams and other simple water infrastructure, vetiver grass, permaculture and all sorts of dandy stuff. I can look at something technical from India or something heartwarming from just about anywhere to suit my inclination of the moment.

Victorious Parasol
Victorious Parasol
5 years ago

Self-care for me starts with making sure I get enough sleep. Luckily this has been pretty easy for me this year, though I’ve had nights where I didn’t sleep as well as others.

I’ve also been working on giving myself enough time to do some sort of hobby activity every day. I don’t always manage that, but I’m trying. Even if I only just knit a few stitches, that counts, and it helps feed that desire to be creative outside of the work environment.

Kootiepatra
5 years ago

I’m really trying to make room for self-care right now; I know things that help, but I am awful at actually doing them. It’s hard for me to shake the feeling that I’m wasting time and/or that my self-care is not important enough to turn other things down for.

But, top on my list is taking a long walk–preferably somewhere outdoors and pretty, but any place that has interesting things to look at will do.

EJ (The Other One)
5 years ago

Kootiepatra, ej (the original one) and some other people have said it already, but walking is great. It’s a form of meditation in which your limbs move.

For me, self care consists of remembering that I am not merely a mind, but that I have a body which I need to tend to as well. At times this feels like a distraction from my work and my more cerebral pleasures, but the truth is that I’m a single biological entity and if I neglect my body then all of me suffers. Self care means exercising, remembering to eat and wash, making sure I don’t neglect sleep, and listening to what my body is telling me.

Greya Christina said that she tried to progress from “I have a body” to “I am a body”, and like most of what she’s said I think that’s very wise.

Alison
Alison
5 years ago

First time caller, long time listener.

Self care. I could go on for hours about why it’s important and different ways to be more proactive about it. As a full time caregiver to my abusive, elderly father, if I didn’t do self care, I would not be alive. (I’m working to change that status, too. Of course. But while I’m here and caregiving, regular self care must be a part of my life.)

Caregivers to elderly family know a lot about self care. There are websites with threads all about self care. Aging Care is such a site.

For me, I’ve learned that I can’t slack on my nutrition at all. My body/mind just got to the point of being so stressed, that I had to learn what is scientifically proven to combat effects of stress in the body/brain. There are academic lectures on the subject on YouTube, if you’re interested. Whole omegas are known to heal DNA that has broken down due to stress — and “stress” is just a catch-all word for anything that causes you to lose energy, not gain it… erm… not exactly that definition, but I’m trying to say that “stress” is more than just “I’m so stressed.” There are countless ways we stress our bodies/minds.

Going back to the “not slacking on nutrition,” I still have breadsticks and cookies and whatever else I want some of the time. Most of the time I keep my diet very clean and it helps to keep things relatively detoxed. Green juicing regimen is great for a reboot, if you need one. I recommend the one in Fat, Sick, and Nearly Dead.

Vitamins are a key part of my diet now. Most westerners are deficient in D3, magnesium, other stuff I can’t think of atm. I take a lot of B vitamins for nervous system support. I know that’s the only way I’m avoiding needing SSRI or similar right now. (Def understand if vitamins aren’t going to take away your lifelong mood disorder… not judging anyone, just speaking to my experience. <3) People understand that vitamins can prevent disease but I don't think many of us understand that we can heal our bodies with mega doses, also. Check the toxicity for any supplement/vitamin before doing that, but for example, B vitamins have virtually no known toxicity level, so I take a shit ton every day – especially 3 & 12, and a high potency B complex.

There are days where I want to drown my frustration with my mentally challenged father in a bottle of vodka, and those are the days I take off, if I can, and stay in bed with blinds drawn watching movies. I feel a little guilty/self indulgent, but mostly I just know by now that I HAVE TO DO IT to stay positive and well. Doing the smallest treats for myself help, too – fresh flowers, a pedicure.

Three things known to improve mood: music, animals, exercise. Seeking out/engaging in a little or a lot of any of those things counts as self care.

If we're going to live in a world that is toxic to us, and we are going to be people that care to make changes for the better, then I think self-care has to be a part of that or you just won't be at your best after awhile. It takes a toll. This is an interesting but draining time in history if you're aware, and observing the world around us. We've just begun this Information Age, and now we see every baddie, jerk, and horrible human that wants to take to the webs. Doing any kind of activism (online, whatever) takes a positive perspective… otherwise it's just a masochistic endeavor. That's what I think.

I'm not proofreading this. Hopefully it mostly makes sense and may be helpful to someone. xoxo

Oh… consider a micro dose psilocybin regimen if you’re having any chronic anxiety/stress. There is plenty of research on the safety and effectiveness online.

marinerachel
marinerachel
5 years ago

I have no idea how you don’t take MORE time off of reporting on these garbage people, David!

Joekster
Joekster
5 years ago

@dave: good for you. Burnout is real, and self care is vital.

Someone up above was talking about a Facebook friend who was coming down on people for taking care of themselves, and I just wanted to add that there are many doctors who are that way. As a result, one in four medical students develops clinical depression by the end of their fourth year.

Fortunately, the medical community is starting to recognize this as a problem, but progress is slow.

Things I do to restore myself? I used to play wow while listening to Lorie Lines music. I’ve always had a thing for her music, but that’s mostly because she’s also from Reno. My classmates in medical school always complained that her music put them to sleep.

In med school, I’d have a lot of late night discussions about religion and philosophy with my classmates studying in other rooms. There was a group of three Mormons and an ex-Methodist atheist whom I’d drop in on occasionally, as well as an older man who was a Quaker. It helped us all refocus to talk about something important to us but not related to what we were cramming about.

I also spent a great deal of time playing foozeball (our school had two tables in the rec room, and the Mormon group were all into it), and I also did wall climbing in Reno, and actual rock climbing when doing my clinical years in Las Vegas (red rock canyon has some of the best climbing in the country, IMO. The sandstone provides amazing grip).

When all else failed? I’d read through the Hobbit. It’s the book I learned to read from, so it was always comfort food for me.

@VP: bingo about the sleep. I found in third year that coffee can substitute for food and sleep for a time, but eventually, the debt has to be paid.

@phryne: one of the med students I had long chats with in med school had ADHD and Ehlers-Danlos syndrome. She was the year behind me, but we bonded over the fact that we both had to retake a year because of medical issues. We sort of lost touch during residency, and I haven’t spoken to her since I got married last year. I should give her a call…

Sheila Crosby
5 years ago

Is there anyone else who likes meditation, but gets put off by religion and woo? If so, I recommend https://www.amazon.co.uk/Secular-Meditation-Practices-Cultivating-Compassion-ebook/dp/B016SOZWPY/ref=sr_1_1

I heard about it from Greta Cristina, and I’m finding it really good.

For me, self care also involves being assertive about house work. There are 3 adults in this house, and every now and then I have to remind the other two to do their share. Then I have time for yoga, meditation, creativity and walks. It’s extra important because I have a tendency to overfull my life.

Mish
Mish
5 years ago

Seconding everyone who has said to David – please don’t feel bad about taking time off. I have to take time off from reading this blog (not Mammotheers’ comments, obviously, but the content) just to remind myself that the whole world is not a cesspool of hate. Not to mention the stuff I see you regularly dealing with on Twitter…

Laurie Penny’s slightly embarrassed confessions about yoga resonated with me. I don’t go on about it because I don’t want to come across all evangelical, plus different things are going to work for different people. However, yoga rescued me from a horrible place around 18 months ago, and I’ve been practising it ever since. On the other hand, at previous points in life, therapy and medication have done the job.

As people have already said, cats are great, and also dogs. I don’t have a dog, but I love watching them play. Gaming and watching anime with my son is also brilliant – like little pockets of isolated fun away from the world.
Finally, I do like it here at WHTM very much. It’s the only online community so far where I feel truly at home, but it also stretches my intellect. proudfootz’s comment above captures my own feelings beautifully.
Take good care, everyone <3

Ohlmann
Ohlmann
5 years ago

@Alison : in your post, about each time you tried to toe in biological mechanism, it was to say some kind of classic alimentation woe, unsupported by actual science. That being said, it’s not bad to self-care via alimentation, but it giving you pleasure is more important than its actual composition.

In particular, I advice to avoid anything with supposed detoxification effect, because it’s where you have the highest odds of encountering actually toxic compound sold as a remedy. I think the rest, to the best of my knowledge, is close enough to innocuous so that’s up to personal taste.

Axecalibur: Middle Name Danger
Axecalibur: Middle Name Danger
5 years ago

My community level destresser just got a lot more stressful, cos some drunk jackass couldn’t keep his hands to himself. I’m cool doing it (the destressing activity, that is), but thinking about it just makes me feel empty and heavy. I just wanna sleep and not wake up until like October. Maybe a few months fixes it some…
Anyway, so now I’m stuck with the more personal level stuff. I’ve mentioned before that music helps me. 1)I put on a song with a lot of high notes and sing along. Not well, but focusing on hitting those notes is perfectly distracting. 2)Memorizing the lyrics to something, especially something difficult, works great. I don’t hafta do it all at once, and it’s a goal I’ll want to accomplish. Just finished this one (TW for Gun Violence, Drugs, and a Racial Slur):
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=p9ZwpC5VSBw
Or I write some crappy erofic. A different kinda stress, but a nicer kind, so I’m about it 😛

Viscaria
Viscaria
5 years ago

If you can find a form of movement that works for you, that can be so great. For some people that’s yoga, some people feel at peace when they’re running, I’ve got a bunch of powerlifter friends… When I finally found a way to move my body that I wanted to do because it made me feel good, instead of something that I was forcing myself to do because I’m supposed to, it was a revelation. I felt better all the time, and I found I was less inclined to overeat because I felt so great, which made me feel even better and it became this marvelous positive feedback loop.

These days I don’t work out much, because all of my energy is going into trying (and failing) to do my job. Burnout is so real. Take time off if you need.

Fred_the_dog
Fred_the_dog
5 years ago

I read. I open a book, fall in, and the world goes away; it’s almost like some sort of guided meditation. I’ve never been quite sure how that works and I have a hard time trying to describe it; might have been a side effect of learning to read before I started kindergarten. But it is the most relaxing thing I’ve ever done, and I’ve indulged in a lot of it over my lifetime.

@phryne: my BFF has Ehler-Danlos, and I feel for you (and her). She used to lift weights and dance, and neither of those things really work for her any more.

Andrea
5 years ago

I sew, I read, I go out dancing. I embroider. I talk to my daughter, whose head is always full of wonderful things. I go for a hike (though that can backfire).

My day-job is in the environmental field/climate change and I have burnt out many times. I’ve learned through the years that however much I might *want* to volunteer on top of that, my resources end up stretched too thin and I end up being no good to anyone. Hope may be inadequate, but it’s also a precious resource that needs to be carefully managed and maintained.

Good luck to you.

epitome of incomprehensibility

Something that’s helped calm me down lately is trying to make crossword puzzles. I use a notebook of graph paper and a pen. Haven’t been able to make a full-sized puzzle yet (it’s quite hard!!!), but it’s fun and distracting and it puts my mind in a neutral, abstract puzzle-solving mood.

Dove
Dove
5 years ago

I was reading an article from gaytimes.com about a sudden increase in demand for male sex workers around the GOP convention.

I feel like this should have been expected.

sarah_kay_gee
sarah_kay_gee
5 years ago

Last night I spent an hour working on a cross stitch and watching Ocean’s 13 (I love those silly, fluffy movies). Sometimes I write letters to people. I love photography. I go to antique stores. I collect fountain pens. You just need to have hobbies that have nothing to with fighting the alt-right and misogyny, ideally ones that don’t require you to be online, and you have to make time for them. At least an hour a day and more on weekends–I for one have often thought you shouldn’t update so much on the weekends, but I didn’t want to tell you your business.

varalys the dark
5 years ago

I had a horrendous four months this year when I was going through the process of having my sick benefit reassessed and my self care, already pretty bad due to the normal amounts of depression I suffer got a lot worse. I wore the same clothes for weeks, T-shirts with huge rips in. I kept myself clean because I do find baths neccesary to relax but otherwise I was a ball of misery pinging between mania and depression to wrung out to even brush my hair most days.

Videogames and horror films got me through it, I think it was catharsis via bodily destruction and the triumph over evil. And the small community of friends I have on another forum I spend a lot of time chatting with helped immeasurably as well. Also my cat is very receptive to my moods and by the time Final Decision fortnight rolled around he barely left my side, always providing lots of purrs and head bumps.

Anyway, I ended up having the decision not only go in my favour, but raised the amount I get by a quarter! I’m still a bit shocked two weeks later. I’ve started eating better again, washing and changing my clothes regularly and general perked myself up a bit. I know that probably makes me still sound like a right slob to a lot of folk, but for me it’s a big improvement. I’m still on a videogame kick and making my way through the pile of horror films I splurged on (one of our local second-hand dvd shops has horror in its own easy-to-find-what-you-want section) but not to the super-obsessive extent I was using them a couple of months back.

makroth
makroth
5 years ago

The thing that keeps me going is that i tend to see a positive side to everything. I also mentally prepare myself for the most likely outcomes. If Trump loses, it will be awesome. If he wins, i sit back, grab some popcorn and enjoy the carnage. It’s mostly win-win for me. I’m adaptable. Don’t let expectations drive you into despair. Politics are usually a joke and it’s healthy to laugh.

kale
kale
5 years ago

David,
please please never feel obligated to post. This shit is such a trigger for bad moods, anxiety, and depressive thinking, and your health is very important. I take breaks from reading this all the time.

In truth I often wonder why Im so attracted to this topic, but theres whole genres of entertainment around obsessing over tragic murders, so I guess its a pretty common human fascination, Self preservstion motivated perhap?

Alan Robertshaw
Alan Robertshaw
5 years ago

I know a lot of Brit mammotheers have had problems navigating the Kafkaesque nightmare that is our welfare system.

If it assists I can say that the Child Poverty Action Group has always published the best books on how to deal with the system. It’s annoying that they’re so expensive though. However, if you can get a library to order them in, or ask at your local CAB or equivalent if they have a copy you can look at, there literally is nothing better.

They’re written in really clear accessible language, and the key thing is they’re practical. It’s not just legal theory. They outline all the procedures the various tribunals use and set out all the relevant caselaw and arguments and tests the decision makers apply. Even if you hired the best QC in the land for a case, all they’d be doing is looking everything up in the CPAG book.

See here for details:

http://www.shop.cpag.org.uk/welfare-rights-books

MattP (must mock his crappy brain)
MattP (must mock his crappy brain)
5 years ago

Meditation never really helped me do anything but be bored and/or fall asleep, but walking can be nice as long as my brain isn’t constantly going on about how crap I am. I tend to get very, very antsy, fidgety, and generally uneasy when I don’t have something to do, so have to keep distractions aplenty in my proximity otherwise the only option to stop the unease is to snooze. Books, blogs, games, subbed anime on hulu, etc. and, like a certain mythbuster, I have a huge collection of projects/ideas that I work on as my interest wanders. Part of why I became an engineer was finding something oddly satisfying about PCB layout and mechanical design; it feels a bit like tetris or some other open-ended puzzle game where there may not actually be a solution or there may be many solutions. That ambiguity and flexibility is somehow really comforting and part of why I so hate authoritarians with their simple answers.

I ripped most of my dvd/bluray collection to my computer, so almost always have a movie or show playing in the background mostly as noise. When the depression gets really bad I tend to switch to ‘drum and bass’ which always helps get my mind shifted off whatever horrible thing is occupying it. Used to listen to a lot of metal before I discovered dnb, but really only listen to a few bands anymore when the mood suits me (kittie, kidneythieves, deftones, switchblade symphony, etc.).

varalys the dark
5 years ago

@Alan: I have a Masters Degree and even I find our welfare system complicated and hard to deal with. They really put me through the wringer this time, 1st the initial form to fill in which I also sent off with a letter from my GP (worth the £20 they charged it seems). Then my GP surgery contacted me and said they needed my permission to allow the welfare people a look at my mental health records. Finally I was summoned to a face-to-face assessment with a nurse practioner at the Stockport assessment centre (got a free taxi ride though w00t!) and then was told to expect a letter in 2-4 weeks. All this stretched out over four months from receipt of first form to final decision letter. Gah.

They kept me waiting over 90 mins for my appointment I was becoming visibly distressed and angry, when the nurse finally got to see me she asked how the delay had made me feel. I told her I really, really wanted to punch someone. A risky opening gambit (and be aware I would NEVER act on those feelings), but I am compelled by all my years in therapy to tell the truth about my feelings now. It can make things… awkward sometimes.

Alan Robertshaw
Alan Robertshaw
5 years ago

@ varalys

tell the truth

I went for a job interview. They asked me what my biggest weakness was. I told them it was that I was too honest. They said they didn’t think that was a weakness. I told them I didn’t give a fuck what they thought. 🙂

But yeah, it’s a nightmare. In my law school days I worked for an organisation called the Free Representation Unit. That allows unqualified students to cut their teeth with real clients (that’s reassuring isn’t it?). Welfare law was one thing we did. It’s the most complex legal area after tax law. That’s where I learned those CPAG books were so good.

PS: Posted something for you in that other thread.

Sinkable John : Pansy Ass Pinko
Sinkable John : Pansy Ass Pinko
5 years ago

Writing is what works best for me. Some genius from around here said something like (roughly translated by me) “I write like you’d talk to a psychologist” (sounded much better in french) – but the idea is sound. It helps.

varalys the dark
5 years ago

Heh, I like your reasoning lol.

I can well imagine Welfare Law being so complex. My mum, I think I mentioned to you before, is a retired lawyer and she dealt with Housing Benefit and Council Tax defaulters, that’s probably more straightforward than dealing with the supposedly more streamlined ESA system (actually STILL made up of multiple benefits and awards) but I know she had her work cut out for her. Probably why she’s enjoying being retired so much 😀

I shall check the other thread forthwith.

Viscaria
Viscaria
5 years ago

I am in the process of kind of maybe sort of applying for disability leave from my work. It’s corporate insurance so it’s much easier than dealing with governmental agencies, I’m sure. But… damn. Nothing helps with being stressed & unproductive at work quite like a stressful, labour-intensive disability application process.

Paradoxical Intention - Mobile
Paradoxical Intention - Mobile
5 years ago

So, a bit of personal stuff: My mom called last night and said she’s getting married in December to a guy she’s known on Facebook for a year now.

Her happiness comes first, obviously, so I’m trying to ignore my concerns about me not knowing the guy and stuff.

My mom deserves to be in a happy, healthy relationship. She’s had so many shit ones in her life.

Viscaria
Viscaria
5 years ago

Will you have a chance to meet the guy before the day?

Rabid Rabbit
Rabid Rabbit
5 years ago

Things to help with self-care: the knowledge that Canadian judges really seem to have had enough with their colleagues going easy on rapists and their ilk: http://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/edmonton/alberta-judge-delivers-blistering-rebuke-of-lower-court-sex-assault-decision-1.3694814

That’s twice in two weeks. I’m assuming it’s part of the “Make sure we really are better than Trumpland” thing going on up here.

peaches
peaches
5 years ago

Yeah, I think after I see my shrink today I’m gonna fuck off and go to the museum. I’m still unemployed and not even looking all that hard, so it will feel good and hurt nothing.

Most of my self-care has been light exercise. I’ve been walking at the mall, which is such an oldster thing to do, but hell, I’m still delighted that I can walk at all. But between my back and an old ankle injury, I have to take it easy, probably not do it every day.

Oh, and a couple of weeks ago I took a little trip to Ontario to see a sick friend. I recommend going to Canada if ya’ll can afford it. It’s mellow.

Mike Hisandry
Mike Hisandry
5 years ago

I’ve found, again and again, that it doesn’t really matter what you do for self-care (beyond the basics of hygiene, nutrition etc). It matters more that you act from a position of caring – that you do something because you want to take good care of yourself, like you would a friend or family member.

dlouwe
dlouwe
5 years ago

It’s generally not so important what I do, so long as I’m able to do it alone. I’m definitely someone who gets antsy when I don’t get sufficient “me time” so my self care routine is basically just making sure that that happens.

If I had to pick any one particular activity, it’d be doing the dishes, in terms of efficiency. I hate doing the dishes, but having a clean kitchen creates a cascade effect of stress-relief. Clean kitchen just feels nice, plus it means I can cook which is not only an activity I do enjoy, but also healthier and cheaper (two other stressers) than getting takeout.

@Valentine

One thing I’d like to add is that you shouldn’t ever feel like your feelings are invalid or “wrong” – you can’t stop feelings from happening, all you can do is be honest about what they are and how you want to deal with them. If you can’t help but fall in love with other people you’re seeing, then that’s just the sort of person you are, and the decisions you make should go forward from there, rather than trying to avoid or hide it. Whether that means you change your agreement with your partner, or you simply stop seeing anyone else, or whatever else – that part is up to you.

idahogie
idahogie
5 years ago

My self care: running a Drinking Liberally chapter.

Paradoxical Intention - Resident Cheeseburger Slut

Viscaria | July 26, 2016 at 12:22 pm

Will you have a chance to meet the guy before the day?

Only like right before. He’s in Africa building roads until five days before the wedding, which will be on Christmas Day as of right now, and I won’t be there until like the day or two before.

Considering my move that I’ve been planning for months and the like, I’ll be way too busy and well, on the other side of the country.

Axecalibur: Middle Name Danger
Axecalibur: Middle Name Danger
5 years ago

@PI

Considering my move…

How’s that coming along BTW, if I may ask?

(((Hambeast))) Now With Extra Parentheses
(((Hambeast))) Now With Extra Parentheses
5 years ago

This is my coping mechanism; holing up in my office/craft room and reading the Mammoth. Especially right now that Husbeast’s kid is with us for summer vacation. I’m childless by choice and a young teen in the house feels like a hostile takeover. And Kidbeast is really a pretty good kid!

Oh, contrapangloss, this made me cry a little:

Like, he usually has a limited word budget. Phone calls with dad are usually short. But when I feel like crud, he’ll just tell stories for an hour straight.

My dad was the same way, at least on the phone. But I could sit with him and listen to his stories over and over. I miss that so much!

Also, this?

Okay, this is the weirdest one. I HATE CLEANING. HATEHATEHATEHATEHATE cleaning. I loathe organizing my socks with a passion. Vacuums were designed to suck the souls out of people, I swear.

So funny and so ME TOO! Except for me, it’s dishes, which I usually hate. I know I’m upset when I haven’t turned on the dishwasher for a while because I’ve been doing all the dishes by hand! >.<

I have only gotten to the middle of page one, so I'll go back to reading for a while.

Imaginary Petal
Imaginary Petal
5 years ago

Since I’m on vacation right now, pretty much everything I do if self-care. My fav is floating on my back in the pool, eyes closed, trying to relax every muscle in my body. When I’m not in water I’m always uncomfortable and in some level of pain, and I can never be comfortable on clothes, so I really cherish pool access. It’s like taking a break from life.

EpicurusHog
EpicurusHog
5 years ago

I don’t know how relevant my experience is here, since I don’t spend that much time fighting the SJ battle. I do have other things going on, plus just browsing the shit wave of the internet can be draining sometimes and reading this blog and others like it helps a lot to put things back into perspective (thanks for that btw).

Something else that helps is making things, like drawing or making useless things with clay and strings. I have a whole bunch of half-made bracelets, badges and earrings. I almost never use them and they don’t look that good, but making them is fun. Playing the guitar is pretty relaxing, too, and a good way to express strong emotions if screaming will get you in trouble with the neighbors.

I’ve lately taken to watching trashy anime to laugh at them. I’ve found a bunch of guilty pleasures and a bigger bunch of shows I love bashing, though sometimes I’ve ended up getting angry at the anime instead of releasing my anger through it. Mahouka was a mistake.

Mary Contrary
Mary Contrary
5 years ago

As a family woman, I remind myself regularly that you can’t pour from an empty cup, so I need to look after myself in order to be able to look after others. There have been a couple of occasions when my son had to miss school because I was too ill to get up and take him there. I’m determined not to let myself get to that point again.

I have practised yoga for 30 years. I’m not very advanced (it’s been mostly solitary practice, with very little actual instruction), and I’m not into the spiritual aspect, as it conflicts with my religious principles, but I’m still convinced that without time on the mat, I’d have made the evening news for all the wrong reasons ages ago.

Even more than yoga, though, I need some alone time every day, to read and listen to music and not deal with people. There’s nothing more energising than a bus or train ride with a book and my headphones on.

FrickleFrackle
FrickleFrackle
5 years ago

I’m back from a short vacation from Hot Springs, Arkansas! While I didn’t take a bath in any of the bathhouses, it was a nice place to go to for a few days. Went to this little petting zoo and alligator farm, walked in some of the bathhouses, and ate at a few local resturaunts. Unfortunately, I got a headache so I had to stay back at the hotel for the second day I was there. Still had fun though, went to an artist stream and talked to some of the other regulars for a while.

Other than that bit of brain bleach, I like to play Fallout 4, both exploring and shooting, and building settlements. I’m trying to turn Starlight Drive-In into a big settlement with well-equipped guards, and some spotlights added through mods make the place really bright (and slow my game down but it’s certainly still playable). Imagine being a weary traveler, miles away from the big city, and suddenly finding a town with lights, plumbing, bedding, and a few dedicated security officers!

And of course, there’s music. I tend to listen to either really exciting video game/movie battle music (like the Bravely Second asterisk boss theme) or cynical stuff like PJ Harvey and Radiohead. Still, I just love music, and could bring up a TON of song recommendations if anyone would like!

varalys the dark
5 years ago

When I was going through my horrible welfare experience I pretty much listened to nothing except Akira Yamaoka’s Silent Hill OST’s and “The Holy Bible” album by The Manic Street Preachers. Dunno if that helped or not though 😀

I find online TV Tropes is my curative antidote to the effluent you find sloshing around the web and social media. Although I feel a bit taken hostage by it right now, I have ten tabs open and I only went to check the tropes for a game I finished earlier today (“The Secret Of Monkey Island” updated 360 version. Excellent game, can’t believe it took me so long to play it) and five hours later I’m reading about stuff that has nothing at all related to the game, not even videogames. Send Halp!

Alan Robertshaw
Alan Robertshaw
5 years ago

@ fricklfrackle

petting zoo and alligator farm

Don’t get those mixed up.

Viscaria
Viscaria
5 years ago

So! Tomorrow my doctor calls my on-paper boss (who lives far away and has maybe met me once) to let him know about the part-time disability plan that he’s worked out with my HR team. Presumably then on-paper boss will filter that information down to actual boss + plus all the other dudes I support. I feel… what’s the word… terrified? I think that’s the one.

But hopefully this will give me time and energy to do things like work out and do housework, which maybe will strengthen me so that I can eventually work full-time again. Ooooor maybe I’m a lazy stupid person who can’t handle basic shit.