Election Reflection – Self-Care

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Here are a few links to help you be politically active but also take care of yourself. If you have any links or self care suggestions, please add them in the comments. We are here for each other; now more than ever. 

How to Avoid Being Psychologically Destroyed by Your Newsfeed

How to Call your Reps when you have Social Anxiety

How to Get Out of the Cycle of  Outrage in a Trump World

How to Stay Outraged without Losing Your Mind

Self-Care Ideas for a Trump Presidency

Watching Janelle Monae’s Women’s March Speech is your Self Care Homework for the Day

What to do when you’re so Overwhelmed by the Trump Presidency 

Two of my Own: 

Let’s Make a Coping Skills Toolbox

Make a Self-Care Thing

And this helpful graphic: 

Continue reading

Mental Health Monday – MY Coping Tools

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For this penultimate Mental Health Monday for Suicide Prevention Awareness Month, I thought I would offer a few of my personal coping mechanisms and tools. I usually go through my things that work until they don’t and then go for the less good ones. You never know which combination of tools and mood will break out of those bad days.

As much as I love fall, October in particular, I find it a bit more stressful than the rest of the year (until late spring). It’s hectic. The school’s want so much, the weather changes throughout the day from summer to later fall, and then back again. We’re close enough to Christmas that we’re worrying how we’re going to pay for it all. The church is beginning its new year at the end of November, and this year I have a few new responsibilities on that front. My son’s birthday is in October, and from then until the anniversary of my mother’s death the first week in December, it’s like a ticking bomb, counting down to her death, like it did in retrospect eleven years ago.

I try to get myself set up with a retreat; not always feasible especially monetarily. I also have my writing group that meets for eight weeks in the fall. Except that it was cancelled last week for this season. *headdesk*

I guess in addition to giving you some helpful hints and resources, I’ll probably be using many of them myself.

First is my writing workshop. I need it. Desperately. My plan? Go to the library anyway at the time the workshop would have taken place, and work on my two books. They’ve been waiting in the wings for too long. One is a travel, essay, spiritual journey to and about Wales, and the second is the horror of buying my house. The first one is too much emotion, and the second one is too much anger, so I can’t handle them for very long. Now, I have a dedicated eight weeks to put a dent in their outlines and direction.

Second is it’s list season. I’ve told my family already: If it isn’t on my list, it doesn’t exist. I knew they knew I was serious when they didn’t comment on my little rhyme. My advice is to put absolutely everything on the list, including reminders to eat and go the bathroom. You’d be surprised how often you’ll forget without that check up on yourself.

My list for tomorrow looks something like this:

Kids to school
Get dressed
Mass
Target – toilet paper and Dawn
Groceries – cheddar cheese, rice, and Yartzeit candles (for Yom Kippur)
Breakfast
Continue cleaning my work space while Supernatural plays in the background
Write Friday’s fandom post about Gishwhes
Check Gishwhes site for updates

Seriously, no item is too small or too big. Too big use several steps, so break them down and pat yourself on the back when you complete something.

Third, I mentioned Supernatural as background noise. This is my comfort sound, especially the earlier seasons. Find what you like but don’t need to pay 100% attention to. It could be music. Talk radio. Nature sounds. We all have that one thing. Find yours.

Fourth, comfort food. Macaroni and cheese is an old standby (Kraft in the blue box), but last week I had the most intense craving…..and then I had the most amazing peanut butter and banana sandwich on toasted wheat bread that I have had in a long time. It was……fantastic.

Fifth, it’s okay to just sit and do nothing. Watch TV. Listen to music. Read a book or better yet, a magazine, so you don’t need to give it the same attention as a book. Take a nap if it will help.

Sixth, catch up on Netflix. I can heartily recommend Sense8 (warning for language, sex, adult situations, and violence) and Parks and Recreation (warning for sexual talk and adult situations).

Seventh, take care of yourself. Say no to people if you don’t have the spoons. It’s okay, and don’t apologize for taking care of yourself.

Week 45/14 Review (plus blog care)

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Beginning on Monday, there is going to be a few extra posts as I set up my new index. I apologize for the extra notifications you will receive with these posts. I’m also going to revamp my Facebook Page.

Hopefully, this will make it easier for everyone to find their favorite pieces or search for ones they  might have missed.

Thanks for your patience.

kb


 

Prompt: What’s the best thing you do for yourself?

Photo: Recycling…

QuotationBy recording your dreams and goals on paper, you set in motion the process of becoming the person you most want to be. Put your future in good hands –your own. – Mark Victor Hansen

Rec: MediSafe App

Writing:

Reflection on Conversion (religion/spirituality)

Make Self-Care a Thing (self-care, health & well-being – mental)

The Discovery of America, Another Perspective (history)

The Republicans win the Senate (politics)

REPOST: When Life and Fiction Meet (and Greet) (fictional narrative)

Links:

MediSafe App

Prince Madoc

Prince Madoc and the Discovery of America

Here Be Dragons by Sharon Kay Penman

Mumford and Sons

Adele

Creative Memories

Netflix

Orange is the New Black

Chitty Chitty Bang Bang

Escape to Witch Mountain

The Hunger Games: Catching Fire

Constantine

Make Self-Care a Thing

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Why is so hard to put ourselves first; to take care of our own needs? Most of us usually wait until the stress has hit its boiling point. Instead of letting it go that far, it would be better to take care of ourselves along the way. That won’t eliminate all the stress and angst, but it can go a long way in alleviating those feelings of being put upon.

Some things that might work for you:

  1. Tune-out. Turn off the television, the internet, the cell phone. Find a quiet spot to just close your eyes for at least ten minutes. [Note: I have to mention that when I wrote this in my notebook, I wrote ten months. That might be a bit excessive. ;)]
  2. Re-read a favorite book. The one that I go back to every year or so is Here Be Dragons by Sharon Kay Penman.
  3. Go outside and sit. If it’s a cooler day, wear a lightweight jacket, gloves and a jaunty hat. Watch the wildlife scurry by and the birds glide, counting leaves, following the branches as they reach towards the sky.
  4. Listen to music. Mumford and Sons, Adele, Classic Rock – whatever floats your boat. Pop in your earphones and put your playlist on shuffle.
  5. I used to love this and you could do the pages as backgrounds without even having the pictures ready. Check out Creative Memories for supplies and ideas.
  6. Wander around a local museum or a large library or other interesting places in your local area.
  7. Take yourself to the movies. Have popcorn.
  8. Netflix. Catch up on a series you’ve always wanted to watch. Orange is the New Black anyone? Or re-watch a childhood favorite. Chitty Chitty Bang Bang and Escape to Witch Mountain are two of my favorites; or catch something new like Catching Fire.

One of the things that I do in an attempt at taking care of myself is my recent retreat. That’s a week while the kids are in school, but I also take a day and attend a local flower show in the spring.

As I’ve mentioned before, I visit Starbucks, less now because of finances, but it is still something I consider a special treat and self-care place.

My attendance at Mass will usually put things into perspective for me as well as centering my spirit and preparing me for the day.

I feel sometimes that I don’t have the time for me, but I think the bigger problem is whatever I’m doing gets interrupted and restarted and usually I’ okay with that kind of multi-tasking, but sometimes I’m the guy from Network.

I think I’ll take an hour and catch up on Constantine.

You Clean Up Good – 8 Hygiene Tricks for People with Body Issues

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This was written by a friend of mine, and he’s given me permission to share it with you.

For whatever reason that you find it hard to clean up (one of my sporadic issues (I do have more than one) is that I have a water phobia, and the act of getting in the shower is just too much sometimes, and to be honest, that is minor compared to others’ reactions), these eight tricks and tips might be helpful.

PTSD, traumatic memories, abuse, scars, eating disorders, phobias, delusions, anxiety, body image issues, gender or other dysmorphia…there are plenty of reasons that for some people, naked is HARD.  And forced to confront your naked body directly enough to clean it is HARDER.  But life doesn’t have a lot of room for people who struggle with basic hygiene, and even if you don’t deal with other people, there is a point where if you don’t clean yourself, you become at risk for skin infections and other issues, so I thought I’d offer a few tips, some from personal experience, some from my therapist because this is a thing I’ve struggled with myself:

  1. Love your products.For me, it’s LUSH stuff.  I love the way that shit smells, the way it feels, the textures, the colors, everything.  Even the company policies and marketing.  I want to smell like that and put it all over me.  If you’re already struggling, you don’t need to be gagging on the smell or shuddering from the texture of dollar store body wash.  If there’s any way you can afford it or find free samples or anything, use whatever products you love most.
  2. Distance yourself.If touching your body bothers you, use a loofa, a puff, or a brush instead of your bare hand or a thin cloth or mitt.
  3. Turn the lights off and cover the mirrors.It may seem silly, but sometimes just not seeing can help.  If you can’t do it in the dark or if total dark freaks you out, try a candle (outside the shower) or nightlight. Mirrors should be self explanatory, especially because bathroom light is often very unflattering.
  4. Don’t tempt yourself.If you have a history of or urges towards self harm, don’t have razors, scrubs, or harsh sponges/scrubbers in the shower or in easy reach after.
  5. Distract yourself.Get a waterproof case for your phone.  Sing in the shower.  Draw on the wall with soap crayons.  Draw on YOU with soap crayons.  Have an audiobook.  Use the time to drill yourself on trivia, prep for a test, or work on that thing you’re writing.  Try to remember the alphabet backwards in another language.
  6. Ink up.If you can and are so inclined, consider getting one or more tattoos.  They can give you a real sense of positive ownership of your body, and you can focus on the art and its meaning when you see yourself naked rather than paying attention to the canvas.
  7. Set a timer.  Things are often a billion times more endurable if you know when they’ll end, having to rush can sometimes help keep you from dwelling on emotions, and it helps prevent zoning out and getting the shitty surprise when the hot water runs out.
  8. Make it necessary.  Paint on yourself or sharpie on yourself.  Pour on something with a gross texture like lube or vegetable oil.  Put paint in your hair.  The focus on getting ____ off can help, and it makes it harder to keep finding reasons to not.

Sometimes, though it’s not going to happen.  So consider a dry shampoo or dry body wash, a quick change of clothes, some extra deodorant, a spritz of body spray, some powder, and try again tomorrow.  You’re not a failure because today didn’t happen, and succeeding tomorrow is not lessened by today.

And if you do it, reward yourself.  You deserve it.  You did the thing and it was a hard thing, and that’s awesome.

 

Source: Andrew Blake (http://andythanfiction.tumblr.com/post/92761622197/you-clean-up-good-8-hygiene-tricks-for-people-with)