Last week was awful. It was time to stop taking my paroxetine last Sunday after a month of slowly reducing my dosage, and I was okayish until Thursday, when I basically broke down and stayed broken down for three days. I was stable yesterday and I seem to be doing better today, but I know how easy it is for things to go awry and for me to get back in my own head and go down the ugly bad path again, so for this week’s Monday post I want to try to hold myself accountable for implementing certain self-care rules and making them a habit.
Lix’s Very Specific And Very Personal Guide To Taking Care Of Herself
- Fandom. This is massively important. I need fandom before I go to sleep, either in the form of fanfic, or a book, or an episode of TV. I need that, and I need to be around in my fandom spaces — daily. I’ve always got two browsers open, one with each of my Twitter accounts — the only social media platform I have separate accounts on — and it’s so sad that I’m so rarely on Safari when it just makes me feel good, and it doesn’t feel like a chore, and I love and trust my people, and it’s safe. I like the people I follow on my public accounts, but at the end of the day those accounts are public and I can’t control how people react to the content I put out. I can block and delete, but the damage — the anger, mainly — won’t be gone. I’ve always been huge on sharing, and being transparent, and being open about my mental health issues, and I will continue to be because I believe it’s the only way to make a difference and definitely the only way for me to be involved in activism. But I need to cocoon up in a safe space on a daily basis to avoid those days where I basically lose hope in everyone and also myself. Ergo: fandom. Plus, it’s great escapism.
- Early mornings. Early mornings are brilliant, and I miss them all the time because of oversleeping and other such bullshit. I have an alarm on that I completely slept through again last week, so I probably need to change it up a little, but keep it there. And just know that it’s all or nothing for me — either I get up at 8 AM or earlier, or it’s a lost cause till noon. I don’t want to sleep in till noon. So I need to get up early, and tire myself out, and go to bed at an elderly person hour. It’s not like I have things to do specifically at night, or people with bad sleeping habits rubbing off on me. I can do this, or at the very least remember that it’s possible and that I freaking love early mornings. Whole day’s ahead of you! Nothing feels quite so daunting when the whole day’s ahead of you. I can’t believe it’s still nine. (I didn’t go to sleep last night. This is not how I want to do early mornings, but hey. I’m not going to not enjoy it.)
- Stretching. See, the thing about exercising is that it’s tiring and also a lot of the time you sweat. I really kind of hate that. But I love stretching, and when I stretch I usually end up doing dips and jumps and turns and ballet walking and it’s all very on my terms and really great: it only takes as long as I want it to, I can set it to music, and I don’t have to shower afterwards. (I feel the need to wash my hair when I shower/sweat, and I wash my hair far too often already.) And it still gives me the benefits of a workout — the immediate ones but also the energy that builds up when you do it consistently. And the whole having a goal to work towards — I got so close to doing the splits back in 2012 after just stretching daily for a few months, and I want to see that on the horizon again, dammit.
- Actual human interaction. Partly in the form of fandom and partly I guess I just need to seek it out. I have trouble making plans with people because I’m constantly worried about money and also thinking about whether I can get them to hire me, and it’s crappy on a number of levels. I just need to get people to come here. It’s nice here! Let’s just have a chat. Let’s go on a photo walk. I don’t know, just help me stay sane.
- Writing everything down. Ideas for my blog, ideas for my business, job leads, thoughts, journaling, things to do, things to do broken into very very small bites, tentative schedules, actual blog posts, lists, dates, times, things that make me happy, basically everything. Because I will forget, and it will suck.
As much as nausea is a constant in my life, I have been doing a fairly good job of feeding myself lately, so I’m leaving that one out. I’m pretty sure I can’t do any better. I’m listening to my body on my budget, and it seems to be working out pretty well. So I just need to keep that up when there are people here. Nothing I cook is complicated enough to be embarrassing to do in front of people.
What are your self-care habits? Are there any you struggle to keep up?