Monday, April 01, 2013

Self Care homework DONE.

Well, self care homework on going. I had a rough week last week. Between being followed home a few times, tension headaches and shitty days at work last week was a mess.

 I was also just plain tired. I had to remind myself of the things I said to y'all. I had to start with a few easy things.

I had to process some news. Despite the inconvience of where we live right now, we're not moving as soon as we were hoping. It's just not the best idea and it's smarter for us to wait and make sure everything is fine financially than move and have to tighten the purse strings too much. Not to mention I've been walking downtown at night because I have a long wait to get my bus home, and I walk by these amazing apartment buildings and it's depressing.

At one point last week I felt just, useless and weird and unhappy. So here's what I did.

I took my time washing my face and used my new favorite thing the Sensuous Spice Mask by Montagne Jeunesse. I picked up a tube of this mask totally at random from Big Lots a few weeks ago and while I don't know if it makes a huge visual difference in my skin, I'm a big fan of how relaxing self heating masks are. If you have super sensitive skin I'd not use that one.

What else did I do?

I was peeling (yay season changes) so I took time to use my sugar scrub on my body and then I moisturized like hell.

And then Friday night after kind of flailing about for a while I got in bed and put in a whole new set of extensions which I will show you later.

It took me so long and I am honestly terrible at all things hair styling but I did it.

I feel like a unicorn with fantastic multi colored almost ass length twists.

Today was my first day out of the house with them and I got a lot of side eye from people and you know what?

I don't give a fuck.

I have my spring weight coat, I'm wearing a cute dress and my new favorite cardigan from Lane Bryant and naturally because I love it they don't have it anymore...

Whatever.

My point is that for me part of refuelling myself means putting myself into a state where I feel good walking around in the world. I feel ready for shit and I can deal with shit.

SOme of that also involved just ranting to my bestie.

I had to put myself on a new embargo.

I watched a lot of stupid videos on youtube, I listened to things I like, I started reading the second book in the Game of Thrones series.

I daydreamed dumb things like, I was thinking about how I'm going to decorate my bag, wondering if I could find a pair of cheap canvas sneakers to try decorating even though I hate wearing sneakers.

Here's the real point.

I had to take some time and frankly brute force and make myself be nice.

First I was an asshole and barking at myself in my head:

SELF! WASH FACE, DO MASK, MOISTURIZE!
HEY YOU, ASSHOLE PUT SOME FUCKING LOTION ON YOUR ASHY ASS!

And then once I got some momentum, I could stop yelling at myself.

I watched a lot of true crime serial killer/killer things because I like them.

I can tell you my friends, I was really not giving a lot of fucks about self care and then I just did it. I didn't do it because I wanted to necessarily, to start out I was just tired and upset and itchy and feeling like the Grossest thing to ever Gross in the world.

But I know, even when feeling tht way I know that if I start I can continue. I will feel better in the long run.

Today I am sore from all the awkward positions needed to get my hair done but I feel better.

Now let's talk about something else.

When I am overwhelmed by life I have a very bad habit of internalizing a lot of bullshit and getting into a spiral of self directed criticisms and that can lead to a whole mess of badness that is all self directed.

When I put the brakes on and get myself that glass of water, stop and take some time to put lotion on my hands, find my favorite chapstick whatever, those are tiny moments where I have a chance to pull the emergency brake.

It is a treacherous balancing act to learn when to be bossy and maybe a bit assholeish to yourself and when to ease off and be gentle.

Think of it like this.

If you were to take a step away from yourself, and pretend that the you, you are looking at is a stray critter of whatever type you like.

Let's say this you that you are looking at is a wet, shivering stray cat.

You probably don't want the kitty to keep shivering. Maybe the kitty is an asshole cat but needs some taking care of.

Maybe you can handle doing that care, maybe you take the cat to a nearby vet.

But you don't say kick the cat? You don't say fuck you cat, it's raining and you suck and I hope you get the shits forever.

Even if you don't like that cat in particular, you don't want to see it suffer.

Sometimes you need to give yourself the same treatment.

Look at yourself and sternly say,

Okay self. This is some bullshit. You are being an asshole right now but I need to take care of you.

That is not an easy moment by any means but it is important.

Even when (yes Beatfreak I'm talking to you too here) you are looking at yourself and really are not into it, you can still take care of yourself the best you can.

Maybe you're like me and some skin care and water and you're back on the right track.

Maybe you need more serious intervention and need a meal or to put down everything and go for a walk.

Do what you need to do.

Do what means that you will survive the bullshit and maybe come out a little better than you went in.

If I can teach myself to do these things, you can teach yourself these things.

Now someone else asked about facial care.

So here's your first mission should you choose to embark on a skin care adventure.

I don't care what color your skin is. Go to a drug store and buy a facial moisturizer with SPF.

It doesn't have to be fancy or promise more youthful skin etc etc.

You just want it to be suitable for your skin (for instance if you have oily skin don't buy something for dry skin) and have at least a 25SPF.

I want you to put the tube or bottle next to the sink in your bathroom.

Write a note that says, Brush teeth, wash face, moisturize face.

Do it until you are doing it like it's your job.

Not only are you self caring, you're doing something good for yourself and it is low impact on your wallet (you can find a decent moisturizer for about 5-10$), you're helping protect your only face from sun damage and it takes about 20 seconds.

One of the marvelous things about self care is that you get to make your own rules absolutely.

Nobody can tell you yes or no, nobody can take away the good you do for yourself because it is coming from inside of you.

For me, right now here's my self care plan for today.

I'm going to drink out of my giant water bottle, snack on some chips and salsa and then eat my delicious soup.

After work I'm going for a nice walk.

When I get home I'm going to loll about in the tub, do a little face care and then slather myself with good smelling whipped shea butter.

If anyone is interested, later this week I'll do a revised version of my ways to feel fancy and fabulous on a tight budget. I'll give you links to some shops, give you some tips about how I manage it and stuff.

Homo Out.

PS..
Do your homework, do something nice for yourself right now.



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2 comments:

beatfreak said...

Hi Shannon,

I wanted to check on on the self care I have been doing since I wrote to you. I have been following your posts and have been doing things.

The first and most important thing I have been doing is being gentle with myself. That means if I'm having feelings, I allow myself to have them. No judgements (for the most part). If do have judgements, I don't judge myself about that. Being tender with myself has been a real help.

On the more physical side, I have been making sure to wash my face and I'm taking walks during the day at work.

It's not easy. And I know that I will still struggle, but the little things do make a difference.

ms_rivet said...

I just discovered your blog and as a queer kinky Goth who also suffers from an invisible disability (ulcerative colitis)and so struggles with self care I really relate to it.

I do want to say though that I think it's appalling that white people tell you not to be angry about racism, fuck them! I get told not to be angry quite a lot and I don't have to put up with the stuff that you do. Reading your blog has made me more aware of what my friends who are POC have to put up with and I would never disparage them if they want to talk to me about it.

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