I’m going to give open threads a try! The folks who comment here seem to have a lot of interesting things to share, so I thought it’d be cool to have some threads where you can talk about yourself as much as you want.
The topic I’m starting with is self-care. Whether or not you have what could be called Mental Health Problems, everyone needs to calm down, unwind, or get their mind off of things sometimes. Different things work for different people, and sometimes something that seems really weird or counterintuitive will help someone.
Self-care is not a replacement or substitute for treatment (if you need it). It’s a way for people to cope with stress and jerkbrain, maintain recovery from a mental illness, or help manage mental illness symptoms if you have them. So none of these things are intended to cure or treat anything, and a lot of frustration tends to arise when people offer them up as “advice” for those with mental illnesses.
We each know best what helps us best. Here’s how I like to do self-care:
- Hot tea. (Even in the summer. Must be because I’m Russian.)
- Writing, even if it’s about something heavy.
- Taking a hot shower, even if it’s just to have a place to cry in private.
- Cleaning, organizing, doing dishes. My apartment tends to get cleaner the more life problems I’m having.
- Going for a walk and listening to music. Unfortunately, I don’t get to do this so much now that I live in the city, where it wouldn’t be relaxing or necessarily pleasant. But my high school years, back in Ohio, were full of leisurely walks around the neighborhood.
- Playing music. Now that I finally have a keyboard piano, I’ll finally be able to do that again.
- Reading sci-fi novels or nonfiction articles. For some reason, it has to be one or the other. Nonfiction books don’t work, and short stories or poetry don’t work.
- Watching something that tells a good story but doesn’t require careful attention. So, Star Trek and Doctor Who are in; West Wing and Damages are out.
- Talking to a friend about something totally unrelated.
Some things that help lots of people but not me are: YouTube videos, animal photos, talking to someone about the thing I’m upset/stressed about, eating, video games (though I like them at other times), basically anything that’s supposed to be funny/uplifting. The first two are especially frustrating, because the first thing many people will do if I say I’m feeling down is send me YouTube videos and animal photos. Then I have to either pretend that it helped, or tell them that that doesn’t help. (Except sometimes. Hard to predict.)
What works for you? What doesn’t?