Metatalktail Hour: Self-Care May 4, 2019 5:44 PM   Subscribe

Good Saturday evening, MetaFilter! This week, I'm curious to know what your favorite thing to do for self-care is. Could be simple, could be elaborate, I just want to hear all about your self-care!

As always, this is a conversation starter, not limiter, so tell us everything that's up with you! And if you have ideas for future metatalktails, hit me up! (By memail! By email! By carrier pigeon!)
posted by Eyebrows McGee to MetaFilter-Related at 5:44 PM (138 comments total) 11 users marked this as a favorite

I am not a salon person for the most part (I usually cut my own hair, even), but I looooooooooove pedicures and will happily go get my toes done every 8 weeks or whatever (in fact! I am due!). Always makes me happy! If I'm really splurging on myself, a massage.

My toddler still takes afternoon naps, when my older kids are at school, so if I'm having a bad day I will take a nap too when she naps. I lose all my housework time, but it's WORTH IT.
posted by Eyebrows McGee (staff) at 5:47 PM on May 4 [7 favorites]


So my favorite self-care thing is working out. It's a little counter-intuitive but really pushing myself on weight machines makes me feel great and bright. I've started swimming at the Y too and that feels nice too. Now that it's really garden season I've stopped getting manicures because lol what's the point they'll get ruined. But those are nice too.

The waning days of April and the beginning of May are always go go go in the garden. Unfortunately it's also go time for the pests. This May has been a nightmare of cabbage fly and aphids already- but also a dream of ladybugs and bees so we'll just have to see if my methods of combat work this year or not. The first Bok Choy of the season has been picked an eaten, which is nice, even if the ones at the top of the garden were already eaten by pests.

I'm super excited- I think I've gotten a job. On Monday I go in for some preliminary paperwork... but I might have gotten a job at my local garden center and I'm super excited. I'll be working weekends but who cares its a job! Fingers-crossed that this works out you guys I'm super excited!
posted by Homo neanderthalensis at 5:53 PM on May 4 [28 favorites]


My barber has a new knee.
posted by clavdivs at 5:53 PM on May 4 [3 favorites]


I read things for my own reasons, because I want to. So much of my week is doing things other people need or I need but don't love, or, well, you know. Sometimes I just make time to read something interesting, to learn something new, or just for its own sake. During that time, the rest of the world can go F itself.

That's why I have always loved MetaFilter - something's bound to look interesting since the last time I looked, the offsite link, the smart commentary, or both.
posted by ctmf at 5:54 PM on May 4 [10 favorites]


Unfortunately, I...tend to buy books?

Right now, I'm meeting with various contractors who need to deal with the kinds of things attendant on House the Trilogy dating from 1850 (I'm old-fashioned enough to want heat in the kitchen, for example...). Job-wise, we're at the end of the semester, which means Many Papers are about to arrive.

In other news, my water-obsessed cat decided that it would be fun to sneak into the bathtub just as I turned the shower on. NARRATOR: It was not fun.
posted by thomas j wise at 5:59 PM on May 4 [15 favorites]


SmartFood, and balls of mozzarella cheese. Sometimes one right after the other.
posted by Melismata at 5:59 PM on May 4 [1 favorite]


My self-care on days when I cannot even is internet otter videos and rereading books I love - usually a mystery novel or maybe a YA favorite. And, yes, naps.

I got some rhubarb at the farmers market today so tomorrow I am going to attempt strawberry rhubarb jam. I've never made jam before, and I'm excited to try!
posted by the primroses were over at 6:03 PM on May 4 [9 favorites]


Reading, especially in the sun with a snuggly dog, has become my self-care. That and this margarita I’m drinking right now.
posted by obfuscation at 6:03 PM on May 4 [5 favorites]


...and piling on with the naps as well
posted by obfuscation at 6:04 PM on May 4 [3 favorites]


My favorite self care regime involves a 90 minute massage session that integrates Swedish and deep tissue massage. I get this once a month and it does wonders for my overall well being
posted by Roger Pittman at 6:05 PM on May 4 [3 favorites]


My list:

-keeping one day a week, usually Saturday, free for me and my pug, with no agenda until early evening (if at all);

-regular pedis and facials (my favourite salon offers a combo and it is pure bliss);

-yin yoga 2x/week;

-buying and preparing tasty but healthy meals for myself (and avoiding the junk food, which can feel like "doing something nice for yourself" but makes everything worse in the long run);

-prioritizing sleep;

-actively minimizing my exposure to toxic people and situations and proactively seeking out opportunities to be with people who reciprocate my love and appreciation;

-spending half an hour a day doing something fun/creative, even if it's only doodling.
posted by rpfields at 6:10 PM on May 4 [7 favorites]


Lately I've been taking baths. We have a big-ass bathtub that hasn't been used too much but this year, a couple of times a week, I've been soaking in it for an hour or so. Candles, wine. The whole treat-yo-self thing. No screens, just music. I listen to live Phish shows and my wife says that's the opposite of relaxing music but for me it's the perfect time to really get into it, and it's music that rewards when you really listen.

It's been a challenging year and I cannot meditate (it stresses me out to try) so soaking and just sort of doing nothing has been good for my mental health.
posted by bondcliff at 6:10 PM on May 4 [10 favorites]


Maybe this doesn't count as self-care because I do it for our dog, but it's also probably the best thing I do for myself. I take the dog on a walk in the woods every day, no matter what the weather. (Well, if it's extraordinarily cold or hot or otherwise miserable, we may skip or shorten it, but that's rare.) We spend most of our time on informal, unmarked trails or dead-end dirt roads and usually don't see anyone else. I try to walk for at least an hour and a quarter. This time of year I combine it with birding and later in the summer I often pick berries. Sometimes my sister or my daughter joins me, and I like that, but most of the time it's just me and my thoughts and that's the best.
posted by Redstart at 6:12 PM on May 4 [16 favorites]


I wouldn’t have imagined this around a year ago when I first sobered up, but: not drinking. It’s been a fucking hell of a year, including a couple train wreck relapses, but I am stunned to be in a place where consciously choosing to not drink feels good. It feels like I’m caring for myself in a way I’ve never done before.
posted by not_the_water at 6:15 PM on May 4 [61 favorites]


This time of year, it's gardening. It was a weirdly long winter for SoCal and I was trapped inside under a lot of work and then my dog needed a lot of hands-on time in his final month or so, so I only got outside to get my beds sumped out and prepped in April. Now I try to take at least one if not two dirt breaks during the workday to take care of some small tasks and get some sun in my eyeballs.

Things are coming together pretty well, I think this might be my best garden year yet.
posted by Lyn Never at 6:24 PM on May 4 [7 favorites]


Going out to the coffee shop around the corner early in the morning for a dry cappuccino in the quiet.

Taking a shower before bed (I wish I had a bathtub!!), wrapping myself up in a nice robe with a face mask on, and snuggling with my dog.

When I’m feeling really low, telling myself it’s okay to sit here and feel bad for a bit. I’m allowed to sit on the couch, be grumpy, think mean thoughts about people, and watch tv!

Nothing feels better than dragging myself out of the pool after a long, hard swim.
posted by sallybrown at 6:29 PM on May 4 [7 favorites]


I have so many thoughts about self-care, being a mental health professional. My go-to self-care activities right now are: digging further into my spiritual practice as a contradiction witch, including self study of the Tarot, stones, sigils, energy, and doing divination through the Tarot and oracle decks for myself and other people. It is really the very deep and connected mindfulness that makes my witch practice so self-healing and rejuvenating to me. I also have a witchsister that I spend time with doing these things too, and dedicating time to my friendships with her is definitely part of my self-care, too.

I also am working on a novel that I've been writing for about 10 years, on and off, and every page I write feels like a glorious moment of pride in myself.

I also go soak at a wellness center, eat hundreds of blueberries, take all of my lunch hours doing non work things, don't go to work early and don't ever stay late, and set boundaries around how much social stuff I can do in one weekend. I also try to have a day during the week where I have absolutely nothing that I HAVE to do, just to release the pressure that can build up.
posted by fairlynearlyready at 6:29 PM on May 4 [16 favorites]


A good book, some chocolate of some sort, and my lovely cat wedged between me and the arm of my big overstuffed chair. Pure bliss. Even better if the cat and I drift off into an unscheduled nap.

In other news—my new library job is really fun now that I’ve transitioned from the “OMG there is SO MUCH to learn and I am not learning it fast enough” stage to the “OMG there is SO MUCH to learn but it is SO INTERESTING and I am doing really well and am actually helping people” stage. Libraries are such a great invention!
posted by bookmammal at 6:32 PM on May 4 [20 favorites]


I really need to get better at self-care. I stink at it. I would say that my main self-care activity is making sure I get enough sleep. I do not function well on not-enough sleep, and I try to prioritize going to bed at a reasonable hour. (I am not really capable of sleeping in. I wake up when the sun comes up. I have thought about getting blackout curtains to facilitate sleeping later, but that would also complicate waking up, because I refuse to use an alarm.)

Otherwise, my self-care activities involve bad TV and buying extremely-girlie stationary and office supplies. I am not sure these are effective self-care methods, but they're what I've got.

So this week I bit the bullet and went to talk with a Computer Science professor about what my next steps for studying CS would be. He basically recommended what I've been thinking, which is continuing to do the coursework for the undergraduate major, even though I will probably not actually get a second bachelor's degree. (I would have to take some general education classes, and I'm not willing to pay for that just so I can say I have the degree.) He recommended that I then see if I can get some sort of quasi-internship thing on campus, which might allow me to get the benefits of an internship without having to move or give up my job. That was interesting, but I think I need to do a little more research before I commit to this path.
posted by ArbitraryAndCapricious at 6:48 PM on May 4 [7 favorites]


The sincerest answer is probably to send a text message to someone I haven’t spoken to in a while to see how they are doing, but this is only done in the direst extremity.
posted by Going To Maine at 6:53 PM on May 4 [3 favorites]


(I would have to take some general education classes, and I'm not willing to pay for that just so I can say I have the degree.)

It’s hardly an education, but the humble bundle is having a pay-what-you-want sale of Python books right now, if that fits some of your needs.
posted by Going To Maine at 6:55 PM on May 4 [2 favorites]


My best self-care is running and yoga, which I haven’t managed to do regularly since having a kid almost 7 years ago (and in the meantime the wonderful yoga studio down the street closed). I miss them both. Now I’m not sure I have really good self care anymore - there’s required maintenance, like tooth cleanings and showers, and there’s capitulation to my schedule, like going to bed before 9 most days so I can get up on time, and there’s the sort of banal self-appeasement of Netflix or Minecraft while dinner’s in the oven, but there’s little that both feels good and is good for me.
posted by eirias at 6:57 PM on May 4 [8 favorites]


A long walk - current favorite is from home in the Haight out to Ocean Beach and back through Golden Gate Park

and then sit on the couch and work through a bag of Barbara's Jalapeño Cheese Puffs.
posted by gyusan at 6:58 PM on May 4 [6 favorites]


Lately, I like lighting a candle and saying the name of someone different each time, kind of like a little prayer wishing for their strength and health and happiness. Turns out candleflame is so much nicer with someone's name attached to it.

I'm typing this by firelight and the hum of the refrigerator, punctuated by keystrokes and harmonized by surprisingly robust dogsnore under my feet, and it's heavenly. I'm not sure why, but I find quiet so much more relaxing than music these days. Is that a getting older thing? A focus thing?

It's two weeks and two days until the Big Surgery and although I still feel positive and enthusiastic about it, I've been working on my house to burn off the inevitable but rising nervous energy. I've lugged out the sewing machine and sewn supercute curtains for the laundry room, kitchen, and bath. I've cleaned out a good section of the garage and picked out three big bags of good items in good shape to take to the thrift store. Today for the old antique trunk that is my coffee table, I replaced the old rusty casters with new ones today because the old casters were scratching up the floors. I have organized and labeled linens. I have purged the pantry. I can see the floor of the bedroom closet again. Every room is getting a once-over so I can have a clean and breezy recovery here at home, and I'm just now starting to worry that I won't get everything done in time. It may be time to break out my secret superpower: Writing Out Lists.

I had saved the yardwork until May proper in hopes of good weather but they're predicting snow this week in southern Colorado, which is not unusual. On the plus side, lilacs take on a lovely, more subtle scent when they're capped with snow.
posted by mochapickle at 7:24 PM on May 4 [21 favorites]


eirias, I feel like I’m in the same place.

I live somewhere where the available yoga and massage options are limited (those are things I used to do) and we are really in the thick of toddlerhood. My partner and I are pulling in double harness but not always in sync.

It’s been really hard to prioritize exercise or separate adult time. I have taken pottery over the past year and that’s been great, but my spring class ended and the summer yawns before me, full of bedtimes and bathtimes and mealtimes and racking my brains for activities to wear out the child, who has decided she never needs to nap again (she does.)

I’ve been trying to enjoy the spring - the birds and frogs are all yelling their heads off and the leaves all burst this week (the chestnut trees!) and all the tadpoles have hatched. But the end of the semester is a MOOD for my partner and we have all been very much on each others’ nerves this week.

This is to say I could use a walk and a book. I have been promised a few hours to myself tomorrow.
posted by Lawn Beaver at 7:29 PM on May 4 [5 favorites]


In terms of effectiveness, the best thing I do is go to bed at a reasonable hour. Bedtime at 9pm makes me old and boring, but less likely to snarl in the morning.

In terms of sheer enjoyment: my partner and I both take a lot of baths. We subscribe to a monthly box thing that includes a bunch of bath bombs and candles. It is a glorious thing.
posted by a device for making your enemy change his mind at 7:32 PM on May 4 [3 favorites]


Things I Do For Self Care:
1. Hugging and kissing my partner.
2. Coffee.
3. Running.
4. Video Games.
5. MetaFilter
6. More Coffee.
posted by Fizz at 7:33 PM on May 4 [9 favorites]


I make crepe paper plants and flowers! Last November, I was researching activities for a friend's baby shower, and she likes low-key crafts, so we all sat around and made her crepe paper peonies that I put together into an embroidery hoop as a picture frame of a photo of all of us. And now, most nights, we put the kid to bed, and I spend about 90 minutes to two hours making crepe paper flowers while we watch something on Netflix.

Right now, the current projects are a flower crown for a kid birthday party we're going to soon. It'll be followed by a bouquet of crepe paper peonies for a PhD graduation, and after that by a flower crown for a friend who sent me a lovely and unexpected present. My long-term project is a series of 2 feet by 3 feet panels, with a separate panel for each season -- I like to joke it's my version of the Bayeux Tapestry. I'm warming up for it by working on a series of seasonal wreaths for my mother. We're through winter (oranges) and spring (dogwood, parrot tulips, daffodils, squilla, forsythia, crocuses, magnolia desnudata "Yellow River"), with summer next up.

I'm not anywhere near their skill, but this person and Kate Alarcon are two of my favorite crepe paper artists, and you can see what I'd like my work to look like eventually.
posted by joyceanmachine at 8:04 PM on May 4 [16 favorites]


I get the hell out of Dodge, by myself and not for business, for a few days at least once a year. Destination must include a spa. A real Nordic style spa or as close as I can get to that. Most recently I went to Montreal for a long weekend. Did I visit multiple spas while I was there? I sure did. (That legal cannibas thing you all have going on there is tremendous, btw. A+) Last year I did Philadelphia and Washington DC by train (the Watergate Hotel has a nice spa, though not nearly as nice as what I experienced in Montreal). Year before was Florida.

Everyone gives me weird looks when I say I'm taking these "romantic" vacations without my partner, but I have a client-facing job, my six year old child is a wild extrovert, and I'm an intense introvert. I love my husband and we get along great, but I truly truly need literal ALONE time. A king bed all to myself, no one to have the "what do you want to do/eat/see" conversation with, just totally alone. Montreal was great because I speak terrible French and people not wanting to talk to me was a feature rather than a bug
posted by soren_lorensen at 8:23 PM on May 4 [20 favorites]


Swearing at other motorists while driving.

(What? Bubble baths are horrible for your skin.)
posted by The Toad at 8:28 PM on May 4 [4 favorites]


You know, for real, it's sleeping in on Saturdays, then waking up and reading MetaFilter in bed. When I haven't done it for a while, I really miss it. I got to do it today for the first time in a while and it was awesome.
posted by limeonaire at 8:33 PM on May 4 [6 favorites]


My eyes have been feeling fuzzy. Not sure if my glasses are finally too scratched or my script isn't strong enough. Gonna get some new glasses. Of course, I need your help in picking a pair. (I realize I should have smiled in all these.pics. oh well. ¯\_(ツ)_/¯ )
posted by vespabelle at 8:33 PM on May 4 [2 favorites]


joyceanmachine—your crepe paper crafts sound amazing! Could you please share some photos???
posted by bookmammal at 8:46 PM on May 4 [4 favorites]


I like the red ones!

I'm never sure, for me, what is "keep your stress level low enough so you're not irritated all the time" self-care and what is actual "treat yourself" self care. I have a pretty relaxed life so stuff like sleeping in I have the option to do most days. I meditate in the morning, do my stretches. And I put on some weight recently (it's fine, it will come off later) so I'm not doing a lot of baking/cooking/eating in an indulgent way. Interacting with other people is often awesome, and there's a sense in which "go out and talk to people" is self-care for me, but a lot of times it's tiring so if I am in a self-care actual phase, it might not be my choice.

I think my usual "This is a thing you do for yourself that makes you feel good but you don't do it all the time" thing is probably walking in the woods or nature somewhere. Like I was on a quickie trip to Maryland this weekend that was just zipzip, get in little planes, stay in weird hotel on golf course, get up early and talk to people non-stop, eat a lot of random food, etc etc. And then I got in the car and went to do a little sightseeing, see the library, Harriet Tubman National Historical Park, etc. On the way back I drove past some little walking/nature trails in the Blackwater National Wildlife Refuge and I just pulled over and went for a walk in the woods in my "I gave a talk this morning" skirt and shirt and shoes. It was pretty muddy, and buggy, and I didn't go far, but I loved very minute of it and came out of it feeling nominally better about the world and my place in it.
posted by jessamyn (retired) at 8:46 PM on May 4 [11 favorites]


Tonight my 2 1/2 year old was trying to delay going to bed using the same tactics her brothers used to.

I said, "Nano, you are just like your brothers!"
"No I not!" she protested. "Me perfect! Boys NOT."

I think the boys are gonna need some cream for that burn!
posted by Eyebrows McGee (staff) at 8:47 PM on May 4 [20 favorites]


Well, today I slept in really late with the cats, and then got a two-hour Thai massage. I flew home last night from NYC (and boy are my arms tired....) so I was a bit jetlagged. Today is also the anniversary of rtha's first symptoms and first ER visit and hospital admission, so I'm feeling even lousier than usual.
posted by gingerbeer at 8:50 PM on May 4 [56 favorites]


gingerbeer, ***hugs***

For self-care, hiking and walking. I don't always succeed, but I try to do a 5- to 7-mile walk on Sunday mornings while listening to non-politics podcasts; I'm finding Tapestry and Good Ancestor to be inspiring and eye-opening in ways that feel perfect for a Sunday-morning walk.

I've also started meditating again recently, and I've added prayer to the meditation time (who I'm praying to is evolving and changes), and the combination has created a richness to the experience that I now almost crave. I mean, some days it's still kind of like, "Well my brain was everywhere other than in the present today," but I recently heard meditation framed as "a listening prayer" and that framework has opened up some parts of myself and of the practice, it seems.

I'm also trying to keep work to 40-45 hours a week, which I'm mostly doing. My employee tends to work late and I feel weird leaving before she does, but I want to model good boundaries and definitely do not want to get into a spiral of "I'm staying late because she does, and she's staying late because I do," so I try not to let it change my behavior. And I encourage her to go home on time.

Reading novels is also self-care for me. I don't feel quite right in my skin if I don't have a parallel literary world going at all times.
posted by lazuli at 9:04 PM on May 4 [11 favorites]


I don't think that I think about anything being specifically for "self-care". I do workout at the gym but it's mainly to keep my weight down and to stave off mortality; I mostly hate doing it at the time. Doing things for myself tends to make me feel more guilty than any positive effects they might have.
posted by octothorpe at 9:16 PM on May 4 [2 favorites]


I bought one of those inexpensive metal fire "pits" a couple of years ago but only recently have been using it.

So if it's a Friday or Saturday night and the weather is nice and not too windy, the boys and I work in the garden until 6-ish then we light a fire and roast things on sticks and occasionally throw leaves in it just to watch them light up and all the while the sun slowly sets and it is very very nice.

Working in the garden in general has been the most rewarding act of self care I've found yet. It's something I'm interested in and passionate about, it requires a certain level of discipline yet is also great for tuning out stress thoughts and just focusing on the work at hand.
posted by annathea at 9:23 PM on May 4 [9 favorites]


Forest bathing and bicycling! Sometimes at the same time. I've been doing a lot of the former lately and getting back on the bike more and more as the weather gets nicer.

I am really thankful to be living out in the trees and I try to go for a walk and have a nice quiet sit at least once a day. On really nice days I spend most of the day out there and will set up a little working desk and sitting area with a camp stove for tea or coffee and some snacks so I can just be there as long as possible.

Actually, this thread has prompted me to just throw down a tarp, camping pad and pile of sleeping bags and blankets and maybe sleep under the stars.
posted by loquacious at 9:30 PM on May 4 [6 favorites]


Today is my Birthday.

Yes, the engineering geek has a birthday on May the 4th. :-)

I had a party. It was a good party.
posted by Pogo_Fuzzybutt at 9:33 PM on May 4 [18 favorites]


Happy birthday!
posted by lazuli at 9:37 PM on May 4 [1 favorite]


My self-care has been very bad lately, an adjunct condition of having quit my terrible, uncomplicated dayjob, and of having undiagnosed ADHD that I've apparently just... handled on my own any time I had enough structure to do so, but which made my post-college job search take four years and land me in that terrible day job, and is now frustrating my efforts to accomplish as much as I'd like on my writing efforts. It also results in me not doing a good job taking showers or eating at a reasonable time. So I've been trying to figure that out recently.
posted by Caduceus at 10:41 PM on May 4 [4 favorites]


Last year I realised that the best self care was to say "No" to a lot of crap I'd been saying "Yes" to. So I said "NO!" to my job, a pile of toxic people, and 10+ hours of really shitty commute each week. I'm still working on saying "No" to feeling guilty about sponging off my wonderful husband (he doesn't mind supporting me, but I still feel bad that he's paying for everything at the moment). But now that I'm happily unemployed, I find that the usual self-care things (wine, massages, pedicures, chocolate) aren't really needed.

I've been trying to say "Yes" to more fun stuff and trying to push myself into new things whilst also trying to balance looking after my mother and being bad at housework. All things going well, I should be booking myself onto a short course for voice acting next month which will result in a good demo-tape and possibly work. Hopefully the world needs another low female voice, and I'm likely a lot cheaper than Nigella Lawson to hire.
posted by ninazer0 at 10:52 PM on May 4 [10 favorites]


It's running for me. Running and reading and cooking, but mostly running and it's a big deal when I can't. I've had nearly 4 weeks off thanks to an infected blister and then a cold (thanks 7 year old, you little...). I'm getting a little cabin fever now, but hopefully i'll be back on the treadmill this week.

I made a lovely madras lamb shank curry this afternoon. I wasn't sure it would all come together, but once the tamarind and the coconut milk went in everything balanced up perfectly. Everyone finds out I've resigned this week, yikes. Thankfully I have a 3 weeks to get my shit together for new job - running will be very important then!
posted by smoke at 11:57 PM on May 4 [6 favorites]


Big hugs if you would like them, gingerbeer. Anniversaries are hard.

Happy birthday, Pogo Fuzzybutt!

My self care involves lots of knitting. I'm making presents for people right now, so it's very satisfying. I can knit knit knit and then I have a nice thing to give someone.
posted by hurdy gurdy girl at 12:33 AM on May 5 [6 favorites]


vespabelle, I like the tortoiseshell cat's eyes.
posted by hurdy gurdy girl at 12:34 AM on May 5 [1 favorite]


Hugs gingerbeer and happy birthday Pogo_Fuzzybutt. My self care is mostly accepting that I need to factor in rest time, and doing sheet masks during that time while watching a movie.

I’m in England at the moment, staying with my best friend and former flat mate, it has been chill, and comfortable, and glorious!
posted by ellieBOA at 1:15 AM on May 5 [3 favorites]


I've had basically a week of self-care thanks to the big Golden Week holiday (although I did go into work for a couple half-days and will be there all day tomorrow, hopefully dealing with two and a half nightmares so that next week isn't one single extended Now With Bigger nightmare).
On Friday we went out to the big jazz festival in Takatsuki, which is always fun because the whole town turns out for it, from elderly silverhaired jazz-gents to very solemn and censorious fourth-graders directing the disposal of trash; the music is good, there's good food and nice settings and random little bonuses like 8th-note earrings. And then we came home and I let my husband drag me to play tennis for my first time, which made him ridiculously happy and was also actually fun for me, once I managed to snap out of the miserable-unathletic-junior-high-schooler mindset it initially threw me into. Today I've got sore muscles, including my right arm, which was not ideal for Bruckner rehearsal this morning (but hey, if I keep doing it maybe I'll get a nice strong right arm, perfect for tremolo).
I'm not sure what my day-to-day self-care is, especially now that I've cut down (sort of) on chocolate. Reading is more on the eating-and-breathing level. Little tasty snacks here and there, I guess, and evenings sprawled on the futon with my husband, and city walks at random on Saturdays.
posted by huimangm at 2:39 AM on May 5 [7 favorites]


I deleted all the games off of my phone recently and am enjoying regaining that time.

Taking photos is another thing I’ve been focusing on. I’d gotten into a bit of a rut in terms of what I’d been photographing and I’m now giving myself permission to be more relaxed and creative.
posted by sciencegeek at 2:58 AM on May 5 [3 favorites]


I get a pedicure once a month, sometimes Mr. Mon Dieu will get his hair cut at the same time.

We recently had duo massages, deep pressure with some Swedish mixed in, and I was sore for a day or two, but Mr. Mon Dieu loved his, and wants to go back. It was very calm and relaxing.

Love cooking, but it's starting to feel like a chore again -- thankfully, I have enough leftovers that I don't have to cook tonight, or probably even Monday if I don't want to.

After a cold and wet couple of days (Thurs/Fri), yesterday's temp of 62 was heavenly. Got my pedi, stopped at a small grocery store on the way home and found steak tips on sale, came home, napped on the couch while watching a food show on Netflix. We both went to bed early.

Woke up early, saw a crimson sunrise outside the kitchen window, which faces NE, the sun is rising further North now. Took my new camera down and snapped some pics, got one decent photo. Heard a woodpecker in the woods above, then I heard a loon calling. Haven't seen one yet, but it's lovely to hear them, especially in the early morning, when it's cool and misty, and there's no one around. Just me and the lake.

Today I'm going to (finally!) pot up my impatiens seedlings. I found some metal rings that will hold my pots, and a small rectangular wooden crate planter at Goodwill for $11 (they had tons of them). I'm going to paint it white, maybe paint some leafy designs on the trellis part (actually vertical slats, resembling a picket fence), and attach my pot rings to the trellis, line the bottom with heavy-duty plastic, and put more flowers in that.

Last weekend, we drove down a side road that has an inlet for another lake in this region -- I was look for an osprey that I'd heard was down there. No osprey, some ducks that swam away quickly, and tons and tons of tree swallows. I managed to snap a couple of photos of them, and was happy to find that I could zoom in and blow one up and it's still pretty clear, you can see the swallow's white belly, and even a bit of eye.

Next time we get a colorful sunrise, I'm going to bring my tripod down and set that up -- I have a cheat sheet showing settings for sunrises and sunsets, but the exposure is so long, it can't be done without a tripod. Trust me, it was pinker than the above pic, but that's 10X better than my cellphone camera, so I'm pleased that I at least made the effort to go outside at 5:00 a.m.

I never used to be a salon person, except for getting a hair trim every 6 months, but I am hooked on pedicures now, and consider them necessary. I get the whole works: exfoliating scrub, clay mask with hot towels, and massage. I'm happy for days afterward, it really perks me up.

I've been reading about muslin cloths for one's face, and being the cheapy that I am, I bought 2 yards of unbleached high-quality muslin online and will just cut that up and use some for face cloths, and the rest for crafty stuff, or straining homemade paneer.
posted by Marie Mon Dieu at 3:50 AM on May 5 [9 favorites]


Swearing at other motorists while driving.

Are you related to Mr Toad of Toad Hall?
posted by pracowity at 4:41 AM on May 5 [9 favorites]


Fanfiction. Lots and lots ans lots of fanfiction.
posted by AlexiaSky at 5:22 AM on May 5 [9 favorites]


Going to bed at 9 pm.
posted by drlith at 5:33 AM on May 5 [3 favorites]


Eating, immediately isolating myself after getting home from work, not having any long term plans past 30. And maybe reading a lot of stuff on my phone.
posted by Freeze Peach at 7:10 AM on May 5 [2 favorites]


1. I feel like this is old-fart oneupmanship, but going to bed at 8:30. God I love going to bed early.
2. Taking a bath first thing when I get home at night. In winter this is often by candlelight, with an old fashioned. Sometimes I have a friend or my mom on speaker, sometimes I just stare at the faucet.
3. Working out.
4. For about half the year, going to the u-pick flower place every Saturday and filling my house with flowers for $8. As I type I've got a giant bucket full of tulips and double narcissi waiting to be turned into arrangements.
5. Just recently I started experimenting with intermittent fasting and I kind of love it. It just feels good to not eat for a long stretch of time. This is not how I was expecting to feel! I thought it would be short-term suffering for long-term good, but no, I really just enjoy the feeling of emptiness and then finally getting to eat. Super weird.
6. MeFi card club! If you haven't tried it, you totally should! It's absolutely delightful.
posted by HotToddy at 7:28 AM on May 5 [9 favorites]


I am typing this from my outside bed! But I ended up putting up a rainfly because the dewpoint happened and my sleeping bag was getting damp, I'm going to appreciate the shade in about an hour, too. Most of my head spent the night under the stars and they were lovely.

My tiny house is like, oh, 15 feet over there, too, so I'm not exactly roughing it. I may go grab my stove for breakfast to cook outside.

I've spent the last hour listening to the morning bird riot. I've been trying to get a good field recording of the morning bird riot, and it's remarkably challenging because there's only a small window where the birds are really going off just before sunrise and when the morning winds pick up too much to get a good, no-wind-rumble recording.

Also, I don't care if it'll make me grow an extra limb, I just want to say that full strength DEET is awesome. I think I have exactly one mosquito bite.
posted by loquacious at 7:32 AM on May 5 [10 favorites]


vespabelle, I like the red frames, too.
posted by lazuli at 7:53 AM on May 5 [3 favorites]


Reading all day for me. Especially crappy mysteries that I can power through 2 in a day. But half the reading must take place in a bath tub with bubbles. I've been reading in the bath since i was a kid. My one good memory of my mom is that was her cure for any illness growing up. So I am a pro bath reader. Never a library book but any other book is up for getting wet. I'm so pro that I can shave my legs (back when I was trying to live as a woman still) while still reading my Kindle. There's just something about shutting out the world for hours in a bath. Also if you cry in the bath it doesn't matter cause you are already wet.
posted by kanata at 7:53 AM on May 5 [11 favorites]


Also also, I have been focusing on community care as self-care, and working to build up more community in my life over the last few years. I was isolating for reasonable reasons but those reasons are past and I needed to get back into feeling connected. I'm still a giant introvert, so the majority of my free time is probably spent alone, but I also try to say "yes" to more social things and church things and acquaintance things. It feels good.
posted by lazuli at 8:00 AM on May 5 [8 favorites]


One thing I like to do is to put on headphones, pull out my guitar, and pick a song that I know backwards and forwards with a medium to slow tempo and a nice melody. Born to Beg by The National is a good example. Then I like to pick the melody along with the vocalist, and add little embellishments here and there. I've been playing guitar long enough (dear god, 28 years at this point that's scary) that it takes very little effort and the song is memorized too, so it's this way of like...squeezing the dopamine lever of music and playing music while also having the mental processes required be almost on autopilot. It's a pleasant state to keep the brain in.
posted by lazaruslong at 8:01 AM on May 5 [6 favorites]


Also: a Saturday late morning - afternoon, some herbal supplements (cough), a podcast (preferably of the longe format expert education / history ones a la In Our Time) and cleaning the house. Hooboy that’s good stuff.
posted by lazaruslong at 8:09 AM on May 5 [2 favorites]


For everyday self-care, I'm finding that routines and rituals are pretty necessary. I've been told to come and work in the office M-W next week, which I am heartily not looking forward to. There's seven of us crammed into a small room, with no separate meeting space, so I spend most of the day in headphones and trying to filter out three cross-conversations at all times. In lieu of natural light and a view, there is a light well. The light well is nowhere near my desk.

I hate every second of it, so I'm trying to focus on the start and end of each day, and not being at work. Wake up early, read in my little windowseat -- I can watch the light on the big tree in my courtyard, and enjoy the crows. (And enjoy the cats talking to the crows.) A half hour to write fanfic, fifteen minutes to put on makeup and listen to a podcast. And then, when I come home, to keep moving and enjoying the sun pouring in and the smells of late spring. (It turns out that while lying on my sofa and playing Candy Crush for an hour SEEMS relaxing, it is not.) I don't really get silence where I live, but there will be an absence of human voices, which is good enough, and knitting and a walk by the bay. And remember that I'll probably only have this job another few years, and I see no need to ever do anything other than work from home for the rest of my days.

Away from ritual, I walk in the forest, and go for bike rides. I'm not a massage person, but there's a great spa just a bit of a long walk from where I live, so I try to go there every few months and lightly brine myself for a few hours. I finally have some basic camping gear, so I'm hoping to start doing an overnight trip once a month, if not more; there are a ton of state parks a few hours' bike ride away, spend the night, then ride back. I still get most of my weekend that way, and I don't have to worry about finding someone to take care of the cats. So these are things to look forward to, at least.
posted by kalimac at 8:58 AM on May 5 [8 favorites]


Hey kalimac, hit me up if you want free camping and lots of peace and quiet. I can hook you up with your own private chunk of forest with no RVs and all that crowded rubbish of camping in parks. I even have some spare camping gear if you want to borrow a stove or put up an oversized rain fly or something.

Well, relative quiet. The birds and frogs are really loud sometimes, but I haven't heard a siren or car horn or what not at home in, oh, a month. But it's definitely not big city loud. Well, the neighbors like to shoot off some guns every so often, but that's pretty infrequent.

This offer is also tentatively extended this summer to any MeFites that just want to have a quiet couple of days in a mainly self-supported primitive camp. I'm really into and preferential to bike tourers and people who go camping without cars. If you're going to the Olympics or riding/hiking the Olympic Discovery Trail I'm really close to it.
posted by loquacious at 9:21 AM on May 5 [6 favorites]


vespabelle, I'm team tortoiseshell. They match your hair.

Books. Must have books to read. And the Kindle library book is gone, but... wait a minute... I am #2 on holds. That's okay, I can wait to continue with the Rivers of London series by Ben Aaronovitch. I've been turned onto Seanan McGuire via this recent thread. I anticipate much pleasure in this.

Yarn. Honorable Youngest Offspring and I went to a scrape booking meetup at a local church, with friends old and new. She won door prizes, both of us did some teaching of our hobbies, and I got to pet a -- wait for it -- baby albino raccoon! He purred! My heart is smitten, all raccoons are my favorites, love ensues for all procyonidae.
I am currently working on ruana/lap blanket sets for some family members. This is a warm crocheted hug from afar.

Water. We've got the passes, and we're waiting for May 18 when White Water Bay opens. I'm all about the lazy river and the big pool. Must get another pair of swim shoes.
Otherwise, we replaced our bathtub with a bigger, deeper model and from time to time I take a nice long soak. I am happy with this diffuser for the light and essential oil mist.
And yes, books are good while soaking. Electronics -- not so much.
My annual shipment from Chagrin Valley just arrived, so now I can replace the henna, coconut milk, cafe moreno and butter bar conditioner shampoo bars. These are the bigger bars, so they should last for a while.

Walks. Between projects and sinus problems, my walking schedule is zero. But I do like a good walk outside, preferably near trees and/or water.

And of course, friends and family. May all MeFis have that moment when something soft and cuddly and pink-nosed purrs back at you!
posted by TrishaU at 9:45 AM on May 5 [5 favorites]


Unfortunately, I...tend to buy books?
It me.

Also, as I did Friday, taking advantage of a day off by going to bed at a reasonable hour the night before and not checking the clock once in the morning, just not even looking at it, and reminding yourself it actually doesn't matter what time it is.
posted by aspersioncast at 9:45 AM on May 5 [5 favorites]


Hot fudge sundae (no nuts).
posted by sammyo at 10:02 AM on May 5 [6 favorites]


... I am happy with this diffuser for the light and essential oil mist.
posted by TrishaU at 10:03 AM on May 5 [2 favorites]


Very lazy outside summer bed for last night!

Underneath the big green fleece blanket is a thermal tarp that's almost the exact same size. Then on top of both of those there's a ridgerest camping pad and two square sleeping bags as pads, then a big Coleman mummy bag. I also have a body pillow out there because why not?

Please note that my fly is usually much less sloppy than that and I am mortified with embarrassment by it's lack of tautness and tidiness. I didn't want to start hammering stakes last night at like midnight and wake the dogs up so this is the quick and lazy version where I just jammed stakes into the ground with body weight. When I go all out I get practically architectural with my camp set up because it makes the difference between having rain drip on you or having a tarp blow out while you're sleeping.

I'm missing a ridgeline between the trekking poles I'm using as a support and I just have a single strand of 70 pound monofilament fishing line holding those poles up, so it's all a weeee bit stretchy. Speaking of stretchy, I'm strangely proud of the bungees I put on the tarp. The stock ones turned to crusty goo many years ago. That rain fly might be fifteen, if not twenty years old and is a hand me down. I just recoated it last fall and did a full rebuild of the bungiees and hooks and stuff. It'll pack down to about the size of a small shoe or a fat paperback book if I fold it carefully.

The stove is making water for tea and the thing in the glass jar is just a mini oil lamp, like one of those long lasting liquid candles. It makes a very pleasing light that is a lot less of a pain in the ass than a fire.

Yep, I'm laying about in it right now typing while laying down on my stomach.
posted by loquacious at 10:17 AM on May 5 [11 favorites]


I went to a scrape booking meetup

I am now happily imagining a very strange and cool mashup of scrapbooking and low-rider scraper bike cultures, and all of the scrapbooks have EL wire light kits, strangely lurid paint schemes and when you open one up it activates a thumping sound system to accompany the presented materials and scraps within the book, with each page lovingly framed in chrome bits and neon EL wire lights.
posted by loquacious at 10:22 AM on May 5 [4 favorites]


loquacious, don't want to alarm you, but i think your phone might be tapped


also nice setup! looks comfy.
posted by lazaruslong at 10:43 AM on May 5 [1 favorite]


Volunteer work at the local LGBT center and church (Unitarian Universalist). I feel a bit out of sorts because I let the Sunday services lapse.

Trying to stick to good sleep and food habits.

Reading more SFF stories in short form and not being at all apologetic about spending my time on feminist and queer work.

Walking away from bad conversations online more often.
posted by GenderNullPointerException at 11:13 AM on May 5 [5 favorites]


lazaruslong: You actually alarmed me for a second because my phone has been shitty lately and I forgot about the sticker on my laptop. That crimethinc sticker used to start arguments, now people just nod uncomfortably.

I have upgraded my hooch with an extension cord. Macbook battery finally gave out. I've been slowly upgrading that vintage unibody MBP, and it has a new battery and SSD in it so I do get like 5-6 hours of real battery life out of it.

Which is to say I've spent far too much time dorking around on MeFi this morning on my computer from out here in my camp.
posted by loquacious at 11:16 AM on May 5 [1 favorite]


The biggest self-care things I have ever done: breast reduction, divorce, and leaving corporate hell for non-profit.

Smaller scale: staying hydrated, getting fresh air (just walked 10k in the gorgeous Toronto day! whee), and enjoying my once-a-month therapy maintenance plan.
posted by wellred at 11:20 AM on May 5 [7 favorites]


Having people bring me food, via GrubHub or my local pizza joint.
posted by Greg_Ace at 11:39 AM on May 5 [4 favorites]


Being uncompromising about my standards for men.
posted by fluttering hellfire at 12:04 PM on May 5 [14 favorites]


I've been playing a shitload of guitar lately. Like, hours every day. I only stopped this afternoon because my fingertips hurt.

If I can't even handle playing guitar, I'll go for a bike ride (and I am especially grateful to the MeFite who recently gave me a fixie -- it's a good bike!). Something about tiring myself out on the bike helps calm racing thoughts.

Of course, today it's wet and rainy, so back to the guitar I go.
posted by shapes that haunt the dusk at 1:11 PM on May 5 [6 favorites]


My self care action this weekend, after many years of lurking, was to finally sign up to Metafilter. I'm nervous and excited, like meeting celebrities you know so well but who don't know you. Now instead of just yelling (nicely) at my screen, I can actually write and share things! wheee! (also it took a long time because I wanted to get the right username, and then the first 2 were already taken, and I was too shy to make it Cowpoke Midwife).
posted by cabin fever at 1:20 PM on May 5 [43 favorites]


Welcome! I am not always sure whether Metafilter is self care or the opposite of self care. It depends on the day.

Currently, my self care is listening to Dolly Parton. Did you know that Dolly Parton covered Woody Guthrie's "Deportees"? You do now, and you're welcome!
posted by ArbitraryAndCapricious at 1:23 PM on May 5 [7 favorites]


Positive reading! I'm feeling a bit done with dark and gritty for a while, the way the world is. So I've been reading The Murderbot Diaries, A Long Way to a Small Angry Planet with sequels, and other stuff I've found recommended here.
posted by Harald74 at 1:28 PM on May 5 [4 favorites]


Can I just share a small thing from yesterday: Our dog is a Norsk Lundehund (Norwegian Puffin Dog). Being of a rare breed, we've committed to raise at least one litter of pups. With a small population, there's a bit of effort in finding a suitor that's available, not too closely related and not on the other side of the country etc. So I had this short convo with the wife while my teenage daughter was in the room:

Me: This is too much effort. There should be an app for finding an available Lundehund.
Wife (busy with something else): Uh-hu
Me: I will make an app for finding a partner.
Wife: Uh-hu
Me (pleased with myself): I will call it Lundr.
Teenage daughter yelling across the room: Meet hot bitches in your area!
posted by Harald74 at 1:35 PM on May 5 [43 favorites]


Oh my gosh, you need to make tindr for dogs. It's like uber for dogs, but actually useful!
posted by ArbitraryAndCapricious at 1:40 PM on May 5 [3 favorites]


I'm with not_the_water; not drinking right now is probably the single biggest thing I'm doing to take care of myself. If you'd told me a touch over a year ago that THAT was going to be the single biggest fix in my life, I'd have laughed and had another drink.

Short term, I've given myself permission to overindulge in caffeine and sugar a little bit. Long term, I need to cut down on both again; short-term, right now is just A Lot, and caffeine and sugar helps. Same thing with my wife right now - if she wants chicken nuggets for dinner three nights in a row, at least I'm getting some calories in her and I can scale up my vegetables at lunch (at age 42, she's got a new Adderall script, which is helping SO MUCH but really playing games with her appetite).

I also get out for a hike a month. More is good, but the one a month makes me get outside when I'm inclined to hole up in the winter. I need to figure out where May's is going to be.

I make sure I read fiction, even when I'm too busy and having trouble keeping up with my school reading. If I don't, I get squirrely.

I'm really working on loving this body trying to make sure that I feel good in it and cute every day. I can't always make it (some days they're lucky I show up clothed to work), but I'm working on it. I'm also working on getting on my inner Pretty Boy this summer and developing more of a futch style - I wear more femme leaning clothes than I'd like sometimes, because when you're short and round, finding androgynous or male-coded clothes that fit is difficult. But I'm working on it (and giving myself permission to wear the ridiculous pink satin chucks with "mens" clothes if I want to, because why not?). (Ironically, now that I'm on the "love this body" train, the exercise is finally working and I'm tightening up. I'm refusing to buy clothes that aren't goodwill or ridic clearance right now).

Lately has been a lot; her dad, after a long time with cancer, finally passed away a week and a half ago. This was complicated by the fact that he was in prison on a life sentence (yes, he did it; yes, on his good days, he'd tell you he was exactly where he should be; yes, we loved him and miss him like mad anyhow). So there wasn't any sitting by his bedside or hospice or anything like that, just one last not great visit for her two weekends ago (her stepmom, in a fit of something, got me taken off the visitation list awhile back), and a phone call at the end of the week. She had to help go identify him this week, and we got to pick up our portion of him on Friday. Her stepmom's been wretched and this is the first weekend that we haven't been out of town that my wife hasn't gotten to go visit him in, well, several years, so she's at loose ends. We slept TF in and went and ate some BBQ for lunch in his honor, and we'll keep swimming because that's what you do.
posted by joycehealy at 2:10 PM on May 5 [22 favorites]


A lot of my self-care is cooking and baking. Which might be why I took Friday off from scienceing and thinking about science and made an absolutely gigantic layer cake. Did the sponge with the chocolate-olive oil cake recipe from Smitten Kitchen and frosted it with an American buttercream flavored with espresso powder and ground toasted hazelnuts. It's kinda huge, so we've been inflicting slabs on friends and family since Friday.

And now I'm off to make a Cheeseboard-style pizza. Corn, chile, feta, cilantro, lime.
posted by Making You Bored For Science at 2:43 PM on May 5 [7 favorites]


I run for my self care. Actually I would like to run more, but I just can't budget the time for it. Another thing I do is save money. My income is pretty mediocre and I have three kids, so it is hard, but I find that having material goods doesn't make me happy. What does make me happy is having enough money squirreled away that I don't have to worry about my family if I lose my job or something. That being said, we just bought a new apartment (it is being built now, yay!) and in the process lost all our liquidity, and that has been the opposite of self care. It will be worth it in the long run, but in the short run it gives me a bit of stress.
posted by Literaryhero at 2:43 PM on May 5 [6 favorites]


Update: my fingers really hurt! I felt like I could no longer tolerate the pain, so that's probably a good stopping point right there. And I just put lighter strings on, too!

Actually, my other big self-care thing is eating. I'm the kind of person who forgets to eat, and I have to eat so much just to keep from getting woozy. So, typically what happens is that I'll forget to eat for a while, and only realize what's happened once I've started getting wobbly. I have, in the past, had problems with disordered eating, so sometimes my most basic self-care is just remembering to eat something.

I thought of this because I just had to make myself a sandwich, and I'm still hungry. Jeez! Why does it take so much work to stay functional?
posted by shapes that haunt the dusk at 3:08 PM on May 5 [4 favorites]


Better days to you & yours, joycehealy.

My self care is getting on my yoga mat on the floor and rolling on my soft roller. It helps me keep stiffness out of my legs and back, & feels fantastic.

Other than that, petting the animals we have and vaping some CBD helps me chill.
posted by yoga at 4:10 PM on May 5 [2 favorites]


And now I'm off to make a Cheeseboard-style pizza. Corn, chile, feta, cilantro, lime.

Shame on you for mentioning this on a Sunday, when the Cheeseboard is closed ;)
posted by The Toad at 4:55 PM on May 5 [2 favorites]


A wild cat has arrived and parked herself on my butt. I kind of want to roll over but I do not dare disturb the purring cat. I've basically been out here all day except to go inside for food and I feel like a dirty kid.
posted by loquacious at 5:19 PM on May 5 [12 favorites]


Our church does a huge rummage sale every year that involves weeks of prep. It is now annual tradition that we take the Monday after the sale off work and go to a local Korean spa for sauna time. Tomorrow is that day! Bring on the sweat!
posted by ThePinkSuperhero at 5:36 PM on May 5 [6 favorites]


I don't know what self-care looks like anymore. Is it taking time to enjoy things? Or does it mean cleaning my place and scheduling doctors' appointments? I have this feeling that I can't really enjoy things I enjoy anymore -- reading, movies, and so forth -- unless they're truly stunning pieces of work. Otherwise, they're just a wall to keep the pain out. But then, don't I need one of those?

I did some cleaning today. I'm very sure that fresh sheets and bathroom counters are self-care. And I have got to bite the bullet and go to the doctor about what I had been sure was sciatica pain. But my hips are getting more painful, and whatever makes it worse, which is either sitting or walking long distances, can't be gotten rid of. I've been dropping a good amount of weight, so why isn't it better? I need to know. I'm too young to moan about this kind of thing.
posted by Countess Elena at 5:50 PM on May 5 [7 favorites]


This is a useful reminder that after I knock off some prep for classes etc. for next week, I need to go do that self care thing I've been meaning to do for the past ten days but for some reason haven't. Time to go for a bath. There is a big super-sento in Oimachi that has: steam sauna, regular sauna with tv that is often showing sumo, jacuzzi baths, ice cold bath, hot bath, hotter bath, some seasonal bath that has flowers or fruit or herbs in it, outdoor wooden bath, outdoor rough stone bath, outdoor lie on your back on warm stone in about 5cm of warm water bath, and probably at least one other bath I am forgetting. It's likely to be packed because it is a holiday, but what the hell. Great big baths and hot springs of all types are one of the primary reasons I love where I live.
posted by Gotanda at 6:21 PM on May 5 [7 favorites]


Tonight’s self-care: inviting friends over for spontaneous cake.
posted by eirias at 7:23 PM on May 5 [8 favorites]


I've been really down and down on myself my lately. I'm unemployed, still single for years. My house has become filthy, I'm failing badly at self-care...

But I messaged my BFF - who I met at a motorcycle rally 2.5 years ago - and asked her if she wanted to go riding. It was my first ride of this year and we paused for drinks a couple of times and caught up.

I was wearing the sweet leather jacket I bought last year when I had a job and waving (more excitedly than is customary) at other riders as one does. Today I felt for the first time in a long time that I still have a little BAMF in me.
posted by bendy at 7:55 PM on May 5 [19 favorites]


Also today: since my last Facebook post had been ten days ago, my friend surmised that I was either dead or in jail. Why did she go there and nowhere else??!! But yeah, it totally cracked me up that she did.
posted by bendy at 11:08 PM on May 5 [4 favorites]


Update. So, I went off to the baths and stopped off for a haircut along the way. (When you're a balding middle-aged dude and you don't get your hair cut for three months, it starts to look...unkempt is a polite term. So, I'd kinda been failing self-maintenance self-care.) The tv in the sauna did not have sumo, but instead the nightly news. The broadcast featured: not enough young people to look after graves and cremains of old dead people, a murder suicide of old people, the single drunk driving accident that resulted in a fatality nationwide in a while, and then went hog wild on a miniature hippopotamus giving birth! Baby mini-hippo. Moar baby tiny hippo. Then, a freak hail storm. Bath followed by ramen n' beer. I feel I have completed self-care. A little Netflix with Mrs Gotanda and early to bed.
posted by Gotanda at 4:21 AM on May 6 [5 favorites]


I come from a long line of green thumbs, but for better or worse, the gene skipped me. However, I have had a Christmas Cactus for over two years now. It's bloomed each December, I remember to bring it in when it's going to freeze, and despite my utter benign neglect, it's been chugging along in its way. Only, it hasn't looked so good the last few months. So after a bit of consultation with my green thumb friend online, I made my way to the local gardening store last night for advice. I came home with a bigger pot, some fertilizer, and special soil. Fingers crossed I haven't just sent the poor thing into shock.
posted by PearlRose at 6:45 AM on May 6 [3 favorites]


Why did she go there and nowhere else??!!

John Prine fan maybe?
posted by Miko at 7:26 AM on May 6 [3 favorites]


I finally order my customized Agendio! After seeing them recommended a bunch here, I started designing my own. The options really are amazing :) And now I am dreaming of nice highlighters and washi tapes and grad school in the fall.
posted by Mouse Army at 7:41 AM on May 6 [2 favorites]


I just started a pottery class, which is super impractical given that it's only a three-week class and it doesn't cover nearly enough for me to really work on my own after this, but man it is incredibly satisfying. I have picked up some polymer clay to play with at home, but apparently I really like wheel throwing, which is not at all a practical thing to try to do in my apartment. I'm hoping the place that did this class will offer a longer one at some point soon.

Often my sensory crud is really annoying and prevents me from comfortably doing things that other people do normally, but for once I think it played in my favor, even the goopy bits felt amazing.
posted by Sequence at 7:59 AM on May 6 [5 favorites]


This is a great topic, I feel so relaxed just after reading through all of your answers!

After I separated from my husband, my therapist pushed self-care. I only had the vaguest idea of what that was. She described it as "take some time for yourself.. light some candles, put on some music" and my reaction was "wtf that is going to solve literally 0 of my problems". After working on it for a few months, my self care is currently:
Taking time to do masks and paint my nails, normally on Saturday afternoons.
Fixing the small things around the house that irritate me (loose knobs, chipped paint, etc)
Putting a smart speaker in my bathroom so I have a dance party in the shower/while getting ready every morning, and can just yell at it to change the song or volume or whatever.
Carving out an hour or so for a book and coffee at a cafe
Therapy.

So, I talked about this last week and I promise not to be all "Fig's Love Life Weekly Updates", but in a week and a half I met a guy on Tinder, we are now boyfriend/girlfriend, are both completely over-the-moon smitten, went to a Star Wars-themed wedding this weekend (pictures), and I've told him that I'm pretty sure I love him. Oh and the timing really is terrible, I filed for divorce about a month ago and went public like 2-3 weeks ago, so I feel very weird about "hey I have a boyfriend now!" because... It's not what it looks like. But. Meeting someone who is such an instantly perfect match feels like a rare cosmic blessing (and sort of a divine joke, tbh), and I'm enjoying every second of it. Even the parts that freak me out a little bit. A lot bit. But, so far, so good.
posted by Fig at 8:05 AM on May 6 [36 favorites]


Want Fig's Love Life Weekly Updates. But maybe there should be a "gross goony love stuff" thread so we don't make anyone barf.
posted by wellred at 8:12 AM on May 6 [8 favorites]


Awesome post and loved reading through all of your self-care rituals.

Gardening is big self care, the dirtier I get, the better. I also really find that I need time completely away from other humans for a period of time every year (although every 6 months would be better). I just had 4 days and it was amazing. Therapy is essential for me. Without it, I'd likely be dead. I finally went back to the gym for real 4 weeks ago. I've been consistently going 3 days a week at 6 am and pushing myself. It feels like I'm getting such a positive start to my day.

One of these days I'm going to be comfortable getting a massage. That day is not here yet.
posted by Sophie1 at 10:19 AM on May 6 [2 favorites]


I mean, I am 10,000% here for Fig's Love Life Weekly Updates. Is there a newsletter to which I can subscribe?

Aside from talking to my therapist, going to 12-step meetings, and talking to my sponsor, good self-care, for me, looks like: cooking for myself (and/or others); getting time on my motorcycle, Gunnlod, that is not related to my daily commute; going out to the local park and hitting people with padded sticks or shooting them with padded arrows; and burying myself in good books.

What my current care regimen looks like, unfortunately, is a lot of DoorDash and GrubHub, a lot of mindless TV when I'm not at work, and sleeping in on the weekends instead of being outside.
posted by hanov3r at 10:37 AM on May 6 [3 favorites]


Yay Fig! You deserve some head-over-heels-smitten, rare-cosmic-blessingness in your life! And I am here for Fig's Love Life Weekly Updates. I would subscribe to that newsletter.
posted by ArbitraryAndCapricious at 10:58 AM on May 6 [4 favorites]


Seconded!
posted by ellieBOA at 11:22 AM on May 6 [2 favorites]


Part of my self-care is now Fig's Love Life Weekly Updates. So they can't stop.
posted by nubs at 11:52 AM on May 6 [13 favorites]


I recently found a cheap ramen that tasts EXACTLY like the saimin my parents' landlord made us like three times before I was 8 years old. It may not be an exact match of course, the last time having it being over 40 years ago, but I've been looking for something to hit that button ever since I was that young. "Where are June and Jim?" I asked, probably at least until high school. Anyway, I've been trying to hold it down to "one of a variety" of ramen (quick lunch) options I would buy, but yesterday I went and bought 10 packages, so I should be good for a few weeks. When that doesn't work, I have propranolol.
posted by rhizome at 11:57 AM on May 6 [1 favorite]


Some of my self-care is very grim (pay more money against credit card debt) and some (much less) is pretty fun.

Grim:
Take the prescriptions to the Walmart pharmacy
Remember to bring my headphones to work
Eat inside my calorie limit so I can drop that weight
etc

Less grim:
Maintaining the world's shortest set of acrylic nails! They're usually either tomato red or a slightly purple black. I've never been able to maintain my nails before, and this way they are covered with a thin layer of gel, and a tough veneer of Lady Who Has Her Shit Together.
posted by chesty_a_arthur at 12:20 PM on May 6 [6 favorites]


I float in a sensory deprivation tank about once a month, which leaves me really relaxed and happy. Also I have a brand new sheet mask habit.

One of the best self-care decisions I ever made was to take a Xanax right before a tattoo appointment. I do it every time now.
posted by tangosnail at 1:23 PM on May 6 [2 favorites]


Sitting on my balcony all evening, getting some sun, getting some air, enjoying the flowers blooming...and the biggest wasp I've ever seen in my life comes buzzing up! I'm on the 9th floor! I didn't think they could make it this high. And this bug was the size of my thumb, and so loud!

I was yelling and covering my head (look, I'm allergic, OK? And I was thinking of that time in The Sisters Brothers when Eli gets stung or bitten and his whole head swells up) and then the wasp FLEW INTO THE HOUSE. I hadn't closed the screen door, because what kind of Herculean bug can make it this far up? So of course I felt like a doofus who'd invited this on herself. (Yeah yeah, I'll close it from now on, probably). At one point, the wasp was getting lost in the living room curtains, so I ran inside to wait it out. Or ideally, to chase it out, although that would have required more nerve than I really had at the moment. Anyway, I moved so fast trying to leap through the balcony door while it was still distracted that I cut my toe open.

So then I was standing back in the hallway trying to peer into the living room while my toe bled unnoticed on the carpet (realized this after the fact), ducking back sometimes when it seemed the wasp was coming my way. I kept saying, "go outside! go outside!" and thinking about getting the broom. But every time I said "go outside!," the wasp would dart outside again! Since it seemed like it was listening to me, and since I was getting fed up with how it would dart out and then dart back in again, playing with my hopes and dreams of freedom, I finally said, "go outside! and STAY outside!" And it did.

What was up with this wasp's apparently strong verbal skills? Your guess is as good as mine. This confrontation lasted about five or ten minutes. When the wasp had finally gone, I came back out here and I type this in the dying sunset, ALONE on my balcony except for my plants and a Cadbury egg wrapper.

So! Tonight sitting out on the balcony was self care, it has been very refreshing. Here's my favorite view tonight, before it gets entirely too dark to see it. That lily just bloomed this morning!
posted by rue72 at 5:37 PM on May 6 [11 favorites]


Walking and swimming are the only things that slow my mind down enough to be and to think. Now that the days are getting longer, I like walking home on days that I'm not carrying my computer; at 8mi it's a 2.5hr commute, but there are worse ways to spend the time.
posted by Westringia F. at 5:44 PM on May 6 [3 favorites]


Totally no pressure on love life updates. You do you.
But yes, I want all the details. And the Star Wars wedding pictures were awesome! I know people who would wear the helmet.
Currently devouring a chocolate mousse dessert, because chocolate. Crocheting, binge-watching Penny Dreadful, enjoying visits from children over the past few days, and enjoying the husband's company.
Not enjoying the hail forecasts this week. One of the vehicles can go in the garage, but the other is already weather-beaten.
posted by TrishaU at 6:56 PM on May 6 [2 favorites]


I just sat outside for about two hours and have definitely seen more satellites than I have seen in one night before before, ever. I lost count at about 30. I'm utterly boggled.

Apparently I stepped out at the right time because when I looked up iI saw two at the same time moving in different directions they were so bright that it just immediately caught my eyes and made my poor monkey brain go "WTF!?" for a second, especially since it was followed immediately by a small meteor flash in the same few degrees of sky.

Further sightings included three of them in the same quadrant of the sky, two sets of intersecting satellites with roughly perpendicular inclinations or tracks and three different pairs with similar tracks.

Including one pair that seemed to be flying as constellation pair with perfectly parallel track and identical velocity - I've seen this before and it's pretty weird looking to see what looks two stars just sliding across or falling out of the sky like they're rigidly locked together, looks way steadier and faster than a pair of plans in formation - and one pair with nearly identical polar orbits heading from north to south, but plainly converging then diverging.

And one of these pairs involved a similar north to south track and inclination, but one satellite overtook the other with a really significant velocity and/or altitude difference, with track that was parallel and/or overlapped enough that I couldn't tell if they were ever converging or diverging. And this one I've never seen before, ever, and I've had thousands of satellite sightings.

I'm assuming the faster one was in a lower orbit because it seemed slightly brighter and I was just seeing parallax effects from the altitude and perspective differences, because it isn't likely or at least common for satellites in LEO/NEO to have that much of a difference in actual velocity difference because of how orbital physics work. The faster satellite was moving about 3-5 degrees per second (perceived) faster than the slower one which would be a significant speed difference assuming a similar altitude.

I have a couple of timelapse pics including one of the perpendicular crossed paths but my micro SD card adapter is being weird and I just want to sleep. I might try to get more tomorrow night if it's this clear again.

There is certainly a lot more stuff in orbit these days. Satellite sightings like this seemed to be a lot more rare when I was younger, and that includes all my experiences under really dark desert night skies going star watching with younger, better eyes.
posted by loquacious at 1:54 AM on May 7 [2 favorites]




My "self-care" these past few weeks has been binging on youtube videos, which I think is ultimately not good for me. I started a new job in March and I'm starting to sense it's not the best fit for me; but if I hang in there for just one year, I will be 100% debt-free for the first time in about 30 years. So I've decided to hang in there until then before starting to look elsewhere. So, youtube videos.

Seeking better ideas.
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 3:59 AM on May 7 [8 favorites]


John Prine fan maybe?

Naw, she just knows too much about me.
posted by bendy at 4:57 AM on May 7


My guilty pleasure self care is buying cute femme clothes. My god, I have too many clothes, but it’s one of very few things that give me a shot of joy anymore. I also schedule dinner dates/happy hours one on one with friends. There’s something powerful in catching up with someone that really does it for me.
posted by advicepig at 6:58 PM on May 7 [3 favorites]


The hard stuff:

Keeping up on doctor's and dentist appointments, flossing, following up on emails, following through on volunteer responsibilities for my hobby, vigorous exercise 5-8 times a week, cleaning the house, drinking less, reading books, listening to chamber music, walking in the woods, being near a body of water


The pamper-y stuff:

Hot epsom salt baths, baking, beer, buying a new flannel at Target, Candy Crush, rereading YA novels, new lip balm, going out to dinner, letting the dog up on the couch to cuddle, gymnastics fail videos on Instagram


I am healing from a concussion so I haven't been able to do much of anything from either Column A or Column B, and it's been really miserable. I've started feeling more like myself in the last couple of days, and I may head up for a bath in a few.
posted by coppermoss at 8:03 PM on May 7 [7 favorites]


I hurt my back again, really badly, a few days ago. So I went to my chiropractor, got a massage (both for $10! I love San Francisco sometimes!) Then went to a Korean spa and soaked in the hot tub. I can stand, and walk without pain now, so I'm counting this as a win for today.

In other news, I leave for Canada in a week, to.spend the summer in the forest. I'm so excited:)
posted by ananci at 8:26 PM on May 7 [4 favorites]


You know, whenever I do something that isn't a Youtube video or connect with a person IRL I feel better. Last night I took the time to make myself a simple dinner and this morning my roommate and I had a quasi-bonding moment teaming up to tackle a house issue, and that helped (and if moving furniture to clear the way for repairmen feels fun then that's telling). I need to work on reminding myself of that when the temptation to binge on Youtube is there.

Which is in and of itself a self-care move.
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 8:05 AM on May 8 [5 favorites]


My relationship with self care has really changed in the past two years. I am both the happiest I've ever been and also things have been hard (postpartum disorder, family health issues, went back to school, etc.). Here's what I've learned:
- fantasizing about things I want to do in the future can be enough
- shower and feeling the warm water hit my body can be enough
- stretching out my hands and feet when they are aching can be enough
- eating veggies after not eating well feels AMAZING. Learning how to keep that amazing feeling going
- exercising after not exercising for two years also feels AMAZING (with a reminder to myself to go slow)

Hopefully this doesn't sound too sadsack to people because although this little wins are small, they actually feel empowering to me. I used to think I needed an hour long massage to relax. Now I know that I can find small ways.
posted by CMcG at 9:16 AM on May 8 [10 favorites]


So I've just discovered an herb rye bread at my grocery store and I don't think I'll ever be sad again for more than approximately 45 seconds, because that is how long it takes to get out a slice and spread some butter on it and eat it? It's only $4 a loaf which is some pretty damn cheap self care. That and some blueberry tea + a stack of library books? Oh. I had a super stressful day but god I love being alive to eat bread.
posted by brook horse at 6:40 PM on May 8 [7 favorites]


So I...am happy? I mean, things aren't perfect, by any means (see: world events and family stresses), but I like my job, I'm seeing someone new who is an absolute delight, a really good weird thing is happening that I might say more about later, my band is getting to play fun places... what is this? It's a strange feeling. I don't really remember feeling this way. Maybe I wasn't capable of it before therapy?
posted by wellred at 5:53 AM on May 9 [3 favorites]


I thought you all should know that my 7-years-young orange tabby, Riker, has been impersonating me on this site for several months. I have no idea how this feline got access to my account, or why. This sort of behavior cannot be tolerated, and an example must be made of him. The punishment seems clear: let's make him into a meme.
posted by duffell at 6:16 AM on May 9 [10 favorites]


I have a conference next week at which I'm presenting.

My presentation notes are 4,500 words long.

I have an hour slot.

I may need to do some cutting.
posted by Mr. Bad Example at 7:27 AM on May 9 [4 favorites]




duffell, if Riker is responsible for MeFi Telephone Pictionary, then he is a Very Good Kitty Indeed and deserves all the treats and pets.

Telephone Pictionary is my self care :).
posted by eirias at 8:00 AM on May 9 [2 favorites]


Riker wonders why he can't interact with the site in the normal cat way.
posted by nubs at 8:16 AM on May 9 [5 favorites]


My self care act this week was to move to a much quieter and more secluded cube at work. I was right outside a conference room in the middle of everything. Now my introvert brain is better and we turned off some of the lights so it's not so bad. One light I need to get on a ladder and adjust since it swivels. It's crazy how much happier I am now with this change.
posted by OnTheLastCastle at 8:22 AM on May 9 [4 favorites]


Something else I do for self-care is that I go to a play or performance at least every month. To me, it feels kind of magical being in the room when people are performing. The energy crackles.

Last night, I saw The Savannah Disputation. Tickets were like $9, and I'll see pretty much anything under $15 just on principle. It was a very interesting play altogether, about two older women, their priest, and a youngish missionary, all exploring their faith and their loneliness. I read some reviews both before and after, and it seems like the play gets dismissed a lot. I think because the focus is mostly on the inner lives of these older women, and it's comedic, and it talks earnestly about religious belief. But it made me laugh and somehow really stuck with me, too, so I think it was very good.

It also made me miss my grandma -- one of the actresses moves just like my grandma used to. I cried like crazy in the car on the way home, missing her, and then I had to sit in my building's garage for a long time because some guy was hanging out there practicing obedience training with his dog (didn't want him to see me looking all teary-eyed and snotty). The guy was yelling HEEL! for a solid fifteen minutes before he finally went upstairs and I was able to sneak back to my apartment.

I go to a lot of performances (music, theater, anything), read a lot of books, watch a lot of TV shows and movies. I worry about being too much of an escapist. But I love all that stuff. I've even started really liking to go to plays and movies alone. When you're with someone, you have to worry so much about what they're thinking about it and whether they're enjoying it and what you and they are going to say about it afterward. When you're alone, you can just immerse yourself. There's something so indulgent and pleasurable in that.

Although then I wonder why at the end of the day I feel lonely *shrug*

Anyhow, back in the winter I came up with this idea to write a romance set in an assisted living facility. I was thinking that there would be one plot-line about two of the residents falling in love, another plot-line about two of the employees falling in love at the same time as they find their professional footing, and another plot-line about a resident coming into her own as a painter. At first, I was thinking that it would be a good novel idea, but later on I started thinking that it would make for a better play. After all, it can all take place just on the one set -- one of the assisted living facility's common areas. In the last few months, I had sort of forgotten about it. But seeing this play last night reminded me again and...well, maybe I should try it after all. There are too many ideas swimming around in my head and not enough time to write them all but. It would be fun, and I loved seeing older women on stage last night so much. The Savannah Disputation was comedic and very humane, but I want to write an even happier and more loving story.

For my own mental health, I've been avoiding the megathread here and the fucking fuck thread, and doing a lot of frivolous things like gardening and chatting with my friends and sitting outside reading and even praying sometimes. Instead of spending my time on all those things that I do simply because they feel good, though, I worry that I should be studying for a licensing exam and should be doing more political action and should be seeing my family more. I even worry that I'm not being proactive enough about dating. Get new pictures, get on the dating apps again, chat a bunch of men up -- that's what I'm supposed to do, right? Over the weekend, a friend was adamant that I need to snag some dull but very cheerful guy ASAP (I'm not enthusiastic about that idea, but she knows me well, so I feel obligated to try...?). That's why I worry about becoming an escapist, I guess. I worry about sliding into being some complacent, parasitic slug, not helping the world, not helping my family, single and trapped in my own little comfort zone forever, working some dead-end job without even bothering to hustle for better. But you've got to do what you've got to do to survive, day to day? I'm trying very hard not to feel all guilty about it. Trying to not overthink anything, trying to just enjoy myself here and now and figure that's enough. But it's hard, of course. It feels so irresponsible. But making myself sick with worry about things I can't control isn't responsible either, so.
posted by rue72 at 8:51 AM on May 9 [5 favorites]


My newest self-care is petting things in wellred's crouton garden. And my first created crouton has knocked it out of the park.

Favourite cuisine: Jewish
Mood: Dauntless

She gets me.
posted by OnTheLastCastle at 11:41 AM on May 9 [3 favorites]


I fell asleep at 8 PM yesterday, woke up at around 10:30 PM, and went for a bike ride at 11:30. Zipped around for about 7 or 8 miles in the cool night air. It was great. The hills fucked my knees a little, but it was still great.

I biked past one of those "your current speed" signs, and my new goal is to keep bombing past it as fast as I can until I see an improvement (my current record is 21 MPH). This feels like self-care.
posted by shapes that haunt the dusk at 12:30 PM on May 9 [1 favorite]


I love my crouton garden with reckless abandon. Especially Chippy.
posted by wellred at 12:33 PM on May 9 [2 favorites]


I sit on a rock about half a mile from my house and stare at the ocean for a while. I live in Mazunte for the time being, on a map it is the very bottom of Mexico. It's where if you were driving along the coast headed to Central America, the road would start to head back north for a long while. Where I sit is a few hundred yards from Punta Cometa, I am on the Pacific coast of Mexico and looking due south, out to sea. I like to go in the early afternoon when it feels like the surface of the sun, just a fucking blaze of blue sea, white foam, black rocks. My preferred rock is sort of a prow that juts out into the waves a bit, sometimes it get a little wet, but usually it is dry as a dead turtle. The waves can be huge too, green water over rocks and 50 foot high blasts of white. The whole scene is so mesmerizing and the heat and sun so intense down here 15 degrees from the equator that I almost get a little confused or something after 20 minutes, I am from Seattle after all. That's when it stops feeling all that hot and I know it's time to guzzle water and get back in some shade.

The rock is located at 15°39'36.3"N 96°33'30.1"W if any other Mefites want to take it for a spin.
posted by Stonestock Relentless at 7:20 PM on May 9 [5 favorites]


So, mild heat stroke. Mild heat stroke is my self care.
posted by Stonestock Relentless at 7:26 PM on May 9 [5 favorites]


Aimee Mann's album Mental Illness, on shuffle forever and ever and ever and ever.

Also cookies.
posted by We put our faith in Blast Hardcheese at 9:57 AM on May 10 [3 favorites]


My self-care go-tos:

- showering before bedtime. It feels so so so good to climb into bed totally clean.
- hammock time. It's just barely getting nice out in Wisconsin and even 15 minutes in the hammock is soothing.
- taking screenshots of texts. I've long enjoyed watching my computer screensaver (set to shuffle through random photos) and sometimes I get a really sweet text message and before it gets lost in the shuffle, I screenshot it and add it to the album and get all gooshy inside when it comes up at random.
- walking. Walking every day with a good podcast helps me feel physically and mentally better.
- regular UU service attendance. In these times of seemingly nonstop, unmitigated disasters, it's very comforting to me to spend time in a place with mostly like-minded people.
- giving myself permission to give up on books I don't like. Reading should be pleasurable and while there are some books that are worth powering through, most aren't and so onto the next one.
posted by Twicketface at 2:20 PM on May 12 [3 favorites]


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