Open Thread: How are we being nice to ourselves lately?

A teapot and tea
Tea and soothing noises. Photo by: Me

I recently got a sassy short haircut, threw out some clothes made of sadness and stains including some non-metaphorical ill-fitting pants,ย and had an eye exam (This is not the year of bifocals. Yet. Soooooooon though).

What self-care stuff have you done for yourself lately?

What are you proud of right now?


361 thoughts on “Open Thread: How are we being nice to ourselves lately?

  1. Started working out (uuuuuugh), stopped getting mad at myself for eating crappy food, stopped eating as much crappy food, resolved to go with the flow re:bureaucratic bullshit at work, started ignoring (and telling people I was ignoring) most unverified information about [thing], bought my darkroom set up 10+months after I intended to.

    I’m mostly proud of myself for keeping my dentist appointment tomorrow even when I had a bunch of times when I could’ve legitimately cancelled it. And getting work outs in despite work being the embodiment of insanity.

    1. I need some of your juju re: the eating of crap/beating myself up/eating more crap feedback loop that has taken over my current dietary situation.

      1. “Hey self, you know what you deserve? DELICIOUS FOOD for dinner. You know what’s delicious? A big salad made from bagged baby greens and a homemade vinaigrette followed by half a box of pizza rolls.”

        I’m not saying this is perfect from a nutritional standpoint, but if you’re trying to shoehorn in stuff that’s good for you, a nice big fluffy salad before a bunch of chicken wings or pizza or lo mein or tacos isn’t the worst way to do it. Eat crap, it tastes good! But also eat other things that are good for you. You might end up doing what I do nowadays, which is wandering back and forth from the crap end of the spectrum to the healthy end, back and forth. Not perfect, but not awful, either.

      2. One thing I found helpful was to take a good look at my routine and identify factors that were influencing me to eat badly. Example – I would be really, really hungry when I got home from work, so I would eat takeout instead of cooking because I was getting short-tempered. I brought a bunch of high-protein snacks to work and try and have one around 3 or 4 in the afternoon, so when I get home at 6 I’m not a raging, starving asshole.

        As part of that, you have to remind yourself it’s not a zero-sum game. You have to be nice to yourself and celebrate your progress, even if it’s not as much progress as you wanted.

      3. The way I manage the crappy food/guilt feedback loop is I start slowly by cutting out just one or two bad things at a time. For now it’s fried foods and flour-based carbs (bread, pasta, etc.) which are my Achilles heel.

        I’m not a fan of salads so I don’t set myself up for failure by saying I’ll eat salad for lunch knowing I’ll then pick at nonsense all afternoon. I’ll have a good filling lunch of some type of seafood or chicken alongside almost anything that isn’t on my forbidden foods list. When I’m feeling pleased with myself for being full without having had to resort to unhealthy stuff it motivates me to keep it up. It becomes a challenge to see how I can enjoy a great meal without certain foods. I apply the same principle when I eat out (which I do a LOT).

        1. Hi, this is crossing over into diet-talk, by identifying “bad”, “forbidden”, “crappy”, “guilty” foods, which is against the site policies.

          I want everyone to eat what makes them happy and feel good, move their bodies in ways that make them feel good.

          Also, since I’m here, I’ve deleted all posts that mention people’s actual weights and weight loss (and will keep doing so). If you are happy, I’m happy for you, but this is not the place where you share those numbers.

          1. It’s an easy trap to fall into, so I’m not mad at anyone. Self-care => eating in a way that makes you happy and feel good => automatic way that women are conditioned to think about and talk about food => territory that can be very triggering for people. I’m definitely here to try to interrupt the cycle.

      4. My best trick (that I desperately need to get back into) is to simply add more good stuff.
        I’m still allowed chocolate with lunch – once I have eaten my salad, and then if I still want it I’ll go and buy it.
        Also – I’m working on moving to treats being handmade with care – proper bakery tarts, home made biscuits etc. Things that are worthy of my time and should be savoured.

  2. I changed my hours at work so I’m not expected in until 9:30. (This follows a promotion/department transfer and conversion to a salaried position, when previously I had a hard 9AM start and chronic issues with lateness as my only black mark.) I still have sleepy mornings and show up most days between 9:15-9:20, but now I don’t feel guilty, stressed, or anxious about it.

    1. I am in the 9:15-9:20 range with a 9am start time myself, so ALL THE EMPATHY. In terms of self-care, I’ve been doing a much better job of getting home around 10 every night than I was, and am doing an okay job of getting to bed on time–usually I turn off the lights a little after midnight, which is much better than I was doing, but I need to work on it.

      1. Went from working a 10-6 for 9 years to a 7:30am-4:30pm. UUGGHHH how I wish I had 10am start again! Chronically tired a bags under my eyes. Trying to be kinder to myself and have a 9pm bed-getting-ready time even though my partner will stay up later than me. It’s difficult when most of the world seems to want to stay out until 10 but I can’t… The upside though is that now I never work weekends, weeknights, or 12hour days. So reminding myself about that fact helps with the jealousy feelings.

        Empathy for morning workers who are not morning people!!

        1. Oh yes. Most of my friends at this point are still in college (living in a small college town when right out of college: not ideal), and all their events START at 10pm.

  3. Love this thread! I’m most proud of a conversation I had with a friend recently who said she was feeling content for the first time ever, but was also feeling bad about that, as though it was boring or evidence of lowered expectations. It was a chance to reaffirm for myself why I think being content is the biggest give you can give yourself – and hopefully a chance for her to see that contentment is merely a state of mind, that doesn’t mean you’re not living the life you want (indeed, it’s hard to be content if that’s the case).

    In terms of self-care, I think there are three things I’m loving at the moment: (1) I’m doing regular meditation, but not beating myself up about how long it lasts or whether it’s the ‘right’ kind. It works for me and it’s helping (2) I’m aware of the connection between exercise and the way my body feels (i.e. pilates every second day will make me feel better) and I’m sticking to my plan (3) but I’m not being rigid about it, so if for some reason it’s not a pilates day, I can accept that.

    And I’m also about to get my hair cut in a new and exciting way. Self care! Rock it!

    Also, reading this blog is a form of self care for me. Every post offers a chance to re-engage with an issue and re-think my way through it. Bless you Captain, and this amazing community.

  4. I uninstalled my Reddit app (I know with large sites like that it’s a “how you use it” thing, but I tend to use it in such a way that I’m frequently frustrated and upset) and started following a bunch of cool entertainment news sites on Twitter instead.

    I started saying “no” to new duties or projects at work, especially after discovering that most of them are just things everybody else already said “no” to before they brought them to me, and none of them come with a bump in pay or expectations for promotion.

    Also, I took a nap. I basically never take naps.

    1. Ha, I did the same with reddit a few months ago and it felt great. Every way I’ve tried to use that site has eventually turned on me, becoming a depressing timesuck.

    2. I’m seriously considering uninstalling facebook for the summer. (southern hemisphere)
      I dont know if I have the strength though to not then use it on my PC…

  5. I’ve been letting myself watch Fringe whenever I feel overwhelmed by my responsibilities/the impending winter. When I’m done, I give myself a pep talk and I’ve been way more productive than when I used to skip directly to the pep talk or, worse still, substitute it for berating myself. ๐Ÿ˜€

      1. Ha ha! Yes. I wish I could say that my recent self-care effort involved taking a rest cure in the Swiss Alps, drinking bowls of milk from goats fed on the best mountain herbs…

        1. …away from the eeeeeevil corruption of cities, kicking it with the Alm-Uncle, wearing only the most beat-up and rustic of hats…

  6. I had a bath with a glittery bath bomb last night and fixed a shelf on the tub so I could have tea and prop my tablet up to watch Friends. Also acquired awesome new speakers with so much bass so I can rock out to Queen wheni get home in the eves. Oh yes oh yes oh yes.

  7. I’m moving! It’s a nicer place in a nicer neighborhood, and I’m keeping just about all of my books.

    1. Revisited the five year plan with sweetheart, and revised it for what we want NOW, and are tired of waiting for. Delayed gratification is totally a thing, and I do believe there are many things for which it works really well. But damn it, I’ve been waiting two years (or eight years, or forever, depending on how you are counting) for this, and waiting longer is just stressing us out.

  8. I’ve been drinking a truly stunning amount of tea with lemon and honey. I’ve also been taking time to look up some of my favourite artists and take in their beautiful art – life is better with Mucha to look at. This time of year is hard for me, so I’m making an extra effort to keep in touch with my friends and family.

    1. Psssst…if you like ginger, you might like to put a little slice of ginger root in your tea too.

      1. Huh. I wrote ‘slips into the night like a tea-recommendation-making ninja’ after that, but I put it in more than/less than signs and WP made it disappear.

  9. I’m working on my painting and drawing and stuff.

    Also I’m currently taking a week’s holiday between Old Job and New Job, and New Job is a promotion.

    And I’ve got a lot of scary adulting coming up so I’m trying to be extra nice to myself. At the moment I feel like I can handle it, but it varies.

    1. Hooray for working on painting and drawing!

      I have given myself permission to blow off chores in favor of art. Because doing art really is more important to me than doing dishes.

  10. I burned and broke all the things I still had hidden in my closet from old abusers, rapists, and just regular exes. It was liberating, and odd.

    I’m also expanding and tending my indoor garden. My space finally feels like it belongs to me and I’m allowed to exist in it. It’s bright and lush and bursting with life. (I’m reminded of the poem Happiness by Paisley Rekdal.)

      1. Holy cow, that poem. Amazing. Also, many congratulations on your fires and your garden ๐Ÿ™‚

    1. Good for you!!! This comment makes me happy. An also, I love gardens, they are so beautiful and peaceful, time flies when you work in your garden, you are in peace and doing a little something (at least for me) AND the results are green and beautiful flowers!

    2. Congratulations! Go you! This makes me happy. It also make me think it’s time for me to destroy a thing or two.

    3. I’m picturing the ashes being sowed into the pots and blooms coming from the ashes of awfulness.

  11. I had a massage last week. I’ve started having regular massages again after a 4 or so year hiatus. Am proud that I’m doing Frocktober and raising money for ovarian cancer research. And I just renovated my kitchen – something I never thought I’d get around to doing.

  12. On bifocals. I never wore glasses until I hit 40. In THE eye exam, the technician laughed as I “read” the letters on the eye chart. Then paused and said “You are SUCH a good GUESSER!” ๐Ÿ˜ฆ

    I went from saying “I can’t believe how much smaller the letters are now days on the road signs.” to trifocals in one eye exam.

    Jennifer you rocketh! Illegitemi non carborundum!

    1. Thanks, Bill! The doc was like “you could technically get them but I think they will mostly piss you off, so hold off for now.”

  13. I have started stopping for coffee (in a sit-down cafe) on the way to work everyday. It feels like cheating – but work is chaos, home is chaos, and it starts my day with some me-time. Awesome.

    1. I think that awesome little slice of me-time is frequently overlooked when people start yapping about “saving money by cutting out purchased coffee.” The emotional payment for having something crafted special for you and the chance to just sit and chill (er… warm?) with it is, to me, worth the financial cost.

      1. Agreed! When the expense of buying coffee is a stressor, it’s a good idea to stop drinking it or brew at home. When making coffee and/or being at home is a stressor, it’s a good idea to go out and pay someone else to make it for you.

        1. Also agreed. My gains from going to a coffee shop are much more than a bit of caffeine, especially since most of my friends are over-scheduled busy people who usually want to just stay still and be comfortable in socializing in a place that none of us are in charge of cleaning.

          1. I’m also a big fan of having somewhere to work with internet that isn’t my house, because it’s a huge mess that’s becoming stressful to think about dealing with.

      2. why is buying coffee always the first suggestion for saving money? Sitting in a cafe and having someone bring me a coffee is so worth $3.50 for me.

        1. I’ve always wondered that too. Also why people want to turn coffee into some sort of lightning rod for everything that’s wrong with modern society–if there are two comments on an article about anything to do with finances, you can bet one of them will be sneering about “fancy lattes.” I think there’s misogyny embedded in there somewhere because the second half of that comment usually involves Coach purses.

          1. Yeahhh…if I hear one more rant about pumpkin spice lattes from people who glorify spending a lot more money on, say, video games…

        2. It’s a little indulgence of time, stimulants, and a pause between commute and work that makes the rest of the day possible!

  14. I’ve been drinking lots of nice hot tea and cocoa in the evenings, as it gets cold. I’ve also been shopping for a new desk chair, a *good* desk chair, because I do a lot of work sitting in that chair and I deserve to be comfortable.

  15. The big one was I stopped driving my partner to and from the subway stop for his commute – since I got a new job recently it meant I had an early bedtime pretty much every night, which drove me up a damn wall. I’ve also been getting moar baths, and making sure I’m getting enough calories (even if that means junk food sometimes). Finally, I got a really awesome haircut and dyed it many bright colors, which has made me amazingly happy. All of these things are really helping me deal with The Hormone Wars (I started testosterone therapy recently, and boy is the estrogen fighting back tooth and nail; but this week has been really great so far, so hopefully my body is finally giving in to the new hormonal milieu. . .).

  16. Told the disapproving parent that I am only doing one family holiday plus one immediate-family wedding this fall/winter. Stood firm in the face of ‘but I waaaaant’ and ‘but the faaaaaaamily.’ Hilariously, she actually said the words, “I know you’ve already decided but please just think about it some more.” And even more hilariously, that feels like a victory? Anyway, I am super glad to have that conversation over with and also happy to have planned my holiday season in a way that makes it most possible for me to actually enjoy them.

    1. That’s awesome! Way to do what’s best for you.

      I also took a deep breath this year and told my father that I was not driving my family home for the huge extended family Christmas Eve get-together this year. It’s a nice time, but we’re only there a couple of hours and we get home around 2am and still need to play Santa. Instead we’ll go the day after Christmas and spend the whole day with Dad and his new wife. It scared the crap out of me to break with tradition, but he took it very well.

    2. Yes — I am in a similar situation myself this year, and while on one hand it feels so so tough to do, it also feels like the necessary and right thing to do. My hope is that the holidays can now be truly looked at as a time of rest.

    3. Yes — I am embarking on the same thing this holiday season and while it feels scary (first time in my life I’ve decided not to go home this year) it feels like an immense personal victory. Take no prisoners and take no shit.

  17. I’ve bought some non-metaphorical Properly Fitting Pants, and even Properly Fitting Suits! (Though one was a lighter shade of grey than it looked in the picture and is probably a better spring/summer suit.) Hard to find but WORTH IT, yay.

    1. Fun suit tip (as someone who wears suits on the daily, and who refuses to give up my light gray suit in the winter because it fits me so well I can’t even stand it): You can “ground” a light gray suit and make it look more “fall” by wearing dark and/or jewel-toned tops underneath (bonus points if said top is a sweater), and also by adding a dark scarf to the outfit.

      And on the self-care front, I had my hairstylist sneak some discreet purple highlights into my hair at my last appointment. So. Much. Joy.

    2. Awesome! I, too, bought some properly fitting dress pants, and I’m wearing them now. I can’t even handle how much I own tweed pants now. It’s pretty great.

  18. I’ve been making sure to spend time with friends in my field whose work I love and who love my work. It’s tough out there for lady stage directors sometimes, and it’s good for everyone’s ego to sit around and compliment each other sometimes.

  19. What a great thread!

    1) I decided to take a break from Facebook, which has been growing more annoying than enjoyable for me.
    2) I reset a minor boundary with a family member (an assumed standing-date time was no longer working regularly for me, and I said so).
    3) I arranged for some needed home repairs I’d been putting off. While the repair people came, I worked on a thing I really wanted to work on and had a great day.
    4) I made plans for Thanksgiving with family I really like, involving delicious foods and pie.
    5) I drank a lot of water.

    1. Drinking a lot of water is a great self-care thing to do! I have a water bottle, and I’m going to try to finish it by the end of the day.

    2. I made plans to travel across the country and see my Grandmother and aunts again. I haven’t been back there in almost 25 years. My gramma can finally meet her oldest great-grandchild. Thanksgiving on Cape Cod! I’ve been wanting to go back for years but there was always some other more important expense. This year, we made my expense the most important.

  20. I’m drinking tea with real ginger and lemon slices — staying off caffeine and drinking brewed & roasted cocoa beans instead — nuh uh, it’s theobromine. Chemically different.

    Making the effort to wear earrings to match my outfits. Had to get some new earrings. This fit right in with me not buying things I don’t want just because they are on sale or otherwise cheap. I buy ONE nice thing which I will wear more than three eh things.

    1. Ooo, how is the brewed and roasted cocoa beans? I wanted to try it but I’m afraid it’s going to taste like slightly flavored water.

      1. The key is to make it like “cowboy coffee.” If you treat it like coffee, it’s too weak. But if you boil it on the stove, all the flavors come out. I put the covered pot on halfway to high, take a 10 minute shower, and then turn it to low while I assemble the cup, heavy cream, bit of cinnamon. Now add liquid from the strained, brewed cocoa, beans and it is the BEST cocoa you have ever experienced.

  21. Tomorrow I’m having the septoplasty (surgically correct a deviated septum) that I’ve been putting off for three decades. And I’m not letting myself worry about paying for it; that will keep for later. I’m doing a righteous thing for my body even though I could have let myself off the hook (again) with any of a hundred excuses. I rock pretty hard just now.

  22. I’m taking a metal smithing class at a local art college and getting ready for NaNoWriMo.

  23. I wrote code, I asked for help with it, and then I congratulated myself publically on having done the thing – because I am SERIOUSLY proud of myself for that, not least because it’s all tangled up in Recent Really Sad Break-Up Of Woe (about which I had reconciliation dreams last night! just to rub it in!).

    I stayed home and mostly in bed because sitting up hurt, and for that matter I actually put my wheelchair back together to use as seating /in the house/ (mostly it’s broken down in the house in order for me to be easily able to get it out the door when I go outside…) and used it. And I read two awesome books and had two awesome friends around for dinner and talking.

  24. -I made a detailed shopping list for my baby’s 1st birthday cake.
    -Deleted the password to my mom’s FB account from my computer. (Quit FB years ago, but now I can’t check her account illegitimately).
    -I started David Copperfield and it lives up to its reputation. Genius.

  25. Finally getting back to regular Couch-to-5K sessions after umpteen interruptions, and am now at that point where I feel more exhilarated than exhausted at the end of each session. Plus I have two days off from work, which I need because I’ve been driving myself too hard of late and agonizing too much. I’m hoping to take at least one day trip. I really need the change of scenery.

  26. I got a high distinction for a paper I wrote for uni, so I drank some champagne and got a massage ๐Ÿ™‚

  27. I just wanted to say that I read everyone’s comments so far and I am so happy for all of you! Reading about your happiness makes me happy, too.

    On to me – I started working out again, I started spending more time with my family and my husband, I started limiting myself to MODERATE alcohol consumption, I charted a new career direction at work and started speaking up for myself more, and I started being more proactive about being in touch with friends and work contacts. In other news, I just got past a work deadline recently so I actually have time for self-care again. ๐Ÿ™‚

  28. I slightly changed my habits so that during my leisure time I actually do things I ENJOY instead of stewing about all the stuff I’m not getting done. I gave myself permission to spend a little more money so I have the proper supplies for the awesome halloween costumes I’m making. I finally made myself some new reusable menstrual pads. Thanks for this prompt, Captain, I really needed this.

    1. “I slightly changed my habits so that during my leisure time I actually do things I ENJOY instead of stewing about all the stuff Iโ€™m not getting done.”


      How do I do that?

      #help #youareawesome

      1. There’s a set of resources for organization and sustainability called The Together Teacher that is actually profoundly applicable to anybody whose work is creative AND emotional AND logistical AND stressful.

        One of the author’s major tenets is Schedule Everything. No list of tasks that have to be done ALL THE TIME YOU ARE SUPPOSED TO BE DOING THESE WHY AREN’T YOU WORKING RIGHT NOW. You hold a Meeting With Yourself once a week, and you fill out your calendar with actual obligations like Teach Class, and then with specific tasks like Grade Final Projects or Make Phone Calls, and then (CRUCIAL) with leisure and personal care like Go To Yoga and Watch TV and Stay In Bed Reading.

        She’s got a lot of specific insight into how to budget the time well and without undue self-delusion but the insistence on scheduling WHEN you will do them frees up a significant quantity of time and energy spent deciding whether or not to work, feeling one ought to be working, shirking, and other forms of what she calls “contaminated time.”

        1. I love the term “contaminated time!”

          I don’t schedule everything for Reasons involving recovering from depression, but I use the idea of off/on time. Basically when its healthy too I tell myself its “on time” and I work as best I can. Then when I’ve been doing it long enough, am tired, or am unhappy its “off” time. During off time my job is to relax and have fun.

          As far as filling off time: I have a list of nice things to do and a shelf where I keep supplies. That way its easy to do something enjoyable.

        2. Oh! I love the concept of “contaminated time”!

          Lately, without realizing it, I’ve been trying to do the same through Habit RPG. Necessary tasks are broken down a scheduled accordingly, so that when I do relax I don’t feel guilty. There are still a few tweaks that need to be worked out (ugh, namely a partner whose imbalanced sense of cleanliness throws off my schedule), but it’s slowly coming together!

      2. For me, it mostly means taking a moment to ask myself “what would I most enjoy doing right now?” instead of just automatically flopping onto the couch and checking my phone to see if Captain Awkward has posted anything new ๐Ÿ™‚ My brain has a bad habit of suggesting I keep going back to what was enjoyable in the past, instead of finding out what will be good for me right now. I’m still working on the part where I give myself permission to just relax and have fun even if my house isn’t totally clean.

        1. Thank you for this comment! It very much describes what I am trying to do right now, and the fact that you articulated it makes it a little easier.

  29. I have bought myself a sewing machine and I’m making all the clothes I can’t find where I live. Also, I booked strategic vacation days sandwiched between holidays to give myself almost 5 weeks of vacation during the gloomiest part of the winter. If I budget carefully, I should be able to make two trips abroad and get plenty of sunshine in.

  30. I am sharing my woes with friends and diligently seeking a new therapist (appointment next week!).

    I am meeting with the personal trainer for the last time this Friday and slowly reassembling an exercise routine with workout buddies after everything fell apart this summer. That includes returning to bike commuting! Yay!

    I registered for a tai chi workshop next month.

    I am shopping around for garlic to plant before winter arrives.

    I am trying to do better with reasonable bedtimes, so gotta sign off now.

  31. I am exploring new chocolate because my tastebuds apparently just aren’t having any of that Hershey/Dove nonsense anymore, and I have discovered some exciting new flavor combos and ethical brands. Taste good, feel good, do good, all around win.

      1. I’m really liking Divine Chocolate with raspberry bits in it. I also found an interesting bar from Theo, that’s dark chocolate with vanilla nibs. Warning: this is intense stuff! This is not a cookies-and-cream candy bar. It took me the better part of 4 hours to eat the Theo bar, by eating one square at a time and really thinking about it. Both were purchased at Meijer, a Michigan grocery chain, but I think Target has a pretty good selection of ethical candies these days.

        1. Theo Chocolate is AWESOME. They do a gingerbread bar around the holidays that is to die for. If you like gingerbread you should keep an eye out for it!

        2. We have a fancy ethical chocolate aisle at our local hippie co-op. I am totally looking for both of those next time I go. ๐Ÿ™‚

        3. If you are ever in Seattle, I highly recommend checking out Theo’s shop. They process the chocolate from raw cacao to chocolate bars all in one facility to improve freshness and minimize middlemen, and in their Seattle storefront you can taste free samples of a bunch of their bars and get specialty products they don’t sell in as many places, like a range of chocolate bark flavors, and super tiny bars infused with ghost chili. I went their with my bandmates when we were in the city for a show and it was decadent.

      1. I am going to sound like a raging chocolate hipster (I’m so sorry!) but I liked Lindt a lot when I was younger and now it’s not my jam anymore. But that’s ok! More for you!

        1. Oooh, if you haven’t tried these yet — if you can get to a Japanese market (or other Asian market that sells Japanese chocolate), look for Meiji chocolate bars. Especially the strawberry chocolate. Also the “Apollo” strawberry chocolate candies (they look like little cones). Very addicting, though — be careful.

        2. Fellow chocolate snob here (5 years of working at a co-op will do that). I have two recommendations for great chocolate companies – ethical AND tasty – in addition to the wonderful Theo bars.

          Alter Eco makes awesome (non-vegan, sorry), dark chocolate truffles that come in many flavors and taste like the fancy/chocolate snob version of Lindt truffles. They are an awesome company! The box is recyclable and the inner bag and wrappers are compostable.

          Also another awesome chocolate company is Madecasse. Bean-to-bar in Madagascar, single origin chocolate. Pricy but so worth it. Pink Pepper and Citrus is amazing and rocks my socks.

      2. I think the most insane chocolate I have ever eaten was Lindt — I had this bar once that was 99% cacao or something. I would not call it tasty, any more than you might call aspirin tasty. The flavor profile was very interesting, though, especially how it changed over time (in, say, the 5 second window after you put it in your mouth). A memorable experience and worth trying if you haven’t!

        1. Yeah, it’s an interesting experience but not so much a delicious experience. After we tried it straight we crushed it and put it on a simple vanilla icecream. That was delicious ๐Ÿ™‚

  32. I have been doing pushups. I’m up to 60 per day. I let myself feel ok when I have to alternate between “full” positions and “knee” position. It feels great to have one small physical Happy Thing to do each day.

  33. I created a HabitRPG account, light of my life and I got rid of FIVE BOXES of stuff which was donated to a charity that does not do obnoxious things, I spoke up and actually ASKED and now I get to work from home some days, and I got myself new glasses frames even though it meant telling a sales clerk that I had decided I did not like my old ones!

    1. Man, those are all really great! I do the HabitRPG too, and I’ve really been enjoying it, although I’m about to top out my armor, and I never really got the hang of making my own rewards except when I was really swamped with work and things like “watch a movie” were rewards instead of leisure activities.

      1. I’ve decided to try using it to… not exactly budget my fun spending, because that’s (mercifully? sadly?) unrelated to my good habits, but pace my fun spending a little. So I have a reward for getting fluffy coffee, a reward for getting that creepy-pretty video game I’ve been eyeing…

        Of course, now I’m kind of torn between getting one of those and getting some of the Hallowe’en-themed stuff for my character. ๐Ÿ˜€

      2. I’ve had the same problem too. Rewards don’t really work for me, or I just haven’t figured out what are the right rewards I want to work towards. Lately my motivation is to keep my little avatar from dying. Anyone, suggestions on what rewards work for you?

        1. For a different system, but for every achievement, I get a new book or a new skein of yarn. Any book, even hardcover, and any skein of yarn.

  34. I just moved from a city I loved to a new city for a new job (which pays way better!). Because I wasn’t sure how long Project: Make Friends would take here and thought I might have the sads, I let myself spend way more on an apartment than I would have in old city. Because I decided it was worth it to be happier with my space, since I actually can afford it. Which feels super weird.

    Also, I just spent an hour and a half on skype with my bff in California (yes you! hi friend!) until I ran out of brain – and when my mom called just now, I didn’t answer, because I didn’t want to.

    p.s. Project: Make Friends is going a lot better than I expected, partly because reading several hundred posts here has helped me re-do my norms from “HELLO LET’S BE FRIENDS?!” to “So good to meet you! Maybe coffee next week before contra?” which is healthier and, what a surprise, actually works a lot better. Thanks, Captain & wise commenters!

  35. I have been making an effort to eat less meat, because I feel better that way — both physically healthier, and also better about the impact I’m having on the planet. Today I made and ate some really delicious rice and beans with spicy roasted peppers. I used to be really exercise-obsessed in a way that stopped feeling like fun, so for the past year or so I’ve been letting myself majorly slack off and have really enjoyed it…but I’m also starting to miss working out a little bit, so I’m doing a little of that again now when I feel like it, very casually, and it’s awesome. Last week I found an excellent birthday present for my mother and she loved it. I cleaned my room today AND VACUUMED liked a boss, and I am deciding not to go to tango class this evening because I need alone-time instead to sit around and knit and think about thinky stuff. I am saving up to get my name legally changed to one that I like way better, and I am spending some time thinking hard about my direction in life and how I spend my time and what I want to do next. I am also in my first ever poly relationship and it is so awesome and also slightly daunting, and I am handling it like a champ and am quite proud of that.

    1. I legally changed my name to one I liked better a few years ago, and it was SO WORTH IT. And actually not as infinite a paperwork hassle as I’d feared! *cheers you on*

      1. Thanks for the encouragement! I think I just need to bite the bullet and fork over the cash. Stupid hidden costs, gripe gripe, grouse grouse…but it won’t be any less expensive if I wait a few more months. *ponders*

        I’m so glad that you found a name that suits you. Good job! ๐Ÿ™‚

  36. I twisted my ankles on the way out the door this morning. This is not the kind thing. The kind thing is, I didn’t make myself keep walking to where I wanted to go, even though I really wanted to go there.

    Also, I am writing up a fucking storm. It is not all “supposed to” writing, but it is writing nonetheless, and it feels nice to be producing stuff again.

    1. Me too! Not the ankles (sorry about the ankles). For the longest time I’ve been doing tons of research but very little writing, and then suddenly have written about 10,000 words over the last week. Most of it deliciously self-indulgent crap, but what the hell! Writing!

  37. I’ve been doing yoga consistently for the last week or two–if my goal is to practice every day, I end up practicing at least 3-4 days a week, which is enough to help me feel good.

    I also bought some small candy bars to go along with my UFYH app. If I do two 20/10s, I eat a piece of candy. It seems to help with motivation. ๐Ÿ™‚

    And, I went to the dentist. The bad news is I put it off for too long, and it’s going to take a bit of work to get everything fixed. The good news is I went and I am getting it taken care of. Yay.

  38. Letting other people handle house work and ignoring the occasional dust bunny.

    Asking outright for more hours at work.

    Writing more and not allowing myself to be embarrassed about it.

    Indulging myself with wedding (!) plans.

    Taking extra time with the fiance without feeling guilty about it.

  39. Captain, you linked to a self-care checklist (or something similar) on a recent post that I’m having trouble locating. You mentioned using it when you feel overwhelmed by even the day-to-day, I think? (Sorry, I can’t remember the particulars, really, just that I needed to come back to that link sooner rather than later.)

    1. Was it this schedule-thingy?

      I made one this week for how I want to spend my time, and then I made a blank one where I am trying to track how I’m actually spending my time, so I can show my therapist the vast, vast discrepancy.

  40. I started this fall by doing a real clean of my room, complete with actually deciding where stuff go so that it is easier next time it gets out of hand. It has gotten out of hand after that but it is easier, much easier when I know where to put stuff and don’t have to make up new temporary solutions every time.

    I’m applying for funding for my art projects so I can actually do them without running out of food money.

    I’ve been turning down responsibilities I can’t handle right now. Even things I always wished I’d get to do like leading the local branch of my political party, or things I’ve done for lots and lots of years and looove to do like being in the selection group for a short film festival. Because even if they are awesome things that I want to do again at some point, I can’t do them now because when I try I just keep panicing, don’t sleep/eat like I need to and don’t do the work good enough anyway.

    And just minutes ago I finally got to it and ordered myself some vitamin b12 and folic acid to get my health back in shape.

    I’m especially proud because my sister keep sounding surprised and impressed on the phone. I feel like I must be doing good if she thinks I am.

    Also, just as a way to get up in the morning, I’ve started this thing where I have a new hairstyle every day. I’m up to 53 different ones today and it’s still fun. It’s a low stakes little creative task for myself to do regularly. They don’t have to be awesome, they just have to all be different from each other, even if just slightly.

    1. You can get funding for art projects? How?? Does it have to be for a specific purpose?

      All these awesome things people are doing for themselves make me realize that I’ve been pushing myself way too much lately, which is something that my husband tried to tell me last night. I sometimes feel like I just don’t “deserve” a break. Even our tickets to Rocky Horror next week, even though I should be super excited about, just makes me feel guilty.

      Know what, I’m going to be nice to myself by taking a nap. It’s not much, but I need one.

      1. I don’t know where you are but in Sweden there are a few scholarships for that type of stuff. For studying, for travel and for specific projects. Rich people back in the day wanted to contribute to the future of art and set up funds for people who need it. Some are extremely specific while others are not but in general you still have to really make a good case as to why you need it and what good will come of it. And it’s not huge amounts but they can still really make a difference.

        You do deserve a break. Everyone does. Everyone needs to take a break sometimes. Have fun next week!

  41. I have been kind to myself today by balancing my need for coddling and my need for working hard while I am studying. The result is I have done two full CD-lengths worth of study already as well as taking good breaks and I don’t hate myself for either not working enough or from bullying myself. Lately I have been seeing a counseller which is great. And yesterday I didn’t force myself to go to yoga. The instructor shamed us last week and this made me less motivated to go. Even though I missed the exercise, I don’t regret my decision to skip it.

    Also reading this thread has been a great kindness. i am going to link it around!

  42. I told myself to stop being scared of watercolors and finished something with them yesterday! (not sure if I can share here? I’m not sure links work or are allowed)

    1. Good for you! I love watercolours so much but they are so intimidating. I have a long-ago started project with them that was going so well that I ended up abandoning it before I could “ruin” it. Maybe it’s time to go back to it

    2. I lurve watercolour and may be slightly obsessed – the way the colours blend, and the effects you can’t get with other paints. But yes, being able to paint over stuff in acrylic is also fun.

  43. I’ve been trying to be really nice to myself since a romance that I thought was going to be wonderful and lasting imploded in a really confusing and distressing way last week. I’ve made appointments with my therapist and to get a haircut (I’m also going short and sassy!) so I have that to look forward to.

    I’ve also just started a new job as a cheesemonger, so I’m getting to eat lots of cheese which is pretty excellent. Mostly I’m just trying to focus also being gentle with myself about feeling hurt over things that I wish didn’t hurt or think are “stupid” to feel upset over. I’m also congratulating myself for all of the ways in which I’m awesome.

    1. Cheese is the most magical substance known to man and congratulations on landing such an awesome job! Have fun with it!

      1. Oooh!!! Keep an eye out for Raclette, specifically the Swiss kind, not the french kind (although both are great). It’s the BEST form of melted cheese self care in the cheese world. Melt it over baked potatoes and ham!

    2. I, too, have had a romantic thingy I thought was promising implode on me last week in a really confusing and painful way! And for the first time in … ever? … I took it kind of gracefully, in terms of my actions (those visible to other people, anyway). I want to thank the Captain and all the Awkwardeers for that – re-reading the posts and comments on rejection helped immensely. And just to be clear, my username does NOT refer to this or any other romantic blowout.
      Also, I have been letting myself feel my feels and been thinking about this thing differently than in previous instances. More like how do I feel and why do I feel like that and that it’s okay to feel like that, and what do I want and why and that that’s okay, too. Instead of the usual litany of “I always do everything wrong, I should have done this/acted like that, I’m unworthy of love, I want the wrong things, what’s wrong with me that this hurts so much”.
      And I have reached a whole new level of love and gratitude for my wonderful friends and sister, for their support and kindness and patience.
      And I’m not beating myself up right now about unhealthy habits. I’ll get back to working on those when I have the energy.
      And I signed up for NaNoWriMo for the first time!
      And … I just wrote my first comment on the intarwebz, to connect to a community I adore.

      1. Plus, add me to the “getting a short and sassy haircut” brigade. Just made an appointment for tomorrow!

      2. I three had a romantic thingy blow up last week, although it sounds like it was a lot less painful than both yours. And, to be kind (maybe more to other people, but it’s better for me too), I’m NOT going to intervene, even though the person said “so I didn’t want this thing, so I distanced myself from this person,” and then had re-engaged with that person, and seemed way over his head in that thing. Because I’m really not the best person to be asking “hey, is this what you really want?”

        1. @Sylva: That sounds like a very wise and kind way to be going about things. And it IS a kindness to yourself, too. And also hard to do, especially if Romantic Rejector is someone you also care about as a friend. But their feelings and their choices are their own.
          Maybe a way to handle this is to try and do it the way you would with a friend you don’t have romantic feelings for? As per the good Captain’s posts on how to deal with a friend’s Darth. Show respect for their feelings and choices, be there for them if they need you and if you can handle it (because your own feelings come first).
          Go you! You rock a self-care!

          1. I wasn’t close enough friends with this person for it to be reasonable to bring up feelingstalk, so I’m not going to announce any kind of availability, but if I happen to get the chance, I’m just going to ask how he’s doing and do all that good respectful stuff. The other friends of his have seemed really positive about it, so either he’s changed his mind about Thing, or they don’t imagine a person could fail to be into Thing.

      3. I took mine rather more gracefully than I might have in the past as well, and I’m really proud of myself for not trying to compromise myself in order to “make things work.” He definitely helped me along there though in acting like a total dick and then treating me like it was my fault.

        I’ve also been trying to just let myself feel my feelings without judgement. Go us! We are totally worthy of love, and someday when we are ready we will find it!

        1. Yay for awkwardly graceful exits! And yay for being yourself and not compromising yourself. That is a seriously great thing to be able to do. And many yays for trying not to judge your own feelings. They are real and they are yours and no one gets to tell you that you should be feeling something else instead.

          And I am sorry for just jumping in with my own tale of woe above without honoring your feelings first.

          1. Don’t apologize! It made me feel way better to know that another Captain Awkward lover was going through the same thing I was at the same time. โค

    3. I am sorry that your romance imploded, but I bet your hair will be fabulous.

      I used to be a cheesemonger (or we used to call ourselves delicatesseuses if we wanted to be fruity. It’s not a real word but it OUGHT TO BE.)

      I hope you have as much fun as I did. There’s something about someone unconfident coming up to the counter saying, I don’t really know what I want but [situation], and then you can go ‘try this one! or this one! or you might like this one, this is my [loved one]’s favourite’ and then they’re like ‘YES PLEASE THAT ONE YOUR [LOVED ONE] HAS GOOD TASTE’ which can be very fulfilling.

      1. I’m already loving the job! It’s great to be able to make so many people happy all day with the delicious things we have in our shop. I can give someone a cheese sample or a sample of something we have (like we have this incredible cajeta, which is a goat milk carmel) and watching their faces light up.

  44. I started a master’s program and a new job at the same time last month, and my schedule has consequently exploded. So I’m making an effort to do nice things at the end of the day and not feel guilty about not working *all the damn time*. Sometimes I come home and take a nice, long bath, sometimes I play a little bit of a video game (*gasp!*). Sometimes I just make sure to drink a cup of tea or a glass of wine while I’m doing my readings for class.

    Last weekend I bit the bullet and bought new bras (omg I forgot how much BETTER they work when they aren’t 3 years old and totally worn out!) and when I got to Nordstrom, it turned out they were also having their Fall Fashion Showcase or whatever, so I bought some fun nail polish and earned myself a manicure and a facial. And even though I didn’t buy any of the skin care products for the facial, the lady liked me so she gave me the extra gift + a TON of free samples too. I came home with two bras and a big bag of nail polish, fancy soap, and fancy lotion. Score!

  45. Committing to eating actually healthy food, as in, multiple fruits/vegetables per day, not one banana and calling it sufficient. It’s been going well. Living somewhere with an actual kitchen where I can prepare meals is helping. Also starting to learn to actually cook things, like real things and not just a box with all the ingredients in it already, with the help of my wonderful roommate, who enjoys this sort of thing and with whom it does not feel like a chore.
    Also got into online dating, which is actively seeking out what I want, rather than passively seething in feelings of “why can’t I attract boys?” It’s been going well so far, surprisingly so. Like, no unsolicited dick pics at all.
    I’ve also really committed myself to my language studies, since I’m a bit worried about not passing the proficiency test I need for my diploma.

  46. Yay, self-care!

    I switched from Hootsuite to Tweetdeck and turned off retweets on my main Twitter feed (a feature Tweetdeck has that Hootsuite doesn’t). This means that all I see on Twitter are people actually having conversations, and there are many fewer links to angry political things. Twitter is suddenly a much, much safer and healthier place for me to be. Also, a couple of months of drastically curtailed Twitter use mean I’m a lot more comfortable with dipping in when I can and not worrying about trying to catch up, and with closing it when I need to go to bed rather than keeping myself up trying to make sure I don’t miss anything. I’ve been missing most of this stuff for weeks and nothing exploded, so whatever.

    Also, I started going to the gym a few weeks ago as a self-care thing (continuing the progress I’d been making in physical therapy) but now it’s a really enjoyable thing. Today I hit personal bests on seven of the nine exercises I did! I’m still in that early-stage period where I’m progressing super quickly, and in another few weeks I expect it will settle down, but I’m enjoying the rapid improvement while it lasts.

    (I encourage everyone who’s enjoying this thread to also check out the “How were you awesome today?” and “What made you happy today?” threads on the Friends of Captain Awkward forum at !)

  47. I took an ENTIRE WEEKEND off to go to BigCity with my bestie, and left my laptop at home! I haven’t taken even a full day off in weeks (months?), so to take an entire weekend off was HUGE. Then, because that wasn’t enough, I’m taking tonight off again to relax after giving what felt like a great seminar today.

    I’m trying to work out more too, but, well, busy. I’m working on it, and meanwhile not beating myself up about it.

  48. I started at a new location within my organization–a lateral move rather than a promotion; but one I asked for and hope will be a better fit for me than my previous location.

    I gave myself permission to eat out and not feel guilty about it the first day (even though I’ve been trying to budget) because I knew I’d be anxious and having to remember my lunch would be one too many things to focus on. I asked questions when I thought of them and generally think I succeeded at being competent and genuine.

    I started putting together a self-care pack (water bottle & eye pillow & headache meds etc) and bringing that stuff to work.

    I’ve been having a ton of sinus pain and my boss suggested trying ibuprofen. I never have it around because it does absolutely nothing for my tension headaches–but I tried it and it really does help.

    I’ve started trying to budget with this software called YNAB (it stands for You Need a Budget); it seems a lot more intuitive for the way my brain works than anything else I’ve tried but there’s still a learning curve for sure! I’m really proud of myself for doing 2 webinars before diving in and for sticking with it generally–especially when basically everything about my financial situation makes me want to pull the covers over my head and hide.

    1. Oh man, YNAB is fantastic, we’ve been using it for 4-5 months now and it’s really helping, so stik in there! Go you!

  49. – Invited a friend from my volunteer group to an outing, and had a blast. (Pretty much the first ‘friend’ thing I’ve done for about six years, yay social anxiety.)
    – Got into a new activity that I’ve been wanting to try for ages.
    – Currently reading Jurassic Park (…again. That book will be on my regular rotation until the day I die. Brain candy that never fails.)
    – Made arrangements to temporarily cut back my hours at my second job so that I can (FINALLY) work on getting my driver’s license.
    – Enjoying the onset of colder weather, which always tends to make me feel happy and motivated.

  50. I cleaned the kitchen today. It’s not much, but cleaning helps me sort through the mind mess and being in clean house makes me feel better. So… Yup. I did that. Small victories.

  51. I’m feeling like just reading all these comments was a really nice thing to do for myself. I wanted to answer every one of them, even if it was just with “yay you!” haha

  52. Within the last two months…

    – I got a new part-time job to break up the monotony of working for myself. I *love* the new gig.

    – I bought myself lovely new-job-reward lingerie that was my stated reward when I set the goal of getting a new job.

    – I got my wisdom teeth out, doing research to save myself $3,000 on the procedure.

    – I put some credit card debt on an interest-free card to reduce both my credit card debt and my stress levels over it ๐Ÿ˜›

    – I got glasses which are tortoise-shell and yellow and CUTE AS ALL GET OUT.

    – I drew a boundary on having stressful political conversations with my right-wing, bigoted cousin, including saying when he challenged me about it: “Nup, these conversations make me uncomfortable and they’re unnecessary. Subject change!” and sticking firmly to my guns

    – I started a fun, regular exercise routine. Squash! Tennis! Looking at taking up softball which was a beloved childhood sport that I haven’t been able to play for logistics reasons.

    – I threw away makeup which didn’t suit my skin and got rid of some clothes which don’t fit me comfortably

  53. 1. Started working out again. I have a lot of stressful shit going on right now and physical exercise always makes me feel better.

    2. Having sex with an awesome partner who makes me feel great and loves my body. [[Slight edit by moderator here, you were mighty specific. – CA]].

    3. Reaching out to friends for emotional support when I’m having a rough time.

    4. Eating better, even if it’s only for one meal of the day, which for me is always breakfast because for whatever reason I have an easier time forcing myself to be healthy for that meal.

  54. I went back to dance class after two years off. Having a consistent, prepaid commitment to exercise in a way that’s enjoyable to me is FAR better motivation then a negative internal monologue of fat-shaming myself.
    I’m also learning to say no to extra shifts at my part-time job unless I can absolutely cope with the time lost from schoolwork, because as much as I truly need the money from the extra shifts, there will be no job at all if I don’t pass class.
    Finally I’m learning to just disengage and walk away when people try to argue points with me that I know neither of our opinions will be swayed on. I used to think that this was letting them win, but now I’ve grown to learn that this is really a win for me because I don’t have to be in a conversation I don’t enjoy for longer then needed.

  55. I quit smoking paper cigarettes three weeks ago. I’ve been having a puff or two a few times a day from an electronic cigarette and I’m not letting myself feel guilty for “cheating” or not “really” quitting. A puff or two a few times a day is a vast improvement from a pack-a-day habit.

    I’ve been listening to very interesting audiobooks and making good progress on my current cross stitch project.

    1. Yay for both! What’s your current project? I have so many cross stitch WIPs I can never decide what I’m actually working on. ๐Ÿ™‚

      1. My current cross stitch project is a family tree with boxes for all the names. About 24″ x 30″, I think.

    2. Congratulations! Please don’t feel guilty about “cheating.” Quitting nicotine is HARD. My mom had basically given up trying to quit until we got her onto a vape. She’s still addicted to the habit itself, but I don’t think she uses any nicotine at all anymore, just the flavor liquid.

      1. Thanks! I’ve been doing pretty well with the e-cigarette. Most days I don’t have my first puff until after I get off work at 5pm.

  56. This morning I did a craft. I made marbled paper. Also started writing some extremely self-indulgent fanfic and not caring if it’s terrible. I will probably not post it, but writing bad fiction because I enjoy it is such a step up for me.

  57. Iโ€™m baking a pink lemonade cake. And I had the clever idea to pulverize some orange and yellow Skittles in the food processor and use them as decorative dust, and I am proud of that ingenuity.

    And lately, Iโ€™ve just been trying to be more careful about grooming. Like, really take my time to feel the sensuality of the water, smell the wonderful vanilla lotion, enjoy the peppermint soap. And Iโ€™ve been wearing makeup every day for a week! Itโ€™s just really nice to spend time on myself and my body. And today, I bought a nice new bra guaranteed to show off TONS of cleavage, and a nice boobie shirt to go with it.

    Iโ€™m very proud of myself right now. Thatโ€™s good stuff!

  58. I think I’ve realized that I don’t have to base my self-worth (or my social life) on one specific high stress activity that I’m in, and it’s fine to just be casually interested in it and more interested in other things right now. I don’t have to do things that make me sad and stressed! This is an overdue revelation, but a nice one.
    (Plus my coach who prefers to give critique through “funny” insults and yelling? Yeah, it’s totally fine for me to be to be irritated by that. Maybe that coaching style works for some people, but it doesn’t work for me, and that’s okay. So many good realizations today!)

  59. -I’ve made a “go out for coffee once a week even when you are broke” rule with myself. It’s amazing how walking to a new coffee place and reading a book and spending three dollars makes me feel indulgent and taken-care-of.

    -I’m treating my art studio time as a commitment on the same level as my job- I sometimes don’t want to leave the house to go, but once I get there it feels good and it makes my whole week feel better.

    -I’m giving myself an extra 5-10 minutes to bike places so I don’t have to feel rushed in traffic or take busy roads that stress me out.

  60. I’m actively engaging in exercise again, even when I don’t want to. I’m also not beating myself up if I don’t meet all my goals.

  61. I found exercise I like! It’s water-based and to music and it makes me so happy afterwards and I get to be pain-free for a time while I’m taking part. I decided that I’m going to join the place as a member so I can use the fancy pool and sauna as well. And I changed my hours at work to allow me to do this exercise in the morning before work, and so I just do short days and it is a lot nicer.

    1. Yes yes yes!

      I love saunas. I finally tried out my building’s sauna about a month ago and using it is wonderful for managing my chronic pain ๐Ÿ™‚

  62. I started a regular “work date” with other self-employed people, so I’m getting stuff done re my biz. I’ve been taking my meds regularly. I recently ended a relationship that wasn’t serving me even though I still love the person (thank you Awkward Army, I don’t think I’d have been able to do it without you). I have my first therapy session in over a decade tomorrow evening, and I will be following it with a book in a hot tub.

    1. Oooh, yes, work dates are great! I haven’t been able to do any since I got a full time office job, but when I didn’t, they were great for my productivity.

  63. I’m paying someone to help me figure out what I can physically do to Earn Money. I’m working on living in the moment and not worrying about starving because my physical limitations won’t let me Earn Money. I’m trying to realize that a lifetime of saving will allow me to not starve for 5-7 years while not Earning Money, so I can take my time and write and make art and be happy and what a huge privilege that is.
    And I’m going to Chicago to play with BFF next week!

    1. I’ve been doing this for a while myself. Keeps me from drowing in awfulness. I also have been moderately successful in stopping myself from hate-reading some (in my opinion) catty pompous SJ posts from people I follow on Tumblr.

  64. I Used My Words! A friend slash playmate-of-the-BDSM-variety and I did a trade — I make him epic Magic Brownies, he takes and gives me pictures for my modeling stuff — today and … I was so nervous going in [a model who is somewhat camera shy? yeah… it’s interesting, lol] but I told him I was and it turned out super fine and I had fun!

    And then we wound up playing and he did something awesome and I Used My Words AGAIN to say so. This is a biiiiig step for me, especially telling him then.

    Also, my bedroom is finally coming together — decor, storage, fixed my display shelf, etc.

    So yeah. It’s been a big week!

  65. Mass Effect! Ah, the soothing feeling of mowing down lines of enemy mooks. The only thing better is punching things irl! Which I am doing also. In gym. Once a week, with the Significant other. It makes me feel like a badass and it’s nice to be working towards that distant day when my arms will no longer be floppy noodles.

    Also I got myself boba today. Delicous delicious tapioca.

      1. I played the entire trilogy over the summer and now… I’m playing it again. Baby krogan are so adorable it’s ridiculous. Shakarian is great but I kind of wish someone would write an epic about Wrex rebuilding Tuchanka with Bakara. There’s got to be some crazy stuff happening there RE: keeping a bunch of krogan from killing each other.

  66. My gas+electric company just admitted their mistake, cut my monthly bill by 2/3 and refunded me almost $900; I suspect there will be new shoes and old-fashioned drinking this weekend…

    1. Sounds supremely balanced to me-on the one hand, divorce. On the other, cat bellies!! Way to maintain equilibrium. I commend thee.

  67. I just wrapped up an entire summer of Things That Made Me Happy: I went on a forty-two day sail with my dad, both for the experience and for some practical practice in open-ocean sailing. We had an amazing time, and really got to expand our knowledge of how far it’s safe to push the boat. I went to Disneyland with a friend who’d never been. I hosted my very best friend from France for two weeks, and we camped and kayaked and stayed in a gorgeous hostel on an island and went to the state fair and wore ourselves out. I made a costume and props from nothing and went to GeekGirlCon as my favorite radio host wielding a sonic screwdriver as a microphone.

    And all that started because my quiet, no-pressure job suddenly turned very toxic this spring, and I needed an out. I went to my manager with a resignation letter in my pocket and asked for 4 months off with three weeks notice. I didn’t even have to wheedle for it. She gave me the time with no questions asked, and things (so far) seem a lot nicer now that I’m back. They’re certainly bending over backwards to make me feel valued.

    Coming back from all that was like running into a wall at 70mph for a while, though, and now that’s settling into my usual winter blues, so I need to find a few new TTMMH.

  68. Because I am under a lot of stress right now, last weekend I was tempted to just spent the whole weekend holed up in my flat playing silly flash games in my pyjamas and drinking tea. But! I went “nope, Kaz, that will just make you unhappy” and decided to go to a sock knitting workshop on Saturday I’d had my eye on despite the RL stress. And it was really fun and I made a mini-sock and now have the skillz to make socks for my mother for Christmas (which she has indicated she might like), and then in the afternoon I went out to a cafe and managed to get a bit of thesis work done and it was a very good day overall.

    …and then on Sunday I stayed in my flat playing silly flash games in my pyjamas and drinking tea. Because even though spending the whole weekend like that was too much, one day of it was necessary!

  69. I decided to apply for a job and not continue with my PhD beyond getting an MPhil. I’ve been struggling with the decision for months, trying really hard to do better with the PhD but in the end I think I’ve made the right choice. Looking back over the last few years I’m happiest when I have a job and least happy when I’m studying.

    1. BIG JEDI HUGS. Grad school is so rough, and deciding to leave is a big, brave decision–one that’s often really frowned upon and misunderstood. Go you for knowing where your limits lie, and not pushing yourself through many more years of misery just for the sake of a piece of paper. /high five

  70. I recently joined a book club and met some lovely people. I am going to join a theatre group too, with the aim to helping with costumes and sets.

  71. After my friend of eight years FEELINGSBOMBed me in the airport on our way back from holiday, I have received a number of passive-aggressive sadfeelz texts from him where he clearly expects me to do the work to make him feel better (oh, and incidentally, continue our friendship as though nothing has happened while maybe possibly still giving him the relationship that he wants, kthxbai).

    I Used My Wordsโ„ข and told him that, although I recognised that he needed comfort and reassurance, I was not the appropriate person to do that for him. I have had no reply and I actually feel good about that.

    Also feeling very good about all of the awesome self-care that people have been doing for themselves here. ALL of the pats on backs for YOU.

  72. Actually getting enough sleep.

    Even if it means saying no to things. Even if it means not finishing work tasks. Even if it means wearing the same pants to work three times in one week. Deciding that my sleep matters.

    (Being pregnant realllllllllllly helps with the self-talk on this one. But I’d like to try to keep up the ethos afterwards.)

    1. Actually getting enough sleep is so hard, and so necessary to maintain one’s equilibrium. Go you! And I hope the whole pregnancy thing goes well, too.

  73. I realised I’ve been living to please my parents for too long. I’ve prepared my action plan for quitting my lucrative but ultimately miserable desk job, and just applied to 2 industry-prestigious universities to do something risky and creative. Both universities have offered me an interview date. I am terrified, but proud that I made this happen – it’s suddenly real, and for the first time, utterly mine. Even if I don’t get into either university, I now see new paths opening before me.

  74. Life has been rough lately, with not working (I’m “on call” at work, but I haven’t been called in over 2 months), so I’ve been applying to retail jobs so I can actually pay bills. I had an interview at one, and I’m hoping to hear from them soon (yes, I called, and they’re still checking other people’s references before actually bringing people in). It’s not something I want to do, but it’s something and I’m glad for it.

    In the meantime, I’ve been working on various projects, and trying to get my online store up and running. It’s been slow going, but I have ideas for new products, and I’m hoping people like them, buy them, and that they’re successful (large fleece D20s anyone?). I’m also planning on cleaning up my sewing area tomorrow because the mess is slowly consuming the table and the area around it.

    I’m also trying to get healthier by eating better. It’s hard because I like soda and sweet things so much. and working out. I joined a gym, and am trying to get into the habit of going 2 days a week to start. It’s also been difficult because my depression is a jerkbrain and likes to tell me to stay in bed that there’s no point that I’ll never be fit. But at least I’m trying.

    Even though I’m back on my meds, my depression still likes to hit me hard, so I need to find some new self care methods that aren’t “lay around the house all day feeling sorry for myself.”

    1. Go you! It really takes surprisingly little exercise (over time) to make you feel better and make you stronger. It also helps with the jerkbrain.

  75. I’ve been cutting back on alcohol (which helps with anxiety in the very short term but also fucks with my meds), and I’ve given myself this weekend off from work to spend with my wonderful best friend, who is coming down to visit! I’m also trying to get into better habits re: picking up after myself so that my living space doesn’t turn into a shame-inducing hellbeast of clutter and unwashed dishes.

    Go me!

    1. If you don’t mind me asking…do you live in an area where happy hour is how you get together with friends? Because I’ve also been making an effort to cut down on drinking for the same reasons, but it actually makes socializing so hard! Especially when I don’t want to have to say “let’s not get drinks because I’ll spend the whole next day feeling anxious and panicking!” I just thought to google “sober activities [my city], but do you have any tips?

      1. One of my co-workers comes to our weekly work happy hours and always orders some kind of soda or non-alcoholic mixed drink — cranberry juice and sprite, shirley temples, fancy root beer, etc. She still gets to sit and chat with us and enjoy something that tastes yummy, but doesn’t have to get drunk (and it’s always cheaper than beer, even on happy hour). This may not work if your friends are the types to give you crap about suddenly not drinking, but it’s a good way to “go get drinks” without actually having alcohol.

        My group of friends has also recently been brainstorming sober activities to do, and came up with: bowling, laser tag, apple picking, movies at the cheap second-run movie theater in our town, and mini golf. So far bowling has been successful, because it gives people the option of drinking, but also gives us lots of time to sit around and chat in between turns.

      2. I do drink, but I also have a lot of non-drinking friends and also am not super into the bar scene. All of my friends are pretty much okay being around alcohol as long as it’s not the primary focus of the evening, so some of these suggestions might not be appropriate for people who need to Absolutely Avoid Alcohol, but a couple ideas:
        -Look for non-booze-focused Happy Hours. For example, the Melting Pot in my old area does $5/person cheese and chocolate fondues for Happy Hours.They do have drink specials as well, but I’ve probably only had a drink 1 in 5 times I’ve gone.
        -In a similar vein, coffee and dessert/ice cream/fro yo can also be good non-booze chill-hangout things to do
        -I’m a big fan of the board game/card game date–pick a restaurant or coffee shop with big tables and you have several hours of booze-free, out of the house entertainment for a couple of bucks
        -Parks! Obviously weather-dependent, but picnic in a park, reading together in a park, playing cards in a park, or just hanging in a park can be lovely
        -Free/cheap shows in your town? Even tiny rural towns I’ve lived in have someone’s band playing for free or inexpensive high school/community theater on occasion
        -Trivia Nights–these are often booze-seeped, but I’ve gone with people who just didn’t drink, but had a good time sucking at answering questions totally sober. But this can be hard if most of the group IS drinking and you’re trying not to. Also I find the bar scene is okay while trivia is happening, but I want to get the hell out of dodge the minute it’s over if I’m not drinking
        -After-hours museum nights! Some museums have a late night every week or month, and some have cool after-hours adult events (usually alcohol is served, but not the main focus of the evening and easy to ignore for casual non-drinkers)
        -Library events! Varied and interesting.

      3. Yes, totally – one of the easiest ways to keep in touch with friends is to go out for a drink with them, and once I’m sitting in a bar it’s hard to make myself be the person who keeps ordering glasses of water and juice when I could be having delicious, relaxing booze. It’s extra hard because most of my close friends (me included) are some flavour of queer, and it’s hard to get involved in the LGBTQA scene without going to gay bars and pubs…

        The best solution I’ve come up with so far is to shift my expectations of when I’ll be socialising with friends away from the evenings and more onto afternoons and weekends. That way, I can make my going-out type plans for coffee or lunch/dinner and avoid alcohol. I’m trying to only see friends in the evenings for stuff where we hang out at someone’s place and watch a movie or play board games or something instead of going out. I know this might not be an option for everyone, though, if the evenings are the only time that your friends are available!

      4. Depending on how the weather is in your area at the moment, getting coffee or something and then walking around is always a nice activity. Bars don’t usually let you take to-go cups, right?

        One easy way I’ve found to pace myself is to always have a glass of water or a fizzy water or something with my alcoholic beverage, and to switch back and forth. I find I tend to just sip out of habit, anxiety, or boredom, and if all I have in front of me is alcohol that goes pear-shaped pretty quick. I also favor bars that print the ABV on the menu, so I can avoid high gravity beers.

        1. One of my friends and I go alcohol-free for a month every year just to reset, et al. We discovered a really great trick–most of the cocktail bars around here make foofy, fancy drinks out of fresh juices, bitters, etc. We’ve started asking the bartenders to just make us one of their fancy cocktails and leave out the alcohol. Turns out, they are still totally delicious. Also, nonalcoholic shrubs (vinegar drinks) are quite popular, and make me feel less like I’m sitting around drinking tap water while everyone else is indulging.

          1. Oo, yes, the people that make tasty craft cocktails are generally fantastic at making fancy NA things! I suspect the bartenders enjoy the challenge, too.

            Your comment also reminded me that some of the brewpubs in my city also bottle their own sodas. One in particular has a really limited menu, but it’s split pretty evenly – 4 in-house beers and 3 in-house sodas. Worth looking into for anyone that isn’t drinking for whatever reason.

  76. Oo, I like this thread!

    I bought a small programmable drip coffee maker and put it in my bedroom, so I can start my morning reading in bed with a cup of coffee to keep me from falling back asleep.

    Got some cute new short boots, one of those linchpin pieces I needed to make a million more outfits. Also, adorable purple Hunter rain boots. If I have to tolerate rain, it will be in colorful clothes, damnit!

    Trying to eat better, while working within my somewhat hectic life. I’ve figured out a good breakfast I can keep at work, and I’m working on lunches. Eating lunch out is rough on my wallet and not super healthy to boot.

  77. i started flying aerobatics! i also rented a car and drove in rush-hour traffic (i drive a car maybe once every few months, so this is scary for me) so that i could go to a women pilots’ group dinner even though i was nervous about meeting so many new people who already knew each other. and it was awesome and i made new friends!

  78. Got a couple inches cut off my “am I growing it long or aren’t I?” hair, made appointment with tree guy before winter, threw out some stuff from the bathroom cabinet, met a friend for coffee, looked up walking trails in my town and went on one.

  79. Lately I have been feeling sad about not having found someone to share life with. So this week to be kind to myself I tried a new restaurant, bought some new dance shoes, sat in the sun by the water and let myself be sad, signed up to volunteer to help refugee women practice driving for their driving tests and made a time Skype with my best friend and let her say nice things to me. This weekend I’m going away to the beach with some other friends and will sleep, read, eat god food, swim, go on walks and just accept how I feel (it’s all ok).

    1. “signed up to volunteer to help refugee women practice driving for their driving tests”

      What a cool project!

      And you are rocking this single thing (It’s ok to feel sad).

  80. I’m on a performance improvement plan at work which…yeah, sets off all my self-esteem and depression and anxiety issues off immensely and makes me want to curl up into a little ball and hide away from the world.

    And I am coping with it. I am doing well two weeks in and there are only a few things I need to improve on, but my manager is seeing progress.

    I’ve also brought in all my work lunches this week and prepped stuff for dinners, which means no more ยฃ5-10 spent a day on lunch alone which means I can buy sequinned shoes at pay day โค

  81. I loved this thread!! I am so happy that everybody is doing all kinds of fun things for themselves! My self-care includes:

    -Not giving a duck about the way I look anymore, which makes me feel RELAXED all the time and not self-consciuous at all. ๐Ÿ™‚
    -Way less Facebook. Even blocked some people.
    -Started exercising and cooking(!) again, just for fun this time around. No pressure.
    -Getting new cute clothes, (which were needed but I couldn’t afford before)
    -Trying my best no to feel guilty about quitting my job of three months to get a better job elsewhere…. (still working on this)

    Actually, I’m doing even more stuff and I can’t believe my list is this long. Self-high-five ๐Ÿ™‚

    1. Way to go! And you deserve to work a job where you feel challenged and motivated and where you feel like you are contributing to something that matters. No guilt!

      1. Thank you, Hesione! ๐Ÿ™‚ I know I do, but my current employers are sooo nice that I feel kind of ungrateful for leaving so soon. But I also know that I won’t get this opportunity again, so I want to give it a try.

        1. Hey, it means that someone else who’s looking for a job now gets to work for your nice employers, and that’s something.

  82. Farmers markets in the entertainment/fun category, not the chore/need groceries category.
    Honeycrisp apples, lots of them, stocked up in the refrigerator, and enjoyed nightly with black diamond cheddar cheese in front of Jon Stewart.
    More novels, less non-fiction. The Woman Upstairs, by Claire Messud, for example.
    Blew off going to the gym when a friend came over unexpectedly with an exciting story to tell.
    Shopping around for an orthodontist without feeling like I’m taking advantage of their free consultations. I deserve the explanations I’m getting.
    Leaving board meetings early to get home in time for Project Runway and treating that like it’s as important as anything the others do.
    Quilt shows.

    1. “Farmers markets in the entertainment/fun category, not the chore/need groceries category.” Absolutely! They are so pretty.

  83. Today I called people to fix my blighting washing machine. Yesterday I snuggled with lots of tiny kittens.

    A few week ago I had surgery to get rid of my period or at least massively reduce the bleeding. It’s the best feeling in the world. I’m so glad I did it.

    1. Oh, I had a uterine ablation done 3 years ago, and my period never returned–so YAY to you for a cessation of the Crimson Tide!! I have zero regrets about that procedure and *highly* recommend it for anyone having troublesome/frequent periods from hell–as long as you don’t want (more) children. Loving the self-care stories; my own has been very poor lately and this is so encouraging to read.

  84. I booked a trip across the country to see some events put on by my Very Favorite Band. It was a little impulsive and expensive, but I can afford it and I think it’s about time I started doing irrational Youth Things. I am SO EXCITED. I’ve always wanted to visit that city, plus I’ve been feeling really isolated and at a dead end lately, and making the plans has sparked a lot of optimism in me. My mood’s done a complete 360 from this time last week. It’s going to be my first real solo trip, so I’m still a bit nervous, but for the first time in my life I absolutely know that I can handle it!

    I’ve read everyone’s comments in this thread so far, too! You guys are all so amazing!

  85. I booked a trip across the country to see some events put on by my Very Favorite Band. It was a little impulsive and expensive, but I can afford it and I think itโ€™s about time I started doing irrational Youth Things. I am SO EXCITED. Iโ€™ve always wanted to visit that city, plus Iโ€™ve been feeling really isolated and at a dead end lately, and making the plans has sparked a lot of optimism in me. My moodโ€™s done a complete 360 from this time last week. Itโ€™s going to be my first real solo trip, so Iโ€™m still a bit nervous, but for the first time in my life I absolutely know that I can handle it!

    Iโ€™ve read everyoneโ€™s comments in this thread so far, too! You guys are all so amazing!

  86. – I hung up a bunch of pictures on my bedroom wall, which a) made the box of photos and frames stop cluttering up my floor, b) made my room prettier, and c) lets me look at the faces of people I love every day.

    – I went to see a production of my favorite play ever, which rarely gets put on. It was so goooood. Also, my boyfriend read the script and came to see it with me, and now he’s a fan too!

    – I applied for SNAP, because living paycheck-to-paycheck is stressful as all get out. This involved overcoming my feelings about not deserving help, figuring out the unreasonably complicated application process, and getting up the courage to physically go in and apply. But everyone was super nice, all the people I’ve mentioned it to have been great about it, and it’s such a relief to have the application process over with. I should find out soon if I’m eligible, but there’s a very very good chance I am. Fingers crossed!

    1. So much kudos to you, especially for that last one – it’s such an emotional process, but you’re almost there! *high five*

  87. (Apologies if this is very similar to another post in the spam trap Captain)

    In the last three months:

    – I got a new, part-time job to break up the monotony of self-employment working from home. I *love* the new gig whilst also having a refreshed appreciation and enjoyment of my business. Also noticed that receiving positive feedback from work and rocking the first bit of my new job has made my confidence SHOOT up. Also the work environment itself has benefits which I had no idea about from the outset, and the role seems to have lots of career / progression opportunities for a few years’ time.

    – I got on the right antidepressant and after ~8 of chronic depression and anxiety, I feel positive, energetic, calm and capable. I feel proud and like I like the version of myself that I am now and that I am still becoming. Given that I was contemplating suicide less than six months ago this is a fucking amazing outcome.

    – I’m researching going back to uni and finishing the degree that I dropped out of in large part due to mental health. The fact that I have the confidence to even contemplate this = once again, un-fucking-believable given where my mindset – and actual capacity – has been at the last few years.

    – As a result, I feel like I can actually DREAM again and have lovely daydream-y goals and plans that stretch beyond survival mode. I feel like good things are possible and that I’m worthy of them and capable of making the best of them. I’m enjoying dreaming big dreams (travel to South America! maybe I get to have kids if I want them one day, huh!) to slightly smaller dreams (I will visit my friend interstate and eat ALL the vegan cupcakes with her!)

    – I started exercising regularly in super fun ways like SQUASH! and tennis and rock-climbing. I’m now looking to add my favourite childhood sport, softball, to the mix.

    – I had my wisdom teeth out, which was a stressful procedure I had been putting off. Also did some research to save myself $3,000 on the op.

    – I dealt with and am still dealing with some cold-sweat-inducing money stuff, including transferring some credit card debt to a zero percent interest card and looking at a few years of overdue taxes. Proving to myself that I can deal with hard things, even hard thing which I have in the past created due to poor decision-making or inactivity, and still be totally OK and have a good balance of self-compassion and getting-on-with-shit-ness and not hating myself or conflating my identity with my finances or my job or whatever, and just do what needs to be done.

    – I’ve realised that things that smell and feel good (favourite perfume, goats milk soap) as well as things that look and feel good (lovely comfy clothes which fit well and make me feel confident, a bit queer {femme with a hint of masculine/androg./’tough’}) are things that make me happy and it is OK to be made happy by “frivolous” things which I don’t technically “need to survive” so you can just shut the fuck up, jerk-brain ๐Ÿ˜€ Thinking about starting a fashion blog to participate better in a body-positive plus-size fashion community I’m already a part of, despite brain-cries of “FRIVOLOUS”.

    – I’ve had no contact with a toxic ex, I de-friended a stressful, mean ‘friend’ on Facebook. I explicitly set a boundary with my bigoted, racist cousin about political chats over dinner (“Wow, racist! Let’s change the subject, I’m not enjoying this line of conversation.” And dealing with pushback – “No, really, I much prefer our nights together where we don’t talk about this stuff, so let’s just not do it!”). I’ve written a letter of complaint standing up for myself when a doctor did a poor job of treating me.

    – When I was on my ass recovering from wisdom teeth op I started a long-planned daily drawing habit which I am now off to do. I am somehow managing to NOT overthink what I’m producing and NOT judge myself for my art and am JUST purely having fun with colour and it is LIKE MAGIC.

  88. Recent as in “last few months” I have… got back into working with weights, found bodyweight exercises that work with my knees, and started an awesome accountancy course.

    This last week, due to having one of my regular throat/chest infections I have… transformed the bed into a nest of cosy, eaten large quantities of sweet porridge, given myself permission to do less exercise, study and housework while I am feeling run down, and given myself permission to take naps.

  89. I recently decided to go back on depression meds (trying a new-to-me med), and in the last week or so they’ve really kicked in. I didn’t think I was that depressed before I started them, but WOW. The difference has been amazing. (Plug here for anyone who thinks they might be depressed to give em a try and really try to be patient and give a few a go before you give up on them. I was on a different med before, and never really felt like it did anything, I wish I would have tried a few more before giving up on them that first time).
    I’ve also, with the meds kicking in, been able to refocus on doing things besides laying on the couch in pajamas watching House. While I was depressed, I really let a lot of self care slide, so I’ve been concentrating on doing some small things every day. Right now it’s mainly taking at least a short hot bath each night to relax just a bit, and using lotion afterwards (which doesn’t seem like that much, but it helps remind me that I have this body and should take a bit better care of it). I’ve got a noble goal of going to the gym 4 times a week to do some elliptical stuff, which I’ve stuck to so far, hopefully I’ll be able to continue that.
    I’ve also started really planning out what I will be doing for lunches and dinners a week in advance, because I’d spent a lot of time being frustrated about that, and it really has helped to cut out a bit of stress. I’ve been guzzling different kinds of tea like mad to give me a sweet kick during the day. And, I’ve decided I’d like to learn to knit and crochet (kind of know how to basic crochet already, but not very efficient at it) so in the future if I hit a rough patch I can at least sit on the couch and knit/crochet while watching House instead of just laying there like a vegetable.

  90. Started taking tai chi and signed up for Yuletide (the Secret Santa of fanfic).

    In the “proud of myself” category, bathed the dog and cleaned out a kitchen cabinet.

  91. I’ve finally done or started doing some things I’ve been putting off for a while. Woo!

  92. I’ve been learning to knit, and I’m making myself some nice warm fingerless gauntlets to wear when I write.

    I’m eating well, and trying to exercise at least a little every day.

  93. I treated myself to a turkish steam bath and a short massage at the fancy spa (all I could afford) but instead of leaving when I was done I made use of the free facilities – like a working hot shower (ours has only just been fixed). I spent at least an hour just in the lounge half napping and having tea bought to me.

    Then I flew to Sydney to visit my best friend (Hi Elise…I know you read these!) where we hung out in our pjs and watched BBC jane austen as well as eating a lot of cheese and meat. We also went out for a fancy night and had dinner by the harbour and then went to see a musical (The King & I) and got to talk about how the musical has not aged well and we found it racist and made us feel uneasy. Had I gone with anyone else I am not sure they would have felt the same.

    and tomorrow I head off to the country to visit my other bestie and also see two amazing exhibitions (300 years of undergarments & sculptures and body studies from ancient greece).

    This is awesome. Thanks Captain!

  94. I love this thread!

    I have done the following:
    – stopped beating myself up for mangling my knee and needing PT
    – making sure I have PT at times which I like
    – read a lot
    – eaten yummy albeit odd breakfasts
    – knit stuff

  95. *waves pompons for all of the people above me being nice to themselves!*

    In the months since I’ve moved to my new home/job:

    – Found a local yarn shop and now attend their weekly stitch & bitch on Thursday night. YAY KNITTING.

    – Made contact with the local NaNoWriMo group and am gearing up for a third attempt at 50K in 30 days. YAY WRITING.

    – Spent the extra money to buy the exact chair that I wanted for my living room instead of looking for less expensive options. The cat and I both love it. YAY FURNITURE.

    – Set a conversational boundary with my mother when she started to tell me about a crisis regarding a relative that I’ve cut contact with. I hope she gets the help she needs, but I do not need to know the details. YAY BOUNDARIES.

  96. I took my cat to the vet and found out that the lump I’d been worried about for years wasn’t a tumor like the last vet said, just a giant unpopped pimple. My kitty is healthy!

  97. I’m trying not to concentrate on what I’m not getting done and instead enjoy the downtime. I’m waiting on test results from a Cat Scan and coping with my body not really cooperating with real adult life right now.

    I’m prepping for Nanowrimo and joined a writers group that I am enjoying. Spent last night couched out with my dog watching anime.

    1. My friend, you’re not alone with the uncooperative bod. Take the time and enjoy the anime. If you have a roof over your head, a full belly and health insurance, you’re still one of the lucky ones.

  98. I got a spinal tap done on Tuesday, after having panicked and not completed the first one a few weeks ago. I was supposed to get some Ativan to help, but there was a mixup and I couldn’t get the meds. But I powered through the panic attack that I had this second time, let the doctors do their stuff, and I’m so proud of myself for that. Bought myself some new makeup and sparkly dice to congratulate myself. Also bleached my hair last night in preparation to go purple!

  99. After years and years of non-success, I’ve just found 5 new winter dresses to wear to work! AND THEY ALL HAVE POCKETS. [mic drop]

    1. Pockets? In a DRESS??? What is this sorcery?

      (No, seriously, where did you find them, I need some new winter clothes!)

  100. I’ve been going for walks every day. I started a new art project. I started seeing a therapist!

  101. I’ve absolved myself of doing my daily routine while I’m participating in a show with a demanding 3-week run. I’m getting home at 11:30 at night instead of 7, so I’m letting myself hit snooze in the morning, not work out, not cook, and get to work a little late (my office doesn’t care when I get there so arriving on time is really just my own standard).

    Not doing these things usually makes me feel stressed and a failure. But doing them, on top of everything else, would make me more stressed these 3 weeks. Giving myself permission not to do them has helped a ton. I know that when the show is over, I’ll get right back to them and feel good about it, so no reason to beat myself up about it now.

  102. After years of wishing and borrowing, I bought a horse. A HORSE! And not just any horse, a primordial, mythical beast – an 18 hand Percheron.

      1. No, I’ll have to create a playlist, but I feel strongly the “Ride of the Valkerys
        ” should be included. He’s a soon-to-be-retired carriage horse – and sweet soul, perfect for me.

        1. I also had to google and as soon as I saw the picture Ride of the Valkyries is exactly what I started to hear in my head.

  103. I have been really unhappy and overwhelmed in my job. I had a meeting with my manager this morning and proposed a major shift that would have me focus on 2/3 things and really make a name for myself doing them. He was completely sold on it and we’re already working on the next steps to make it happen! I can’t really believe it’s happening. Things are going to get BETTER. I might cry from relief.

  104. I told my doctor to shut the fuck up about my weight. Well, not literally but more like “We have this conversation every time I’m here. I assure you that I eat well and exercise, you say obviously not enough because I haven’t lost any weight. No I haven’t lost any weight, I’m not trying to lose weight. Yes I have risk factors for x, y, and z, but I do not HAVE x, y, and z. Let’s monitor those things specifically. The numbers have not changes in decades. But if we monitor, we catch it if there is a change for the worse and we can address that then.” For the record you guys, there is type 2 diabetes in my family and my fasting blood sugar is a couple of decimal points above ideal. It would have to change enormously before I got into the trouble range. Just to give you an idea of what I’ve been dealing with.

    My doctor scowled, wrote something in her notes, and didn’t argue. Though I expect we’ll have the same conversation again next time, I now have a script and it’ll be easier to say because I said it once before.

    1. You said exactly the right thing. I have also had success with “Noted. Now, how would you advise or treat someone who manifested my symptoms/had the same numbers and was in a so-called ‘normal’ weight range?” then I listen to what they say and respond with “Sounds good to me. What’s the next step?”

      1. Thanks! That’s a good idea. (I’ve come a long ways since the first time I went to her and ended up crying in the consultation room because she can kinda be a bitch about being fat.)

  105. I also got a sassy short haircut and I LOVE IT. I’ve had a lot of bad short cuts over the years, so for the last few years I’ve had really long hair. Which was nice for a while and made me feel like an Elven warrior princess, but I was getting tired of putting effort into it. So I bravely took the plunge with my beloved stylist and she gave me the short haircut of my dreams. I feel bitchin’.

    I have also taken the day off work to recover from a sinus infection. Normally I’d suck it up, but 1) work is very stressful right now and I need the mental break 2) I’m pregnant and don’t want to get super sick and hurt my baby girl.

  106. I started a HabitRPG account with daily tasks like “have a cup of tea in the morning” and “do something for the garden.” My next gardening project is going to be making glowing fungus nightlights (they’re alive, so it’s totally gardening). I’ve started going to hobby-related club meetings again (turns out there are people who share my weird interests, and it’s great!). At work I’ve been gradually moving towards a role where I’m using more of my skills. And I’ve started to learn a cool new programming language, and I’m having fun with it even though I don’t have much idea what I’m doing yet.

    1. Glowing. Fungus. Nightlights.

      I am SO GLAD that I live in a world that has such things. Go you!

  107. I am bookmarking this page for days when I am feeling crappy and need a boost, because LOOK AT ALL THE AWESOME THINGS.

    . . . my own awesome thing was running a mile for the first time ever. I as so proud! And then I wanted to lie down quietly by the curb for a nap. But I was so proud!

    1. Cypress, that’s so awesome! I’m currently on week 2 of a ‘Couch to 5k’ programme, and being able to run a full mile still feels like a long way off to me. Congratulations on your mile – I hope it’s the first of many more ๐Ÿ™‚

      As for me, after a stressful day at work, I gave myself permission to duck out of a fun-but-draining event my husband is going to, and sit watching the Diwali fireworks from my window with a nice big glass of wine!

  108. I’ve been spending a lot of time lately on my spiritual/religious development. I’m a non-Wiccan Pagan, and the lack of centralized belief and practice is awesome because I get to do whatever works well for me without justifying it to orthodoxy, but it’s also a lot of work because I don’t have much pre-scripted tradition to fall back on. But I’ve been stepping up my active involvement in my super-awesome CUUPs group and trying to find ways to get to know my pantheon a little better. And recently I started making a set of prayer beads out of a choker I inherited when a close family friend passed, which is great because I was really upset when it broke a few years ago, and I been keeping the beads without knowing what to do with them.

  109. Ooh lots of nice comments!

    I’ve been winding down my side job of freelance design. I spent 7 months last year scrimping and saving up for all my expensive computer and Photoshop gear, and realised that I had slaved away now for over a year to come back home after a full-time job to do more work I didn’t enjoy because “this is what I studied for, right? I should be happy!”

    Once the commissions are finished in the next few months I’m going to sell the computer for a cheaper one and focus even more time on learning my German and violin yesss!

    1. That’s great! I also studied graphic design and felt that I had to do somwthing with it “because that’s what I studied for, right?” and I actually hated it, and decided to do something different. BUT I kept the awesome computer ๐Ÿ˜›

  110. This thread is giving me so many warm fuzzies! It’s so nice to realize we all struggle with so many of the same things and can do so many nice things for ourselves. I’m also noticing a common thread of ‘beating ourselves up less actually leads to succeeding more’ and I really need to take that to heart.

    For me:

    I’m paying for a housecleaner to come tomorrow because I’ve been really busy and stressed and need my downtime to not be cleaning-time.

    I’m more and more accepting that being a flake may not be the worst thing in the world, ie it’s OK to back out of things that I don’t feel up for if it’s not really going to hurt anybody. For instance, I had told a friend that I’d host a Halloween party at my house, but realized I don’t have the energy and really need only escapable social engagements, and I cancelled it and that’s fine.

    I’ve been making changes to improve my sleep and it’s really been working!

    Drinking way less/almost not at all.

    Aaaaand I am trying to stop beating myself up about a BUNCH of things. I think I’m just gonna list them here to hold my self accountable. If anyone else wants to add their stop-beating up list, that’d be kinda fun:

    Not always being 100% productive all the time at work, as long as I’m still making my deadlines.

    Watching too much TV (I’m trying to watch less because it affects my sleep, but beating myself up over it helps. . .not at all)

    Not always having the energy to read a Serious Book and just wanting to read comics or Harry Potter

    Saying awkward/embarrassing/accidentally inappropriate things sometimes

    Not always eating perfectly/sometimes probably drinking too much still

    Not wanting to hang out with some people I used to want to hang out with

    KAY that’s all for now!

  111. Right now, I am proud of myself for taking a shower and not letting this mild depression talk me out of doing so.

    I also have a new exercise routine–I step on and off a small stepladder for the length of a Monty Python episode. I’ve actually been able to stick to it three times a week.

  112. I Used My Words and Told My Crush – a longtime close friend. He told me in a clear, honest and straightforward way that he doesn’t see me that way. This was hard to do, and probably a good thing that I did for myself, although it doesn’t feel good at the moment.

    1. Aww, it was a good thing to do for yourself. You should be proud of being brave. And now you always have that brave moment to remember when you’re scared.

  113. Figured out how to make a fast, tasty, and cheap breakfast that satisfies and sustains without using ingredients that trigger my recently acquired migraines.

  114. I have been thinking a lot about things I do that are unkind to myself and I have been trying to stop them, specially : overhelping (or offering my help when it is not asked for / not needed at all / when it’s inconvening for me) and apologizing for people to others (like : my friend does something that annoys some one else and *I* apologize…)
    Also, I’ve been making efforts to chat with people in class and in my dorm (I’ve been quite shy until now). Today, I had two conversations with people, who also happened to be women (I lack and miss interactions with other women…), and it’s made me so happy โค

  115. Been walking a lot more as my new job necessitates this (I work downtown, so at least have to walk from the parking garage to my office twice a day) and encourages it. Been unapologetic to me or my husband about sometimes going to bed as soon as the children are in bed (I have a 5-year-old and two 18-month-olds, the latter two wake 1-3 times a night still) because I often need the sleep! Also gave myself permission to sometimes say “Screw the dishes!” and do something purely fun for a hour or so as I need to unwind and sometimes it is more important than the dishes sitting undone for a bit. I’ve also been trying to make small changes (eat one veggie & fruit a day, eat whole foods when I can easily incorporate them, etc.) to eat more healthfully and being ok with the changes being small. Staying focused on my goal of overall better health and not beating myself up if I feel like I’ve been eating too much “bad” stuff or whatever.

  116. I’ve been flat on my ass with the Fever of Doom for three days. Back to life, back to work today. I am forgiving myself for all the things that didn’t get done during those three days and rescheduling them over the next seven days instead of trying to do them all in one hour.

  117. I am moving my little family to another unit in our apartment complex, away from scary, pushy neighbor lady (whose new thing has been sitting on her/our shared porch riiiight when my children come in from the bus, and trying to give them things/force them to talk to her). It isn’t a perfect solution, but I think it’ll get us off her radar somewhat.

    1. I’m sorry you have to deal with that. Good on you for taking that step and here’s hoping it will work.

  118. I have been working on making compassion for myself a low-level presence in my everyday life, rather than a ripcord-emergency type deal.

    So, moisturising and taking time to thank my feet for carrying me around these last few busy weeks. Cheap kaolin mask time with my b. Making a ‘mother of dragons’ crochet collar. Maybe making some new friends and feeling proud to have met some cool people, talked to them without exploding or melting to a puddle.

    Very proud of completing 7 years of surgery, 6 months since my last operation, starting a new job in a new field, and being ok with not really getting much more than that done this year – because that is plenty!

  119. So inspiring to see everyone’s successes! ๐Ÿ˜€

    I have a lot going on re: school/work/dissertation writing, and while much of it is really awesome work & very rewarding, I tend to get stressed out if there is more on my daily to-do-list that is doable in 24 hours without getting bitten by a radioactive productivity spider.
    So for the sake of my mental health, I made myself a self-care-emergency-box (also known as the “don’t panic box”).
    I read about self-care-boxes as a treatment for panic attacks / harmful behavior, but I think it’s also great for collecting things hat make you feel good, that calm you down or comfort you. Mine contains the following:

    – My favourite brand of chocolate (Marabou for life!)
    – A little stress ball that I can hold in my hand and squeeze
    – Peppermint oil (great to soothe tension headaches)
    – Lip balm in a fun flavour (current: Candy Corn Lip Smacker)
    – A diary
    – A stuffed animal I love
    – Pens & felt tips for doodling / colouring
    – A perfume that I always kept for “special occasions” (read: that I never used, even though it smells amazing)
    – A crossword puzzle book and a nice pen
    – A collection of soothing autumn teas
    – A worn-out copy of a beloved book
    – My current favourite CD (right now: “If you leave” by Daughter) and my headphones
    – A little bag with nice hand lotion & a collection of awesome nail polishes
    and also a few personal items like photographs, letters or little notes I collected.

    Now, when I feel like I’m getting into a bad headspace or I’m all anxious / stressed out, I set a timer to thirty minutes and just sit down with my don’t panic box and read, listen to the CD and really concentrate on the music, fix myself some tea, paint my nails, draw or work on a crossword – whatever feels the most soothing.

    I feel like keeping it all in one place is reminding myself that I don’t have to be productive all day, every day and DO ALL THE THINGS, but that I also deserve to do something nice for myself & unwind a little. The timer is just my personal little thing – it helps me to relax, like I’m scheduling an appointment for myself during the next half hour that nobody is allowed to interrupt.
    Also, I like the creativity that is involved – you can customize your box any way you like, and it’s really fun to collect things for it: Whatever is nice to touch, or keeps your mind occupied, or inspires you.

  120. Had an awful beginning of the week (abusive ex being abusive) but I ended up walking away instead of hearing verbal abuse for hours.

    So now I’ve been trying to be easy on myself. I just let myself do nothing when I feel like it. For just a few days I’m not forcing myself to be fake nice to people. I told the waitress at the restaurant the food was bad and usually I don’t want to do that.

    I’m also reading ‘The places that scary you’ by Pema Chodron because she’s amazing in helping me find ways to accept the bad things in life while not becoming cold.

    Considering telling my therapist that I want meds and that therapy is too much(they want me to expose myself to awful things daily) because I believe being nice to yourself also means not putting yourself through more crap than necessary.

  121. I discovered a local Chinese buffet I like, so once every few weeks I’ve been taking myself out on what I call “single dates.” I have dinner, read my Kindle novel The Heavenly Twins by Sarah Grand (I always read at least two books at a time – the Kindle novel for on-the-go reading, and the paperback novel I keep by the bed), and pig out without guilt. Then I go out to some local event; once to see a local band play at my favorite bookstore, and another time watch a screening of the silent 1920 film Daughter of Dawn at the local art museum.

    I also started working out – nothing super strenuous, a but a decent routine on the elliptical machine and the treadmill. For motivation I’m watching through the entire series of Criminal Minds while working out, and it’s working wonderfully! I get so caught up in episodes I keep trying to find ways to make my workouts longer!

    Lately I have been bummed with myself for not being more creative or writing more. There is a classic film blog completely designed and written in my head and I just cannot for some reason get around to starting it. Ugh! Also, the local artist-group I was part of recently dissolved.
    So I started a low-key, no pressure embroidery piece I allow myself to pickup and put down for various stretches of time. Also, to help ease the pressure and disappointment of putting off this blog project I’ve been mentally building for years, I started a feminist-academic book about the treatment of women in the movies. It’s strictly a fun-read, not an academic-read, so I can mentally shift away from BLOG! WHY U NO BLOG!? to I like classic films, and analyzing them from a feminist perspective is fun.

    I’m loving everyone else’s self care ideas! Good job us!

  122. I went to my very first therapy appointment on Monday, armed with questions I’d written down based on what I’ve learned here.

    I was very happy when she mentioned first that her philosophy/modality of therapy is CBT, because that’s what I was hoping for! She said that she’s also happy to talk me through things regarding sexuality, as I’ve actually been questioning mine and may make that one of my therapy goals, to have a better understanding of it. I feel that we clicked really well.

    I held it together during the appointment in our getting to know you chat by some miracle, though it was a close thing.

    Since I’d scheduled the rest of the day off, I treated myself to a sweet haircut (it’s very short on sides/back and long enough that I can give it a pouf or braid it if I want to) and lunch at Perkins.

  123. I am SUPER DUPER proud that after 14 years of having my learner’s, I took my driver’s test and passed on the first try. Then I bought a car from my grampa for mega-cheap and taught myself how to drive it (its a standard). I haven’t made a decision for next month whehter or not my short commute (2.3km) will be acceptable to actually commute or to invest in a bus pass again, but with NaNoWriMo starting and me running events in my region, I might find that better in terms of cost (depends on when it decides to snow, too, which will be nearly impossible to plan for). I also need to look at possibly getting a second job to help pay for the expenses of said car, but I cannot say it enough: FREEEEEEEDOOOOOOOOOOM!!! My driving family live in the same city but not close to me and while they have always been willing to drive me around, I just can’t ask them to take me to my dance classes 2 nights a week or just random trips to IKEA, etc. My bus ride 45 minutes one way has become 15, and I can visit with my fellow students and grocery shop and still get home before I would have on the bus. I also haven’t been late in 2 weeks. What an amazing feeling.

    I started belly dance a couple of a years ago after a friend passed away suddenly, and it was something that had always seemed “too hard” or “scary”, and after she passed it seemed silly to put it off any longer (especially after meeting her/my teacher at her funeral. “Nice to meet you,” we said “er, under the circumstances.”). It did help to have some mutual friends join in with me, too. Earlier this year I was having a crisis over “what do I want out of this”. I’m not huge on performing although I do the recitals, I don’t want to be a pro performer, and yet, I really loved doing it and I didn’t want to stop. Then I realized – I don’t need to get anything out of it BESIDES loving it. I really threw myself into it after that. I even learned a choreography with finger cymbals, which I hadn’t been officially taught, in 4 weeks and performed 4 times at a festival in September. I still have some mental disconnect with seeing photographs of myself during shows, where I feel like the camera hasn’t captured my mental picture of myself; yet I would never think those things about other dancers, so why should I think those things about myself? Besides, i LOVE watching myself in the mirror during classes and rehearsals. I LOVE what belly dancing has taught me. (I didn’t love being run into during rehearsal a couple weeks ago, so I moved to the front of the pack and now it’s like I’m dancing all by myself :D) Both of my teachers kicked my ass this week in the best ways possible. My legs still ache. I feel amazing.

    (I highly recommend belly dance. I hope to one day be able to control my ass as well as my teacher does. I’m at “get the jiggle started and work on the fine control later” stage lol.)

    1. As a fellow dancer, I totally hear you. I dance because it’s fun and makes me happy. I don’t want to be a professional. It’s too stressful for me and I’m not really interested anyway. It’s something that is simply for me.

  124. I went home from work a little early yesterday in anticipation of a long day today, and I played a video game like all afternoon as well as decided to order dinner in. Ah, the simple joys of not having to do mundane tasks…

  125. I finally got off my butt and started submitting stories this summer! I made a resolution to talk less about writing and actually do it, and I’ve submitted three stories so far. One did get rejected, but it was personal and had really good constructive critiques that I’ve found useful, and the story’s going to be sent out again soon.

    Also, I took up yoga upon much prodding, and it’s working out well so far. I found I need the stretching and the relaxation.

    This weekend I’ll be treating myself with a massage and two movies at the local art house theater.

  126. Yesterday, I looked at what my cat was still willing to eat, announced “Orange food for orange cats!” [a running joke almost as long as we’ve had this cat] and made us salmon and sweet potatoes for dinner. The cat was actually hungry for something besides fruit, and we are relieved. (He has kidney disease, but still needs some protein.)

    Taking care of the cat is self-care right now. It’s bad enough having just lost my sister-by-choice to cancer; the cat is comfort, as are other humans I love. But I am also reminding myself that *all* I need to do today is take care of him and myself. Even what I’m doing for my brother-out-law can wait until tomorrow, as can selecting photos for the next post I make about her. I know, he knows, our other friends know that I was there when she needed me.

  127. Last night, I went and picked up the medication I’ve been fighting my health insurance company and pharmacy about getting since July, so I can finally get rid of my scary chronic cough. Even with the health insurance company reluctantly paying their portion, it’s crazily expensive and I’m coming off a couple months of unemployment (new job starting next week, yay!), so I called my mother to ask for a loan, which she agreed to immediately, so now I have medicine and will be able to pay for it when the credit card bill comes due next month.

    I’m also moving out of my aggravating living situation, into a gorgeous new place with my best friend at the end of the month. The next week and a half will be stressful, but so, so worth it.

    And I started private acting lessons last month, because I deserve to invest in my artistic career, dammit!

  128. Oh I so love all the lovely things people are doing for themselves!

    – Cancelled my massage membership so that I can concentrate on paying down the credit card of doom that’s been lurking over my head

    – Made my doctor’s appointments

    – Asked for vacation time for work and got it!

    – Gave myself permission to snuggle with Neighbor despite knowing that a relationship would fail. He’s an expert snuggler and he’s fine with no relationship

    – Played computer games when I felt like and avoided them when I didn’t

  129. My very first words on this website will be related to a few happy things. Yay!

    1. I drove my husband to see his best friend yesterday. Which happened to be across town and something I wouldn’t normally do without
    a huge fight with him and major eye rolling. Husband was really appreciative of me doing something nice for him. (Not that I’m always mean, but yeah)

    2. I’ve been *trying* to eat better and cook more home meals. I forgot how much pride I feel when I bite into a delicious mean that I made myself!

    3. Socially, I’ve been very lonely. Moved to a new state and have *zero* friends. I’ve decided to make an effort to find a social outlet for myself. Googled book clubs and various activities around my area and plan to bite the bullet and go to one.

    4. Positively devoured a delicious pizza and cookies and didn’t guilt trip myself about how it isn’t healthy.

    5. Been listening to RuPaul’s podcast (called What’s the Tee in case you were wondering) and this show makes me really happy. It’s funny, thoughtful and will be on my podcast rotation from here on in.

    6. My anniversary is next week, so hubs and I will be heading off for a mini vacay to Palm Springs. Which is a trip we desperately need. I plan to unwind, drink and be merry.

    7. I made a list called “What I need from my job” and plan to utilize it in my job search after my vacation. My current job is toxic and I’m hoping to
    avoid the same environment.

  130. -Even though the call gave me all sorts of social anxiety when i ballsed it up i followed through and got a haircut today. What’s more, i actually booked in to put some highlights,midlights and lowlights in my hair at the end of november. I’m anxious i’ll not like it and about how much money it will cost, but it’s a change and something scary and both of those are good things!

    -ive let myself get back into embroidery and ive been rather theraputic embroidering a ‘UCSS Nostromo’ patch to enjoy myself, since i decided against buying a Ripley costume for halloween.

    -i’m very very tentatively getting back into writing and, most importantly, finally put my food down and said that i would no longer be the leader of our writing group, AFTER TWO YEARS+! It’s such a weight off and is injecting new life into the group to have someone new at the helm and i can actually enjoy it as a member now.

  131. Great work, everybody! Keep it up!
    I’ve created a HabitRPG account too, and have been enjoying using it to get through daily things (drinking 3 glasses of water, testing my blood sugar 4 times per day, praying, flossing, and exercising) as well as work and personal to-dos. I also set up “keeping in touch with friends” as a “habit I’m trying to develop” and have enjoyed a few good phone/skype conversations and emails with far-off friends as a result. Maybe we should have a Captain Awkward HabitRPG group to do a quest together (? not even sure if this would work?)
    I’m feeling energized and excited about a new direction work might take in the next few months (unlike burned out, which is what I felt one month ago).

    Take care and have a big cup of tea on me ๐Ÿ™‚

  132. – I’m also a HabitRPGer! *fistbumps* It’s majorly improved my daily life. I’ve been scheduling some time off, but my creative work often bleeds into it anyway, or because I have insomnia my whole day often gets thrown off. I like the idea of “contaminated time” though, and I’ll follow-up and read that Together Group resource.
    – I started seeing a therapist again recently for anxiety. Unfortunately, my insurance only covers sessions once a month and supplements with groups, which are kind of hit and miss. But I’m very proactive in my sessions and ask for “homework”.
    – One of which is a “gratitude journal” in which every night I write not only the things that I’m greateful others have done for me that day; but things that made me feel happy, laugh, or touched in some way; things I did well; something nice I did for someone else; positive quotes; exceptions to my problems; and what is working in my life. I think this has been helping me to change the narrative about my life, and feel both more accomplished and connected with other people. I even got a nice little posh journal and a fountain pen to make it into a fun evening ritual. ^___^
    – I’m really trying to eat better (get rid of processed foods and eat whole foods instead, and not over-eat) and that makes much more a difference than I ever thought it would.

    Great thread, thanks for sharing everyone! *jedi hugs*

  133. I allowed myself to buy two pairs of jeans that are the right size for me, instead of forcing myself to wear my too-small jeans as punishment for gaining weight. I’ve also started to go to the YMCA at least once a week, but this time I’m allowing myself to skip the machines I hate in order to focus on things that feel good to me, since that way going to the Y is fun instead of something to dread.

    1. Oh oh, I so done that! I’ve punished myself for gaining weight by wearing ill-fitting jeans. I had to sit with that feeling with the combo season change and not fitting well into my gym clothes anymore. Talk about self-sabotage, “I don’t deserve to go to the gym because I don’t look good in my gym clothes, and I don’t deserve gym clothes that fit because I’ve gained weight!” but like you I went and bought some joga pants this week and smart geeky feminist Racerbacks at Now I’m excited to get them and go back to lifting weights and getting my awesome on.

  134. I went to the dentist after 10 years. (it is not super terrible! It will not be horribly expensive!) I cleaned my apartment, and hung up curtains, and wrote a poem. I am staying mostly on top of work stuff.

  135. I am accepting help from my wonderful peeps, and they have been fixing things and stacking wood and generally saving me a tonne of money and stress. And when my boss offered me an extra day off I took it, and largely parked myself on the couch with a book. ๐Ÿ™‚

  136. I’m having a hard time right now because my new job unexpectedly threw FOUR WEEKS of travel on me without making clear those were the expectations before I took the job! I wouldn’t have taken it had I known but I feel a little stuck now. The travel is stressing me out, to be honest, but I’m trying hard to be nice to myself. I brought myself a nice fall candle and some bath salts from home so I can have something nice to take care of me when I get lonely and sad.

  137. I helped push a much-loved friend into counseling so that she would stop using me as her primary mental health caregiver, made fun plans for the weekend with friends I haven’t seen in a while, made plans to carpool home for Thanksgiving with one of my favorite people and bought a few cuddly sweaters.

  138. I’ve sort of been on a very weird voyage of self-care and self-discovery for the past two and a half months (mostly why I haven’t been about in many online spaces), as I have been working on several different farms and visiting some new cities. I have been wrestling with my guilt about being a person with more than one degree (well, once I finish this master’s, which I am two reports and one exam away from doing) who thrives doing unskilled physical labor outdoors. I think I am making progress toward exploring the person I am instead of just forcing myself to play-act the kind of person I think I should be.

    I have also been letting myself knit (which I am not very good at, but it is pretty good for channeling vague unsettled anxiety) and trying very hard not to scream at myself for taking a break from some of my other hobbies (because no hobby is complete without shaming yourself intensely for not dedicating several hours a day to becoming the bestest and most perfectest at it, amirite???)

    1. Hi Jane! Hi!

      โ€œYou have a right to experiment with your life. You will make mistakes. And they are right too. There is too rigid a pattern. You came out of an education and are supposed to know your vocation. Your vocation is fixed, and maybe ten years later you find you are not a teacher anymore or you’re not a painter anymore. It may happen. I mean Gauguin decided at a certain point he wasn’t a banker anymore; he was a painter. And so he walked away from banking. We have a right to change course. But society keeps demanding we fit in and not disturb things.โ€ -Anaรฏs Nin

      1. I’m somewhat annoyed that I didn’t read Anais Nin when my mom gave it to me tenish years ago. Occasionally (like twice) she has these weird flashes of actual parenting, and that could have been one of them.

        Well, better late than never.

  139. I gave up drugs, alcohol and smoking for a month. This was HUGE for me.
    I rode my bike every weekend, for 10+ miles at a time (I’ve never done that before). I cooked for myself every day.
    I got a pay-rise at work, and instead of the extra money negotiated to have an extra day off a week. To spend doing whatever I want.

  140. I’m a newbie here, hi! I’ve been in a gloomy funk lately and I found this thread super inspiring ๐Ÿ™‚

    There has been a lot of change in my life over the past year, and I haven’t been that great about the self care lately. After reading a lot of your posts I took a few exercise over the course of the day, gave myself a pedicure and took a relaxing bath. I also contacted a few friends and am trying not isolate myself so much. And I appreciated the sunny day with lovely autumn leaves. Yay!

  141. I’m running my first marathon on Sunday so this week has been alllll about the self-care. A few easy workouts, sleep, water, stretching/foam rolling the muscles, and carb loading, which started in earnest yesterday. (I mean, I fancy myself the Starch Queen and I am still like, wow. This is a lot of carbs.) My new apartment has only a shower, no bathtub, but am traveling/staying in a hotel for race weekend so a postrace bubble bath is also on the agenda.

    Any runners out there who can reassure me that yes, I can do this???

    1. Not a runner, but a good friend did his first marathon last weekend. He had the same doubts. He did it and so will you. โค

  142. I switched from coffee to tea, which makes me feel a lot less jittery, and generally better. I’m getting better about taking vitamins every day.

  143. I’m a recently-graduated writer/artsy type (employed, but it’s a customer service job). I’ve been beating myself for a few months now about how I SHOULD be working on X story or Y script or Z digital painting, and now I’m excited but mildly stressed over the upcoming NaNoWriMo– my first in a couple years. But a few days ago I resolved to cut that out and give myself permission to just have fun for a while, and remember why I love this.

    I’m collaborating on a fanfic with my best friend now, and not only am I having fun, I’m already proud of what I’ve written!

  144. Yesterday, my partner and I took the day off of work or school to celebrate our 5-year anniversary! We slept a lot and ate all the delicious things and looked at art. It was excellent.

  145. This week I decided to take advantage of the free counseling and psychological services that my university offers. I’ve finally come to grips with the fact that I have serious anxiety-related problems that I cannot conquer on my own. This is the first time that I’ve ever sought help for something of this nature, and it is both scary and very exciting. Along the same vein, I’ve deleted my Facebook and FB Messenger apps from my phone and taken other steps to cut off contact with toxic people in my life, since they are the source of the most anxiety. I’ve taken up a regular journaling schedule again and I’ve found the absolute perfect place on campus to work on tap dancing, both of which can be super therapeutic.

    Also: Long time reader, first time commenter. Big thanks to the Captain, crew, and commenters, as all of you have been a big help in my decision to seek counseling. I wish all of you the most wonderful of days and all of the cookies you can eat!

    1. Yay! When I first sought counseling (yay free college services) I told myself I didn’t really NEED counseling it was more like I chose to go to help me plan my awesome future. Boy was I wrong. Counseling was the best thing I ever tricked myself into. It helped me breathe.

  146. I have been making inroads and putting my foot down about my dad’s behavior. He is convinced that inviting me to a huge group gathering (20-30 people from the church I don’t go to. Or 15-20 people from his other work that I don’t know) and then ignoring me counts as spending time with me. There was a good bit of guilting “It’s because your husband has an abusive personality and is discouraging you from spending time with friends and family” “No, I spend lots of time with MY friends, and I want to spend time with my family, not watch my family interact with strangers.” “Well I did LOTS of things for you as a little kid that I hated and I did them because it made you happy.” “And I’m grateful, but not sure what that has to do with this conversation.” But no, I want one on one or small (1-3 other people I know) interaction.

    And yeah, that’s been a family go-to. My husband has encouraged me to be more confident and set boundaries (including with him when needed) and as a result my family blames my developing spine on him abusing me, somehow. Like when I went “You know what? I hate shaving my legs. It’s annoying, time consuming, and I hate the stubble. I’m going to stop.” from him I got a “Your body your choice, love. Go for it!” From my family it’s a sign I’m depressed and miserable and don’t care to make myself presentable.

    Also in pampering, we have rescue kittens now. They’ve just reached the 6 week mark where they’re less like fuzzy blobs that cry and poop, and more like fluffy bouncy playful kittens. So spending time sitting and playing with them is good for their socialization, and good for my own relaxation.

  147. I’ve been having a tough time, but I’m working on it. I’m unemployed and partner and I have been having some problems, both of which are major depression triggers for me. But I’m doing everything I know to pull myself up. In May, I decided to exercise an hour a day with as few rest days as I can manage (I know this sounds like a lot, but it’s needed to manage my health problems), and I’ve kept up on that. I’ve taken up sewing again and have finally started a blog I’ve been meaning to start for forever. And I just started reading a book on anxiety that was recommended to me; I have a hard time tolerating therapy, but I’m hopeful the book will help me get unstuck.

  148. My partner and I just adopted 2 baby rats! And they’re the cutest little fuzzy-wuzzy puffball snugglebears you ever did meet. Having something to take care of is really helping with my anxiety, and I knew it would, and also SO CUTE.

  149. I gave myself permission to let my house be unashamedly messy and trashed. I also gave my husband the same permission which amounts to me being less stressed that he never helps around the house. I’ve been sick and stressed for the last three months so not feeling like my house needs to be perfect is a load off.

  150. I put an index card on the ceiling above my bed (I have a high bed/low ceilings) that reads:

    Clean yourself
    Don’t totally slack off at work

    The idea was that I would look whenever I was in bed, but I didn’t account for two facts: 1. I sleep on my side, and 2. typically, when I am in bed, the room is dark. Hopefully it will seep into my brain anyway? ~gravity~

  151. Reading all these yesterday inspired me, so I’ve been prioritizing spending my limited free time by myself as well as with my family and partner. It’s been feeling like every day is a balancing act where I’m failing to prioritize *somebody* (not because they’re being jerks about it, but because jerkbrain is), and the person who is always cut out is me.

    I asserted a boundary that I was (non-) handling by avoiding the people involved! Yay handling things like an adult rather than pretending things didn’t happen!

    I’m working very hard on going to bed when I need to to get enough sleep. I’ve been doing a great job of coming home early most days, although with some slippage, and last night, I went to my room to be away from people relatively early. It’s definitely something I could do a better job of, though, and I’m going to keep going strong next week. I’m going to try to prioritize turning off the light at 11:55 rather than 12:05 even if the internet has some really interesting things on it.

    I’ve been reading books that interest me, rather than books I’ve owned for years but haven’t gotten around to reading yet.

  152. This week has involved heartbreak and surgery. Tonight will feature chocolate and Agents of Shield.

  153. I told myself “no” when I started looking at more scheduling formats/apps/etc. I have a tendency to get really, REALLY unhealthily obsessive about schedules, to the point where I’ll schedule every minute and berate myself all day if I miss even one scheduled item. Plus, I don’t need it: I’ve been doing an incredible job keeping up with my classes this semester, even though I’m also stage managing a mainstage production and I barely have time to sleep. Nevertheless, I always feel like I could be doing “better”… even when I have no idea what “better” would even look like.

    I think this post really drove home to me that I need to start practicing more self-care. I can’t think of anything I’ve done recently to make myself happy–I need to fix that.

  154. 1) I quit a terrible job that was making me miserable.
    2) I left a grad program that was making me miserable and would not help me do what I want to do.
    3) I got a sweet tattoo.

  155. -I started seriously walking again. Right now I’m walking to Rivendell. No, I’m not joking. I’m tracking my mileage on a google doc that calculates distances for me, then I look to see where I am on the map. Right now I’m camped in the Midgewater Marshes. (179 miles so far this month. Go me!)

    -Wednesday I went out to dinner at a little Italian place I love, then walked to a nearby gelato shop and got their sipping chocolate. It’s like drinkable chocolate pudding, only better. This was after going to the library and the local fancy bath stuff place.

    -I’m letting myself be sad. My awesome mom died a year ago this week and it’s really rough. I miss her a lot. I’m not trying to suck it up, though. I’m allowing myself to feel what I feel without turning it into a moral failing.

  156. I stopped denying that Thing Are Not Working, and made an appointment with my doctor. Maybe it’s ADD, maybe it’s anxiety, but I need help. And that is a scary and freeing thing to acknowledge.

    I also spent 7 hours with a good friend today, which made my heart happy.

  157. I finally bought a nickel-free belt. No more hideous, itchy belt buckle rash for me! And no more covering the old belt buckle in clear nail polish that wears off super fast.

  158. Used a “buddy pass” given me by a friend to travel to the East Coast for $200 RT (from Alaska!) and spent a few days with family. Then took the Megabus to New York City ($9 RT) and had face time/meetings with various folks for whom I’ve written in the past. Stayed in the hostel up near 103rd and Broadway, enjoyed delicious bagels as often as I could get away with it, people-watched like mad and stared at the big buildings (not many of them in Anchorage). This time around actually had my name drawn in the “Book of Mormon” lottery, which meant I paid $32 for a front-row seat. The guy behind me paid $500.
    Oh, and this week I am going to get myself a massage because a local place is running an affordable special. Feeling very fortunate right now.

  159. I moved all the furniture in my room around so that a) it looks waaaaay bigger and b) a ray of sunlight falls across my bed in the afternoon that is PERFECT for naps.

    On a slightly less fun, but also self-care-y note, I told my boyfriend about some of the things that have been bothering me despite feeling bizarrely guilty about doing so. Bizarrely because I know that my concerns are valid. But I hate telling people when they upset me, and talking to my boyfriend about them was a nice way to remind myself that my feelings and well-being matter as well.

    I’ve been sick for the past week with my second bout of bronchitis in as many months and, instead of doing what I normally do (overworking myself and getting worse until my body just shuts down), I took a couple of days off life to sleep and catch up on old episodes of Grey’s Anatomy. I still feel sick. But I’m proud of myself for taking care of myself.

  160. * I have been trying to think about what will actually make me feel better (water, advil, talking to a human, going to sleep, eating a vegetable) instead of going on autopilot (booze, a third helping of barbeque stuffed hush puppies, more internets) and acting accordingly. Along with this, I am trying to remember that “thing that sounds fun” is not the same as “thing I will be glad I did later”. (This makes it sound like I’m in the habit of Terrible Life Decisions, but nothing so interesting, unfortunately — more trying to eradicate triggers for Guilt and Self-Recrimination.)
    * Started meditating again.
    * Have started asking questions at New Job so as not to fall into the deep hole of “I don’t know what I’m doing but if I ask everyone will know I’m dumb.”

  161. I’m late to this but… My condo was destroyed by a flood in July. We’re closing in on finally getting everything back where it belongs, out of boxes! In the process, we’re cleaning the Piles of Perpetual Neglect that have grown in the corners since we moved in (lo, 8 years ago). I’m letting myself take it slowly and having lots of lunches with awesome people and got a new haircut that is so short and so easy! Oh, and I’m really proud that my short story (which an editor *paid money for*) is finally in “print” (where print=an ebook).

  162. 1) Had a Serious Talk with That One Friend who likes to debate anytime I post about feminism or SJ, which included me setting boundaries and saying “Yeah, here’s the thing: it’s not really up for discussion.” We’ve agreed that the new policy for him specifically is No Commenting for two months and Only If Specifically Invited Or After Asking Permission after that. He’s not actually an awful human, which is why I didn’t just unfriend him long ago, but sometimes you just wanna talk about Shakespeare without the guy who’s always going on about how he was really Francis Bacon, y’know? There are other things I want to analyze and discuss!

    2) A good friend has been hosting games of various sorts with some other good friends for a few years now, and I always participate even though it’s a good chunk of my weekend, but he’s starting a new one and I said “Y’know, this one honestly doesn’t sound like the kind of thing I’d enjoy, I think I’m gonna sit this one out.” I will miss the social time but the style doesn’t appeal and I am really looking forward to more choice over what I do with my weekends!

    3) There’s a small convention only a little over an hour away today, and my roommate and I love cons, but it’s been a stressful week at work and I realized that I wanted to go less than I wanted to stay home, and so I did! I talked to a good friend, did a few minor chores, napped, and had a quiet day, and my roomie is picking up Chinese food for us on her way back!

    4) My empty pill container tells me that I have taken my vitamins 7/7 days this week!! ^_____________^

  163. -I finally got around to having a rather unfun and painful surgery that will prevent me from having to keep having recurring smaller surgeries.
    -I am cranky about it (it hurts) but I allowed myself to take a day off at work afterwards, and have been trying to be nice to myself about it until it fully heals, and not beat myself up about not going to the gym while still limping, and just enjoy being able to sit on the couch and watch Outlander.
    -I signed up for NaNoWriMo instead of berating myself for not vaguely Writing More. Now I have concrete goals and a support community!
    -Tomorrow, I am getting a haircut for the first time in over a year.

  164. I finally gave an African Violet (this is the best term, really) to an ex-friend, which made me discover another friend was almost just as bad and they created so much drama I had to block them as well.

    It hurts, but I’m finally glad I won’t have to deal with them and their bullshit anymore.

    This whole ordeal did show me I had a lot of good friends who cared, which is good to be remembered once in a while.

  165. Tomorrow marks a month with no soda. I can finally walk past the soda coolers in stores without drooling, and I no longer sit around thinking about how NICE it would be to have a soda. I feel pretty “meh” on the whole subject, really, which is awesome.

    I’ve been running about three miles a week for the last two weeks, with random work outs thrown in also. So I’m feeling really good about my health, despite the scale numbers staying the same (I know, I know. The scale is stupid and doesn’t matter.)

    AND I cleaned my house a bit today, which just makes me feel more relaxed. So. Good things are happening.

  166. I finally had the “you must treat me better immediately or we are breaking up” conversation and then did the breaking up of a 4 year relationship- which was sad and scary but really necessary and made me feel really brave.
    And then I signed up with my local animal shelter to become a foster parents to needy kitties and puppies. My place is getting inspected next week and then I should have some new furry friends come to stay for a while!
    I’m also in the midst of a super stressful run of assignments and exam prep for uni, but despite also working lots of hours and dealing with the first BIG break up I’ve ever been through, I’m not totally drowning. I’m really effing proud of myself right now just for keeping my head above the depression and doing positive productive things for myself.

    And I got an attractive salmony-orange pink manicure so when my hands are all over this keyboard typing assignments, at least my nails look cheery and cute!

    1. Can I just say that your first big breakup sounds so much more composed and adult than my first big breakup. And my second. And my seventh. You’re amazing.

  167. As a personal aside to the CA – start saving your money now. One of the huge ripoffs of old people is the horrendous price of progressive lenses. BUT bifocals are not the thing for people who largely work with screens, they only work if you’re an occasional-paper-reading, mostly-outdoors person. So I nearly fainted the first time I paid more for glasses than for rent, but on the other hand I felt like 15+ years had been shaved off my eyeballs’ age. Worth it.

    And for myself? Very, very regular yoga practice. Let me stop right now and go do that :-).

    1. Alternately, plan to get two pairs of glasses (one for distance, one for screens) … which is also expensive and slightly annoying to swap between them, but then you’ve got the entire lens to look through for whatever distance it is you’re working on. If you do that, ask them to give you a prescription specifically for the shorter focal length – they have to adjust things for that.

      (Also, optometrists are required to give you your full prescription, including pupil distance, if you ask … they often leave off the pupil distance to force you to get glasses from them.)

  168. I unofficially diagnosed myself with anxiety, which so far seems to be a hugely more helpful framework than depression for understanding Why I Don’t Want To Do Things I Actually Want To Do and Why I Feel So Awful. And before that, I got myself officially diagnosed with migraine, which I now have meds for, and the meds are amazing. I am overall taking many small steps in the direction of noticing when I am not okay and doing things to fix it.

    Add me to the chorus of people who have recently joined HabitRPG! (Gender-neutral character creation options FTW!) Using ‘tricks’ to get myself into good habits is something I’ve tried forever, but I always fell into the pattern of “try to guilt myself into doing the thing” -> “miss a couple days” -> “feel guilty and avoid the thing forever”. So this time, I told myself that I would be joining HabitRPG entirely ‘voluntarily’, and if makes me feel worse instead of better, I am allowed to stop any time I want without feeling guilty. So far it’s improved my brushing and flossing rate from “maybe once a month” to “almost every day”. My gingivitis seems to be improving significantly!

    Yesterday I went to the gym for the first time in a long time, and performed a very small workout. Exercise is a pretty intense body-hate trigger for me, so I am trying very hard to do this as a loving thing for myself and not something I should feel guilt or shame over.

    I gave blood the other day for the first time since my anemia problem the better part of a year ago. Feels really good to get back to doing a thing that’s so important to me.

  169. I had a big annual work review. It was the first official one on the job. I used my words! Thanks to this site I was able to own my issues and frame challenges at work in a proactive and non-blamey way ( instead of “you micromanage!” It became “can we have a meeting once every two weeks where we just check in and address any shifts in responsibilities and expectations there?”). It was terrifying and beautiful and productive.
    You guys I got a raise! I also asked for a special training and an opportunity to travel which I thought would never happen and it was well recieved!

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