hello hello! it has been a Little While. i thought i should supply a little life update. i’m gonna do my best not to apologise for not posting – because this is my blog, and not yours!
the last few weeks have been a little tough but honestly, everything’s coming up milhouse in general. it’s good idea to post a life update because i do have to revise some past posts.
so, my sleep hygiene post is one of my most popular posts, but i have to correct one thing – i originally wrote:
i’m gonna be honest. one of the biggest reasons i’m single is because i hate sharing a bed with a passion. i’m not alone (lol) in that. the struggle for covers, snoring, going to bed at different times, waking each other up, being too warm because you’re sharing a tiny space with another entire human being, the smell… ugh, it’s not for me. whenever i have had partners, i usually end up sleeping somewhere else because i can’t stand it.
i’m gonna get real sappy in 3….2….1…. i have a partner now and actually, sleeping in the same bed with them is heavenly. their name is ló, they’re starting a blog soon too, they already write a blog with their roommate (give it a look!) and they’re just super sound and kind and smart and they laugh at my jokes, which is all i ask for, really. so i must revise that, and correct it: sharing a bed with the right person is actually conducive to sleep hygiene.
however! this is not just a post about my partner (though of course, i could write a lot dedicated to them, and i have!) i want to update some other life things. one of the things is that it is definitely winter now, and being disabled is not the easiest at this time.
this blog was started in summer, which was a time of great mental wellness for me. i didn’t need much of my supports that i generally need with my bpd. i had a great job, working for 8 weeks and teaching kids. the place i worked had no bus routes to it, so i had to bike it or walk it or get a lift with my mam, which was rarer. i got tons of exercise, i meal prepped every day because it was too difficult to go find a shop. my sleep was good because i was worn out. i was surrounded by people every day, my coworkers and all these crazy kids who’d come out with the wildest stuff. i was resilient, calm, and my mental health was incredible!
right now though, it’s not the best. everything seems to be a catastrophe. i miss deadlines, i see my friends less, i get involved in ‘drama’ which is mostly of my own creation. this is me looking at that all from an objective point, taking a step back, and mentalising in this moment. right now i am writing in my partner’s kitchen in maynooth, which is about 26km away from my problems. this is a place where i can step back and see all of it.
and none. of it. fucking. matters. !
the real problem isn’t my interactions with these people, it’s not my academic work, it’s not my ‘hot takes’. the problem is the absence of my basics.
where is the stability of the summer gone? where is my lunch break spent lying on the grass in the sun? where are my saturdays on dollymount beach swimming with my best friend? where is my poetry, my blog posts, my writings?
it has gone thanks to two things: overstimulation and clouds.
at any other time of the year, i will tell you that winter is my favourite season. i love the spiced hot drinks. i love seeing the individual twigs on branches of naked trees. i love staying inside with a hot fire while it thunders outside. and all of these things are true, but i am not taking the time to appreciate them.
i have college, a part-time job, a monogamous relationship, two voluntary positions in student-related things, and an intense lack of self-forgiveness and self-patience. i do not allow myself to be bored, because it’s really hard to be bored in 2018.
i overschedule things. google calendar is my best friend. but what i am not scheduling is time for two incredibly necessary things: self care and leisure.
straight up i gotta say is that pinterest self-care is bullshit. this is the name i am creating for the self-care that says things like ‘eat some chocolate to treat yourself! watch a stand-up comedy special! spend 3 hours in a bubble bath that cost you ten euro in lush!’ all of those things are nice and necessary at times, but they don’t mean anything if you don’t actually just do the basics of taking care of yourself.
when was the last time you performed a healthy sleep routine?
when was the last time you took a shower?
when was the last time you ate a vegetable that wasn’t beige?
when was the last time you let your mind wander without any stimulation at all?
here are my answers:
it’s been about two weeks, and that was a once off.
yesterday at 5pm after being in bed until 1pm.
three or four days ago.
i don’t know.
i don’t believe i’m alone in these answers. we need to do the boring stuff. we need to actually eat well, talk a walk, go to sleep. why are we missing out on such basic ass stuff? because we’re making excuses! it’s too cold to walk, i’m too lazy to cook, i need to be on my phone because i don’t want to be alone with my thoughts.
the truth is you think it’s too boring, counterproductive, and worthless to take care of yourself.
performing pinterest self-care gives a false sense of accomplishment but all it does is tell you that you are only capable of being pampered or punished.
so what can we all do to help ourselves this winter?
(i write, then take a shower, because ló’s roommate reminds me that that will help. i then tidy ló’s room. and brush my teeth. these are all good things)
1. (re)download a habit tracker (i use productive, which is on the apple store, but there’s a lot of great ones out there, do some research!) and give yourself realistic goals
- mine are:
- no interaction with toxic people
- plan day
- take meds
- sleep hygiene
- tidy room
i also have certain chores set to fortnightly/twice weekly/etc.
2. find out what the basics mean to you.
you’re gonna need to figure this one out yourself. every day needs components of work, leisure, and self-care. you must find your own ratio. work gives your life meaning. leisure gives you time to find flow and fun. self-care gives you the basic tools to be a healthy human.
- if you are working in a job you hate or are bummed about your college course, try to find meaning in it, and if possible, if you have the time, you could try to build up another skill, or nurture your creative spirit. this could mean learning a language (2 minutes on duolingo counts!), playing an instrument, writing, reading something that you can learn from.
- stop. feeling. guilty. about. leisure. the key is moderation. watching reruns of friends (if that’s your poison) is necessary! laughing with your friends is necessary! playing a sport that you absolutely love is necessary! play a video game! just be careful with screens, is what i’ll say, because time gets zapped away really quickly, and if you spend too much time on it, you’ll make yourself feel guilty. make time to laze around and chat with pals. human connection and laughter are so, so important for your health.
- self-care is essentially what a big part of this blog post is about so, y’know. keep reading.
3. do boring self-care and practice pinterest self-care in moderation.
as samuel l. jackson once said, go the fuck to sleep! i have a sleep hygiene post here.
as everyone says to tumblr users who have gone too far, go outside! you need fresh air, you need the sun, no matter if it’s got an enormous cloud on top of it. grab your gloves, put on a scarf, get wrapped up, and bring a keep cup with your hot beverage of choice. if you and a friend have been meaning to meet up, this is a good free thing to do, so bring them along!
if you can, eat something good. i get weird food eating habits sometimes that i just have to ride through, but even just finding one healthy thing that i can eat in those times really helps so much. also, wash your body and hair, please. do real physical hygiene.
as for the extras, the pinterest self-care. if you have the boring stuff down, please go ahead and treat yourself. (i have a skin care post here.) bear in mind, though, that the pinterest self-care movement is capitalistic in nature and is trying to squeeze as much money as possible out of you. yes, treat yourself to a bath, yes, eat a baked good, etc, etc. but know that baking the goods yourself, taking a long hot shower instead of buying an expensive bath bomb, washing your face with generic cleanser, it’s all good. you don’t have to buy brands to feel good about yourself.
4. relearn boredom.
be a secondary school teacher who enables bullying but hates technology, and confiscate your own damn phone! if you do this, you’ll start rediscovering all the hobbies you thought you left in your childhood. i’ve started reading for pleasure again, painting, writing poetry, etc. it’s great! your first step i’d say would be to get a screen tracking app. (i used moment)
yes i recommend a lot of apps. no i am not paid to do this. yes i am telling you to get off your phone and simultaneously telling you to get x and y app.
but boredom is hard to combat, and all this advice about apps may seem counterproductive, but believe me, if you have a screen addiction, the only way to really put it back in moderation is to get apps to stay away from it. that’s how it’s worked for me anyway!
you, dear reader, are most likely a human. (if not, perhaps the laws of your nature are different to mine, so please take this advice with a pinch of salt, or apply it in your own way.) humans don’t belong inside all the time. it feels lovely being inside for the first while, but you sink into the feeling of being safe and warm and everything but you lose touch with reality. to make home and warmth seem special, you will need to leave it every once in a while. walk along the seafront and feel the cold salty air in your face. walk around your neighbourhood and people-watch. walk through a little forest and notice how winter changes everything. do what you can – you need to be outside.
i said before that overstimulation and clouds upset the stability i had in summer, and while we can’t get rid of either of those things, it’s good to work our way around them and create peace and warmth by ourselves despite them.
you are deserving of care this winter. you are deserving of peace, contentedness, warmth, and self-care. you cannot pretend to love yourself without taking basic care of yourself – that’s not self-love, that’s self-infatuation, it’s being in love with the idea of being in love.
this turned into a little bit of an incoherent rant, with a numbered list to try to bring some order, but right now life is a bit incoherent. as i keep telling everyone when they hesitate after i ask ‘how are you?’, It Is November! these are november feelings. whatever little amount of care and order we can insert into this time is enough.
thank you for reading!!