a short life update that introduces a rant on self-care capitalism and how to be disabled in winter

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
    • walk/exercise
    • gratitude
    • meditate
    • 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!

5. nature
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!!

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AN INTERVIEW WITH THE MU LIBRARY CAT

Me: Hello Cat and thank you for joining me today. Is it okay if I record this?

Cat: You already asked me that.

Me: Oh, yeah, but it’s just a thing you have to – oh wait, slick Princess Diaries reference.

Cat: I try my best. Yes, it’s okay.

Me: So, Cat, would you mind introducing yourself to the readers?

Cat: Yes, of course, and thank you, Cúnla, for this opportunity. My name is the MU Library Cat. It’s a ridiculously long name, which I don’t understand, because the people from the library christened me this name, and yet people who go to libraries are supposed to be smart.

Me: Yeah, fair enough, my five-year-old sister’s drag name is CATrina though, you could change your name to that.

Cat: No thanks. Please go to a library.

Me: Of course. I’m sorry. Please continue.

Cat: I have resided here for many a year, and by many a year I mean I do not understand the concept of time. In cat years, I am an omnipresent immortal being. I am here, trapped in this purgatory of being petted occasionally and then abandoned. Luckily, however, a bowl has been left out for me to eat from.

Me: Haha, what does the bowl say?

Cat: It says MU Library Cat. It’s six goddamn syllables long.

Me: Messy. Next question, do you enjoy being petted?

Cat: Duh. I groom myself every day and am petted occasionally, which is fine and enjoyable. It’s the abandonment I resent.

Me: And how does that make you feel?

Cat: It makes me feel abandoned. This isn’t a therapy session. You better not ask about my relationship with my father.

Me: [scribbling out a question in my notebook] Hem hem. So, the most important question of all… why did you bite and scratch me?

Cat: I am glad you asked me that question. I am a multi-faceted individual and the choice to bite and scratch you came with much meditation and careful decisions. I have my reasons. The main one, of course, is that it was a power move.

Me: Oka, but I have a cut on my knuckle now.

Cat: The revolution cannot happen without violence. You are an oppressive human, from Trinity no less, invading my home, purgatory though it is, you insult my very name, though I agree with you. Essentially, biting and scratching you, Cúnla, was just me being a feminist icon.

Me: Okay, cute, we stan.

Cat: You came to pet me. I turned on my back. I fooled you, you fool, you absolute buffoon. You fell into my trap. I could see that you would approach me…

Me: So you’re Alice from Twilight?

Cat: No, but that’s a great franchise.

Me: Right? So glad we agree on something.

Cat: Anyway, I knew what I had to do. I had to stand up against the system, against your very oppressive nature-

Me: Sorry to interrupt once again, but if I’m oppressive, why did you agree to this interview?

Cat: It’s 5am and nobody’s at the library. I’m bored. The revolution cannot happen without communication.

Me: That’s a good point. So what are your plans from here on out?

Cat: Well, Cúnla, as you can tell, I have already reached self-actualisation, and I am a Google Local Guide on Level 8.

Me: [muttered under breath] Goddamnit that’s one level above me.

Cat: Yes, you stupid bitch. Anyway, I am qualified to continue my reign of the library, scratching and biting a few choice idiots such as yourself, and my ninth life will inevitably be me ruling as God.

Me: That makes a lot of sense. Well, good luck to you, MU Library Cat, and thank you for taking this interview.

Cat: Screw you. Fill my dish. I require loops.

hot take: mental health campaign edition

hello again! it’s been a while but i’m not going to apologise for it because my life has been a Good Bit Busy! i went to london and got into a relationship and went back to college. so. y’know. that’s pretty busy.

recently i’ve become more and more aware of mental health campaigns, documentaries and the general takes people seem to have about ‘mental health’, and ‘opening up the conversation’. now, the thing is, i was thinking, ‘how am i going to express how stressed out this makes me? do i tweet a thread using those timeless words ‘hot take’? do i post on facebook so that people who have different opinions from me hear about it?’ then i remembered. i have a blog which i can use for these so-called hot takes. so without further ado;

i watched a documentary the other day with my friend which marketed itself as something revolutionary. i see the same leaflets in the waiting room every time i go to therapy. i hear the same sentence every single time someone dies by suicide.

‘please just talk.’
‘you should open up.’
‘get the courage to speak up.’
‘shed the shame and talk about it.’
‘we wish you’d talked to us.’

essentially what these sentences, these inclinations and ideas do is alleviate the guilt of the neurotypical and shift it onto the sufferer. orders like these are constantly being given to mentally unwell people. do exercise, do yoga, drink water, meditate, watch this movie, read this book, say this mantra, let it go, let it go, let it go. (and unfortunately, not in the style of elsa.)

telling unwell people what to do all the time any time their symptoms become apparent is exhausting, dehumanising, and condescending. there is a difference between telling someone to do something (drink lemsip, go for a run, pray, drink water) and actually proactively helping them (asking how their day was, making them a hot water bottle, tucking them into bed and watching their favourite movie with them). telling us what to do all the time shifts a ridiculous amount of blame and pressure onto unwell people. i don’t think anyone really appreciates being told what to do.

the problem with telling unwell people what to do is that very often they can’t do much in the first place. they mightn’t be able to get out of bed, leave their room, eat, socialise, anything. telling people to make lifestyle choices such as yoga or meditation or something you read about or heard on a ted talk isn’t helpful.

i’m going to take a second to give some examples of what you can actually do to help (note that first of all you should ask your friend if you can do this for them):

  • make them a meal
  • sit down or lie down with them
  • let them know they don’t have to say anything if they don’t want to
  • let them know that if they want to speak you’re there
  • be there
  • get them water
  • make sure they take their medication
  • if in public, find a quiet area and bring them there if they seem distressed
  • if you genuinely think it will help, yoga and meditation are obviously great but do it with them! that is very different from guilting them about not doing it!

there is a very important ‘mental health conversation’ happening but we’re stressing the wrong conversations in our activism for mental health awareness. the overarching message should not be ‘open up and just talk to us’, it should be aimed at people who are mentally well to check in with their friends. you have a voice. we don’t always have a voice. it’s not just because of shame and stigma; it’s because we are ill. you wouldn’t expect someone with a physical illness to constantly strain themselves physically to get better. it’s the same with mental illness – straining ourselves mentally doesn’t do any good whatsoever and won’t help us recover.

so how can you talk to a friend who (you suspect) is unwell?

you can start by checking in with all of your friends. mental ill health isn’t obvious in many people. i have many friends who don’t have a mental illness but who still go through mental health issues, because practically everyone does at some point!

it’s always good to check in.

change ‘how are you?’ into ‘how are you feeling?’.

change ‘i’m grand’ into an honest answer.

you can be the change. we need your support. these are questions you can ask anyone and maybe with some, you will get some resistance, some surprise, even, but it’s so worth asking the question. engaging with your friends and with yourself in a mindful way is how our society can help with recovery.

not everyone will experience mental illness but no one will be mentally well for their entire lives. we all get colds and we all get anxiety. it’s worth chatting about.

so, please stop telling us that it’s our fault that we didn’t speak. start asking. you are all capable of engaging with people in a more mindful manner. that is the change we need to see. our conversations need to change at their most fundamental level – fewer orders, more questions. engaging in a way that is conducive to recovery starts with our words. my words. your words.

a very honest skincare routine

hi there! sorry it’s been a while, i finished work about two weeks ago, and then went to london so i’ve been on a bit of a holiday when it comes to writing – but honestly, writing is its own kind of holiday. anyway, a lot of friends on twitter asked me to write more about my skin care regime, and i was about to make a thread and then remembered i have a blog (lol). anyway, i’m going to write what i do when i’m mentally well i’m also going to write about what i try to do when i’m not. i don’t think it’s fair to anyone, least of all myself, to pretend i do an 8-step skincare routine every single night, when in reality i keep it up for a few weeks, stop for another few weeks, and start again. that’s usually the pattern. sometimes you just need to let yourself be disabled! working on your health constantly is really, really tiring, and it’s a process of learning to forgive yourself when your health isn’t all that good. remember: recovery. is. not. linear.

anyways, this is my fun-filled skincare regime(s)!

another disclaimer: i am not a dermatologist. i have oily skin that is prone to spots and redness. i’ve been trying to take care of my skin for the past eight years, and this is the regime that has ultimately proven the most effective for me. i might get some stuff scientifically wrong. let me know ifi do. this is all just info i’ve accumulated from magazines, books, makeup artists, and doctors.

okay, here we go!

THE ARROGANT MENTALLY WELL ONE

-1 (the prequel). exfoliate.

only exfoliate once or twice a week! you don’t wanna get rid of all of your skin! some recommend exfoliating after cleansing but in my experience, it’s easier, cleaner, and more satisfying to do it first. in my experience, if you do it after cleansing, even after rinsing it off etc, you will still have annoying little remnants of your exfoliant left on your face. i find it easier to do it first and it’ll come off after all the cleansing.

1. oil cleansing.

a lot of my fellow oily skin types will recoil at the idea of putting oil on your face, but trust me, it’s exactly what your skin needs. you’ve gotta fight oil with more oil, which sounds like a contradiction. but believe me, if you oil-cleanse your face, not only will it get rid of your makeup better than ANY other product, but once you wash it away with hot water, you will feel amazing. it’s like getting rid of the bad oil, all the sweat etc, and replacing it with nourishing, good oil. do it!! oil-cleansing has become more mainstream now so it’s easier to find an oil cleanser from most brands. i currently use a No7 one because about a year ago it was the only high-street one i could find!

2. water cleansing.

most other cleansers are water-based. milks (which aren’t usually real milk), foams, face wash, all that stuff. i don’t think you need an explanation for why water-based cleansers are nice. they even out your face and once you’ve oil-cleansed, the water cleanser gets past all that icky surface dirt and makes its way through to deep-cleanse your skin. doing both oil-cleansing and then water-cleansing will change 👏 your 👏 life 👏

3. toning.

throw some cold water on your face. you don’t need an expensive toner. if you wanna buy an actual toner with like. “benefits” or whatever, i’d thoroughly recommend lush’s tea tree water. it feels amazing, it’s a natural antiseptic (hot tip: spray it on your pillow for nice smells and also getting rid of all the grease on the pillow from your hair and face!). plus, when you run out, you can just refill the spray bottle with water and then put some lavender oil drops in there. there will still be a tea tree residue so it becomes a delicious tea tree and lavender toner. that’s what i do anyway! lavender is really good for sleep hygiene! you can use any essential oil you like the smell of though, i’m not your real dad, you can decide for yourself.

4. treatments

this is where you use those products that are like “Hey. How are you doing. I am going to get rid of your spots within 4 hours.” and they don’t, but y’know, they’re better than other spot treatments because they’re more powerful? or those face masks that are like “Well hello there sport. Would you like a bomb? What kind of bomb, you ask? Why, a moisture bomb, you stupid child.” this is the time to use those magical products that promise to fix all your problems. well, all your skin problems. they can’t sort out your intimacy issues. that’s for you to sort out yourself.

5. “serum”.

does anyone else hate the word serum? i used to get serum and semen mixed up all the time. they’re too similar and i don’t like it. anyway, if you’re younger than 30, don’t use a special serum thing. if you’re under that age, you could use something like rosehip oil and spread that all over your face. actually, everyone should do that. rosehip oil is amazing and beautiful and soft and rich in vitamin c. use it. i’m almost 20 so i know nothing about serums for real grown-ups. how and ever! i don’t buy into that age-defying bullshit. signs of “age” are beautiful and prove to the world how powerful you are and don’t let the patriarchy beat you down!!

6. moisturising.

my main motto in life is (if you doodoo on yourself… and i live by that)
sorry. one of the mottos i have, which i think i read in a KISS magazine (RIP) when i was 15, is “moisturising is non-negotiable”. honey, you’ve GOT to moisturise. it’s! so! important! i don’t care what kind of skin you have! EVERYONE needs it! moisturise bitch!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

THE SELF FORGIVENESS REGIME

1.

put baby wipes beside your bed. ideally sensitive ones, or moisturising ones, or even both if you’re feeling fancy, but if you don’t have access to that, normal baby wipes are good. you could also keep a bottle of micellar water and a facecloth near your bed if you want to be more earth-friendly, which is great, but takes a little bit more effort. do whatever is easiest.

2.

drink your water and try to get some sleep. you got this. take your time. forgive yourself. spread love to others.
well that’s it everybody, but remember: my skin only improved once i did this one quick trick:

GIVE UP ANIMAL PRODUCTS AND MEN. YOUR SKIN WILL CLEAR UP IMMEDIATELY.

grá mór xoxo

my review of INCREDIBLES 2 which eventually DEVOLVES into a COMMENTARY on the CHILDREN’S FILM INDUSTRY

THIS REVIEW WILL CONTAIN SPOILERS! i’ll add a cute “read more” button when i start sharing spoilers. anyway, you’ve been warned!

i’ve watched incredibles 2 twice – once in the cinema, once at home, directly after the first incredibles, my own personal double bill special, which i shared with a best friend. my initial review is way different than after seeing both films together.

firstly, i just want to say that we waited a long, long time for a resolution and a sequel to the masterpiece that is the first incredibles. in my opinion, incredibles 2 delivered what we needed. we had a compelling, mysterious villain, we finally got to see what happened directly after the underminer appeared at the end of the first film. as far as sequels go, this was magnificent. my initial review would’ve been that the new one was even better than the first film, which a lot of people agreed with, but a lot of people disagreed with. my review now is that it’s worth watching, it’s a necessary and beautiful sequel that really does fill the void that the first incredibles left. however, when compared to the first film, it doesn’t quite hit the mark. that’s unfair though, because after all a sequel is a sequel, and it’s hard to compete with a practically perfect film.

when i was in the cinema watching incredibles 2 for the first time, my mouth was agape during the entire thing. i loved the beginning that focused on tony, the love interest violet had, and his perspective of the events that followed the underminer’s invasion. i loved the return of the parrs’ lawyer. i loved how elastigirl is still thicc as hell, an incredible (ha-ha) and caring person, and how i’m still just as in awe and in love with her as i was as a child. (after watching these films again as an adult, i think i can confirm that helen “elastigirl” parr was my first love, and the first indication that i was a lesbian!) the classy style of this movie returned, a retro 50s/60s view with futuristic machines and elegant cars and planes. i genuinely loved every single moment of this movie.

Continue reading “my review of INCREDIBLES 2 which eventually DEVOLVES into a COMMENTARY on the CHILDREN’S FILM INDUSTRY”

really good hummus pasta

first things first: this recipe was originally inspired by this savoury vegan

you can make this recipe in less than 20 minutes with some practice, and it is RIDICULOUSLY good. really good alternative for big heavy creamy dishes!

ingredients:

  • 100g wholewheat spaghetti (white also works, i use wholewheat because it’s higher in fibre and protein)
  • about 2-3 tbsp hummus
  • half a bag of baby spinach leaves
  • 5 sundried tomatoes
  • 4 garlic cloves
  • 2 tsp chilli flakes (optional)
  • 2 tsp oil (olive is best, or you can use the oil from your jar of sundried tomatoes)
  • coarse sea salt
  • table salt
  • black pepper
  • lemon (optional)
  • parsley (optional)

method:

1. the first thing you want to do is boil your kettle so that you have hot water ready to go for pasta. put your pasta into a pot and add table salt, then add hot water, turn your hob on high, wait 2 minutes, lower the heat, and set a timer for 7-9 minutes, depending on how cooked you like your pasta.

2. chop up your ingredients. i suggest roughly chopping up your spinach first.

2. then, mincing or crushing your garlic, i mince my garlic because the taste is stronger and it means that you use all the garlic (don’t forget to peel off the skin though). wash your hands after dealing with the garlic because they’ll be sticky and annoying.

3. then, you can start chopping the sundried tomatoes into very small pieces (about 1cm2). your chopping board will now be oily, probably, but that’s okay. keep your ingredients within arms reach.

4. take a cup and dip it into your pasta pot to collect some of that starchy pasta water. this is very important!

5. pasta done? strain her! you can get a colander and leave the pasta in there while you get your sauce and goodies on.

6. FIRST, add the oil into the pot. then add garlic with black pepper, chilli flakes, and crush some coarse sea salt into it as well. fry it up.

7. after about like, 30 seconds? add in the spinach. it will really wilt up and get tiny, so that’s why you will initially feel that it’s a ridiculous amount of spinach. be patient.

8. after the spinach has wilted a little bit, add in the sundried tomatoes. if your garlic is sticking to the bottom of the pot, add more oil.

9. add a little sploosh of pasta water. i know you have a full cup, but trust me, only add a little at a time.

10. put in your first tbsp of hummus, and mix it into the pasta water and the goodies. then you can alternate between adding more hummus and more pasta water depending on how thick you like your sauce.

11. bring your pasta back! stir her in! iconic! wooooorrrrkkkkkk! you’re done!

12. if you want you can serve with a cute lemon wedge or some parsley. i don’t have notions so i don’t do that but i’m sure it’d be lovely.

enjoy babes!!! xoxo cúnla

a collection of all the things i know about: SLEEP HYGIENE

hello again! i made a thread on twitter a little while ago about sleep hygiene and it seemed to help some people, so i’m gonna share what i know here!

how do i know so much about sleep? because it’s difficult for me to keep a normal sleep routine without effort! which really isn’t very rare, but i choose to take care of myself in this respect as much as i can. i’ve learned some of this from my mental health team (which means, my therapist, nurse,and psychiatrist), and i’ve learned a lot over the years through research, too.

if you want some cute infographic things, these are some things i’ve saved to a pinterest board re: sleep hygiene. as always, quick reminder that these are things that have helped me; if something seems unrealistic to you personally, that’s okay. if you have any more suggestions, please comment below or send me a message.

what is sleep hygiene exactly? it’s about making sure you sleep for enough hours per night, getting a high enough quality of sleep, and going to sleep and waking up at the same time every day. so without further ado here are my hot tips!

1. figure out what sleep hygiene means to you.

it took me a while to figure out that sleep hygiene, for me, means getting seven to nine hours of sleep. not only that, but that it’s better if i’m asleep before midnight and awake before 9am.

you could be entirely different, you could be a night owl, or you could be a polyphasic sleeper. most people practice monophasic sleep, but some people do find it easier to sleep in different portions. for example, some people practice a biphasic sleep schedule – sleeping for 3-4 hours, waking up for about an hour, and going back to sleep for another 3-4 hours. there is evidence of biphasic sleeping back into the middle ages, in fact, that people would naturally wake up in the middle of the night, and use their time to have a chat with their partner, or to pray, etc. a very common polyphasic sleep schedule is the siesta sleep – sleeping for 5-6 hours at night, and then taking a nap for 20-90 minutes in the early afternoon.

there are benefits to practising a polyphasic sleep schedule, and it’s worth checking out, but if you feel that monophasic sleep works best for you, keep it! it doesn’t matter if you’re a night owl, or if you love going to bed at 7pm, as long as you are sleeping according to your own needs.

2. to remove all means of annoyance

(wow, cúnla, you’re really gonna use a macbeth quote as a heading?)

turn. off. your. phone.

leave. your. phone. downstairs.

you know yourself that you shouldn’t bring your phone up to bed with you, let alone staying up looking at it until the wee hours and you eventually get smacked in the face with it as it falls from your hand with pure exhaustion. there are no benefits to keeping your phone upstairs with you. i recommend that at least an hour before you go to bed, you turn off your phone, and leave it downstairs. every time you bring your phone upstairs with you, you tell yourself that you won’t stay up, but you do. every time you choose not to turn off your phone, you make a choice not to prioritise your own wellbeing. you make a choice to stay up, hurt your future self, and you feed anxiety by looking at social media, or you feed vivid nightmares from playing flashy games.

you know this. please, just turn off your phone.

3. practice self-care.

turn your mind away from screens at least an hour before bed. drink something soothing, but stay away from caffeine. the only exception i’d make to this is green tea – green tea isn’t very high in caffeine and it does wonders for your skin and your metabolism. i personally like drinking some green tea, or hot oat milk with maybe a little maple syrup, or just water. chamomile tea is apparently good for sleep, though i personally believe it tastes like ass, so y’know, if you like it, power to you. try not to eat much before going to sleep, if you’re really hungry, eat a banana.

okay, so you’ve turned your phone off. ya bored? read a book. journal. write a list. draw. take a bath or a shower. listen to a podcast (this will be in my next point). do yoga. tidy your room. clean your mirror. make a packed lunch. set out tomorrow’s outfit. pack your bag. tomorrow you will be so grateful.

4. be kind to your senses.

it’s so hard for me to sleep without full entire darkness, and also sound! if like me, your room is quite bright, your blinds are broken, and it’s summertime, get yourself a sleep mask! honestly, it makes such a difference. it takes a little while to get used to, but i sleep so much better now. otherwise, just make sure that all your curtains are drawn, the lights are out, etc. i’d also recommend that in your hour leading up to bed, turn off the harsh ceiling lights, and light small lamps instead. this indicates to your brain that you’re getting to sleep because it simulates dusk. what even better is if those lamps, especially lampshades, are warm-toned, rather than blue.

some people need absolute silence to sleep. some need sound, like me. if you’re someone who needs absolute silence, i’d recommend looking up how to soundproof your windows and your room, or else you could get earplugs.

however, if you’re like me, i find that a podcast or an audiobook works best. my favourites have got to be levar burton reads and the blindboy podcast. both are stimulating and interesting, but also deeply calming and heartwarming. now, how can you listen to a podcast without your phone? here we go. if you have an old smartphone, i’d recommend turning it on, connecting it to power, either at a charging point or into a dock, and deleting all apps from it except your podcast app.

set a sleep timer. itunes gives you options of 10 minutes, 15 minutes, 30 minutes, 45 minutes, 1 hour, or until podcast ends. at first, i always chose ‘until podcast ends’, but found that i was falling asleep usually within 30 minutes, so i choose that option now. play around with whatever works best for you.

be kind to your senses of touch as well, and be mindful of how often you change your sheets. nothing feels better than taking a shower, putting on a new pair of pyjamas, and getting into a bed with fresh sheets. it’s recommended to change your sheets every week, but for most of us, especially disabled people like me, it’s not realistic. i personally change them from every 2 weeks up to every month, depending on my health. it’s important to remember as well that it’s okay to ask for help. ask your friend to come over and help you change your bed. it seriously is so important to remember that you have a support system, no matter how big or small, and your friends should be happy to help you when you need it.

5. busy minds.

i’ve got borderline personality disorder! i’m not good at going to sleep with all my worries and anxieties! i have to put them somewhere or express them, and then i can distract myself. i keep a small notebook, nothing fancy, near my bed, and i can write down absolute nonsense down in it. my notebook is full of accounts of dreams, rants, cbt worksheets and homework, inspiration, anger, self-indulgent sadness, the works! and after all that, i put it under my bed knowing that i can accept what i can’t change, and i can change what i can change in the morning. then i turn on my podcast and get to sleep. works like a goddamn charm.

6. naps?

if you’re disabled, yes, sometimes you need a nap. how and ever! if you can go without it, please do.

7. partners

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. if you must sleep with your partner, do it, but figure out how to maintain sleep hygiene for both of you. vow to go to bed at the same time, find solutions for snoring, get two separate twin duvets so that there’s no tug-of-war. keep a window open, change sheets regularly. it’s up to you to fix your sleeping problems and to take of your own mental and physical wellbeing, as well are your partner’s. otherwise, dump them and get your bed to yourself again! i jest, i jest. (i do not jest.)

8. the morning after.

when you wake up, you determine how you’ll get to sleep the next night. expose yourself to daylight asap. i personally keep my blinds open overnight so that when i wake up, i take off my sleep mask and immediately see the morning.

your main mission is this: do absolutely everything in your power to avoid pressing snooze. you need to stop pressing snooze. it’s an evil invention that only starts your day with a feeling of guilt and dizziness. stop pressing snooze on your life. it is the day, it is the morning, and you are here on earth to make your life as full as it can be.

this is how i avoid pressing snooze. i got myself a real alarm clock so that i’m not depending on my phone. i put that alarm clock across the room. near the alarm clock, before i go to bed, i leave a note, or a post-it or a flashcard that indicates why today is worth waking up for. i got up in the morning for the entirety of last week just because i was excited that i was going to be eating beans on toast for breakfast. whatever you wake up for doesn’t matter. even if you consider something unhealthy, like how i got out of bed because i was excited to play video games, it’s actually not necessarily doing damage to your health. it gets you out of bed. i might not even have time to play legend of zelda: breath of the wild in the morning, but it’s gotten me up and that in and of itself is contributing to my wellbeing.

i also leave out a note telling myself what to do before considering a snooze. this list involves taking my meds, looking out the window, drinking a full glass of water, and walking around my room. i find that this really does help out a lot. also, the reminder that i can snooze on my way into work or college, or that i can check my phone downstairs, or take a nap later on in the day, or the fact that if i get up now, i’ll have a better sleep tonight, that all helps me.

one last tip – make your bed. i didn’t learn this from pinterest, or my psychiatrist, or anyone, but only from my own experience. if i make my bed in the morning, and it looks beautiful and neat, i have cause for a tiny celebration – i got something done. not only that but if your bed looks neat and tidy, you don’t want to mess up its glory in the morning by getting back in and crumpling it. but when the nighttime comes again, your bed will be irresistible and oh so inviting.

sleep well and remember that getting to proper sleep hygiene takes time. be patient with yourself and go at your own pace. you can’t go from a wholly unhealthy sleep regimen to complete sleep hygiene over the course of one dusk-to-dawn. figure out what works for you, and be kind to yourself. you deserve it. grá mór agus oíche mhaith.

💞💕💘💗💖💓