FRIDAY OPEN THREAD: Let’s Do Some Indulgent Bullsh*t and Take Care of Ourselves

Hello carrots, turnips, and beets! Welcome to this week’s Friday Open Thread! I’m excited for another week with all of your bold and beautiful faces in which we post pictures of our loved ones and pets (especially pets), show off our projects, share our secrets, and generally grow as people. In other words, it’s everything you want, it’s everything you need, it’s everything inside of you that you wish the world could be. So, without further ado:



I spent the last few weeks doing a lot of things. There were near-all-nighters. There was an endless stream of coffee. There were alarms that went off on the weekend. There was so much Drake.

And then, last weekend, I was like no I can’t I just can’t do this right now and BOOM! I spent two entire days lounging in the light of our bay window, wearing sundresses without leaving the house, and shoulder dancing to and from brunch. I watched an entire show on Netflix. I read Interview magazine.

I was reborn, y’all. I’m feeling very hippie flower girl about it. I recommend it so dearly.


And I wanna know what kinda stuff makes you feel that way!

What are the things you do to unwind, dear ‘straddlers? Do you take baths? Do you clean? I do that, too. Not sure if it counts. Do you shop? Do you eat? If so, salty or sweet? I can never decide. I wanna know how you check yourself before you wreck yourself. Come one, come all and tell me how you treat yo self!

(Also, feel free to just stop by to: say hello, post recipes, post photos, find your soulmate, reply to someone else’s comment and thus grow a rainbow where once there was just rain, talk to me about your job / school / recent accomplishments, post an interesting GIF, etcetera etcetera. I’m here for you.)

How To Post A Photo In The Comments:

1. Find a photo! This is the easy part. Find a photo on the web, right click (on a Mac, control+click), hit “Copy Image URL” and then…

2. Code it in to your comment! Use the following code, and use a DIRECT LINK to the image. Your image link should end in .JPG or .GIF or .PNG or .CallMeWhateverYouWant even. I don’t care, but it should be an image suffix! KINDA LIKE THIS:

If you need to upload the photo you love from your computer, try using imgur. To learn more about posting photos, check out Ali’s step-by-step guide.

How To Post A Video In The Comments, Too:

1. Find a video on YouTube or Vimeo or WHATEVER and click “embed.” Copy that code, but first make sure it’s for 640 px wide or less. If your player is too large, it will not display properly.

2. Copy the code and paste it directly into your comment.

3. Go forth and jam.

Before you go! Autostraddle runs on the reader support of our AF+ Members. If this article meant something to you today — if it informed you or made you smile or feel seen, will you consider joining AF and supporting the people who make this queer media site possible?

Join AF+!


Carmen spent six years at Autostraddle, ultimately serving as Straddleverse Director, Feminism Editor and Social Media Co-Director. She is now the Consulting Digital Editor at Ms. and writes regularly for DAME, the Women’s Media Center, the National Women’s History Museum and other prominent feminist platforms; her work has also been published in print and online by outlets like BuzzFeed, Bitch, Bust, CityLab, ElixHER, Feministing, Feminist Formations, GirlBoss, GrokNation, MEL, Mic and SIGNS, and she is a co-founder of Argot Magazine. You can find Carmen on Twitter, Instagram and Tumblr or in the drive-thru line at the nearest In-N-Out.

Carmen has written 919 articles for us.


  1. I have spent every night after work this week taking care of projects I’ve been wanting to complete for a long time (getting rid of things/reorganizing my various closets, putting up pictures/other decorative stuff I bought a long time ago and haven’t gotten to, reorganizing my bookshelves, etc. etc.) and getting way less sleep or wind-down time than I like because of it and I am FINALLY DONE with all of the things I wanted to accomplish, and so I really truly can’t wait to put on my comfiest sweatpants and cook a nice dinner and binge-watch the hell out of some Orphan Black tonight (and hopefully get my gf as interested in it as I newly am).

    • i super approve of this plan, also CONGRATULATIONS on being done! whew! you did it! and i’m impressed, let’s be real, because organizing a closet is so hard.

  2. I am super excited for tomorrow as I will finally have internet and tv at home for the first time in two and a half weeks and let me tell you, with that much self reflect time my-self and I need a break from each other.

    I like to take lone walks through the forest by my-self and take in all the nature to unwind but that usually leads to me injuring my-self in some ridiculous way but it always works.

    • welcome back to the internet world-at-large! i support going on a nature walk whenever possible. i also support you coming back here to show me nature pics.

  3. My school has been on Easter holidays this week, and I went away for a few days so that I would actually take a proper break from studying (I’ve been falling into the old trap of feeling like however much I study IT IS NOT ENOUGH urrrgh)

    Anyway, I went to Valencia. The highlight of my trip was possibly seeing a beluga at the aquarium. You guys, belugas are so cute in the weirdest way and they have great facial expressions.

    I also did stuff that I only really seem to do when I’m on holiday, like take myself out for meals at restaurants and spend ages reading non-work-related books in cafés. I think I should make an effort to do those things more often when I’m not on holiday.

    • belugas are my favorite! when i was little and discovered them at an aquarium i immediately went out and bought a beluga stuffed animal and pledged to love and snuggle it forever.

  4. As the weather in NY is *hopefully* getting nicer, I’ve been taking long walks, often with my dog. I work nights, so I don’t have a traditional evening of winding down. I want to start meditating and reading more. I have a bad habit of not finishing books, but I finished a book the other day, and it was so satisfying. I’ve been reading a lot of articles on body positive weight loss, which is something I’m doing. Also, cooking blogs with nutritious foods that are made of real ingredients and not powders and fillers. I’ve been trying to be the best me I can be, and I’m really feeling good about life, minus the underemployment. But I’m working on it. I figure I can either complain or play victim to life being life, or I can work at it to be happier and healthier.

    • turn that underemployment into #funemployment! i was never able to do this when i was underemployed, but i believe in you! also, i always think you’re being the best you you can be which is pretty damn great, in case you were wondering.

    • I like your style! I really need to eat better. It’s a challenge these days when it’s so easy and cheap to eat like crap.

      I need to investigate meditation, too.

  5. Yesterday finally got a job! After graduating in May and “wasting” my summer chilling with my friends, I’ve been living with my parents in bum fuck no where in Maine for the past 8months. And yesterday I received a confirmation that I received an Americorps Curatorial fellowship at a National Historic Site in NH! I’m so happy I could cry.

  6. I…. i just wreck myself. Sometimes v spectacularly.

    I mean, i like music and stuff, and last weekend’s Harry Potter party was AWESOME, but then again, it also included substances, so idk if that really counts? But the Butterbeer was amazing, omg. I wish it was this weekend, too.

    But i don’t have a thing or two that makes me feel reborn, so im really p jealous of everybody who does. ;p Nicely jealous, of course.

    • have you tried a spa bath? or maybe sleeping for ten hours straight. or playing with some small animals! i know there is something out there that will enrich your weekend beyond belief, caitlin! i hope you stumble upon it and then come back here to tell me all about it.

      also, i wish i had some butterbeer right about now.

      • What’s a spa bath? And I have a bad habit of sleeping way too much : x I WOULD LOVE TO PLAY WITH SMALL ANIMALS but none are available to me sob sob ;;;;; all my tears. I want to play worth a puppy.

        Although, right now, I’m outside, my mom made a really good smoothie, and I can’t believe it’s spring haha because it’s stop nice out. So while I don’t really know what “rejuvenation” is to feel like, right now things seem pretty nice c:

        Omg it was so good, the Butterbeer. I dunno how it was put together, but the parts were: cookies and cream ice cream, vanilla ice cream, I think white chocolate Irish creme, butterscotch schnapps, and butterscotch candy pieces. It barely even tasted like alcohol!

      • It was so fun! :D I ingested v pleasing substances,and touched a friend with a green spatula. I always get weird when im drunk; I don’t know how people stand me :’D

  7. I try not to overindulge, but my weakness is certainly well-crafted beer. I’m a light weight, so if I have something like a Schneider Aventinus Weizen-Eisbock which clocks in at 12% ABV, or even a bomber of Stone Arrogant Bastard, I’m pretty toasty. I try not to do it all the time.

    However, you fine folks may indulge in this adorable picture of my Shih Tzu, Jett (named after Joan Jett, of course) rocking his bunny ears.

    • Lightweight solidarity! Beer sends me sozzled now I’m practically T-total. So an Erdinger or a Hoegaarden and I’d be floored. Also super cute pooch!

      • I think back to my undergrad days (and that wasn’t long ago) and I’m like, “How did I drink that much and function the next day?!”

        So glad I’m over it. A close friend and production collaborator of mine is dealing with depression and has had problems in the past with keeping his drinking in check. I’m around him a lot, so I don’t drink at all when he’s with me. Now I’m realizing I don’t even order a drink out when he’s not there.

        • Oddly similar to my experiences! And yes how did I drink so much as an undergrad. My insides must have been pickled.

    • Mmm Arrogant Bastard ale. I’m similarly a lightweight now. I learned while training for the half marathon last year (and possibly as a result of HRT) that I can’t treat my body like crap and expect it to function properly.

      This year I’m training for a marathon. I had two drinks Thursday night and I have had a migraine since yesterday. So… I think I’m dry at least until the marathon is past. It is far less expensive to go out and not drink! I know I can’t live without craft beer, but maybe I’ll try to get into mocktails?

  8. This is my handsome boy Ollie. I’ve had the single most miserable week in recent memory, because Ollie, at age 13, went to the big dog park in the sky on Monday and I’ve been fluctuating between being a massive wreck and sort of stumbling around in a fog at work. I’m only sort of sure today is Friday.

    This weekend I’m gonna hang out with my awesome girlfriend and refinish a big dresser, because renewing something and making it mine and just fixing shit is really my happy place and I need that.

    • oh, maggie. eli and i are sending many hugs to you and many belly rubs to ollie in that big dog park in the sky <3

    • Oh, dude. So sorry for your loss. They’re only here for a short time, but they mean the world. Sending love!

    • So sorry for your loss, hope he’s chasing something great up there. Haptic tasks take my mind off anything, hope the dresser turns out awesome and gives your a break.

    • Every time a dog who came to live with me dies, it breaks my heart. They always bring life and happiness to me. Even years after they have died, tears come to my eyes when I think of them.
      I know you will always have Ollie in your heart!

    • Maggie, my vet has a “saying” on the wall. “Everytime my dog dies she/he takes a part of my heart, and leaves a part of her/ his heart with me. Pretty soon my heart will be totally a dog’s loving heart!”

    • Oh, what a beautiful boy. May he be alternating between balls/chewtoys/chasing squirrels/lying in front of the fire and whatever else may have made his life happy. And sympathy to you.

  9. Relaxation Process:

    1. Pick a video game. Either new and highly-anticipated or tried-and-true. Current selection: Skyrim. If in Future-Wife’s apartment, pick a game she likes to watch. This is just about any game, but Skyrim and Mass Effect are proven winners.

    2. Pick a set of pajamas. 1 pair flannel pants, 1 t-shirt, 1 ratty sweatshirt.

    3. Pick a seat. Options: Bed with mountains of pillows; reclining leather chair; butterfly chair.

    4. Pick a blanket.

    5. Play game from Friday evening to Sunday evening, moving only for food and other essentials. Showers are optional but highly encouraged, especially when sharing a space with Wife-to-Be. Showers may not be optional when sharing a space with the Wife-to-Be.

    6. Be sure to cuddle Future-Wife, even as you continue to play the game. She will be busy doing law school things, but she always appreciates a cuddle.

    • Yes, yes and yes. This was my last week and it was amazing. But I played Dragon Age inquisition and I cannot reccomend it highly enough. As a diehard Skyrim and ME fan I salute your chilling choices.

      • Agree 100% on DA:I. I invested an alarming amount of time into that one. It needs some time to mellow before I can pick it up again, but it’s definitely been added to the tried-and-true list.

        • I found its ending…. frustrating. The other games felt better ended to me, more complete while still not closing the door on the continued story. Not ME3 bad, but still unsatisfying.

  10. My friend just cancelled our dinner plans for tonight and I’m kind of excited because it means I can sit in my underwear in front of a fan and read poetry all night. It’s gonna be glorious.

    • unlike the tegan and sara song I think i would like you if i met you audrey. i mean i already like you now, so.

  11. I’ve had the most insane month; busy with two jobs, going to out of state weddings, planning parties for friends, sports leagues, band practices, you name it! I was starting to feel so exhausted and just completely overwhelmed. So when I was in Florida for my uncle’s wedding (he married his partner who he’s been with for 38 years!!!) I decided to stay an extra day and just have a day for ME. I went to the beach alone and sat there, enjoying the sand, the ocean, and the ‘me’ time. It was perfect, and just what I needed to recoup. I wish I could do this every time I was feeling exhausted and stressed, but knowing it was a special treat made me enjoy it that much more! Here’s a pic of my view that day – missing it already!

  12. I took the day off from work, on the pretext I needed to pick up The Kid on her return from Spring Break spent with her other parent. We just had a late sushi lunch, have stopped for coffee, and apparently are headed home to watch some anime. Spending the afternoon with the kid: good time!

  13. I’m in this place in my life right now where I am just now becoming comfortable spending time with myself. I used to feel as though spending time alone was the same as being lonely and I didn’t like that, but since figuring out that’s not true I have been chilling alone a lot and it’s awesome. I am spectacular company. I’m still in the process of figuring out what I like to do when I hang out with myself, but I’ve found that traveling alone is the absolute best thing on earth. I literally never want to go anywhere with another human being again.

    I also like to sit in cafes and people watch while I should be writing essays which is what I’m doing right now.

    I read the entirety of The Bell Jar on a park bench near the ocean two days ago and I think that makes me a cliche, but it was still awesome.

  14. These are the things I do to unwind and they are great:

    I like to wander around London on a nice day and discover streets I’ve never seen before.

    I like to cook something I wouldn’t normally make. And then eat it with friends and a bottle of okay wine and a vase of flowers on the table.

    I like to read with a good cup of tea and Classic FM on the radio.

    I like to read the paper in its entirety and then argue about what I read for ages with anyone who will put up with me.

    I like to cycle along the canal.

    I like to get a pint in a pub in the afternoon with friends for no particular reason.

      • I think I stole it all from a lifestyle magazine. Regardless, it all works. I always get super energised and excitable when I do those things.

    • YES to all the above. Especially the canal part. And The tea part. And the discovering part. So yeah, all the above…

  15. Hello lovely people. I had 10 days off work and got mega chill playing video games and going out for lovely country walks and ice cream with my missus and pooch and then went back to work full tilt and have a sick dog… Ugh. It’s ok though 17 days straight working and I’m off to Spain to sit on the beach and read modern classics.
    So my wee dog has a wee problem…literally…just glad it’s not bladder stones so no op needed, although it’s run me a chunk of change so far and the poor love is miserable.
    Here’s some pics of the dog and the countryside.

    Aside from the stuff above I basically find any situation where I couldn’t do anything “useful” to be relaxing. By which I mean being on a train/bus, being tattooed, waiting for something, (as long as it’s not the dentist or roadside assistance), or getting a haircut. Weird but I have near Catholic levels of guilt about not working or studying in “spare” time. Does anyone else suffer from this…?

    • Oh man, I really hope your adorable furball feels better soon. (And now all I want is ice cream)

      • Thank you, once she stops having to pee every few yards she’ll be ok. Find ice cream :) have ice cream!

    • Relating so hard to the guilt about not working or studying in my “spare” time. There’s a constant niggling feeling of “well, you know, you COULD be doing something useful right now, you are wasting time” and it’s hard to suppress it…

      • So glad I’m not alone! But also so very sad for us and our stupid guilt. I feel like I need to give my self a break.

  16. I fell down some stairs a few weeks ago while moving for the fourth time in a year and sprained my ankle pretty bad. I’m off crutches, but being laid up has been depressing, I’m losing hours at work, can’t exercise for at least another week, got sick, plus the background noise of the general awfulness of the last 3-5 years…

    So I have been letting myself put my current favorite shows on (Leverage, Archer) while I knit profusely, play/snuggle with the kitten, drink tea, eat chips, and do some online shopping for the first time in months. Because I totally needed a swimsuit and a new sundress for A Camp, guys.


    This week has been eventful as fugg. I had an interview with the State of Flawda on Tuesday (!!! Benefits!!!), another interview with another company next Monday, and tonight, I am meeting with a local gallery owner about potentially maybe perhaps displaying and/or selling some of the pictures I’ve taken over the years? What?! This is a huge giant dream of mine and I am SO nervous because I never thought someone with an actual eye for this kind of thing would notice and try to make this happen. I have to choose a sample pack of prints and this has to be like what choosing your favorite child is like because I want to take them all. I want to just take my whole hard drive to her like “here, here is my life.”

    To unwind, I usually take myself a hot bubbly bath. Like really hot. And really bubbly. Usually also with epsom salt and/or lavender oil because why not. More recently, I’ve been taking my frustrations out at the gym, which is more productive than when I would just eat my feelings. If I’m feeling REALLY antsy and the weather/time of day permit, I head to the beach or one of a few local parks with my trusty camera to snap some nature shots and remind myself how beautiful the world can be and to calm the eff down and breathe, dammit. If the weather/time of day don’t permit, then I clean. Also, sometimes, beer/wine and a coloring book because I am an adult.

    • Bubbly Baths are awesome. I love that you treat yourself by reminding yourself of the beauty in the world. That can be hard sometimes.

      Congrats on the interviews and best of luck to you!

  18. My girlfriend of 2.5 years broke up with me this week. Over text. On Monday. While I was at work. So this weekend I will need to treat myself for real.

    Tomorrow after my finance class, I plan to go to a friend’s house and make a fun meal. What should I make?

    Then after cooking friend time, I am playing hockey with my team in our end of the year tournament. That activity is sure to help me forget about all of the feels and get some aggression out. Saturday night has a queer women’s dance party, I usually enjoy this party but it is something that we used to do together, so I don’t know if it will be helpful or not. I will have a lot of friends going so it might be worth it.

    Sunday will involve watching Grey’s and Friends and not much else. Maybe making food, maybe ordering in. Who knows. Definitely a bath. Oh maybe I will go to Lush and get a bath bomb! That is one of my favorite ways to treat myself.

    • Sucky way to end things. Hope you’re self caring in all the best ways
      Bath bombs are great treats! Avobath is my fave, oh no wait Big blue… Oh no choices! Ugh all so good. As for fun food – Tacos or the splendidly 80s fondue. Have a good weekend.

    • Oh my godddd that is the WORST. Big hugs being sent your way. Sounds like you’re doing a grand old job of taking good care of yourself <3

      • Thanks! I have to say that so far it is my least favorite way for a relationship to end. I had even asked if we could talk in person and she said no. Which would be totally legit if I were abusive or she felt her safety were in question, but that is 100% not the case, she just decided to be a meany about it.

    • Oh that’s garbage and a half right there. I’m making bucatini (think hollow spaghetti) with Amatriciana sauce. You could go classic mac and cheese though. I dunno, pasta stuff is always freaking comforting.

      • It is garbage and a half. It is.

        Your pasta dish sounds intriguing. I may have to look up what is in that sauce.

    • What about a hand made pizza with your favorite toppings and a decadent dessert, like a brownie cake(or anything that you gentle beings like)?

  19. This week I finally decided to bite the bullet and have reached out to my local roller derby league to join. I’m not much of a skater at the moment but I enjoy it, and right now I’m contemplating a weekend trip to Dick’s to see if I can find some nice skates. Kind of bummed that the fresh meat program doesn’t start until summer though.

    Have to admit though that even though I know of derby’s community ties with the LGBT community, I’m a bit scared of joining as a trans girl. Anyone have any encouraging words for me?

    • I know that trans girls are well received on derby teams in my area. I wish you the best of luck in trying out!

      It’s awesome that you are taking the step to join.

      • I’m excited! The WFTDA officially allows trans girls on teams provided they’re on HRT, which I am. I’m just a little scared of the culture of my league, which is probably stupid because I’m not in a hugely transphobic area and derby girls tend to be super accepting anyway :)

    • Yesssss join us, join us!

      I’m also still in the “learning what the heck I’m doing” phase but it’s been so much fun.

      My league is an all-gender league. We’ve basically got the gender and sexuality rainbow covered. Everyone practices together and it’s a ton of fun. As far as I’m concerned, derby is for everyone!!

      I would try to find out if there are any specialty shops near you when you look for skates, because my experience with Dick’s is that their selection is terrible. That could just be the one near me, though. If you’re anywhere near Bruised Boutique in NH, go there.

      • I’m not sure where I’d go, I could probably drive up to Philly and find a store up there but that’s effort. Whatever the girlfriend wants to go to Dick’s anyway today so might as well see what they’ve got :)

    • My little sister joined a junior league (she’s in high school) and my dad is a ref. I have no interest in skating because I have zero athletic abilities…but I will say that roller derby people are the most badass, awesome, accepting people you will ever meet and super accepting. My sister joined when she was 11 and all of maybe 70 pounds, and my dad is nearly 60. If they can make it in that world, anyone can! Good luck to you!

  20. So, I relax by having a beautiful half hour walk to the bus-stop through the neighborhood.

    There are flowers everywhere y’all!!!

    The air smells like cherry blossoms!

    I really just want to bundle up all the flowers and delicious scents and send them to you all – especially those of you who have been stuck in the never-ending winter.

    And of course cake…

    • Beautiful! All the pink cherry trees coming to life in my city make me so happy! That sounds like a lovely walk to the bus stop.

    • Hey everyone!! Did you all survive the week? How is your hair. This week has been pretty good. I had to work OT but that means extra money for camp yay! I had my 26th on Easter which was great, we had a small BBQ with my grandma in town and ate taro cake. It had french macaroons on the sides.

      I usually go to the gym and workout to kinda de-stress myself. Massages are great but expensive LOL. I also like going to the beach or hiking. Speaking of the beach, I planned to run for 30 minutes this morning but got kinda lost and ended up doing an hour but I saw the beach for like 2 miles. As of late, I’m reading LOTR…more like fighting through it..that book is EFFING long y’all. Making my Metal Earth things sort of help me to unwind too. And washing/cleaning the car. AND LOOKING AT PICTURES OF MY WIFE AND THE FURBABIES ♥♥♥

      LOOK AT THE X WING I MAKED!! I MAKED THIS! On my way to finish the second part of the Star Wars Series Metal Earth put out.

      Taken on the last day of being 25 years old. I was taking my co workers up the Wisdom Tree in LA when I put a YDY sticker on one of the posts at the lookout.

      Andy wanting cuddles


      Being dapper on my first day being 26. That’s super important.

      Just cause ♥

      • aaaahhh noooooooo i got too distracted -.- will someone make this a separate comment?? #facepalm

  21. We added this guy to the family this week. Which hasn’t been the most not stressful process, however when he was curled up in a ball on my lap last night it was pretty damn soothing.

    I also have an app on my phone that lets me watch and talk to him while I’m at work and he’s at home – needless to say I’m pretty sure my coworkers think I’m nuts. But IDGAF cuz he is soooo cute.

  22. The beach makes me relax and unwind. I need to be moving to relax – hiking, beach walking, spending time in nature. I find that hunting for sea glass in the sand is an excellent way to redirect ruminative thoughts. I don’t have warm tropical beaches or big waves (though those are lovely of course). My beaches are the forest-lined shores of the puget sound. They’re so comforting to me.

    Did anyone else see the lunar eclipse last week? By chance, I lucked out and got nearly a perfect viewing. I work a 5:30 am shift at work, and it was still completely dark when I arrived. Just as I was pulling into the parking lot, I saw the eclipsed moon over the building where I work. It looked huge and was mostly dark grey/black, with just a tiny sliver showing on top.

    On Monday evening I washed my car and vacuumed the inside. I was so proud of my beautiful clean car. And happy about the fact that I’m over the halfway mark of paying it off. And then the next morning, there was a big dent in the hood, as if it had been hit by something the size of a bowling ball. It seems to be only cosmetic, no internal damage done. But still, I’m a bit bummed. :(

    All my car’s dings and dents have happened while parked. My car (named Curiosity) has gone from Indiana to Colorado and then from Colorado to Washington. It’s been to elevations of nearly 14000 feet. It’s gone over mountain ranges and endless Midwestern farmland. It has been through countless potholes on narrow cliff-side gravel roads. It survived these adventures unscathed. All of little Curiosity’s “battle scars” have been while she was parked quietly along the side of the road . No exciting story to tell. I named my car after the Mars rover, Curiosity. I would guess that the Curiosity on Mars has some dings and dents too. More character, I suppose.

    But on a different note, beach photos! It’s ALMOST warm enough to start going barefoot in the sand (if you’re tough). My feet and legs and arms were quite tan last summer, but now they’re all white again.

    Also, Mt. Rainier is so beautiful on sunny days. I love my city and the mountain that towers above it.

  23. I read. And I read and I read and I reread and read some more. And also I book shop, but less of that since I am planning a trip to San Francisco for after Camp.

    So now my self-care looks like a lot of Pinterest and obsessively stalking and cross-referencing between Yelp and blog posts.

    I started a board for all the things I want to DIY to wear to Camp! You might have to be a member to see this, but maybe not:

  24. Hi sweet cheeks!
    I’m doing alright, have been busy as fuck the last week, but today has felt very selfcarey, I slept in until 8, (I’ve been getting up at 5:30 blaaaaaargh) and had my first session with a brand new therapist who was so great! And walked to meet a friend so I can study/ she can work, and I’ve been reading a whole bunch- this week I read the summer prince, which was great, and started daisy hernandez’s memoir a cup of water under my bed which I’m loving.
    Lately I have been trying to get back into “exercise is good for your brain, remember”. I am hella indulgent all the time and that is fine but lately I am trying to reckon that cake is totally self care sometimes but it like cake is easier to get ahold of than sleep or time to myself or seeing my friends and for me personally, I can have all the cake I want but it is a better service to myself to acknowledge what my deeper needs are. But also, cake, whenever and however you want.

    And my zillion to do lists have kept all my shit together, which is satisfying. Also self care to me is asking Facebook it’s opinion rather than trying to figure shit out all by myself, because my friends are smart and like to be helpful.

  25. I tend to binge watch netflix and sleep in really late but those things never quite feel like unwinding or ‘taking care of myself’ cause I feel like shit after. I guess if I’m truly taking care of myself, it’s processing my feels through journaling or meditating (although I often feel like I’m just *trying* to meditate without actually meditating…) or singing or going to the gym.

    It’s been harder to do those things lately tho, summer always makes me depressed and it’s looming closer and closer.

  26. When I need to recharge or unwind or work through some stress, I either workout like crazy, or I just put in some headphones and go somewhere. Sometimes I go somewhere to walk around and just look around, but sometimes I get in my car and just drive. I live in the part of Ohio where if you drive for about 15 minutes in nearly any direction, you’ll end up in the middle of nowhere. I actually did that last weekend, after having a particularly rough week. I got in my car on Sunday afternoon and just drove. It was all backroads, and it was warm enough for me to roll my window down a bit. I was fine until I realized I was crossed into Indiana. Whoops. I quickly found a place to turn around and headed back.

    On a much happier note, the little ball of adorable fur pictured below will be all mine in just a few weeks. I can’t wait to get him so that I can schnuggle and cuddle with him. I might take a few days off of work for that purpose alone. That’s a completely logical thing to do, right?

  27. No interesting images to share this week. But, I do like to unwind with music and sometimes with cannabis. Baths, are nice too, but also too much of an effort as i’d have to clean the tub and then wait for the water to fill the tub up. Now if I had a spa that would be a different story.

    Last night I went to this speak easy like bar. By day it’s a barbershop, and at night the back is a full bar with some dancing. The person who runs the place is a QMOC. I had a few tequila drinks and got a strong buzz. I would have preferred a nice Scotch or something, but it’s Passover so it’s either tequila or potato based vokda if you can find it.

    So, in my state of mild inebriation I came out as agender to very close cousin of mine. He seemed pretty cool about. I was a bit vague about it, but said male pronouns do not feel right to me. He ask if I am also gay and into men. I said I am queer and into women so to speak. He gave a number to a therapist he is seeing & I will have to look more into her record to see how trans friendly she is. It’s an interesting way to turn 30.

    Thank you for reading. Cheers!

  28. I started watching Pretty Little Liars on Netflix. I’ve never seen it before. I’m like 2.5 seasons in. I’m not sure how they made so many seasons of this show because the acting is terrible and the plot doesn’t make any sense, BUT I KEEP WATCHING ANYWAY I THINK I AM ADDICTED.

    Also, tomorrow I’m going to a place called Melt in Cleveland, which is a place where they put fucking crazy shit on grilled cheese sandwiches. I’ve been dreaming about it for a week. Google it. It’s the greatest ever.

  29. Some call it binge watching, I call it a mini vacation.Like last year, I went to Rosewood during two weeks of overtime off and Univille,South Dakota for a weekend trip.
    No chores, no grocery shopping, no laundry, no meeting friends.Just a DVD.Or five.
    And when I feel tightly wound I go old school classic:Gym, hand wraps and a boxing bag.Very therapeutic.
    True self care is such an effort, though.
    I was to a point of burn out where I did not even bother to undress for bed anymore.
    No grocery shopping, no cleaning, no laundry. I couldn’t even watch one hour episodes of shows in one go, because I couldn’t focus anymore.
    I was literally existing off of sugared coffee with a ton of milk and two pantoprazole a day.
    Now, that I quit, I cook two meals a day, went all organic paleo, see people 5x a week, take a walk in daylight for at least half an hour a day, take a language course, signed up with friends for Yoga starting this Sunday, and am unpacking boxes in my apartment by and by.Sometimes, I even watch a movie.
    All of those things are good for me.
    And all of those things are stressing me out to no end.
    I wish I could find some sort of balance in between working myself into the ground and this mild, constant ennui, that implies an emptiness to life sans purpose.

  30. I left the ~lower 48~ to relax. It’s been working out pretty well.

    If any of y’all need a break: rob a bank for ticket money, fly to Alaska, and I’ll let you crash on my boat. <3

  31. When I hardcore self-care, I like taking it really easy in the morning — pot of tea and a good book while a podcast plays in the background. I’ll spend however much time it takes on meals, even if it’s only an elaborate cheese plate. Guilt is not allowed. Some Netflixing is always appropriate. Walks around the woods or gardening time is mandatory. If I do it right I’m in or near my cabin the entire day. But guys, I’M SO EXCITED because today I got my waiting list e-mail for A-Camp, and I AM GOING and that is some super top-notch self-care right there!LIVING MY BEST LIFE.

    • Also scored a copy of Ellen Page classic “The Cat That Came Back” for a mere pittance at the grocery store. TODAY JUST KEEPS GETTING BETTER.

  32. Oh wow, I really do need some indulgent bullshit in my life right now. Seven weeks left in the schoolyear and the assignments (and looming performances) are piling up. I can’t believe I’m going to be a senior next year. I feel so old. (Except here I’m probably, like, a baby because I’m not even in college yet.)

    On a school-related note, I had some disappointing news this week. Both the theater and musical theater programs at my school do this thing called actor’s studio the first semester of every schoolyear. Actor’s studio is an advanced class for sixteen juniors and seniors that takes the place of their normal acting class and they all work on a really challenging show together and it’s brilliant and everyone loves it. Last semester I was in the musical theater actor’s studio, but since I switched to the theater program this semester, I auditioned for the theater version. And I figured I’d get in. My teachers know me well as an actress, and I have grown hugely even since the start of the semester. I take pride in my acting, and even though I’m hugely self-conscious about it I know that I have talent. I have an astronomical amount of things left to learn, but I have the potential. But really, more than that, I work hard and have professionalism. Only I didn’t get in, when many of my friends did. And being an actress I know most of the business is not getting in, but some of the people who got in behave unprofessionally or didn’t even want to be in it in the first place, and I have worked very hard and have the desire to be challenged in a class like that. I know I’m up for that kind of work. Perhaps it’s petty of me, but it hurts that I don’t get to be a part of it, because my art matters to me. (Perhaps I don’t have professionalism, for complaining, but everyone complains sometimes.)

    On a brighter note, bae invited me to come over tomorrow night and watch movies, and I haven’t gotten to see her in forever. I’m pretty sure “watch movies” is code for making out, so.

    And I just got a bunch of new books from the library, which is great, and I’m having homemade pizza for dinner, which is also great. And next week it’ll be warm enough that I can start eating lunch outside every day again!

    So. There are still plenty of positives to remember.

  33. I basically lay around, play on the internet and watch Netflix to unwind. I am boring. I avoid cleaning like the plague, so I am not a very good adult. Here is my cat thinking “I will get those tweezers!”

  34. Running helps me feel good, which allows me to feel able to relax. If I’m not keeping up a regular fitness regimen, I get guilty, quick! But once I’m in relaxation mode, it’s time for Netflix and Phoebe!

    Speaking of my snuggle buddy!

    I took this one in the dark this morning, so I didn’t quite frame it very well. But she snuggled up to me after I woke up. She made it VERY hard to go to work.

    I’m a little sad, there is a big ol’ queer event happening tonight, but I started developing a migraine today and had to take a pill with all of the caffeine. I felt well enough to make it through work, but once the caffeine wore off and I got home, it was time to sit. Some of my favorite people I haven’t seen since winter started were going to be there. But, it’s spring, there will be more chances.

    So, semi resolution to last week’s quandary (if you didn’t catch my follow up comment) was that I got hypothermia while running outside on Saturday (it was crazy windy and in the mid fifties. I had a running hoody on, but my legs were bare! I would’ve been fine on a 5k, but not while running slowly for three hours.) As a result, on Sunday I was sick. So I couldn’t go back to my hometown and see my family.

    Well, now my parents want yo come this way tomorrow. For anyone who didn’t catch it last week, I’ve been having trouble getting my dad to communicate about my transition. When I go visit, I feel like I basically can’t talk about. Which means I can’t talk about much because transition and living as a woman are a BIG part of my life now. Stories about approaching women at a bar have a different resonance (despite sexual orientation) when you see me as a man vs as a woman. So. Now the question is, do I get dolled up and sort of force the issue? That was my plan, but I thought I’d be going back to the town they live next. I think that is what I want to do. I’ll meet them somewhere, and show up in what feels like my authentic appearance.

    Oh, I also made a profile on Ok Cupid. I need to jazz it up, because right now it’s basic. I think it’s time I try to meet someone. I’m pretty social, but haven’t met any romantic protects organically, so perhaps online dating is a good move.

    Happy weekend! My week was shitty, but now it is time for Netflix and Phoebe snuggles!

  35. I go on a trip next week which will be full of people and so I am pre-introverting. 90% of my weekend will be finishing old video games so I can then play their old sequel, with one brief interlude of “go to friends house and play board games”. The other 10% will be sleeping. Its just the right time of the year to take a nap on the couch mid-afternoon when the temperature is perfect and the sunshine streams in the windows.

  36. I took on a second large fuzzy dog (near senior). Thought dogs would be super chill together based on their intro and the first couple days, but have done more mediating than I had planned. The original is somewhat displeased that the newbie came home with us and thinks that her person is his person. I have informed them both that I am my own person, and they are both mine, and they shall calmly share. Newbie also has some anxiety (airplanes overhead! traffic on the road! strange car in driveway! you’re leaving! stairs! crate!) issues that we’re also working through by establishing routines and just increasing her socialization to everything other than humans and dogs slowly. And we’re doing lots of walks, to the point where original dog declined, totally and completely declined, to go this morning.

    She is sweet, and needed a proper home instead of a kennel.

  37. YES! Doing self care things is like my favorite thing to talk about! I even started a self care club at my college!!!! (Which is going pretty well we just started this term and its super fun! I craft things like constantly, I make lots of cards and things for people. I also take lots of flower pictures because it is spring and they are everywhere. I have so many pictures of flowers on my computer it is fantastic. Lately Ive been watching A Different World on Netflix an that makes me super happy. Any combination of that sort of thing puts me in a great mood.

  38. My favorite way to unwind is to walk or bike for a really long time around the city (usually looking for Shinto shrines, or just wandering) but since I’m sick this weekend, I took a hot bath with yuzu and listened to the first Harry Potter audiobook, cleaned my apartment, and slept for ten hours. I woke up to my usual routine of morning pages, tarot card, with the weekend bonus of tea and TV.

    • This is basically my morning routing too. Eggs, croissant, and tea. Then tarot and writing. Weekends Netflix/cartoons is added.

  39. today i was introduced to friday night lights… so now i am watching a show about men and football and i can’t stop and i don’t know what’s happening but i’m also not mad about it?

    i don’t know. if anyone has good feminist FNL thinkpieces, please share.

  40. My partner of 12 years moved out two weeks ago, so I’ve been gradually coming to terms with the ‘do I want this relationship or not’ business and trying to remember that this has been happening multiple times a year for the last 5 years. This thread is a godsend – I have been struggling immensely with trying to figure out how to live life on my own and ‘treat ma self’. Really, the last 5 years has been my whole life blowing up in my face. It could be worse, so I’m trying to keep that in perspective, but it does seem like I’m being tested by being rendered totally and irrevocably alone.

    Self care has consisted of: many baths, followed by pedicures and lotioning up legs and feet for summer, paying it forward to the future me by keeping up with my chores, drinking lots of water, nightly glass of red, and tonight I made a killer banana walnut bread (supposed to be for breakfast tomorrow, but I will be midnight snacking, who am I kidding). Spending time with fur babies – they are all to pleased to be indulged by a mom who wants to brush them right now. Catching up on Downton Abbey and nightly boom chicka pop. Looking into local book clubs and making a to-read list. Trying to hook myself up with a cheap used banjo. I also watched a bunch of youtube tutorials and finally learned how to do the messy bun of my dreams.

  41. It’s been a long, kind of stressful week at my new job, so I’m teaching myself how to play “Kiss Me” by Sixpence None the Richer and Beyonce’s “Halo” on the ukulele. Ladies, I’m single.

    • I got a ukulele for my birthday, and I am totally clueless. How do you even begin to teach yourself?

      • Colleen has some great resources and there are many good tuning apps which also have chord patterns on them. :) Uke til you Puke!

        • I absolutely second ukulelehunt! They have a ton of songs with chords/tabs to start you off and a bunch after that for when you know a thing or two.

          First learn what your uke tuning should sound like, as in learn what each string should sound like (if nothing else look up “ukulele tuning” on youtube or google and there should be tons of stuff to get that covered) and once you get that sorted start learning a few of the basic chords (C, G, F, etc.). There’s so many songs you can learn with just a few simple chords!

          I would also recommend investing in a clip-on tuner to make sure your uke is sounding it’s best. A Snark chromatic tuner on amazon will only set you back about $13.

          • this is great! Thank you!! I’m mostly concerned with being able to play some kickass campfire songs

    • I’ve been battling Here comes the sun by the Beatles for a few weeks. It’s such a perfect uke song…the picking is making me crazy. Have fun with yours!

  42. Freestyle poem, because you know you lurves it, and it’s how I chill…

    I love your stupid face.
    I wanna pinchgrab your weirdly perfect lips
    and just slap your stupid beautiful face.
    I love how your eyelashes are way too long
    and are constantly threatening to softly stab the eyeballs behind them.
    I wish I could glue your eyelashes down with rubber cement
    so I could just keep staring
    at how ridiculously long and lush they are.
    And can I just say how annoyingly cute your ears are?
    I wanna bite ’em HRRR I JUST WANNA BITE ‘EM aaw you turned over in your sleep…
    I guess I can just kiss you on the shoulder.
    I’m going back to bed because of how much I love
    your weird stupid face.

    Theeeee end.

    Happy Saturday, m’straddlers.

    ~*Queeriouser & Queeriouser*~Freestyle poem, because you know you lurves it, and it’s how I chill…

    I love your stupid face.
    I wanna pinchgrab your weirdly perfect lips
    and just slap your stupid beautiful face.
    I love how your eyelashes are way too long
    and are constantly threatening to softly stab the eyeballs behind them.
    I wish I could glue your eyelashes down with rubber cement
    so I could just keep staring
    at how ridiculously long and lush they are.
    And can I just say how annoyingly cute your ears are?
    I wanna bite ’em HRRR I JUST WANNA BITE ‘EM aaw you turned over in your sleep…
    I guess I can just kiss you on the shoulder.
    I’m going back to bed because of how much I love
    your weird stupid face.

    Theeeee end.

    Happy Saturday, m’straddlers.

    ~*Queeriouser & Queeriouser*~
    Freestyle poem, because you know you lurves it, and it’s how I chill…

    I love your stupid face.
    I wanna pinchgrab your weirdly perfect lips
    and just slap your stupid beautiful face.
    I love how your eyelashes are way too long
    and are constantly threatening to softly stab the eyeballs behind them.
    I wish I could glue your eyelashes down with rubber cement
    so I could just keep staring
    at how ridiculously long and lush they are.
    And can I just say how annoyingly cute your ears are?
    I wanna bite ’em HRRR I JUST WANNA BITE ‘EM aaw you turned over in your sleep…
    I guess I can just kiss you on the shoulder.
    I’m going back to bed because of how much I love
    your weird stupid face.

    Theeeee end.

    Happy Saturday, m’straddlers.

    ~*Queeriouser & Queeriouser*~

    • Aw geez…I think the mobile view somehow made my post repeat itself like three times…sorry, peoples. ~_~;

    • Best! Gif! Ever!

      This was basically how I kissed my girlfriend for the first time! Seriously!

  43. Taking the MCAT (med school admission test) in a week on Friday :P wish me luckkkkkk. I’m getting pretty nervous, it’s a 7-8 hour test now.

  44. Oh have I been waiting to share this.
    How I unwind, actually relax not try to spend the adrenaline out, is a hot bath. Not any hot bath tho, a I’m The Fucking Queen of All I See and I’m Fucking Magnificent Hot Bath.

    Supplies: something yummy you can put in a cup/bowl and safely nest in a larger cup/bowl with ice in it, 2 candles, tiny ass spoon or fork, BBQ lighter and a tub that can get filled with hot/warm water of course.

    Various yummies that work gud: pudding, sliced fruit, solid chocolate, tangerines and satsumas, yogurt
    Pudding and yogurt that come in their own little cup are really simple and quick but what is the best is defrosted blueberries at the bottom of a bowl with yogurt and then some more blue berries on top or cinnamon cereal. Fresh blueberries are okay but something about the tiny wrinkly little blue berries going pop in a bite of yogurt is perfection.

    Shit that will not work: Ice cream because you can’t sit back chill and slowly eat with a tiny spoon while your treat gets all melty and awful. Fudge chocolate because it goes all hard and you’ll need a knife, not relaxing yo, then it does this thing where it goes all slimy and goopy. Awful.

    Tiny Spoon: You need a tiny spoon because you are a -Insert Preferred Title of Supreme Awesome- you will not by rushed by this world and will eat your yummies slow, savouring every bit of it without a care about the world outside your bath.

    Candles: Optional but lessening the brightness of the bathroom helps with tension. Also will make your wet legs look cool and extra shiny with their light

    I’m too relaxed right now to go pick a pet picture but foster pup’s little tummy is all better now and she’s skipping about like her usual bonkers self. @jajs

  45. Howdy everyone :)
    I have been getting back into running and watching what I eat now.

    Sexy and i know it ;)

  46. Carmen, congratulations on taking care of yourself!

    I usually feel I’m lazy, and a horrible person, and that I’m not getting enough done because I get eight hours a night–just can’t do without. Also, I spend a lot of time cuddling my girlfriend while binge watching cartoons. So, basically most of time I’m practicing self care. But I read this LinkedIn article this week that made me feel better about doing these things. Even so, I do need to work on…well, working, because my hope is to be a freelance interwebs content creator, and as y’all know, that shit takes a lot of work!

    This week I’ve been applying for internships and working out. The Spring is finally here! I’ve come out of hibernation, and I’m loving having energy for more than just eating and sleeping!

    So many great photos this open thread. You all are awesome!

  47. This week I got a misprint of the Dutch translation of Ghana Must Go by Taiye Selasi from my volunteer job at a bookstore and I haven’t read this often or quickly in months. So this is how I know I’m taking good care of myself! I prefer books in their original language but this one was free because we can’t sell it so I’m dealing with it.

    I also bought a new binder from the same company where I bought my old one years ago, and it is so much thinner fabric and just way more comfortable! I’ve been binding every day since I got it!

  48. I am a little late on this, but I really wanted to add what I do to treat myself!

    I’m finding self-care becoming more and more important in keeping me a sane human being, so I’ve come up with a quick go-to pick me up:

    -shop for supplies! Sometimes this can be the best part. I usually get face masks, chocolate (or chips), and bath supplies.
    -Clean! I find it stress reducing to have a clean place to either come home to or wake up to. I usually listen to a podcast while cleaning to make the time go by faster
    – make a delicious bowl of pasta! Pasta is my favourite kind of food and when I’m feeling down, I treat myself by getting a can sauce and adding cheese, bacon, chicken, mushrooms, and onions.
    -Watch a chick flick! Chick flicks have a way of making you forget reality.
    -Take a bath or shower! This makes me feel so much better. Like I’m washing away all the bullshit.
    -Kitten cuddles! Self explanatory
    Okay! So that’s my treat myself day. I feel like a rambled on and if so I’m sorry. Love you guys and hope your all treating yourselves!

  49. Joining this thread late but I love self-care and talk about it a lot so whatevahh. Actually, apparently in social work job interviews a lot of interviewers will actually ask you what your self-care practices are, because burnout rates are so high! Fortunately I have a lot of things I do – reading (all the time – during lunch, during my commute, before bed), watching TV, hanging with friends and girlfriend and cats (usually not at the same time), going for walks and/or adventures around the city, exercising (can’t wait until my queer women’s summer soccer league starts up again), cooking, journalling, and cross-stitching. I’m also trying to do mindfulness meditation more frequently but I often forget!

    I also wanted to share this tidbit, regarding self-love vs. self-care. I can’t remember where I first read about it or who first told me about it, but in essence some people make a distinction between self-love and self-care. Self-care consists of the more indulgent activities: long baths, chocolate, TV marathons, etc. Self-love, on the other hand, consists of the ‘paying it forward to future self’ activities that you often have to motivate yourself to do: cleaning, exercising, eating well, going to bed early, etc. The self-love activities are often not fun in the moment but make life a bit better for ‘future you;’ the self-care activities are a nice, relaxing treat. I think we would ideally strive to do a combination of self-love and self-care activities, as both types of activities play an important role in our well-being. Anyway, this might not resonate for everyone but it really works for me :)

  50. I’m dog/cat-sitting me all weekend, but I went to see Sick of Sarah last night! And I was so bummed because I had to leave early (carpool issues), so I couldn’t chat up Abisha after the concert (they’d invited everyone to a strip club aftewards, too!) You guys, I was super morose. I managed my pain by making vegan pear cardamom muffins at three in the morning and gorging and watching “Life Partners.” And today I’m playing with the cutest puppeh ever and plotting out a webseries that may or may not become a real thing, but the plotting is still fun.

  51. Not “bullshit”……serious “shit” for me!
    I realize that I cannot be happy as a female without transitioning physically. I want to look like a girl should look… smooth , soft, without body hair…. and female breasts…. so that I can be interesting to another lesbian. I have started doing HRT …. to enlarge my little girls, and become more feminine in appearance. I know some cosmetic eye redesign would help give my eyes a more female look….. but I am pretty clueless about that. I am wearing female undies under my jeans and shirt to help me feel like a girl. I chose to do all this to try to be visually what I feel inside, and to be attractive to some smart lesbian somewhere in the world who can give me love as the girl I am.

  52. My unwinding process as of lately includes watching House of Cards,burning incense and listening to Nine Inch Nails. Okay Nine Inch Nails doesn’t exactly aid in the unwinding but you know..

Comments are closed.