FRIDAY OPEN THREAD: I’m Worn Out and Need A F*cking Break! How ‘Bout You?

Hey cutie pies! How are you on this lovely Friday? How are your mind, body, and soul? Have you checked in with them lately? If not, maybe close your eyes for sec, do a quick scan, and see what comes up. I’ve been a little worn out and in need of TLC this week. This time of year is always stressful for me so I put extra energy into my self-care plan. I drink gallons of tea, make more time for meditation, journal till my hand starts to cramp, and read self-improvement books in the bathtub. It can feel selfish spending so much time focusing on me, but when I think about all I’ve been through the last few months, and everything that lies ahead that guilt starts to fade away.

Sometimes we just need permission to hit pause, step away from life’s demands on us, and shower ourselves with love. I’m giving you that permission today if you need it. I’m also wondering, what is your favorite act of self-care? Is there a special something that you know will always replenish you and help you be your best? Is your self-care style more about tuning in to the world or tapping out of it for a spell?

My go to self care tool is yoga. I have yet to meet a single obstacle, gloomy day, or traumatic event in my life that wasn’t helped by crying it out on my yoga mat. Of course I have to be able to motivate myself to get to class in the first place, and for that there’s my “sunshine” playlist full of songs that I can’t help but smile/dance/sing along to. Throw in a scoop of cookie dough ice cream and you’ve got my perfect self-care menu.

So, what’s on yours?! I wanna know what songs, recipes, friends, activities, movies, and meditations help you find your center. Do you have a happy place or a spot in nature that brings you peace? Tell me all about it! Whatever it is that helps you glow up, share it in the thread! Sometimes the hardest part of self-care is just knowing what the hell to do in the first place. Hopefully by sharing our favorite tactics we’ll all leave with a few new tips and expand our self-care capabilities. In here sharing is literally caring! So let’s talk self-care! Then promise me you’ll take some time between now and Monday morning to love on yourself like only you can.

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Reneice Charles

Reneice Charles is a just another queer, liberal, woman of color using the Internet to escape from reality and failing miserably. She received her MSW from New York University and is an Entrepreneur and Vocalist living in Los Angeles. She spends her spare time wishing she didn't have to use her spare time convincing people that everyone deserves the same basic human rights.

Reneice has written 104 articles for us.


  1. I like to go to my local Lush and get recommendations and samples from the staff. Everyone who works there is queer or witchy or both, and I’m in at least once a week, so they all know me and what I like/am allergic to. Ditto the public library, and getting book recommendations.

  2. Hi Reneice ~~~ thank you for hosting and sharing your beautiful self! This FOT is going to feel like a big cozy blanket for us all to find our own huddle spot in.

    I’ve had a lot of mental health challenges I’ve been working through these last months, and have been incredibly grateful for the support of friends and my doctor.

    For my own self-care, what has been of most help to me has been what I call “my lady”. She’s someone I visualize who’s there when I need her. She can be anything – she can be a dragon, or a fuzzy Totoro, or just a very huggable human. She tells me all the positive things I can’t tell myself directly. The night before last, when my brain felt like it was fighting itself, when it physically hurt for hours, she wrapped me up in her arms and told me “It’s o.k. You don’t need to understand anything right now. All you need is to feel loved.”

    I want to send love out to you Reneice and everyone here…because you deserve to feel that, to feel it settle within you, to be able to grow quietly, to grow loudly, to be, to be.

  3. So right now I’m stumbling through a breakup with the grace of a drunk baby. The silver lining is that I no longer have to explain every single emotion that I have, and geez do I have a lot. My self care right now is just honoring what I like and want to do. I used to love drawing but I was always so anxious about being “enough” that I pretty much just stopped. I’m drawing more! And I’m going to take a class soon! It’s only once a month but it’s something. Also I can do all my weird calming repetitive shut without worrying about how it looks. There’s freedom in that; even though I’m pissed off and sad I can be myself.

    • I’m going through a breakup too! I’ve been indulging myself while also treating my body well. I plan to split a gym membership with my mom soon so I can burn off the sadness via exercise.

      • It’s a life drawing class through the local lgbt+ resource center, my friend told me about it. It’s my first time drawing a live nude model, but I’m more worried about my art skills haha

        • I’ve only gotten to draw from a live nude model once. It was really a neat experience. I also was focused on Trying to Art – my goal was just realism as my drawing skills are rudimentary enough that that’s enough of a stretch for me – and I remember rolling my eyes afterwards when I saw that several of the guys had produced Art(TM) with big perky spherical boobs even though the model was slender, reclined, and not surgically modified or wearing an antigravity bra.

          I bought myself a drawing tablet recently. Haven’t actually done anything with it yet. Perhaps future art historians will write volumes about “Morgan le Gay, inventor of the Drunk Baby school of art.” ;)

    • Ive been making an effort to get back into things I enjoyed but stopped doing due to anxiety. It’s been a really powerful and affirming experience, like reuniting with an old friend.

  4. My girlfriend broke up with me this week, and she expects me to still live with her or move out and find a way to still pay rent, so I’ve been desperately trying to self care this week. My go to self care activities are baking things from a box, cuddling my cat, listening to soft music that feels like a hug, wrapping myself in my favorite fuzzy blanket, getting lost in a book, opening the windows wide so I feel the fresh air, talking to people I love, taking the hottest shower I can stand, watching the Great British Bake Off, and making the perfect cup of black tea with lots of milk and honey. I’m also a big fan of Boring Self Care, so this week I’ve been trying to eat healthy, drink lots of water, get lots of sleep even though my brain is screaming, and show up to work.

    • Oof, that’s a tough place to be in. Sounds like you’re doing the best you can to help yourself, and I hope you can figure out a better living situation soon.

      • My comment is getting censored maybe? I meant to say that I am also going through a horrible breakup and that us lonely hearts need to show up for each other idk

    • Currently going through a divorce from my (ex) wife that’s dragging on and it’s very painful. Stress level is through the roof! It’s true that the little things-Boring Self Care-has a big impact.
      Sending you positive thoughts!

    • So sorry for your heartbreak Gill. That screaming brain will settle and you’re doing such an amazing job focusing on practicing boring self care. That’s not easy to do post break up. Proud of you.

  5. The thing that makes me happiest is writing slash fanfic. Don’t care what anyone else thinks or how cliched it is, I love it. I barely wrote for the last few years, until I got into a new fandom, which I started writing for last November. And this year to date I have written 145,000 words, which makes me gape at myself in shock, but also makes me very happy. My goal is to get to 150k by the time I go away for Christmas on 19th December.

    I’ve also been learning some *ahem* personal stuff about myself which makes me feel good – though I am also finding out how repressed/prudish/ignorant I am about my own body and how unhappy it makes me.

    And I burned my candle this afternoon, which I bought after reading For Your Consideration on candles!

    Thanks for being awesome and giving me community fellow Autostraddlers! ♥

  6. So this is the result of a happy accident between a sticker I posted in a group chat, and a friend in said group chat’s phone background, the outcome of which I enjoyed so much I turned it into a motivational poster. It seems relevant to today’s FOT theme so here you go, my gift to you all:

    • All this time I thought that the thing on the leash was another smaller adult human but IT WAS A DOG THIS WHOLE TIME

        • The human, definitely. Lurking in the water murmuring just loud enough for the leash-holder to hear, “i’m a dog i’m a dog i’m a dog.” Occasionally blowing bubbles. Enjoying life’s little moment.

  7. Loving that rainbow sports bra/swimsuit top situation Reneice! I have lately become a gym-goer, and that works well as self care for me, although I quite understand it doesn’t for others. It feels good to have a time just for me where I push myself and get rewarded by seeing my body get stronger and be able to do more things.

    Also self care: kissing a beautiful woman. It had been a while since I’d done that (read: years) and I am so so so happy to be back to it :)

  8. – A good cry
    – Listening to music, depending on my mood sometimes I really want happy stuff other times I just want sad songs.
    – Writing in a journal even if it’s something dumb like I’m upset over something someone said to me online.
    – Watching YouTube videos, I watch all kinds of videos from cooking to grocery hauls to even theme park videos.
    – Watching sitcoms, I’ll never turn down watching The Golden Girls or The Mary Tyler Moore Show, even if I’ve seen the episode 10 (or more) times!
    – Doing Word Searches, I started doing these because I read it’s good for your brain but I actually enjoy it.

    • Love all of this! I was an avid word search lover as a kid and then stopped doing them somewhere along the way. I think I’ll go buy a book of them today and get back into that! Thanks for the reminder :)

  9. I’m going through a period of total h-e-double-hockey-sticks (as my elementary teacher mother would say) at work, so for me a lot of self-care looks like giving myself permission to take time to do things I enjoy and not feeling like that time was wasted because I could have been being productive. Yay capitalism!

    Lately this has manifested a lot in cooking meals for myself (vs. grabbing handfuls of whatever is ready to go, like pretzels and zero vegetables) and going for long runs (I regret to report that I have recently become That B***h who talks about running highs) and other stuff that sounds boring and mundane but actually feels like letting out a breath I’d been holding for days.

    • BORING SELF CARE IS SO INCREDIBLY IMPORTANT and I’m so proud of you for having mastered it! And I completely hear you on feeling like a time waster for doing fun/healthy things. Its hard to push that guilt away sometimes.

      • Speaking of which, hanging out reading and commenting on AS posts definitely falls under self-care and “screw you capitalism this is good for me.” :)

        You rock, Cassidy, hope work gets better soon.

  10. On a more serious note, I’ve been thinking a lot lately about self-care, because I feel like I pretty much need to think about it 24/7. It seems like if I’m not very careful about almost every aspect of my wellbeing (monitoring what I eat, when I go to bed and what my sleep environment is like, how much physical activity I get, what supplements I need to remember to take, how neat and organized my home environment is, how many little day-to-day tasks I need to keep track of), I can so easily become overwhelmed and spin out into anxiety spirals and subsequent depression.

    I honestly don’t know how other people find the time to do productive things with their lives. I feel like I need to spend so much of my available time and energy just keeping at a baseline level of ok that I have almost nothing left over for other things I want to be doing outside of work, like volunteering, creative pursuits, developing actual muscle definition in my body, learning languages, getting through my huge to-read list, making meaningful connections with people, etc. etc. I feel so frustrated about this so much of the time. I’m fine, I’m feeling pretty stable, I’m healthy, I can manage the things I have to – but there’s so much more I want to be doing with my life.

    • I hear you I hear you I hear you and i’ve been there and literally all I could do was take it one minute step and task at a time. You know what you want and you’re working on getting there and doing your best and that’s the most you can ask of yourself right now. It’s so easy to be hard on ourselves and frustrated about what we arent doing. Much harder to be understanding and patient with ourselves. Thank you for sharing

  11. I have trouble with self-care. I’m not against it – I just don’t know if “traditional” self-care activities help me? As I think about it more, here are some self-care activities I partake in:

    1. Don’t consume caffeine. Caffeine causes me to have panic attacks.
    2. Sleep. I need more sleep than most, so I try to go to bed around 10 or 11 pm, in order to get as close to 10 hours as possible (I normally get 9ish). When I don’t sleep enough, I’m more susceptible to anxiety/panic, and I generally don’t function as well.
    3. Personal hygiene. I have really bad body-identity issues. I don’t know if there’s a term to describe it, but I don’t feel like I have a body. It’s not gender related…I look in the mirror, and that’s not me. It’s gotten better over the years through talking about it in therapy, but it still occasionally causes me to freak out, and subsequently not shower, because the last thing I want to do when I’m having a bad body day is spend time with my naked body. So, sometimes I really don’t want to shower, but I have to force myself.
    4. Tattoos. This is something I don’t do on a regular basis, but my tattoos really help my body identity. Getting a tattoo gives me ownership of my body. I feel connected. This is a reason why, when I eventually have kids, I want to carry them. I think being pregnant would be an incredible experience for me – having a profound connection to my body, growing another human.
    5. Mikveh. I’m going to the mikveh, which is a Jewish ritual immersion in water, for the first time in January. I’ve never been, but I think it’s going to be an amazing body-identity freeing experience. You literally get naked and dunk into water, as a ritual of letting go.
    6. Going to therapy and taking my meds. They’re very natural to me at this point, as I take meds daily and go to therapy twice a week (and have done both for 15+ years), but if I don’t do either, all hell in my body/life will break loose. So I make sure to never miss a dose or an appointment.

    So I guess I do a lot of self care after all. Thanks for opening up this conversation, so I could think about this. :)

  12. I’m trying a new thing this week: setting up the coffee the night before and clearing the sink the night before. That kinda just sounds like regular adulthood but I wasn’t doing it before and now I am- and when I get up in the morning it makes me happy!

    • My friend Chris used to tidy his bedroom when he came home drunk from a club so that when he woke up he’d be really happy that his room was tidy even if he was hung over. That’s a bit like your coffee and dishes tidying, right? Chris was always well pleased with himself when he woke up with a tidy room, so I’m hoping it’s making you feel the same way.

    • I woke up to a disastrous kitchen this morning and was SO annoyed with past Reneice for not tidying up the kitchen before bed because she ABSOLUTELY had time…but then I remembered self care is about forgiving yourself and not looking back so I just cleaned up and kept it moving. Anyway, I am also now on team empty the sink before bed :) Love that as self care.

  13. For me, it would generally be driving in Malibu and hiking the trails; however, as you may have seen on the news the area was on or near fires. I heard today that rain we had yesterday brought mud and debris flow to Coral Canyon, one of my favorite roads to drive, which also has a great trail. Not sure what I would do. Maybe I’ll just people watch at Venice Beach or Santa Monica Pier for a while? As for music, You Can’t Beleive How Much Fun We Are Having by Atmosphere has always made me feel better. Something about the rawness of his feelings always works for me as self-care.

    How’s is everyone’s week and holiday going? I missed last week as I was in South-West Utah for 3 nights with my sister avoiding thanksgiving. We went to Zion and Bryce Canyon and wow is it a beautiful place; so is the surrounding areas when you ignore all the Christian-normative stuff. We did a lot of the touristy spots and the weather was nicer than we expected(like 50f during the day). The hotel we stayed at was in the mountains so we did get to drive through snow and fog, which was interesting and kind of fun, but also it was part of the area where no one lived and only signs you saw was elk and atv crossing. lol Surprisingly found a lot of unisex and family bathrooms in Utah and our drive there. Was kind of preparing for being stuck using the wrong bathroom, but that only like happened two or so.

    In other news, I think I found one of the gifts I will be purchasing my best/romantic friend. It’s also the first Sunday of the month and Cuties has their queers, coffee, and donut event going on. Excited for that as I get to see the regular crew there. Plus, donuts and queers what’s not to love? If you are in the area, do try to make it as the place still needs the patronage to survive and pay a living wage.

    Zebra Slot Cayon Trail in Bryce

    Grand Stair Case

    Tumblr is a bit of a slow mess when it comes to uploading but rest of my images will hopefully be up by the end of the weekend on my Tumblr if anyone is wondering.

    Thank you for viewing and reading my post. Have a safe and positive weekend friends!

    • Thank you for the beautiful pictures! I haven’t been to Bryce & Zion since I was little and you are giving me major nostalgia. Enjoy your coffee, doughnuts and friends!

      • Thank you, friend! It was a beautiful place, and almost would love to live there, but it’s Utah(my sister and I probably were the only west Asian Jews in the area).

        • Oh man what would y’all even eat out there? There’s West Asian spices I’ve had to grind myself before a specialty spice shop opened in the French Quarter cause most the international groceries around here are geared towards Levant cuisines even tho we’ve got Pakistani population.
          Can’t imagine what rural Utah wouldn’t have.

    • These photos are incredible and I was genuinely mesmerize by the first one and stared for so long that my screensaver kicked in hahaha. Glad you had a great trip! Maybe see ya at cuties soon!

      • That would be cool. I know they have an event this sunday and next.

        Thank you for the kind words. I have more on my tumblr you can view before the site flags them. lol

  14. I need to surround myself with beauty, and I don’t have a lot of money, so I buy art when I can. To me, it’s as important as good food, exercise, meditation, hanging out with friends, etc.

    So I’m going to an open studio weekend to get new art!

  15. Yoga has been awesome for forging a stronger, more compassionate connection with my body – it’s been my go-to self-care for a bit, especially if I need to improve focus and/or let anything go. Aannnnd I recently rediscovered baths – combine w/ candles for ultimate relaxation. Or aquatic magick! YDY

  16. Look, I have depression.
    It’s a constant battle, that gets a lot harder during the dark and dank winter months.
    But! I’m prepared!
    I‘ve got a strict workout schedule and a diet app that makes me plan my meals, days, workout times, grocery shopping and actually keeps sending me pesky reminders for those meals, which I then have to check in.
    I make it a point to meet friends, to go out and walk about during what qualifies as daylight hours, I even own daylight lamps.
    My phone is shut off now or in a different room at most times and I have and use apps like freedom and mute regularly.
    All of this is necessary because I‘m cashing in hundreds of hours of overtime to study for my specialization exams that are up in a couple of months and I lack structure otherwise.
    And things were going ok.
    Fine, even.
    But I’m suffering strongly from straight crush syndrome.
    There’s a friend I have strong feelings for, and there‘s another having a new baby and then there‘s a matter of ovaries and my own expiring, slowly, casually, and my apartment lacking a certain warmth and I’m derailed into a space of sad and wistfulness, of couldvebeens that aren’t and I’m just..well.
    My taxes aren’t getting done, my laundry isn’t either, today, I forgot what day it was and had a friend yell at me over WhatsApp for forgetting to book concert tickets.
    So, I kind of checked out and I curled up with a blanket and some Swanqueen fanfiction.
    All day.
    Internal vacation.
    I’m going to try again tomorrow, but you know, sometimes it’s not just getting up or food or work or whatever, Life,sometimes is just hard.

    P.S.: That said and a few more months of this to expect..anyone have any good,lengthy, epic ff recs?

    • I have lots of ff recs! My favorite ff ever is a novel-length meticulously researched Marvel fanfic featuring a genderqueer Steve Rogers with tons of character development and a fascinating look at queer NYC in the forties. You can find it here:
      I’ve got an extensive bookmark list on AO3–name a few fandoms and some tropes you like and I probably have something for you.

      • Hi!
        Right now I‘m trying to find good Supercorp stuff, but am mostly failing, I also read Clexa, Bering&Wells, Shoot, Swanqueen, etc. But if it’s good I’m open to almost anything.
        Thank you!

  17. I like to make a nest in my bed with all my blankets and stuffed animals and a cup of tea or hot apple cider and read fluffy fanfic, of which I have a long list bookmarked on AO3. I also have a shelf of many of my favorite comfort books sorted by how much they make cry–sometimes I just want something soft and gentle where nothing hurts and sometimes I want the catharsis of a good cry over a story I know and love already, with lots of feels but no surprises.
    Also, my weekly observance of Shabbat, the 25 hours where I turn off all my devices, don’t do any work, and just eat delicious food, play board games with friends, read a pile of library books, and take naps, (okay, and maybe go to synagogue if I wake up in time) is just so good for my regular self-care. These days there’s always a lot of anxiety when I check the news after its over, but there’s no doubt that taking a break from the constant barrage of depressing headlines is good for me, despite the jarring welcome back to the rest of the world each week. It’s time to turn inward, reflect on my progress, pray, and be with my chosen family. It’s the only time when I’m able to let go of my anxieties about everything I need to do in the future and just focus on the present.

  18. I find most of the usual self-care subjects—things like keeping my space clean, reading books, and relaxing at home—easy to do without making a special effort. What I as an introvert and a creature of habit need a little help remembering is that it’s also good to go out into the world and do interesting and memorable things.

    I was eyeing tickets to the live My Brother, My Brother and Me show in Denver for months, but felt like it was too expensive to justify. Then the day before the show, some seats opened up and I went for it, money be damned. It was amazing! One of the best days of 2018, I’d say.

    So, here’s to more memorable experiences and just a tad fewer nights at home. Gotta remember that it’s worth it ?

  19. I don’t really have a go to self care thing I do but I definitely need one. I cried on the tube on the way to a meeting this week,and had to be comforted by a colleague of mine. And I hate crying in front of people which shows how stressed I was.

    I’ve got 3 days off from work next week and I’ve decided to learn brush lettering as well as getting deep into writing and drawing. Also going to a self care class for QTIPOC in 2 weeks so I’m looking forward to that. I also think i need to just exercise. Take up a class at my local gym maybe.

    • One of the best things I ever did for myself was to quit a job that was making me miserable. If it’s your job that’s making you cry on the tube then maybe that’s worth considering if it’s an option. Or at least worth talking to someone you trust about making a plan about what you’re going to give your energy to and what you’re just going to let slide for your own sake.
      On the plus side because the tube is so fucking stressful everyone else will have been pretending that they weren’t there as a survival mechanism, so they won’t have noticed you crying.
      I hope your next week is better than this one.

      • The thing is I love my job, but it’s the workload that’s got me stressed. I’m doing the admin of 3 senior members of staff and I’ve got my own publicity campaigns coming up and honestly I don’t know how anyone expects one person to do all of this. They’re understanding people but I don’t think any of them remember what it’s like to be an assistant.

        I asked the new publicity officer whose a step above me about it and she has been helping me out though.

        • Hopefully the publicity officer will be able to help you, and if they are new that’s good too because they won’t be in the mindset that this is’normal’ yet.
          Good luck with taking charge on this. I’m sure you’ve got it. Or you will do soon.

  20. I’ve been struggling to stay awake at work this week so cancelled half my plans for this weekend (the ones where I’d have to be On, like a party and an audition) and am contemplating going to some shows where all I have to do is sit back and watch. Though this morning I submitted my gay Kiwipina Pride and Prejudice play idea to an NZ Asian theatre company calling for ideas from new writers for mentorship to write the things, and I’m getting warm fuzzies about an Asian diaspora meme group on Facebook actually spawning a network for Asian creatives, so I’m excited instead of relaxing!

  21. hahaha my mental health is shattering all around me and I feel like I’ve got a front row seat for watching my mind burn. I nearly cried over a video about why Hufflepuff is better than the other houses! FFS I’m better than this. But not when I’m depressed, apparently. All I want to do is sleep and I don’t really want to do that, even.

    But! I did what I had to do. I half-assed my assignments but got them turned in. My cat is fed. I paid rent. I even went to class, though I fell asleep (this is normal for me now that the ADHD meds are not affordable, but at least I was awake for half of it or so!). So there are successes and I am trying very hard to be happy about them.

    I wish everyone well and if you’re struggling too, you’ve got my empathy.

  22. I can’t really unwind, I always have this fear that if I totally disconnect the world will fuck me over (yes, I know, I’m not soo important to be fucked over personally by the world, but I can’t help it). The only way I can relax is:

    1. Masturbation (yeah, even at work, works like a charm)
    2. Submitting to my girlfriend. Releasing control is the only way I can really relax in extreme stress situations. This year, not over yet, I’ve made my girl very happy…

  23. Just getting outside and/or spending time with my dogs (preferably at the same time) helps me so much; jogging with them gets me more in touch with my body, with them, and with nature. Spotting other animals (and especially birds since I can spot them from the comfort of my home and pajamas lmao) brings me so much joy! Like, this evening I took the dogs on a walk and I saw a great horned owl which was SO COOL! Seeing animals doing their thing just fills me with a sense of wonder and positivity and thinking about them and their lives really grounds me.
    Driving around used to fill me with so much anxiety and I always dreaded it but I’ve been conquering that over the past year, now I really like it because I can sing along to songs and be as loud as I want since I’m alone and it feels so damn good. Things that make me feel like I’m flying like roller skating and ice skating also really help!
    (p.s. that photo is fantastic and I love that rainbow top!)

  24. I need to hit people (in a healthy, consensual, sporty way) pretty regularly so I can stay sane working with teenagers all day. So I try to play basketball once a week. And football in the fall. I’ve never been a non-contact sport person, but I started hot yoga this year and found it comes pretty close—I leave feeling relaxed and like I just got knocked down a bunch on the field.

    And I check autostraddle.

  25. Had a long day doing a kinda sad task, tagging a collection for disposal.

    Self care has become complicated for me because when I have an angioedema flare up I can’t do my favourite self care activities which are soaking in a hot candlelit bath(makes the swelling worse and not good for stretched out skin) and dancing. And I just learned(yesterday) I’m displaying symptoms of a condition that the progression of isn’t predictable but the fact I’m under 30 doesn’t look good. Might not be able to dance in 10 years or 30, there’s some testing that could give a bit of a clue but I can’t deal with that right now. Vacillating between rage and grief.

    Would be a solid ending that little sentence, it feels inauthethic to just switch to chattering about anything else, but it makes me feel punchy leaving that as a final note when I have other existing things to say. Isn’t that fucked up? Talking about non-serious things after a serious thing makes it seem fake. Like when you have a serious thing it should consume everything else, if there’s room then the serious thing can’t be that serious.

    Anyway I was entrusted with dessert for Thanksgiving and I did those spiced stuffed apples, they were a big hit and most importantly didn’t create occupancy/scheduling conflicts with the rest of the meal. My dad even ate a leftover one right out the fridge, he grew up in Massachusetts til his tween years when his family moved to NOLA so he fucking loves baked apple anything. He has OPINIONS on what is properly pie, it’s mostly that the pie item must be encased in crust so apple turnovers count but one crust apple pie does not xD

    Oh and I very ambitiously by myself made an Indian eggplant dish. My mother got linked to on facebook so I have no idea WHAT it actually is called, she texted it to me for analysis as maybe a veggie side for Thanksgiving. Not only I am trusted with dessert, I’m trusted to break down complicated recipes with unfamiliar ingredients. Some of my family doesn’t recognise as an adult, but my parents obviously.
    So yeah eggplant dish turned out delicious and I have enough leftovers for several meals which brings me to my 2 forms of self care thing.

    There’s self care of the mind-spirit and then there’s physical self care. They’re not separate, very connected in fact and I know myself sometimes I will not have the spoons to make food happen. Sometimes I can feel it coming on me and prepare accordingly, but not always so I make sure to cook with leftovers in mind or straight up for later as the goal when I have the spoons to cook and make sure to pace myself when doing it.

    Like chop the night before or earlier in the day and take a good break before getting to the active cooking part and very much what I cook is stuff that has a long simmer period and fairly short active cooking part. This includes bread to now that I think of it.

    Got 2 more things I wanna say, garlic paste is an excellent invention been waiting my whole life for apparently and I’m in love with taralli crackers so going to make my own. Made my very first “cheese board” with them, Dmitri Orion would be proud.

    Taralli crackers <3

  26. Self-care: I liked to think of myself as a spontaneous person – it’s so not true, it makes me anxious. And then I thought the antidote would be daily scheduling but that makes me frustrated as it’s too rigid and rather boring. Now I try to look at the week as a whole. And my week needs a good dose of: writing in bed in the morning while drinking coffee, playing the guitar, meditating with headspace Andi, yoga with Adriene, riding my bike, lying in bed with my partner and our cat, calling my mom, texting with my dad and my best college friend about our favorite authors and movies and songs, meeting friends and laughing. Fanfiction! Listening to „Happier in Hollywood“, I like their chemistry. Work: Trying to be involved and a bit driven but without being defined by my job. That’s the trickiest one. No, not true, this here is the hardest but most rewarding: Doing stuff even though it makes me anxious once in a while. And when it’s a really rough day: Pizza, beer, online shopping ?

  27. Weekend-long open thread? SURE. All of these things are self-care for me. They feel good (mostly). Self-care activities bring me back to gratitude; I have the time/space/energy/funds to do things for myself. That’s amazing!

    -Yoga, for sure! I’ve never felt much connection to my body, and a regular yoga practice helps with that. Also sex!

    -Baking a lot, and giving the results away to friends. Here, have this physical manifestation of my love AND my anxiety!

    -Being outdoors. It’s hard to find the motivation to get out, but it helps.

    -Vegetables. Taking the time to meal prep makes me realize that I DO care about my own well-being. I also love to cook so it’s v relaxing.

    -Creative things! Writing, brewing beer, canning beets/jam, refinishing chairs, refining my personal style, cooking super elaborate dishes, learning about a new topic of interest.

    -Vegetating. Reading fantasy/horror, listening to podcasts or music, watching TV, social time, light internetting.

    -Housework. Keeping my space clean and periodically reorganizing/giving away things helps me feel more comfortable and sane.

    -THERAPY. Omg, the blessing and curse that is therapy.

  28. Even though it sounds clichet, I LOVE fancy baths with candles. I’ve recently started using peppermint and lavender oil in a roll-on applied to my forehead to stop headaches, at least sometimes if I catch them soon enough. I also very much enjoy being outside and seeing big old oak or banyan trees. Power walking is my thing, but any kind of exercise helps to reduce stress. I also love coloring! It’s something mindless and pointless that’s just for fun. :)

    • Ooh I got another layer of fancy you could add, make a bath safe fancy snack and eat it slowly while you soak.

      My go-to used to be those lil yoplait cups or pudding nested in big gulp sized cup of ice and eat them with a tiny dessert spoon.

      Now it’s peeled satsumas and quality chopped pieces of chocolate.

  29. As an introvert who somehow fell into the teaching career, I’m surrounded by people 5 days a week so by Friday I’m brutally drained and exhausted mentally and emotionally. Sometimes I have to grit my teeth to get through Friday so I usually end up hermitting through the weekend just so I can recharge for the next week. Things that help me center myself include:

    – doing menial chores around the house. I am partial to laundry – there’s something about the smell of fresh laundry that’s really soothing.

    – napping in the sunspot that appears on my bed for a limited time in the afternoon. It’s winter, the sun doesn’t last and I make an effort to soak up as much vitamin D as possible.

    – since it’s December, I’m watching Christmas movies. ‘Tis the season and all, and honestly I just love Christmas movies – the cheesier the better. Thank gods for Lifetime and Hallmark. If it’s not Christmas, I catch up on my favorite shows, have movie marathons or go to the movies.

    – music. Music is my savior and I basically have playlists for just about anything and everything. I have playlists for solo dance parties around my apartment, playlists for when I need to prep for school; playlists for chores; playlists for cooking etc etc. Basically the only time my apartment is silent it when I’m not there. The music stays on even when I sleep.

    – plannning vacations. I know it sounds weird and gives some people anxiety and stress but I LOVE planning my next vacation. For me, it’s half the fun doing research on where to go, what to see and do, compare flight and accomodation prices, checking the weather etc. There’s supreme satisfaction in finding a list of prices, waiting patiently for a few days and then getting an alert that said prices have dropped.

    • I love planning vacations too! It is so much fun and makes me that much more excited to go on the trip now that i’ve spent so much time researching and learning about the destination and planning epic activities! Also YES the satisfaction of getting deals on flights and accommodations

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