Self-Care Techniques for the Real World

Meditate. Really? I hear two sentences from my guide, and I’m out like a light and I’ve missed dinner.

You know what? I no longer feel that the self-help warriors who bombard magazines, Oprah shows, and my bookshelves are very sincere. They’re actually quite lazy. And why wouldn’t they be - they’re busy taking care of themselves. Have a spa in your own tub! Meditate! Eat healthy! Hug yourself!

Does this sound fresh and new to you? Shit doesn’t work.

We all learn different. I bathe, yes, but my tub is short, so I feel basically like a pioneer in a wash basin. Meditate. Really? I hear two sentences from my guide, and I’m out like a light and I’ve missed dinner.

I (obviously caring for all of you more than myself) have compiled some real alternatives that will actually work.

Stay on the Ground a Little Longer

When I bend down these days, mostly to pick up Lego, sometimes I can’t get back up. I’m feeling my age (40), more and more. When I find myself stuck midway to the return of upright, I seize and lose breath. Instead of exerting any more danger on myself, I release my body to the floor. I may roll around a bit, or assume a fetal position. The point is I am taking care of me. You should too. Keep your phone on you as well so you can play Candy Crush or text while you’re having a self time-out.

Switch to Decaf

Note: Not on the first, or even second coffee. You need those for living. There are some days, however, when that pot keeps calling you back. This is when you force yourself to drink the pointless coffee: decaf.

Jitters won’t actually help you, but the placebo java will trick your brain into thinking it’s getting what it wants. Continue writing, studying, or cleaning, and at the end of the day you will thank yourself for an easy transition to sleep.


Remember baby proofing your house? Well, it’s time to you-proof things to avoid an encounter with pain, frustration or anger. Example: remove all rocking chairs. Rocking chairs have a tendency to reach out and kick you in the ankle bone. If you’re attached to your chair at least stick some styrofoam balls on the legs and cover them in socks. Or wear boots in the house. Your choice.

Hide the chocolate stash.

I know this sounds like it would evoke frustration, but in a sense it’ll be a treasure hunt to stimulate a part of your brain that doesn’t get used often. Imagine a day when you need some delicious cocoa. You’ll remember that you hid it, but not where. In the end you find your spot, lose calories looking for it, and feel pretty good about yourself. And can tell others that you have a sense of adventure.

Do things you’ve quit.

Eat carbs, just for the day. Creep an ex on Facebook. Spend the day procrastinating. Do it. Screw restrictions. For one day, live in the moment. Quit again immediately after. You’re a winner.

Previously published at Detached from Logic.


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