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Posted: Mon Mar 13, 2017 8:24 pm
by Sebomai
I'm posting about something I've just started taking very seriously: self-care. When depressed, when bored, when angry, when uncertain, what are the things you do to take care of yourself and feel more at ease with yourself and the world?

I realized recently that I have to take care of me or I will suffer burnout... or worse.

There are the old standbys... I love to listen to music, I love to read, I love to converse with friends. But I get in moods where I feel unable to do these things, dark moods that cripple me.

So the first item I need to make sure I don't neglect is seeing my doctors. I need to be as healthy as I can be in body and mind.

I need to not let myself withdraw from the people I love. It strains friendships and it trashes my self-image and happiness overall.

I needed to develop a hobby, one that gets me out of the house, replaces boredom with happiness, and occupies a lot of time. So I've decided that an easy to manage and maintain hobby would be Bird-watching. Birds are my favorite animals, even more than cats. So I'm going to get myself some decent binoculars, I've already got some field guides, and I'm going to scour the state of New Jersey, trying to find birds I've never seen before and observe behaviors of the birds I see all the time.

There are other techniques I'm trying to develop but that's a good start.

What are some of the things you do or you want to do to take care of yourself and keep yourself from losing your mind in this world?

Re: Self-care

Posted: Tue Mar 14, 2017 9:23 pm
by Silvaeon
For me at least, they key lies in trying to transform stagnating energy. This energy causes boredom, depression, withdrawl. etc. So I try to transform the stagnating energy into some form of movement.

Often this takes the form of some physical movement. It's not always easy to get going, but once I do, I always feel better. I like to go for a run and blow off some steam. If I don't have the energy or ability, such is the case these days, a long walk in nature does the trick. I use these opportunities to take in the beauty around me and it helps to refresh me and get my blood flowing. I almost always listen to music while doing these activities, which is another thing that helps to lift my spirit. Immersing yourself in nature and the natural sounds of the world can also be very uplifting though. Bird watching sounds like a great hobby to my ears.

Meditation is another useful tool for me. Again, sometimes extremely difficult to get going, but rewarding when I do. I try to breathe out the stagnation, breathe in the new and invigorating breath. Prayer work has begun to be immensely rewarding for me too in giving me daily focus and keeping up with a meaningful routine.

Cleanliness of my environment always makes a difference too. Clean and organize the house, shower and wash off the stagnation, clean clothes, make your surroundings as peaceful as possible.

Another thing I'm just starting to do. Keeping a journal of emotions. There doesn't need to be much detail. Just being aware of them as they shift throughout the day and making note of them and any brief circumstances surrounding them in a journal. Then as time progresses I can look back - maybe a pattern or something I didn't recognize before in my emotions will reveal itself.

And sometimes when I'm feeling down, I just need to indulge and treat myself to something (as long as it's not terribly harmful). Yes, I WILL drink this coca-cola and love every minute of it.

Re: Self-care

Posted: Sat Mar 18, 2017 1:58 pm
by Abhavani
Silvaeon wrote:For me at least, they key lies in trying to transform stagnating energy.
Seems like your self-care methods resemble mine a lot. Thank you for sharing them.

Usually any kind of 'getting out of my head' works, and that can occur by pretty much anything, depending on the current mood. But I've been to a pitfall many times. Often I have an idea of what I think would be relaxing and unwinding, but in reality I turn out to push or force it eventually. Writing, reading, playing guitar, physical exercise, meditation, etc. are all great but if I try to plan it beforehand in order to get rid of stress, I end up creating more stress and stagnation.

I have started to change my way of thinking, and I've learned one good trick that has helped a little: simplified observation without creating a story or narration for it.

For example "I'm too tired to do anything today" can be shortened to just "I'm tired" and as by magic, the whole day turns out to be much more creative and productive than expected. Leaving a blank space creates a lot of potential, and the mystery of nature turns it into actuality. And as the saying goes that "nature abhors emptiness", seems to be very true.

Re: Self-care

Posted: Sat Mar 18, 2017 5:03 pm
by Sebomai
I love that suggestion. Observing without creating a narrative is basically cultivating awareness without setting aside specific meditation times for it. I've experimented briefly with it but I think I need to look at doing it more often and more consciously.

Re: Self-care

Posted: Sat Mar 18, 2017 6:14 pm
by Insanus
Abhavani wrote:.

simplified observation without creating a story or narration for it.