Small acts of self-care

The YOSC: Entry #11

Last week Achim had a deadline so I had to pick up the slack at home, do bed-times, and even skip the gym once. I wasn’t feeling the best, health-wise, and neither was Alida – lots of crying and needing to be held. It could have been a pretty shitty week, but to be honest, it wasn’t. Joni had a few good playdates, I managed to accomplish a couple satisfying illustration-related things, and the laundry even got put away (!!!). I coulda used a little more face time with humans above the age of 4, but overall, it was a decent week.

I think I am getting better at taking care of myself, in little ways. I have a clearer idea about the kinds of small acts that will calm me down, lift me up, get me focused and back on track. I’ve illustrated some of the most reliable things I draw from when I feel like I am a short-circuiting coffee-powered chaos machine. They aren’t exactly interchangeable, but usually at least one of them will help. I don’t think these little things are the same for everyone. I asked Achim what, in his observation, makes me feel better when I’m having a rough go and he said a bunch of stuff I had already thought of, plus getting outside and getting some exercise. So I asked, Really? Do you really think exercise brings me around? Because while I feel good about exercising in a longer-term way, I actually don’t think it’s one of my quick tools exactly. In fact, sometimes I find it gets me more amped up. He thought about this and corrected himself, At least, getting out, he said. Getting out and getting some sunshine. Bingo! THAT is true. There is little that turns me around faster than fresh air and sunshine on my face. I added that to the list.

For sure, intense exercise is one of the best remedies for Achim, so I imagine he was extrapolating. This isn’t knocking exercise, I know, I know, it’s super important and healthy and everything, I am just saying, when it comes to small, immediate things we can do that make us feel better, we are all a little different. And I think it’s helpful to actually be able to name a handful of small acts that work for you, because when shit hits the fan, they can be harder to come up with then, say, a massive bar of emergency supply baker’s chocolate and 75 minutes of forlorn Facebook activity while the baby tears the toilet paper into 400 pieces.

And I will leave it at that today, because in a wonderful blast of irony, I made that tiny, neat and tidy cut-paper laundry basket in the middle of a total cesspool of a studio. Haha. So I’m gonna go try and rectify that situation now.

What are your small acts of self-care? I’d love to hear.


2 thoughts on “Small acts of self-care

  1. Jojo

    Order. Order. Order. I’ve actually started adopting mom’s like 5 minute break with coffee where I just do nothing, and then I get up and put things in order. Or, getting out and interacting with people! Hum… just thinking- oddly sometimes the small talk with people I don’t know makes me feel best of all, and I love how being out with small children makes people feel like they can say hello to you more and share the ages of their grandchildren or whatever. You know what? Actually I think it is that I like to connect with new people. Of course I love my old people too, but for some reason meeting new people really energizes me. Most people have small talk but I find it really fun to share a laugh over something weird at the post office or whatever. And lastly, the opposite of this- leaving the mess, and not bothering to go through the ordeal that it is to get out of the house, just sitting to read a quiet book with Orson seems to make us both feel better.


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