Taking Care of Yourself Despite Everything

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Let’s be honest here guys: taking care of yourself while you’re struggling with mental health, and trying to balance a million different activities and relationships, is next to impossible. Something always falls to the side, right? And while we can say that we’re going to take on less hours at work or go out partying a little less, it’s always our me time that suffers.

However, at least for myself, I find that in order to keep my hit points up, I need to be able to maintain a good sense of self care, no matter how badly I’m feeling. And although some days I literally have to force myself to get up, and often times I can really only manage one or two of the things off my list, it’s important that I maintain a certain level of self care for myself at all times.

Whether you relate to this or not, I do promise you this: the more time you take to invest in yourself, the better you’re going to feel. It might not out right make you feel any less awful than than you had been feeling before, but it will help you start getting on the right track.

Therefore, I’ve compiled a list of the most important self-care things you can practice on a (somewhat) daily basis.

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The Hit Point Scale

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Like I’ve mentioned before, I’ve spent a lot of time developing theories about myself and the rest of humanity. Maybe it’s a writer thing, I don’t know, but I find it helpful to be able to understand those around me. Gives me an idea of what I need to do to take care of myself a little better, and how to communicate effectively with the important people in my life. Of course, I’m going to be talking about another one of those theories today, and I hope it’ll help you learn some things about yourself as well.

I grew up with video games – in particular, JRPGs like Final Fantasy. I use them for a lot of different metaphors in my life, but I’m pretty sure anyone, regardless of gaming history, will be able to understand what I’m trying to say with this.

Start off by imagining that you’re a video game character, alright? Obviously, this means that you have a hit point bar. To keep it simple, every morning when you wake up, your hit points generally reset to 100. By the end of the day, depending on what you did with your time, they’re often depleted, right?

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How to Survive Retail (Or Any Other Trashy Job)

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I’m in a really good place right now. Not emotionally – that’s a mess – but I’m not working, I’m starting my own businesses, I can sleep in until noon everyday, and my schedule isn’t filled with anything except things I enjoy. I have next to no money, but thanks to my depression, I may be able to get financial help from the government while I deal with my issues. I may be a mess, but my life is not.

However, I’ve done my time in petty jobs and retail. I’ve been yelled at by customers, worked ten hour days until one in the morning, did split shifts, and came to work with only three hours of sleep after crazy panic attacks. I get it. I’ve been there. I’d like to say that my worst shift ever was when I got a phone call during my break because one of my childhood friends just died, but it wasn’t.

However, I came up with a few things to help me get through it. If there’s something I’m good at, it’s creating coping strategies and plans, so here are a few of the things that have worked for me:

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You Are My Sunshine 

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So I went out with a friend of mine the other day. I go out with a lot of people. I like to think that makes me popular, but I think it just means that I work too hard to do too much, and there are some things I need to let go of.

Anyway, we’re sitting there chatting about our lives. We haven’t spoken in a while, so we’re catching up. He’s a little bit older, in his late twenties, still works in retail, isn’t actively working on any projects or big goals or anything like that – you know, just living life.

And I start to think as we’re talking, ‘man, this guy is wasting so much potential for himself. Here he is, an awesome human being who’s talking to me about his past ideas of opening a tea shop or being a voice actor or whatever else, and he’s doing nothing to pursue any of those things. That’s really sad. I should encourage him to work harder.’ 

So the conversation keeps going, and I do what I can to try to encourage him and get him motivated. After all, he has so many amazing ideas that he’d be brilliant at executing, so I should push him to go for them, right?

And then it hits me. It’s not that my intentions or thoughts were wrong – I’d love to see him pursuing some of these things – but rather, I had been placing my value in the things I was doing, and by default, his as well.

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Where in the World Are You?

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That’s actually a line one of my favorite characters delivered in this book series. I’ve been rereading it with one of my friends recently, and although I never really thought about this particular piece of dialogue besides the fact that it’s brilliant foreshadowing, I’ve really started to think about this recently.

I know I talked before about default positions in your world, and this isn’t too far off from that, but I wanted to introduce a new concept that I’ve been thinking about a lot recently. It might seem kind of crazy, and you might completely disagree with me, but I don’t really care. It’s just one of my theories about people, and in the end, there’s no way to either prove it nor disprove it, so take what you will and leave everything else in the trash.

Let me start off by saying something crazy: you exist inside your world more than you do in ‘reality.’

Let me break this down for you a little bit here. It makes sense when you think about it, I promise. We’re going to start of sciencey before I get too crazy on you here. Don’t want to lose my audience right off the bat.

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