This isn’t one of those “Everyone look at me, I am leaving Facebook, weep for my forthcoming absence, listen to my list of grievances” dramatic exits that have become an annoying cliche. Quite the opposite, in fact. My decision to delete Facebook happened back in the middle of April, about six weeks ago. I didn’t say anything, didn’t tell anyone, just quietly left. Since then two people have noticed, or at least two people have bothered to say anything. I could use that fact to try to make a point, but why bother. You’ve heard it all before. Besides, this post isn’t really about Facebook. Life is an editing process. You keep what you want, make what you absolutely need[…]

This seems like a repeat of yesterday’s self-care tip (which itself felt like a repeat of the previous day’s tip), but I think there’s a fairly substantial difference. They’re two sides of the same coin, at the very least. You do have to reject other peoples’ definitions of self-care, but you can’t just leave a void. You need to create your own definition of self-care in order to be able to find a way forward. One of the questions I’ve been asked most frequently has been “What is self-care, anyway?”. Aside from the obvious “It’s taking are of yourself, duh!” answer, it’s kind of vague. Every human being has common needs — food, clothing, shelter, etcetera — but every person[…]

This might seem like a repeat of yesterday’s post, but it isn’t. You can reject someone’s specific self-care advice, but still agree with the general intent of the suggestion. Telling you that you need to drink more water when you already consume plenty, is a tip you can ignore. When you’ve already tried the quote-unquote normal self-care practices to no avail, you can largely dismiss them when you hear them for the umpty-thousandth time. Today’s advice is different in that you’re not ignoring the specifics, but rather rejecting the premise. You’ve got to reject other peoples’ definition of self-care if those people don’t understand your needs. For example, while there are overlaps between anxiety and depression, the thing that worked[…]

One of the best pieces of self-care advice that I can give is to ignore conventional self-care advice. In researching this month-long series I found a lot of repetition. There were tons of suggestions that boiled down to little more than common sense. Quite a few things were, due to the nature of the internet, either flat-out wrong or backdoor pitches to buy some sponsored goods or services. We all know that we need to get regular sleep. No one needs to tell us again that we should drink more water. Everyone faces the constant struggle to eat healthier food. Very few of us get as much exercise as we should, and we know this without having to continually be[…]

For the past couple of weeks I’ve been doing some small things to make our meals more of an experience. I’ve already talked about cooking a slow breakfast and having joyful rituals, so today’s tip is in line with those ideas. You’ve got to treat yourself and make your meals feel fancy. I’m now serving simple meals on smaller, nicer plates. Yes, it’s portion control, but psychologically it does feel like more food. Eating on nicer plates also has a bit of a self-esteem boost to it. I’m getting rid of all of our old, chipped dinnerware because seriously, it’s just sad. Some nice plates from the thrift store shouldn’t be too dear a cost for most people. The other[…]