Cute self care for cute people with cute mental health problems 

  
Self care is any intentional activity that self-nurtures. Self care is the mental health cure all of today as hempseed, goji berry, and spirulina were of 2010. Self care is often on checklists of health care professionals– “Have you been practicing your self care activities like we had talked about?” Self care is for people who neglect their own needs and desires. Self care is for busy parents and employed people and stressed out people who aren’t depressed or chronically anxious or paranoid or chronically ill– we think about ourselves a lot. It’s for relatively high functioning people who need a little down time. While I know, from personal experience as well, that yoga, bathing, napping, cooking, baking, reading and gardening are all things that  contribute to a healthier state of mind, sometimes they just don’t cut it. 
When I am anxious, I am focused too much on myself. I’m studying every thought and feeling and sensation in my body and everything else is secondary. I can auto-pilot conversations, all the while thinking and believing I am going to die or pass out or barf or whatever the feelings may be. When I am anxious I don’t know how to relax. Sure I can stop and meditate or jump in a warm bath, but just in doing those actions I can’t promise relaxation or any supposed benefits of self care. And what about after the bath? Shall I spend my whole day hopping from relaxation technique to relaxation technique?While I believe the intention behind self care is good, I think it’s a passive and lazy way to try to engage someone who is experiencing mental illness. What if they say no, no they haven’t been practicing their self care? Do we really believe that taking a bath or lighting some candles or other conventional ideas of relaxation are really going to work on someone who feels utterly distressed, lonely, confused, exhausted, miserable, and/or sad? 

I found a pretty interesting blurb that follows in line with this thought. 

The following is written by dion-the socialist who can be followed here. 

No one here seems interested in the grimy parts of mental health. Everyone wants to talk about mental illness as quiet introverts drinking tea and nervously stuttering over words. No one ever talks about symptoms like paranoia or hallucinations or hypersexuality or compulsions or homelessness or drug addiction or delusions or psychosis or violent urges. Every time a clearly mentally ill person commits a crime, and someone says, “Hey, maybe this is a sign that we need to improve mental health awareness in this country,” everyone goes to screaming: “This isn’t about mental illness! Mentally ill people aren’t violent!”
But yes, sometimes mentally ill people are violent. Sometimes we are bad people. And even those mentally ill people are in need of advocacy, maybe even more so.
When you post “Protect people with mental illnesses at all costs,” do you mean all of us, or just the cute ones?
I get sick of tumblr’s version of self care, which 90% of the time threads into this beautifully: go pet a fuzzy cute animal! pile up your favorite blankets from childhood and watch disney movies! take a nap! play a game from this list of cute soothings games! 

More realistically: go take a shower because it’s been three days. Wash the dishes that have been in the sink since last Friday that you can smell as soon as you open your door because rotting food stinks. Pick all your clothes off the floor because that’s where your entire wardrobe is and you’ve already cried today because you tripped over a sweater and realized the cat puked on it. Call someone who can give you enough courage to pay that bill you’ve been ignoring. Put away the crackers because that’s all you’ve eaten for two days straight. Apologize to the friends who are worried sick about you, and if you can’t, at least let them know you are ok and need space. 
One of the most empowering types of self-care is responsibility, but tumblr just wants to sit in a closet strung with fairy lights and read their favorite fic.  
“Cute” self-care for “cute” mental issues. That’s not reality. 🐱

Are you looking for meaning in your life? Yeah, same. 

Emma Hewson does it again. She reviews a book and tells you why and why not to read it. I love Emma. Thank you. 

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 The day before a friend of mine was about to leave the country for a several months, she found a copy of the Celestine Prophecy by James Redfield on the street and passed it along to me. This was odd, considering that she had been wanting to give me a copy for months, and had now found one at the last possible moment. Even more odd, considering that the book is entirely about synchronicity.  

 The Celestine Prophecy is a narrative that follows a man, John, as he discovers 9 ‘insights’ towards a spiritual life. It’s an effective format that gets you excited about the material because the protagonist is learning at the same time that you are. 

 Essentially the plot is as follows: John has come to a plateau in his life when he meets an acquaintance who tells him about an ancient Peruvian manuscript. He somewhat spontaneously decides to travel to Lima, Peru, to investigate. Once there, he synchronistically meets a series of characters that reveal to him more and more of the manuscript. He learns that the entire world is made of energy, and our happiness in life has to do with how tuned in to that energy we are–especially important are synchronicity and intuition.

 Personally, I loved the book because it describes some of my favourite spiritual ideas in a fun and engaging fictional world. The whole idea of fun is sometimes lost in the self-development section of the bookshelf! If you’re interested, the Celestine Prophecy was also made into a film, starring Mathew Setter of Gossip girl fame. And although it redefined my assumptions about Setter, the film itself moves too quickly from insight to insight to be engaging or to allow the audience to connect with the characters.

 Additionally, there is one thing that is slightly disappointing about this and many personal development/new age books, and that is its very strong Christian influence. This book specifically revolves around the suppression of spiritual ideas by the Christian church, and seems to be trying to convince Christian readers that the two philosophies don’t conflict. For me, I can kind of ignore this aspect in order to enjoy the other messages. However, skip this book if you’re not in the mood for a Christian-tinged narrative.

69ing: who what why where when 

 
69 almost makes a yin-yang. Neat! Guys, 69ing is just awkward. Like, where does it even come from? Apparently it is first mentioned in 1790 in French “whore catechisms”. 

I think it’s really strange to think that in order to keep our sex lives interesting, we might assume that we need to move our bodies into strange positions. Like wheelbarrow, or any position standing up, or even worse, standing up in the shower. Danger. Slippery when wet. 69ing is a novelty position. It’s like you’re on your way to a great birthday party with beautiful homemade muffins under arm, and you half heartedly decide to stop into the corner store and peruse the gifts section (which is never good, and you know that) because you suddenly feel the muffins aren’t enough. You walk out of the store with a clown figurine and you don’t feel any further along than you did before. Now you’re late for the party. 

 Whoever invented 69ing probably also invented those wasteful flossing sticks. What was wrong with regular floss anyway? Ooooo, I don’t have to hold the floss. A little fishing rod for my mouth! How quaint. Don’t buy those sticks, ever. 

The number 69 is forever cursed. A sea of giggles when it is called out at the passport office. A sea of giggles when some dude on the volleyball team uses it on his jersey. I remember buying a red zip-up sweater from Sirens when I was in grade 8 that had the number 69 on it. Thinking now about my male teacher having that number thrown in his face every time I answered a question is just, I can’t even. I hadn’t even kissed anyone at that age, let alone put my vagina on their face. But it was all for sass’s sake. 

Anyway, how do people decide to get into 69ing? One person gets to stay in their current position, and the other waves goodbye, sometimes cries, and heads south, trying to position themselves properly on your face while they simultaneously find your parts and latch on. And then all you can think about is whether or not the other person can smell your butt. I mean, you can sometimes smell theirs so…..yeah um and God forbid you have a lil toilet paper stuck somewhere.

It’s not all bad. I like that any combination of genders can give it a shot. In essence it is beautiful– simultaneous pleasure can be great but often it’s just too distracting. It is quite difficult to multitask. To give and receive at the same time is almost superhuman. It’s beyond my senses, that’s for sure. 


Ps I made this t shirt. Just kidding. Some clever devil did. 

  

How Do You Take a Compliment?

  
Written by Evelyn Taylor 😘

Compliments. They can be exciting, uplifting, insulting, awkward and weird. They can make you feel a range of emotions, including indifference. They can even make you unwittingly support capitalism.

Yeah, I went there.

Maybe you’ve noticed it from others, maybe you’ve noticed it in yourself, maybe you’ve never noticed it and maybe I’m a bit off my rocker for thinking it’s worth noticing, BUT, have you ever noticed that sometimes a compliment is immediately responded to with a recommendation or testimonial for a business? I love your necklace! I got it at Smart Set. You look great in that dress! Thanks, I found it in Value Village. Great haircut! I got it done at Sally’s salon down the street.

This pattern of responses works to accomplish a few things. Most of which are troubling.

#1 Deflection – Yes, it can be hard to take a compliment; to accept that someone sees something positive, interesting or beautiful about your appearance and that pointing it out is not only ok but justified. Deflecting a compliment by attributing it to something beyond yourself allows you to accept the compliment as valid without requiring that you let it change your self-image positively. It’s a tool – an effective one at that, but it seems somehow unfortunate. I mean, people compliment each other for all sorts of reasons, one of which is because they generally like you and want to show that they notice and appreciate you. Since we never truly know what happens in other people’s minds, why not choose to believe that people like and appreciate you? If they want to know where you got something, they’ll ask you.

#2 Individualistic Pragmatism – A compliment is clearly all about being practical and so clearly the only practical response involves promoting an action that will end in tangible results i.e. acquiring the desirable object or service. Unpractical, relationship-oriented things are useless! Right? Wait.

#3 Capitalism – Buy things! Let’s all buy things together! I bought x at y store and if you buy x at y store, we can both have x together! No sharing; that is not allowed. If you like something of mine, get your own! Objects can be the source of fun and good times, but unless it’s your friend’s shop or a place you really want to support, why promote it? For that matter, why attribute the store when they likely didn’t make it themselves but instead probably are exploiting other people for profit? In fact, I think if someone ever compliments you on how you smell (thanks to some LUSH product), you should keep in mind the person’s name on the container and respond with “Someone named (insert worker’s name) made it!”

#4 Fear of Lying by Omission – This one gets me. I think sometimes we immediately word-vomit when people compliment us so as not to be interpreted as hiding information from them, or “secret-keeping”. When I found out that omission is considered lying, I began to panic. The part of my brain that said “don’t say anything dumb or upsetting to anyone ever” had an epic battle with the part of my brain that thoroughly believed that “honesty is the best policy” and the casualties were so bad on either side, it’s hard to tell who won. As I get older, I’m beginning to rediscover the wonder and excitement of secrets and mysteries and have been less worried about lies. People believe what they want to believe and we can only truly know our own flawed perceptions of reality anyway, so what does it matter? Truth is relative and dynamic. Be mysterious if you want to be.

Do I think that responding to compliments this way is wrong? Not at all. Do I think it’s weird? Absolutely! People are weird and often times they just do things because they imitate others and generation after generation ends up repeating strange habits. I advocate for thinking about these strange habits and seeing if they need to change. I also like to think of life as a choose-your-own-adventure story that you tell yourself, so let’s not make it too dull or predictable, ok?

Thanks, Tips: I Wanna Dye My Hair Blonde

The first time I ever put permanent colour in my hair was in grade 8. My stepdad, a beauty aficionado,  convinced me that I should get some blonde highlights– the good old chunky ones– for my grad pics. I didn’t dye my hair again until I was in University. I didn’t know what I was doing with hair colour until this past year. So now Im gonna tell you how to dye your hair blonde.

Step One:  Find a Beauty Supply Store (Sally’s will do)

You will need to buy some powdered bleach. Wella’s Colour Charm Powder is just fine. They sell small packets too for you short-hair babes out there. It’s usually under $20 for a tub of bleach or $4 for a packet. Then you will need to buy some developer. Developer is basically the active ingredient that opens up your hair cuticle to let the colour work it’s magic. If you have really healthy hair //or// you’re such a cool artsy type that doesn’t mind making their hair look kinda dry and frizzy, you can use 30 volume developer. The higher the number (max is 40), the more lift you get. I don’t recommend buying 40 volume developer ever. It’s pretty intense. For you peeps who like to keep your hair looking mighty fine and are afraid to ruin the shiny shiny you have going on, I recommend 20 volume. You likely won’t get a crazy light blonde with 20 volume unless you already have naturally light brown/red/whatever hair. To reach platinum blonde, you will likely need 30 volume. Grab some toner as well. This stuff will do. You will need to buy a small bottle of 10 volume developer for the toner.  Buy an applicator brush and a bowl. And buy some disposable gloves, or better yet, some re-usable rubber gloves.

Step Two: Application

You will need to look on the container of bleach for its mixing ratio. It will either say 1:1 or 1:2. It really depends on the kind you get. Mix your bleach powder and your developer accordingly. If you’re a drug dealer, use your scale to measure it out. Best to be precise. If you’re only trying to dye one part of your hair (say, the top), you can use conditioner to block the rest of the hair. Use your brush to paint the area of the hair you don’t want to bleach with conditioner. You should be applying the bleach to dry hair. Wear a shitty PJ shirt. If you have a friend around, ask them to apply it for you.. starting at the most resistant area of your hair which is often the back of your head. If your friend is applying it for you, get them to divide your head into 4 quadrants (2 in the front, 2 in the back).

If you had blonde in your hair and it grew out, you can start at the back of your head. Do not overlap bleach. In other words, if you have blonde in your hair, try not to touch that blonde as your hair might break off. If you have gray hair, you can start in one of the front sections and move to the back sections as you go.  Take small sections of hair and coat the hair using your free hand as a base. I recommend avoiding the scalp. So, paint the hair 1/2 inch from the root to the ends. I personally love a good dark root. HOT. No jokes.

If you are alone, you can try painting it on using the quadrant method in a mirror, or you can simply work free-hand. I often just use my hands like a child would. No brush needed. Make sure your hair is fully saturated, meaning that you don’t leave any dry spots. Often the ends of your hair are more porous and can soak up colour quicker than the root/mid shaft. If your hair is already a little damaged, you might want to pull the colour through the ends later on as opposed to painting the hair completely at first.

Once you have fully saturated the hair, watch it closely. Your hair might lift quickly, or it may take more time than usual. This depends on the amount of gray you have, how thick your hair is, and how damaged it is. You can test to see the colour of the hair as it goes through the various changes in colour. Slide the bleach off of a few strands of hair using your two fingers. This should give you an idea of how light the hair is. If you want to avoid a golden blonde (blonde with more yellow), then you will need to leave the bleach on for longer. For reference, Golden blonde is a level 7 blonde. Platinum blonde is level 10-11.

Lots of people wonder why their hair is a yellowy blonde after they bleach it. Likely, you didn’t leave the bleach on long enough. If you want a white blonde, you have to leave the bleach on for longer so that it reaches level 10. You probably took it off at level 7 or 8. To get rid of those yellow tones, you want to use a toner after you’ve rinsed out the bleach and washed your hair with shampoo.

Step Three: Apply the Toner

Rinse the bleach from your hair. Use cool to lukewarm water. You don’t want to burn your scalp. Be gentle when washing your hair with shampoo, as your scalp could be sensitive. Make sure you thoroughly wash out the bleach. You don’t want that sh*t chillin’ on your scalp. Now it’s time for a toner. Your hair should be wet/ freshly shampooed for the toner. You can do the toner over the sink. The toner likely needs to be mixed with 10 volume developer. Follow the instructions on the package of toner. Like I said, toners take away unwanted pigments in the hair. Sometime bleach does weird things and leaves your hair with strange tones. You’ll want to use a toner to get a nicer blonde. On rare occasions the bleach application alone will suffice. You can be the judge. The toner will work very quickly. Often you only need to keep it on for 5 minutes or so. Again, to see the colour while it is on your hair, just wipe some of it off of a few strands. Rinse the toner out and then shampoo and condition.

Step Four: Maintenance 

In order for your blonde to stay vibrant and looking good, you should use a purple shampoo once or twice a week. Most purple shampoos are fine, but you want to get one with the purple pigment in it. I don’t love John Frieda’s. The shampoo itself should be a vibrant purple colour. The purple keeps those brassy yellow tones away.

That’s it babies! I’m happy to answer your questions. Blonde on. 

Don’t Be A Pussy: A Lesson in Not Being a Douchebag

I feel okay about using the word “douchebag”. Michael Mark Cohen thinks that douchebag is a prominent white racial slur. I feel that is true. I have no problem calling people douchebags when they deserve it.

On any given night, you can find me scrolling through the comments section on Facebook and more specifically, the comments section on CBC News. The news will tell you their version, but if you want a quick sample of the popular opinion it’s best to scroll down further and see what Jim Roy or Samantha Cairns from Alberta or New Brunswick has to say about it. You’ll notice a lot of right-wingers like to comment. They are probably hired by Harper to stir shit up.  Recently, Shauna Hunt, a Canadian Sports Reporter, was harassed while on the job. A passerby quickly blurted “Fuck her right in the pussy” (FHRITP) while she was on air.

She confronted him and told him that she’s sick of being harassed and that these comments are not funny. I mean, they really aren’t. The FHRITP shouter was later fired from his job. Good on em’ (Hydro One). The comments on that news story were polarized, as predicted. Some people said that firing him was extreme and that this FHRITP shouting tradition is harmless and not aimed at degrading women. I promptly replied to several of those comments simply with the word “No”. No is powerful. I happen to see lots of people using only the word “no” when replying to sexist bullshit on social media. It’s pretty great. It’s like slamming a door in their face and having them yell at it. Goodbye, douchebags.

I hear a lot of people call each other pussies. I hear married fathers with daughters call other men pussies. I am usually most surprised when I hear it from people who know me well. I always imagine myself as this walking poster of someone who isn’t down for sexist shit. Maybe it just slips out? I can understand that to some degree.  I’m all fine to throw the word around when I’m having sexy times, but otherwise it just feels too vulgar for everyday use. BTW I’m perfectly happy for women to call their vaginas “pussies”. Duh.

But when men use the word pussy outside of their bedrooms it really disturbs me. It irks me even more when they aren’t even talking about vaginas.  Like, why are you swearing at me? Or why are you using the word vagina to insult some other guy who can’t lift something or prefers to wear gloves when he handles toxic materials? Isn’t that just good sense? Why are you calling him the name of the thing between my legs? I’m right here. And it can hear you. And even if I wasn’t right here, he still isn’t a vagina. When someone can’t lift a box, or wants to drive safely, or chooses to wear earplugs when you’re using a saw, I can assure you that they are very normal people who are taking necessary precautions and/or simply don’t want to hurt themselves. They are a not a vagina. They are a person. And most of the time they don’t even have vaginas. So stop calling them one. Maybe help them lift the box. Maybe you should also put on a pair of rubber gloves.

And now, for some sound money-making advice, you can listen to this dude. The steps are simple:
1. Stop fucking around
2. Stop being a pussy

Ask Your Tongue What’s Wrong With You

This isn’t a new science or anything. Tongue Diagnosis has long-standing place in Chinese Medicine. Ayurvedic practitioners also use the tongue as a map of the organs. Even your regular good old MD also looks at your tongue sometimes. But I suspect they do it because they want to gag you with popsicle sticks. Especially if you are child, it seems. Nevertheless, tongues are totally gross to me. I try not to think about mine too much. It feels like some slippery alligator that hangs out in my mouth, guiding french fries to my throat. It’s basically a super controlling wet muscular monster that pushes things around. Bossy lil’ guy.  Ugh, and that disgusting thing that holds it in place. The little ball and chain under your tongue. Stop. No.

I’m pretty obsessed with health. Not to the point where I actively do everything I should, but knowing more about what’s going on in my body is really satisfying. Why go to the doctor when I can read forums about everything? Symptoms are so obscure anyway. Google will help me figure out why my tongue feels fat.

I encourage you to take a picture of your tongue or go stare at it in a mirror for a while. What do you notice? Take note of wetness, any coating on the tongue, shape, redness, swelling, bumps, and colour. It’s best to check it out before you brush your teeth in the morning. This will likely give you the best reading. Apparently Spring is the best time to check your tongue, as it is supposed to be the most “normal” during this season (based on how our bodies respond to temperature). Check the above tongue chart. Do you have delicate lungs?

If you have a thick white coating on your tongue, this may be a sign of candida (yeast) overgrowth. It may mean that your gut isn’t performing as well as it would like to and you have an overgrowth of bad bacteria. If you feel this is the case, probiotics are usually helpful and start incorporating fermented foods like sauerkraut, kimchi, and kefir into your life. Also, brush your tongue reaaaal good.

If your tongue is pale you might need to eat more iron-rich foods. This could be a sign of low haemoglobin in the blood.

If you have teeth indents on your tongue, like I do, you might not be absorbing minerals and vitamins properly. This could send you on a serious health quest. Perhaps you might want to get a few blood tests to find out where you are low. My tongue feels like it is compressed in my mouth– like it’s too big and so my teeth press against it. I am very b12 deficient.

Little red bumps can indicate a hormone imbalance and Qi Deficiency. Qi can be understood as “available energy” in the body. When Qi is deficient or stagnant, it means that our available energy is low, which makes us feel tired and more stressed. Warm and sweet foods are used to restore the Qi– foods like oats, beef, tofu, molasses, sweet potato, lentil, figs, and ham.

If you have a bright red tip you might be very stressed out or dealing with sadness, depression or anxiety or the fun combo of all three! “Um, maybe try yoga?” It could also be an indicator that you’re drinking your coffee when it’s too hot.

Basically, your ideal tongue would look like this. But this picture was probably photoshopped. Who could be sure? That tongue is quite beautiful though. I’d like to eat ice cream with that tongue.

You can read more about your tongue here.