What are your radical/indulgent self care ideas?
November 17, 2016 10:14 AM   Subscribe

Like many folks right now, I'm hurting and could use some ideas of radical self care. I tend to take care of everyone else first, and I'm not great about prioritizing myself. What things can I do? I'm imagining somewhat indulgent ones, but I'm really open to ideas.
posted by advicepig to Health & Fitness (33 answers total) 48 users marked this as a favorite
Take a day off and don't tell anyone (except your employer, of course). What you do would depend on what makes you feel great! Like: yoga class, massage, read a book in a cafe for a few hours. Plan it in advance and don't let anything get in the way.
posted by beyond_pink at 10:18 AM on November 17, 2016 [6 favorites]

Buy or order some bird seed and nuts (not bread). Go to a beautiful park or wild place, and throw some seed and nuts, and wait for critters to come. Be as still as possible, to see how close they will come. Sit for as long as you want.
posted by greenish at 10:20 AM on November 17, 2016 [14 favorites]

Go for a long walk of an hour or more in fresh air and greenery.
posted by storybored at 10:21 AM on November 17, 2016 [1 favorite]

I would recommend something physical. Take an intro class for boxing or something. Most first classes are free. The day after election, I took off work and went rock climbing and it was the only thing that made me feel sane all day.
posted by monologish at 10:21 AM on November 17, 2016 [5 favorites]

Book an all-inclusive beach resort vacation package for yourself. Give yourself something to look forward to and think about when you can't get out of your own head. I can recommend Southwest Vacations and Apple Vacations for this.
posted by theraflu at 10:22 AM on November 17, 2016 [1 favorite]

getting a european facial at a fancy day spa is relaxing and pampering and not outrageously expensive.
posted by supermedusa at 10:32 AM on November 17, 2016

If you haaaaaave to work, work from home for a day if you can.

(Says she who is working from home in pajamas cozy in bed, yup it's 1:33pm in the afternoon).
posted by floweredfish at 10:34 AM on November 17, 2016 [2 favorites]

I have mostly been eating chocolate, which is less than ideal. I've been meditating (almost) daily and have been getting on the treadmill for some type of workout.

Also, naps.
posted by getawaysticks at 10:41 AM on November 17, 2016 [1 favorite]

Going to the grocery store and buying prepackaged fruit. I just allowed myself to buy whatever I want, to be honest haha.

Buying books, meditating, learning new things like playing a guitar and getting immersed in the process. Being completely selfish and focusing on your own mental and health wellbeing. Hanging out with friends (those who are politically aware but not talking about activism all the time are the best.) Playing video games. Snuggle in a warm blanket. Delete Facebook off your phone, be really selfish about your communications. Just be more selfish and give yourself lots of permission and don't guilt trip yourself for not replying to every message, because your real friends will understand when you don't reply. Think about how you will feel and what you want to feel, when you have to make a decision about what you want to do.

Honestly, I'm pretty tapped out of frontline activism for now and am realizing that I can't go back into direct actions or giving as much emotional support to folks as I could, so I'm just being as selfish as possible while staying informed. I figure the information I need to know will come to me, either through friends or when I occasionally check my curated channels.
posted by yueliang at 10:45 AM on November 17, 2016 [4 favorites]

For me....if I am really in need of some self TLC....

a big box of captain crunch with crunch berries with whole milk
big glass of egg nog (don't judge)
a box of cherry poptarts overly toasted and smeared with butter (the poptarts, not the box)

then its movies up the wazooooooooo
posted by ian1977 at 10:50 AM on November 17, 2016 [11 favorites]

A movie day at home is a great idea. Another is a night in a hotel -- even if it's in your hometown. There's something unquantifiably therapeutic about "getting away."
posted by DrAstroZoom at 11:15 AM on November 17, 2016 [3 favorites]

Buy a new comforter for your bed, or other yummy bedding (new sheets, new pillows) and get in super comfy PJs/Yoga/loungewear and just HANG OUT. Bring fizzy water, tea, dark chocolates, music, books. Last night I got in bed at 7PM when my toddler went to sleep, and didn't get out until 7;30 this am. It was quite luxurious! I watched movies, listened to podcasts, went to bed at 9;30 or something.

If I had more money/more time I would:

-Go to a spa, get a massage, go for a hot tub/steam
-Eat all the yummy things I wanted every day for a week (like if I want sushi, just give myself permission to eat sushi that day, if I want tacos, I'm getting that damn tacos, if I want to donut... etc)
-Have sexy times as much as possible (probably would have to be a partner involved here, so not sure that works for everyone)
-Go on a sweet vacation, or just long weekend away (or just a night in hotel)
-Pay to get my house cleaned so I could just come home, put on slippers, climb in bed all weekend
-Go to a tea room, or cafe and write, or be with a friend
-Do some relaxing exercises like yin yoga, or swimming, or long walk through the woods.
-Massage/accupuncture is always very lovely when my system gets out of whack. A good hair cut.
posted by Rocket26 at 11:18 AM on November 17, 2016 [3 favorites]

Tell everyone you're going out of town for the weekend, and then don't go. Stock up on favorite foods to eat and/or cook. Sleep a lot, read fun things NOT related to the recent horrors, watch fun movies/TV, go for a hike. Stay off social media. Don't answer the phone.

If you've got the time and money, do actually go out of town. Me, I'd go to a lovely spot where there isn't anything to do except decide which trail to take that day, whether to get in the hot tub before or after breakfast (but why choose! do both!), build a fire at night, decide what to cook for dinner.
posted by rtha at 11:31 AM on November 17, 2016 [5 favorites]

Do something you feel others would judge you for doing, and say "eff them, it makes me happy." Skip, do cartwheels or just run amok in a park, or just sit and swing for a while, enjoying where you are. Skip rocks, fly a kite, build an elaborate sandcastle, or just hang out in museums or the zoo all day. Go to a live music show and dance yer arse off, or just sit back and bob your head and tap your feet.

We just put up our pre-lit Christmas tree (it's fake, so it'll last ;)) and this weekend we might even decorate it, or you could go the other direction and carve up some pumpkins. Heck, have a friend fill and hide Easter eggs in your home (and offer to reciprocate), so you can have a personal Easter egg hunt.

- Life's little luxuries... - ways of adding small little luxuries to your life
- Tiny luxuries - a collection of things that are less than $10 but can make you feel like royalty
posted by filthy light thief at 11:38 AM on November 17, 2016 [8 favorites]

Spend a day in and around a nice library, either picking books at random to find something or hide out with a good book a cozy corner and ignore everything else.

Wipe off your calendar for the weekend, and work on a project or two you've wanted to do for a while but haven't had the time to do.

Take time to make a really complex or complicated dish or meal, or spend a day making freezable comfort foods, so you can pull out some soup or a loaf of banana bread and heat it up without having to prepare it.
posted by filthy light thief at 11:56 AM on November 17, 2016 [1 favorite]

We bought an essential oil diffuser (this one) and now our bedroom smells like a day spa, which is nice- it was kind of expensive but very, very relaxing.
posted by BuddhaInABucket at 12:16 PM on November 17, 2016 [2 favorites]

Fancy tea or soda, ordering in.

90 minutes of hot yoga.

Spending some time in nature with your best friend.
posted by sea change at 12:22 PM on November 17, 2016

- If you're into holiday crafting and decorating, get a jump on that. It may help to both provide a transition (think Mr. Rogers changing from a blazer into a cardigan), and to remind you of pleasant years past.

- Go for a run, walk or hike.

- Book a spa day at a resort, the kind where you have some scheduled treatments, but can spend the rest of the day lounging by the pool

- Re-read a favorite book--the kind that's more like a place that you visit than a story that you read.

- Re-visit a favorite fragrance. Pick one that instantly transports you to a happier time. Don't buy a new one right now--at least not one that you really love--because you may end up thinking of the election every time you smell it for years afterward.

- Look up some good quotes from some of your favorite people.

- MUSIC! Listen to it! Make it! Go see a performance of it! If you're near a big college or university that has a music program, there may be a bunch of free recitals coming up (music students who have to give recitals as part of their program tend to do it at the end of the semester).
posted by Flipping_Hades_Terwilliger at 12:26 PM on November 17, 2016 [5 favorites]

Others have mentioned meditation. If you're interested but don't know how to start, I can recommend Headspace . It's a guided meditation app and it only takes 10 minutes a day. Even when I'm completely overwhelmed, I can find 10 minutes to set aside and it's really been helping me. I was a little skeptical about the whole meditation thing, and I have no idea why it works, but (for me, at least), it really does.
posted by Weeping_angel at 12:27 PM on November 17, 2016 [2 favorites]

Oh, and there's an SOS button that you can hit when things are spiraling out of control. That button was invaluable when the election results were coming in...
posted by Weeping_angel at 12:29 PM on November 17, 2016 [2 favorites]

Take a day off work and go see a matinée, cruise down to a book store then locate some hella cozy coffee shop and settle in. Get some amazing asian take away. Bake bread. invest in some serious cheese. pet any and all puppies that cross your path. Buy a homeless person hot chocolate. Dance in your living room until youre tiiired. turn off your phone for a weekend. Leave your to dos for tuesday. Stay up and check out the sky from the roof. sleep in.
posted by speakeasy at 12:46 PM on November 17, 2016 [2 favorites]

Not really radical and there's maybe some repetition ahead, but this is what counts as self-care for me:

- Having cleanliness and order in my home (so, to get there, cleaning, getting rid of what needs to go). Getting a new plant when it's done

- 2nd something physical - ideally cardiovascular, to get a mood lift

- Separately and specifically, swimming (because, go away, gravity, welcome, weightlessness, silk-feeling water, and rhythmic breathing - absolutely a form of meditation for me [though not that skilled at it]). Even just floating in the water is nice. Also: hot tub, whirlpool, sauna - an epsom salt bath at home, at the very least. (If no tub available - epsom salt rub with olive oil, then hot shower.) Preface with massage or foam rolling and that is excellent

- Distraction: comedy that actually makes you laugh out loud

- Hanging out with kids

- Hanging out with friends

- Connecting with some idea (book, film, other work of art) that offers a sense of perspective, hope

- 2nd music - sound and rhythm are definitely healing. Dancing, singing, or playing an instrument, if you can

- Not above retail therapy. Or a haircut.
posted by cotton dress sock at 12:57 PM on November 17, 2016 [2 favorites]

Little things I enjoy are always more enjoyable if I tell myself I enjoy them. Like, "listening to podcasts on my commute home is very relaxing," even though I do it literally every day.
posted by mchorn at 1:03 PM on November 17, 2016 [5 favorites]

Idk where you are, but my #1 best self-indulgence is going to a Korean Spa. I wrote about what it's like in a previous comment about mental health; if you are still trying to be frugal while you treat yo'self and also feel like European-style spas are a waste of money, but enjoy steaming/soaking/being scrubbed within an inch of your life, you will probably like a Korean spa. I can personally vouch for ones in Seattle and Portland, pm me if you are in that area and want details!
posted by stellaluna at 1:31 PM on November 17, 2016 [5 favorites]

We're boosting morale in our house by planning a ~secret wedding~ and subsequent hotel stay in the very near future. It has been a consistent bright spot to look forward to. If you're already married, you could renew your vows and do something special afterward?
posted by witchen at 2:26 PM on November 17, 2016

I treated Tuesday like Friday night, and my kids and I ordered takeout and watched a movie I loved when I was a kid.

Today on my work from home day, I worked all morning than got a facial and bought new pyjamas and underwear. I also skipped a night class I normally do to watch tv with my husband last night.

We set up a twice monthly cleaning service

I now feel like a human being, I highly recommend it.
posted by Valancy Rachel at 3:46 PM on November 17, 2016 [1 favorite]

Here are the things I'm doing that I think fit in that category:

Got a membership to a wellness center and go for a hot soak at least once per week in their hot pool

If there's a small need in my life that I keep putting off due to $, but I know it will make my life better, I will just get it - like two storage cubes to organize all the crafting junk in my office

Allowing myself to drift from book to book according to my emotional needs that day, and also making sure that I'm reading paper books and not just things on my phone or tablet - the feeling of the book in my hands is very grounding

Keeping a bar of rich chocolate at home that I'm not likely to gobble all of, but really savor

Indulging fully in my favorite hobby, which is letter-writing/correspondence -- giving myself time and space to write long contemplative letters to my closest friends and make them creative and unique with pens and washi tape and strange stickers. Indulging in the connection I feel with my inner circle of women makes me feel secure and taken care of.

Immersing myself in planning for Christmas, as I love the season and everything that goes with it

Seeing my personal trainer twice a week

Using positive self talk to get myself to go and run around the block even ONE time when I'm feeling depressive or anxious. I tell myself that I don't even have to do it a whole time but just to get out and move can shift my mood drastically

Allowing myself to cry when I know I need to, instead of stifling it

Booked a trip to see my best friend in LA in December - even the anticipation of it brings me peace

Chili mochas from the bux

Taking risks in my work that I feel intuitively are the right thing to do and basking in the positive results of following my intuition

Baths with epsom salts, 3 drops of peppermint essential oil, and 3 drops of eucalyptus essential oil

The coffee face mask from LUSH (I actually immediately feel better the moment I open it and smell it)

Making sure I have things I need for the fall (good rain boots, coat, rain hat, waterproof bag, healthy snacks, water bottle, at all times)
posted by fairlynearlyready at 4:16 PM on November 17, 2016 [5 favorites]

I've been cooking and food shopping like mad recently. Also lots of walks in nature to catch the last of the fall leaves and see running water.

If I had a bigger budget, I would rent a cabin at a state park, with a fireplace, and bring luxurious bedding, food, 15 year old scotch, and marshmallows for roasting.

But honestly,my best self care right now has been blocking social media (and, for parts of every day, Metafilter). I keep getting sucked back in, and every time I do, my blood pressure rises and I cry.
posted by instamatic at 4:48 PM on November 17, 2016 [1 favorite]

start every day at a coffee shop
posted by rebent at 6:28 PM on November 17, 2016 [1 favorite]

One small thing I've done in the past is lay out my clothes the night before with a little note to myself for the morning. It's like a pep talk from Slightly Past Me. It's also a nice evening ritual.
posted by zutalors! at 8:28 PM on November 17, 2016

I hate to be a dick, but don't do this "Buy or order some bird seed and nuts (not bread). Go to a beautiful park or wild place, and throw some seed and nuts, and wait for critters to come. Be as still as possible, to see how close they will come. Sit for as long as you want."

Please don't feed the animals. An example of why from Grand Canyon NP:

Feeding wild animals disrupts their lives, and is dangerous for people. Many things we eat are toxic to animals. When animals become used to being fed, they become habituated and no long act naturally. They often become aggressive and will attack people to take food. NPS staff finds it heartbreaking when they are forced to euthanize animals whose aggressive behaviors were caused by being fed by well-meaning people. Animals that are fed from cars congregate near roads, and are at a high risk of being killed by a car collision. Animals that are fed often become dependent on food handouts and lose the ability to feed themselves naturally.

The saying "a fed animals is a dead animal" is unfortunately very true in the Grand Canyon. These animals live here- they do not need human food to survive.
posted by fieldtrip at 9:45 PM on November 17, 2016 [1 favorite]

And, to answer your question. I suggest going for a walk, run, hike, dog walk, bike ride or other low impact exercise. If the weather is nice, I'd go for a bike ride to a cafe or coffee shop and read.
posted by fieldtrip at 9:47 PM on November 17, 2016

My indulgences:

1. Having a really nice meal delivered to my house. I'm sure it will vary with location, but TakeoutTaxi and Grubhub in my area deliver from some pretty nice restaurants.

2. A good bottle of wine. If you're a member, the Costco Wine Blog is a great guide for getting great wine without destroying your wallet in the process. If not, your local wine store should be able to help you find something.

3. Schedule a vacation day on a random date, just for funsies. I've got a lot of vacation time, so I take every Friday the 13th off, jes' 'cause.
posted by magstheaxe at 7:16 AM on November 18, 2016

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