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Rules for Self-Care


  1. Get over your aversion to the term. Yes, it is buzzwordy, hash-taggy, instagrammy and everything else that sticks to the back teeth but in the end it is what you do, not what you call it, that matters.

  2. Remember that tending to your basic needs is not self-care. Fundamental human rights of rest, security, food and cleanliness do not qualify. You are a person. You deserve these things anyway. Look a little higher on the shelf.

  3. The equation of too much stress, too many losses + too little time to breathe, and grieve, is what got you to where you are today. Remember that. You are not broken, you just need a rest. Even world athletes need to sit down sometimes.

  4. Stop feeling so ridiculous writing this. You know this is just a thing that looks like it’s about one thing, when it is in fact about something else. Any tips about how to find your centre and fill your cup are just gravy.

  5. If you do try to implement one thing, l would recommend you stop poisoning yourself. You’re a grown-ass woman with food intolerance. Put down the bread. Enough with the cheese. No amount of sad is worth all this acne and migraines.

  6. Read more of your bible, keep up your praying. If there’s one advantage your faith has afforded you it is your lifelong training in the art of forgiveness. Submerge yourself in it, as much as you can. And pray for those who need to forgive you. Pray for their health and happiness. At this distance, it’s really the only thing you can do.

  7. Book an appointment with the dermatologist. I’m sure the skin around your tattoo should have cleared up by now.

  8. Let the kids see you doing more of what you love. Cook more vegan food, write more stories, record more videos, plant more moss. Teach them what it is to make space for their own wellbeing, so that in 20 years’ time they don’t find themselves having to write down their own rules for self-care on a blog no-one will ever read.

  9. Try not to feel so anxious about the damage you left behind you. We were all adults in the situation, and we each chose how to behave in regards to the circumstances. You might have been the one to unwind the first thread of this whole tangle, but you had no hand in the madness into which the whole thing descended.

  10. Add more poems to your collection. Yes, the really good ones. Not worth making the entire thing a love letter to a person who’ll probably never read it.

  11. Don’t keep putting a time limit on when you have to get over things that hurt you. Don’t try micromanage the repairing of your heart, and your nerves. These things are not linear. There are no set rules on how lessons, and healing, are learned.

  12. Drink water, take your supplements. When you learn to walk again, do those stretches you keep pinning on your phone. Take the kids out cycling while you learn to run again. Don’t be afraid of getting hurt. The whole world is yours.



Commentary: OK so this is one of the things I wrote in my attempt to write something everyday. I joined instagram recently in order to better reach a wider audience with my indie-writer and small-press promotion interviews, and I must confess I'm still not a fan. I wrote this piece in response to the umpteenth post I came across about "the importance of self-care as a writer/creator/artist/mother/woman/person who breathes air" and so I thought I'd have a whack at writing my own, imagining what acts of "care" would actually of benefit to me at this exact moment in my life. It's just a little piece of CNF, or possible some strange breed of experimental poem, or memoir. I'm not sure really. It's a thing I wrote. I guess I'll leave it at that.