Geek Girls Rule! #555 – Mental Health and Being Kind to Yourself

Yeah, between the migraines, and my normal levels of Anxiety and Depression, it has been a laugh riot around the Geek Household What Rules.

By “laugh riot,” I mean, I have been a complete wreck.

A lot of the nerds I know have mental health issues, or mental illnesses if you prefer.

And I think that sometimes we need little reminders to be kind to ourselves.

I talk about this a lot, I know.  But I do that because I see myself and other nerds needing these reminders to take care of ourselves.

((Content Warning: I talk about food and my relationship with it))

After two and a half days of interacting with complete strangers at a conference,  going into work for 2-3 hours beforehand, I decided that today was the day that in order to eat, I would let myself eat complete crap.  Which means coffee from a locally founded but national coffee chain, and one of their turkey bacon sandwiches, and a Costco muffin for breakfast, a Bumble Bee Chicken Salad snack pack for lunch, some of my home-made trail mix for snacks, and most of a round of Boursin herbed goat cheese and tiny toasts, and one deviled egg for dinner.

These are all things that I adore and don’t let myself have very often, except for the trail mix.  And, in the case of the deviled eggs, it’s because the Geek Husband What Rules doesn’t make them very often, and store-bought ones are frequently yucky.

After this I am going to record the late “Mickey Counts Down” and watch some more Gravity Falls while snuggling the The Enemy of Sleep.

Now the food thing isn’t because I’m on a diet.  I’m trying to eat less crap in general, but I don’t typically deny myself stuff.  It’s because some days the only thing that SOUNDS good is stuff that I really love… once in a while.  Mostly because they, in some way, make me feel less than awesome if I eat them too often.  If you really care I can explain why, but trust me it’s not a prohibitionary thing.  It’s a “I love you, why do you hurt me, commercially packaged chicken salad?” But I don’t think you want the gory details.

But there are days when my body says, “I want shitty store-bought chicken salad on bland ass crackers.”
Me:  “But, body, that tends to do bad things in the tummy region, and I don’t feel like camping out in the bath…”
Body:  “CRAPPY CHICKEN SALAD!!!!! And a Pepsi.”
Me:  “All we have is Coke.”
Body: “Fine,  but you’re on notice.”

Yeah, my body and I have these conversations about once every two to three months.  Usually it’s about Wild Cherry Pepsi.  I don’t know what it is, but every so often I want Wild Cherry Pepsi like breathing.  I don’t know what exact need my body has, but there you go.

So tomorrow I’ll go back to my “real food, minimally processed” regularly scheduled food.

And the important thing is to not beat yourself up over your cravings.  Cravings typically mean you are missing something in your diet that your body needs or wants.

One thing that has actually helped with a lot of my cravings is that I eat what I want when I want it, and we have a lot of the junk food I like laying around.  So it isn’t scarce. I see it every day, and I have it if I want it.  But I want it less.

Sorry, did not mean to let this devolve into a meander about my eating habits.

The point is, be kind to yourself.  If you’re craving something, or having a shit day (week/month), it’s ok to do whatever you need to to feel better, for a meal, an hour, a day, a few days, whatever.  No one has the right to tell you how to have a body.  And you do not owe it to anyone to be thin, or happy, or healthy, or even functional.  Sometimes any or all of those things are beyond your capabilities, and that’s ok.

I’m never not going to have asthma.  I’m never not going to have anxiety and depression issues (I was diagnosed at 14, guys, I don’t think I’m “growing out of” these).  I’m never not going to have the genes that make me fatter than a lot of society would like me to be.  I work out because I enjoy it.* I eat the way I eat because I like it. Not because anyone tells me I have to.

I don’t tell you this stuff because this is what being kind to yourself has to look like to you.  I know some folks for whom being kind to themselves means going for a run, or cleaning, or balancing their checkbook, or cooking. **

You do whatever “being kind to yourself” means to you.

Binge watch the entire MCU, all of Star Wars, Buffy the Vampire Slayer.  Read a shit ton of comics. Draw. Write. Meditate. Watch the world go by your windows.  Whatever does it for you.

And it may change depending on how exactly you are feeling fragile.  Sometimes for me it means junk food and cartoons.  Sometimes it means tomato soup and grilled cheese sandwiches and a hot bath. Sometimes it means swinging a kettlebell or hitting the heavy bag until I can’t lift my arms.  Sometimes it means an evening of, ahem, adult activities.

Spend some time alone, or surround yourself with people.  Whatever sounds good to you.

You do you.

*At the conference one of the “get to know you” activities was a “bingo card” of people who did certain things.  I was one of the three who would initial the “Loves to work out” square.  Seriously, I will pick up heavy shit and put it back down for HOURS. There were only two people out of the 60 or so who copped to watching the entirety of the Oscars.

**All of these things just sound like penance to me.

If you like what you read here, or want to help fund a spa day or two, please consider donating using the link at the top right of the page:  Keep Us Geeking, or checking out my Patreon.  Thank you!

Also, if you’d like to see what sort of fiction I write when left to my own devices, please feel free to check out my fiction Patreon, Nothing Nice Comes Out of My Head.

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