Self-Care in a Time of Despair

Stuff I Actually Do to Keep Myself from Perpetually Screaming into a Pillow

By: Greg Mania

Photo by Ky DiGregorio.

Trump, Russia, fake news, climate change, Twitter, Blac Chyna, the phrase, “now more than ever,” colluding, emails, covfefe, some more emails, Lena Dunham’s dog, healthcare, imminent death, Ivanka, Game of Thrones, Putin, this iPhone speaks many different languages, golf, CNN push notifications, etc., etc., etc., -- it all converts into extraneous anxiety that’s equally distributed amongst my how-am-I-gonna-pay-off-40k-in-student-loans-anxiety, will-I-ever-find-myself-in-a-healthy-relationship-anxiety, what-if-I-have-to-pronounce-”gnocchi”-in-front-of-people-anxiety, and general what-am-I-doing-with-my-life-anxiety. If there’s anytime for self-care, it sure the fuck is now. By the way, this isn’t a comedy piece like the one I did for Out earlier this year, this is stuff I actually do to prevent myself from sticking my head into a wood-chipper.


1. Read

I’ve always been a reader to begin with, but now, I make time to read. I read when I’m on the subway and yes, I’m one of those people who reads at the bar if I’m waiting for someone. Fuck it. If there’s three books I think everyone should read this year, it’s How to Make White People Laugh by Negin Farsad, I’m Judging You: The Do-Better Manual by Luvvie Ajayi, and Shrill by Lindy West. You’ll laugh, you’ll think, you’ll grow: what more can you ask from a book?


2. Listen to some motherfucking Enya

If anyone is doing right, it’s the woman who lives in a castle with 47,000 cats.


3. Take a bath

But bleach that shit first, don’t get a staph infection.


4. Write

And I’m not talking about the Tweets I write about the time I got diarrhea at Walgreens. I keep a journal. Sometimes it’s standup material, sometimes it’s shit that’s just for me. Just get it out: write down the ugly and the uglier. You’ll feel lighter, I promise.


5. I (try to)  meditate

Because sometimes push comes to shove, OK? Look, I’m by no means an expert. And yes, as a comic, I make fun of meditation, yoga mats, composting, Whole Foods, and all that stuff that’s associated with anyone named Susan or Siobhan. But hear me out: I’ve done some research (with the help of my therapist, s/o to Janice, love you girl!), and I’ve tried a few different methods to help calm me the fuck down. There’s one I try to do before going to bed and I actually feel lighter and less foggier the next day. Who knew this witchcraft actually worked? There’s apps to help you and YouTube tutorials and tons of books on the subject: you just have to find the one that’s right for you -- it’s like buying your first dildo!


6. Go outside

Gross, I know, but turns out getting sunshine is actually good for you???


7. Go on friend-dates

Call someone up you haven’t seen in a while and get dinner with them: catch up, recall old memories, drink too much. There’s so much shit going on that it’s easy to forget there’s still good in the world. Going on a friend-date is a nice escape from reality. And treat yourselves! Say “fuck yes” when asked if you want to see a dessert menu; now’s not the time to be conscious of your caloric intake in front of other people.


8. Try to stay the fuck off social media

I know what you’re thinking: look who's talking, whore. This is easier said than done, but try to take at least a few hours (read as: not when you’re asleep, that doesn’t count) to log the fuck off. I’m not saying go on a detox (because we all know at least one person who posts this long diatribe about how they’re leaving social media forever and they’re back next week, posting a mirror selfie from the gym), just take some time to do something you love. You’ll thank yourself.