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This week

This has not been the kindest week.

With the start of the fall semester, there are even more people shoehorned into the lab, making it even more difficult to carve out the time and space and quiet required for high-quality, focused thinking. Seriously, noise levels are off the charts. I'm liking the library more and more.

On Monday, a paper came out that caused me to have a cascade of strong emotional reactions due to the interpersonal politics involved in my small academic field. [yes, big arguments over miniscule things] Processing those emotional reactions took some work at a time when I am already feeling the pressure of a lot of other things. But we don't get to choose our emotions. On the flipside, I like to take situations like this one to bring myself back to some fundamentals about life: remember to be as kind and sympathetic as possible because you never know what other people are going through. Related to that point, I finally ordered myself a copy of Nonviolent Communication, which I'll put next on the reading list, after I finish The Obelisk Gate (btw, phenomenal series so far, do recommend; I also recommend The White Tiger, which is completely different but also phenomenal, and thanks to annikusrex for that suggestion). I want to keep working in that direction on a personal level. Seems important. :^)

Yesterday/this morning, we ran another 1 am timepoint, to make up for the pretty badly botched 1 am timepoint a week ago. That in and of itself was unsurprisingly challenging because it meant a VERY long day. In order to keep up with deadlines on various things, I managed to squeeze in some extra work both Monday and Tuesday evenings, but I am well aware that working too much carries high costs for me and there's carryover. So those factors make for a tough week by themselves, even without the surprises.

Then there are things like walking out the front door this morning to see scrottie's motorcycle lying on its side. Neighborhood vehicular traffic is WAY up because the high schools and elementary school are back in session. No, of course no one left a note or anything. One of those incidents where I just sort of feel like, "Thanks, California," even though sure, it could and does happen elsewhere and all that. Elsewhere he'd park off-street but there isn't any off-street here because California.

Sigh. And it's only Wednesday.

Time to go to work.

However: How can or do we practice self-care in times and circumstances like this? Let's discuss.

Comments

( 10 remarks — Remark )
sandokai
Aug. 31st, 2016 05:47 pm (UTC)

Sometimes I think "self care" and its priorities are different for different people. Like do you need more alone time? More sleep? More exercise? Etc.
rebeccmeister
Aug. 31st, 2016 08:14 pm (UTC)
True!

At the moment, for me, sleep is the biggest one, although alone time has been high on the list, too (that whole "thinkspace" thing I keep mentioning).
manintheboat
Sep. 1st, 2016 01:08 am (UTC)
I loved the book Nonviolent Communication :)
rebeccmeister
Sep. 6th, 2016 08:53 pm (UTC)
I'm glad to hear it! bluepapercup recommended it to me some time ago. The more I think about it, the more I want to read the book because it seems like it could be beneficial for multiple aspects of my life - maybe most peoples' lives.
annikusrex
Sep. 1st, 2016 09:17 pm (UTC)
I don't love the phrase "self-care," but I think the key in such stressful circumstances is reserving some time to be truly alone/secure/comfortable/awake. Some time can mean as little as ten or twenty minutes, but it can take all kinds of forms: a walk, meditation, a bath, making tea and looking at a candle, yoga, knitting, etc. For me it can't be running or biking--requires too much brain alertness--but maybe rowing could do it for you. I think running does it for W. It's just mental reset time.
rebeccmeister
Sep. 6th, 2016 08:52 pm (UTC)
Is it because "self-care" is a hippie-dippy term? I keep pondering your reaction because I couldn't think of an alternative term for it. Maybe "thinking time" or what I've referred to as "thinkspace"? Or for others, decompression.

Rowing helps, in some respects, but in other ways, walking is the best, or just lying in bed staring at the wall or ceiling.
annikusrex
Sep. 7th, 2016 11:58 pm (UTC)
it's not the hippy-dippiness, it's more the class and gender aspects of it that bother me. of course all humans need space to think. but care of self is a bit too precious for me. and although there is a more serious theoretical discussion of the term, in pop culture I see it a lot being used in reference to painting one's toes or something equally silly. of course if you are the type to care excessively for others then you need to work on counterbalancing that, whatever you call that task.
rebeccmeister
Sep. 8th, 2016 06:14 am (UTC)
Hmm, worthwhile points. So, what about considering it from a perspective more aligned with Maslow's Hierarchy of Needs? (although I see the Wikipedia entry on the topic raises its own criticisms of that perspective, too).

From a personal standpoint, I suppose I could just say that I am tired in more ways than one and need to give myself time and space to recover.
thewronghands
Sep. 1st, 2016 10:02 pm (UTC)
Argh, sorry about the doom. I've had "Nonviolent Communication" recommended to me too... I've read about the theory online, but I haven't read the book. Which "White Tiger"? The Kylie Chan fantasy novel, or the one about the driver in India?

People who knock over motorcycles and don't even leave a note are just jerks. Someone did that to Mayhem's bike a while back and I was appalled, and then I learned that it was common. Who does that? Augh.

Self-care: I had a bunch of friends who had a tradition that the person with the craziest run of WTF got some blueberry product as a "well, people still like you, your friends wish for your well being" thing. I have some blueberry tea from one such event and I call it my anti-drama tea... it's warm smelling and delicious and reminds me that people like me and care and things will get better when I drink it. And tea is comforting. If you'd like, send me your address and I'll send you some blueberry tea.
rebeccmeister
Sep. 6th, 2016 08:49 pm (UTC)
I'll let you know how "Nonviolent Communication" goes. :^) The "White Tiger" about the driver in India.

Re: knocked-over motorcycles: I think scrottie is correct about motorcycles being in a certain category of things where the majority of society maintains a level of blindness towards the thing. Hence the beginnings of motorcycle gangs, which use blunt force to make it clear that motorcycles are a thing that should be paid attention to. Unfortunately, the carryover is that they often have a bad reputation, plus the blindness is still partially there. This is very much a Big American thing, where the power hierarchy on the road is determined by the size and speed of your vehicle. Also, given that we're in a neighborhood with lots of teenage traffic, I suspect that few teen drivers have connected the neurons about responsibility in scenarios like this one.

I like that blueberry tradition, and I've had some great blueberry tea - sounds like a winner. Will message my address shortly.
( 10 remarks — Remark )

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