Thanks to the Pandemic, I belong to a lot of groups who meet on Zoom... neurodivergent groups, writer groups, artist groups and combinations of those... I forget that humans have more than just faces and torsos, don't live in tiny squares, and continue to have lives when they aren't on screen!
After a recent meeting - when ideas were percolating and we started emailing the things we were thinking about and wish we'd said earlier, on the call - I wrote the following "advice" on self-care:
My advice - what I use with my kids - is to ask them "What do you need?"
It's like when the puppy is making me crazy - jumping around and nipping, whatever. I ask her "What do you need?" And she says, "I need to go pee then I want to chase a ball, and then I need a belly rub!" Fair enough.
My daughter stomping up the stairs to my studio and glaring at me and dumping all the "horrible things" that happened at school... "Lilah, what do you need right now?" and she says "I need permission to NOT think about school and play Zelda for an hour."
She's started doing that to me too when I'm having a meltdown. A few days ago, my answer was "I'm tired of having Covid and I really need a huge, tight hug!!!!" My kid appeared with a blanket over her, like a ghost, and squeezed me really tight.
I'm thinking this might work the other way around... for a difficult conversation... just lead with what YOU need...
"What I really need right now is for you to listen to me and not give me any advice."
"What I really need right now is to be alone until my heartbeat returns to normal."
...I might make a shirt that says "What I need right now is a chocolate chip cookie." Because that's like - always.
OMG! I just went out to get my mail and found a month’s worth of cookies from a friend on the other side of the country! Warner Public Market has the best chocolate chip cookies! Or should I say “had”? I think George must have told them to bring me everything they have! Seriously, sooooo many cookies (that bag is FULL!)!!! And they are huge. I might gain back the 20 lbs I lost on my Covid Diet...
And speaking of Monsters - although these are actualy teeny compared to the cookies... I've been making more needle felted monsters! Just, because.
If anyone is feeling stressed out, bored, or angry...?... anyone?... I highly recommend trying "needle-felting". You repeatedly plunge a barbed needle into wool fibers, over and over and over. It's very therapeutic. I started when I was getting divorced.