How To Self Care When You Don’t Care


Alrighty, right off the bat let me say: I bloody get it.

I know what an extended, unwanted stay in HeartBreak Hotel is like. Hell, I’ve lived there. I’m, like, one of their most exalted guests.


And, I know what it’s like having dread consume and warp all your waking hours and then have him (& his homie regret) ravage any and all dreams, too. I’ve totally had those Donnie Darko clouds hover right around my collar for extended periods of time, replete with his friggin psycho rabbit mate to boot.

So, hey. You’re in good hands here.

But here’s the best thing about this article: None of what I say below means anything at all unless you want it to. And certainly, NONE of it is going to be an adequate substitution for, like, a real doctor or proper medical intervention methods. You don’t have to do this on your own and, healing crystals and yoga aside, there actually are medicines out there that can help you through this. If your mood has been making you feel like a garbage person for a consecutive number of weeks now, I strongly encourage you to speak to someone about how you’re feeling.

Until that time, have yourself a geeze below and think about testing some of these bad boy steps out. They’re super simple, I promise.


Step One: Get Your Momma To Fix You Some Eggs

Because no doubt your sad ass is depleted of sustenance, nutrition and protein, the first step is recruiting someone, be it your real mum, your house-mum, work-wife or whoever is the unfortunate soul closest to the persistent, languishing smell emanating from the other side of the house, to feed you some people food.

Undoubtedly, you can’t be fucked. But honey, it’s well past time you got you some nourishing broccoli inside your face. If nothing else, it’ll go a ways toward improving that salty, bitter, hangry-bad mood you’ve probably got going on right now.

Feed yourself.

Step Two: Bathe

Remember that wafting stench of languid lethargy previously mentioned? That ain’t your come-hither pheromones at work; it will definitely be your sad-mode listless apathy. Your soporific ennui. No, it isn’t a new fragrance by Calvin Klein. It’s bad… Know what’s good for that?

WASHING.  Now, it doesn’t matter how you go about it: Jump into the creek, leap from a high cliff into the surf (‘cause adrenaline’ll kick your fuzzy bottom awake, too), roll around in the bath with all the candles in the world for company, or literally just stand in the shower for at least 25 minutes.

Your freshly glowing complexion will confound your own perceptions of the so-called man in the mirror and you will look far better than you feel. Which really helps you to feel less like a trash can, believe me.

Exfoliate. Rinse. Repeat.


Step Three: Put It Down, Pick It Up

Pretend for a minute that, once again, you actually do care about yourself. Over-ride your apathy and theoretically envision what it’s like being in possession of a functional concern for the deterioration of your mental & physical wellbeing. Fake it til you make it.

Then, think about what you know you’ve been overdoing:

If you’ve been smoking too much: Stop.

If you’ve been devouring too many pills: Flush the rest.

If you’ve been oversleeping: Eat coffee like you’re a French beat poet.

If you’ve been insomniac-ing: Sedate (mary-jane can be your best girl, right now).

If you’ve been over-consuming the ganja: Stay your hand.

You can see the pattern: Whatever you’ve been doing way too much of, put it down!

Then, whatever you’ve been lacking – get some of that today. The third step is all about rebalancing. Get your physio-chemical chakras realigned, baby. Your body needs you like an orphaned magpie needs you to be its mama, feeding it wormies & mince out on the back deck.

Stop that one thing, do that other thing.


Step Four: Go Outside

Mmmmmm fresh air! Remember that one? Yep, it’ll fix yah. Note: It will not completely fix any of your real problems nor will it alleviate any of your responsibilities. But it’ll help.

Go find a park and sit in it. Lie on some (sans ants) grass and gaze at the clouds. It’ll make a nice change from your navel. Construct some daisy-chains to wear as a crown. Adorn yourself with the bounties of nature.

Pick up your phone and call some friends. Get them to pick you up for a consensual kidnapping. Go to a waterfall or somethin’. Wear a cute hat.

“Oh, but I don’t have any friends; nobody loves me, everybody hates me, my diet consists almost entirely of worms!” you might say. Well, whatever to that, my sweet one.

The other viable option is just leaving the house and going to a farmer’s market or some-such and partaking in the ancient ritual of people watching. Gaze upon the happy families with their furbabies and frisbees. Witness the functionality of humanity out in the world. Nothing is required of you, except your presence. Take a book along. Because nothing says “I can’t talk right now” like a Sylvia Plath novel. Simply being outside will force you to be reminded that, yeah, you can person.

Get some fresh air mate.


Step Five: Express Yourself

Finally, do some making. Yes, yes, I know you’ve got a lotta laziness up in you. But you also got a lot to give: So many mind-bees a-buzzin’, so many feels – all are ample fodder for the creative cannon-firer.

Express yourself!

Pretend you’ve got a vital project to contribute to the world. Set yourself some tasks. The more obscure, the better. Add some art to the scrapbook of this Earth. Nothing inspires your self-worth like creating something from nothing. From little things, big things grow. From suffering, comes a veritable dearth of potential.

Couch it in the snuggly trappings of procrastination – don’t do the things you’re meant to, do the things no one else cares about! Because step five-n-dime is about cultivating a sense of value and worth about you. Burrow down into a nice niche that no one else considered before. Your unique mind craves expression, attention, affection and the previously AWOL self-lurve. Find a tangible way to cultivate that sassy mojo I know you got stashed somewhere underneath that pile of rags labelled ‘self-loathing.’

You know you got the goods – put some out there. Your frontal lobe will thank you dearly for the distraction afforded by engagement in anything other than your own misery.

Forgeddabout your problems, and lick-heal your wounds by doing.


Money-back guarantee.

If you follow these easy steps, you’ll be well on your way to pulling your sweet ass up by those bootstraps that allegedly exist. Combat your apathy and recapture your joie de vivre. Crank up Barabara’s Le Mal de Vivre (1966) and shout it out for all the neighbourhood to hear, because:

~ The pain of life, it must be endured. And life is worth the living. ~

Qu’il faut bien vivre. Vaille que vivre.



This article was written by Alice Chipperfield, a poor, young, artsy, West-End-frequenting, white, shortie sheila. When she isn’t busy dissipating great misty clouds of low-level sonic-thrumming apathy, she likes to befriend small wrens in other people’s backyards. Her favourite people are also books.

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