Simple Self-Care

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Performing self-care does not need to mean that you allow your body to soak up the warmth of a hot bubble bath or must purchase that item you’ve craved for so long.

In moments of despair, self-care can be scary or impracticable because — in all honesty — many of us just stop caring or lose sense of how recharging our battery is important in chaotic times. You will not run that bubble bath if you find brushing your teeth has taken a back seat. You will not spend on yourself if you can’t find enough strength to get dressed and leave the house for a bit.

Falling asleep, while tickling your arm, is self-care. Rubbing your feet, on the clean plush blankets you washed and are tucked under, is self-care. Turning on your favourite lamp at night, to create yourself an ambiance, is self-care. Taking the time to feel the cup of coffee between your hands, before gulping it down, is self-care. Printing pictures of moments that brought you joy, and displaying them on your mantle, is self-care. Buying yourself a bouquet of flowers, to put on your nightstand, is self-care. Lighting a scented candle, that reminds you of your favourite things, is also self-care.

You don’t need the grand budget, the energy, or motivation, to take tiny moments for yourself. Self-care can be performed through the simplest of pleasures; even if they only ground you for just a short instance. That split second in heaven is a split second less in hell.

Secret Garden

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Heavy head in the clouds, cluttered mind in the fog, defeated chin to the ground, she recollects her hardships and gathers her hidden thoughts deep inside her. Rough journey through sand, prickling garden of thorns, and dry yellow grass all around her. She hollers at fields, where the blossoms spring forth, as they peak at the dirt that surrounds her. Tossing water and seeds, poked in rows through the trees, for the stems and the roots down below her. Still haunted by weeds, tied around both her knees, planted down to the path left behind her. Fallen petals and leaves, like the drops on her cheeks, that have dripped and have dried from within her. The drained garden defined, like the vines in her mind, which are stumps that have soaked all the water. She stands to regain, from the thorns and the pain, that had covered the earth underneath her. The roses will bloom, like the sun and the moon, that return every day to remind her. That the garden she knows does not tangle her toes, but is trapped in the layers beneath her.

Bring Back My Sun

Seasons shift as you change;
Like the switch of your name;
As you fall to the ground with the leaves.
The strong fort on our land;
That you built with your hands;
It is melting away as I grieve.
The weak blooming buds grow;
Through the cracks in the snow;
But they leave me all broke and naïve.
And the heat from the sun;
As it warms everyone;
Still does not bring you closer to me.

The Tea In Tears

Photo by George Becker on

The spit of life has split us up;
We sipped the shit right out that cup.

Bottoms up and both let down;
Dirt disguised as coffee grounds;
Perhaps the tea cannot be stirred;
The drink instead creates a word.

A letter dropped to form a noun;
In liquid form to screw around;
The “tea” it eats the “f” in fear;
The hollow cup we drank it clear.

Burning Crossroads

I stumbled into bad choices, dead ends and wrong turns;
Every blister and ouch was a lesson I learned.
I grappled to people like flies to manure;
Every love in my way was untrue and unpure.
I tended the fire, but then I got burned;
Every story of mine is a badge that I earned.
I am who I am from the stuff I’ve been through;
Every path in my past is a road that I drew.

Ecchymosed Cheeks

The toxicity in his rigid voice and the poison in his frigid palms haunted her being as an unsupportable appetency smack in the night. Notwithstanding the repetitive discomfort, she continuously crawled back for more, like a comforting hug restricting her airways and falsely affirming that her existence cannot exist without his.

Her amount-less luggage was retained — hidden away — as she silenced the tears that burnt down her ecchymosed cheeks, like the unanswered questions and undoubtful doubt that trickled through her cluttered mind. Staring at the ticking, illuminated digits, on her nearby nightstand, where flowers effortlessly appeared each morning, she estimated the time one would take to lace up their shoes in the murky dark.

With each fulminating snore, she grew an inch closer to the edge of the bed; clawing her way to touch freedom alas. As he eventually rotated his pusillanimous body, she graced the ground with the tip of her unstable toes and stealthily made her way past the triple-locked door, in search of herself; with nothing but a suitcase.

Window Pain

Photo by Emre Can Acer on

Blindly peeking through panes
of houses aligned;
in search of your losses and founds you might find.
They have what is theirs
and what’s yours is your own;
not so great and not grand,
still a place to call home.

The meaning you seek
is the value within;
untucked behind curtains and walls paper thin.
The gold in their grout
and the rich in their rocks,
should not be compared
to the holes in your socks.

The you that you are
is a blessing disguised,
so see what you have
without peeking inside.

Cognitive Distortions

Through researching mental health and disorders, I have come across a rather eye-opening subject: cognitive distortions. The most simple way I have found to define this condition is by comparing it to those who suffer from dyslexia. As words on paper appear to some in the wrong order, deformed or read incorrectly, cognitive distortions affect words that are heard and are often misinterpreted or scrambled. Instead of the eyes reading sentences inadequately, the ears are understanding only parts of conversation, latching on to parcels of what is spoken or distorting what they hear. It is like having dyslexic ears and wrongfully reading situations.

“I never get anything right” (over generalizing);
“I am so stupid” (labeling);
“Everything went wrong because of me” (personalizing);
“I feel horrible, so I must be a horrible person” (emotional reasoning);
“I am sure they think I am stupid” (mind reading);
“Everybody will blame me” (fortune telling);
“I will be fired” (magnifying);
“I will never find another job” (catastrophizing);
“The glass is empty yet again” (disqualifying the positive);
“I will be the best or the worst at this” (all-or-nothing thinking);
“I should have done this” (should thinking).

When your mind runs off and you cannot seem to calm down the thoughts or the way you are feeling, understanding the concept of cognitive distortions and how they affect our thinking greatly comes in handy. Once you know what your mind is doing and why it is doing it, what your “dyslexic” ears have “read incorrectly”, how you tend to deform situations and take things personal out of habit, it becomes easier to keep the ego in check and change your thought process.

This concept also greatly aids when others are communicating with you, because they too often speak from distorted cognitions. Knowing what the cognitive distortions are, and being able to point them out during conversations — through practice — helps unscramble things for yourself and for the person you are exchanging words with. It clears any misconceptions or misunderstandings out of the way, and allows for a more harmonious and healthy way of dealing with relationships in general.

I sincerely hope this comes in handy for some as it did so for myself.

Still Here

In between all the calls,
I just rocked and I prayed
That the child I had
Won't be taken away.

I did not let out tears;
I shed rivers and streams.
I fought night and feared sleep,
Cause you'd creep through my dreams.

I felt pain in my heart
That would not go away,
As they saved you each night
From your scars in the day.

I got through it somehow;
Some was fight, much was luck,
To be here for you now,
Cause I love you so much.

The Brink

Barely beating for long;
Lengthy year in the blue.
Colours crept through the cracks,
Shingles clinged to the roof.

Nearly gone, but she's here;
The brink close to the edge.
She inhales from her lungs;
Climbing mountains instead.

Every minute ticked by;
Now she ticks what she does.
Tumbling high over hurdles,
Letting go of what was.

Living life she still has,
As she tears up the will.
Watching valleys below;
Running up for the hills.

Oxygen Mask

There are two types of people in the world:
Those who would jump down from a plane to save others and those who would push others to save themselves.

Sadly, many folks who would conceitedly disregard every other passenger have relationship issues with everybody else on the plane. They therefore automatically attach themselves and latch onto the ones who would put others first. The abusers, cheaters, liars, crooks and the thieves need a selfless kind person they can hurt to feel free.

As long as you are the type to put the oxygen mask on others before yourself these twisted people will keep cutting off your air supply. They venture through life with the "every man for himself" mentality and need people around them who will provide them with oxygen when breathing gets hard.

The only way to detach from them is to save yourself first; even if you are the type to put yourself last. Ask yourself these two questions in every relationship: Would they put the mask on me or themselves? Would I put the mask on them or on me? If the answers do not match up, stop jumping from the plane for them or put the darn mask on your own face and let them fend for themselves.

It's a difficult thing to have to do, but doing so defines your limits and demonstrates to them that you respect and love yourself enough to make you a priority. They might threaten to jump or worry you until you choose to save them first because they know these tactics are useless among those who would keep the oxygen mask for themselves without batting an eye.

If you would not want to be on the same crashing plane as them, then why allow them to have so much control over your life? Only ride in planes with the people you trust enough to perhaps save you when there is turbulence in your life. If they would push you from the plane or would not even consider saving you first, stay away. Most people would think of themselves first, become those people.

Fill to Fix

They get and receive, but want more
When refused they can kick and slam doors
Being showered with gifts; temporarily fixed
Still, no wrapping or bow fills that void.

The suffering felt from inside
Is too hurtful to quiet and hide
They externalize pain; to silence their brain
Just to pause what they feel in their core.

Their behaviour leaves them lost and alone
There's a roof, but they never feel home
Always feeling aside, they repeat in their mind
That they're better off ashes and bone.

To them you're the best or the worst
You come last if you don't put them first
At the drop of a dime, they cross over the line
If you angered or made them feel hurt.

Things are black or they're white; never grey
They will say that it's you every day
Cave, bend, bow -- to buy peace just for now
They can smile, but their emptiness stays.

The rejection they feel is intense
Your reaction to them makes no sense
To them you are wrong; since they do not belong
You are there, but to them you are gone.

Reassure them and make them feel loved
But their heart it feels cursed from above
The tiptoes you walk and the words when you talk
Tells their mind to continue; not stop.

The stone in their heart is a hole
They will always feel empty; not whole
Throwing blame all around, feeling lost and unfound
Pushing all those away who mean well.

The Line In The Sand

Another clue stashed into the folds of his costly leather wallet. One more hinted fractured promise. How could she be so stupid? Too captivated and naïve to see the fraudulent grin beneath his rehearsed smile. He plays her well. Again and again. He has captured her diffident queen and has left her scrawny pawn but one space to move at a time, as his cowardly crown skillfully sashays across the board behind his guarding knight. Her mind gets instantly cluttered with a tenable amount of paranoia. Questioning his whereabouts and doubting her performance; or lack thereof. She seems to be pushing him away rather than drawing him in. Is she not enough pleasure or satisfaction? Night upon night, she searches the bed for his presence or a remnant of his virile scent. Her lonesome undesired body lays under her heavy cotton blankets as she imagines him entangled in silky red garments that appetizingly embrace smooth satin limbs. After how many burning flags will she conclusively etch her limit into the sand? When will she have gained enough strength to set sail and leave him forever stranded on shore? She is undeniably misusing her time as he mischievously spreads his semen without exhibiting a speck of culpability. Instead, she frantically seeks for more clues — more self-inflicted proof — further damaging her already broken soul. Despite the clear evidence, she investigates every crack and corner to find additional pain she can drag to rest as she reposes her racing head in her empty bed. When will she acknowledge that she is entirely deserving enough to be made a priority, and that her happiness cannot be neglected or robbed from her? To behold the endless possibilities, she must initially end the impossible. Set things free that were never truly existent. Release him and make him somebody else’s problem to fix.