Hello–how are you doing? I led a skillshare for my house about disability justice and fat liberation. It was emotional, vulnerable, a big deal, and at my worst time for energy–after dinner. To complete the task, I needed to get wound up. Afterward my friend asked me over txt how I wind down.
Txting is physically painful for me. I got this pinched nerve and chronic pain in my neck and shoulders. This pain is the low grade kind that wears me down, not the transformative experience pain of circuits overloaded altered state. It’s easier to write on this chromebook than on the phone, to answer my friend. So here we go!
Complaining in my head, over txt to friends, in an email, in my journal, to Ming out loud–I do talk about what I liked. But often what I need to get out is the parts that were hard, unfair, cringey, too confusing, or somehow went wrong.
Complaining is a way to make sense, talk it out, see hazards to prevent next time. But mostly it gets out the energy, to help me wind down.
drink water, eat snack
Like after a ritual, drinking water and eating a snack can be a way to come back to the regular world. Oh yes–I am a mundane human.
Often I expend a lot of energy by being wound up, and I accidentally turn off my perception of my body. So probably I do need a snack, to drink water, and maybe to pee. Replenishing and caring for myself can be this basic.
I like self-touch for grounding, and some of my favorite stims are touching my own hands, wrists, arms, face, chest, tummy. I’ve seen other people touch their own collarbone, upper chest area while talking. Sometimes I pet my own hair.
Ming touching me is powerful medicine. I ask him to hold my hand, cuddle me. Skin-skin helps. I ask him to touch my back in a circle, like my mom did long ago. All these forms of touch tell me I’m safe and ok: I can let my guard down again. Rest is safe now. My mind can know it rationally. But my body can take a while and need physical convincing.
That’s a cool idea–physical convincing. Sometimes violence and sex can be ways of physical convincing. A lot of convincing can be physical, huh.
Bunny is about touch also. He is a nice texture and a sweet pretend family member. Bunny is friendly, easy, has low needs, and serves as a small pillow also.
Magnesium glycinate is a go to slightly relaxing substance for me. Also I like oatstraw tea, if I’m in need of something more serious. I try l-theanine sometimes, but it doesn’t seem to work for me. Let me know if you would like the rest of my bottle.
If I’m having a panic attack, I like to make myself drink more water and take hawthorn because it’s slightly blood thinning. Hmm, hard to explain. Just trust me that it helps.
prayer / kind self-talk
Prayer and kind self-talk are grounding and deescalating for me. I tell myself things that calm me down.
- I’m proud of you.
- Thank you for doing your best.
- Your work matters.
- I see how hard you’re trying to do good.
- I love you so much.
- I’ll always be here for you.
- You matter.
- You’re a good pumpkin.
- I cherish you.
I like lying in bed in the half-dark with calming sounds or calming, familiar music. The half-dark lets my eyes rest and reduces visual input. The calming sounds give my thoughts a substrate to cling to. My thoughts can stop generating new thoughts and just vibrate a bit.
Wow, I have learned something. How I wind down is a lot like how I try to relax when I have anxiety. Being wound up = anxiety.
Cool–learn something new every day. Thank you to the friends who ask inspiring questions.
This is some mung dal I made last night for house dinner. It might have been my first time cooking when all 11 humans were home. We ran out of salad, so I chopped an apple and mixed it with spinach before the two friends who were doing yoga arrived.
I was proud of that part, and proud that I used all ingredients that were already in the house.