March 9, 2016 § 6 Comments
I wanted to give a big thank you to those who have been joining the #fangirlhealth Twitter chats every Wednesday night at 8pm. We’ve had some great discussion about how fangirling can be a source of inspiration rather than simple distraction and how fangirls can engage in self-care.
Tonight I’ll be doing some self-care of my own, so in lieu of the chat I’m leaving two fangirl mindfulness exercises for you to practice.
First, let’s look at some of the ways that a fangirl can be less than mindful:
- Ignoring a conversation because of TV or your phone
- Feeling preoccupied with worries about upcoming episodes
- Focusing entirely on the future rather than being in the present
- Eating like a starving llama in front of the TV or computer
- Daydreaming about OTP makeouts when at work or school
- Distracting yourself from anxiety with fanfic
None of these behaviors are “bad.” We just have to make space for moments of mindfulness throughout the day. Mindfulness doesn’t detract from fangirling. I’d argue that it makes it a much richer experience, one that is more about joy than about rage or anxiety.
So let’s practice now, shall we?
Exercise 1: Observation Exercise
Observation brings you back to the here-and-now when you feel overwhelmed or emotionally reactive. To practice the fangirl way, go find a treasured fangirl object. It can be a book, your favorite Funko, a nerdy t-shirt, whatever. Got it? Now cradle it with devotion, and look at the object with fresh eyes. Notice the color scheme. Trace your fingers around the object, and notice the lines, dips, curves, and edges. Don’t focus on what the object represents, just see it as if you were an alien who just crashed in your backyard.
Take a few minutes doing this. Observation helps you gain a better appreciation for the world around you. The more you can look upon strangers, foods, nature, and even your shampoo bottle in the shower with fresh eyes, the more mindful you become.
Exercise 2: Pre-TV Mindfulness
Often we can feel quite worked up before our favorite television show. Maybe you’re worried about your livestream quitting, or live Tweeting your response, or the plot being a mother f***ing disaster. A quick breathing exercise can help bring your excitement levels down from nuclear scenario to the fun range. You can practice this exercise now, and before your next TV show.
Sit up straight in a chair with your feet on the floor. Note what it feels like to breathe in and out. Notice your stomach as it rises and falls with each breath. Ignore your tummy pooch. If you feel your mind wandering to your to-do list or your phone screen picture of Gillian Anderson, then don’t judge yourself. Just nudge your thoughts back to the breathing as gently as you nudge your OTP towards their first kiss in your fanfic. If you have trouble focusing, get back in sync with this gif, then close your eyes. Keep doing this or a few minutes.
So there you have it. I hope you have a mindful week! You can let me know how it goes at our next #fangirlhealth chat next Wednesday at 8pmEST.
Remember, you don’t have to stop fangirling. You just have to start breathing a little more.