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:
March 9, 2015 § Leave a comment
Hi! I ship a load of stuff, but I don’t ship ANY OF THEM as much as Hayffie (Haymitch and Effie from The Hunger Games). Yes, I know what you’re thinking. “Eurgh, not one of those people. Hayffie doesn’t even WORK. It doesn’t make sense!” Well, I can’t argue with you because we all have our different opinions, but I believe they should be canon. My problem is that I need them to be together so much, I can’t think of anything else. When I go to bed, I imagine how they would kiss and say goodnight and blardy blar, so forth and so on. What can I do?
Is blardy blar the new Yada-Yada? I love it.
BUT WHAT CAN YOU DO?
As fangirls sometimes we forget that people go to bed thinking about things other than what I like to call The OTP Channel. And the reality is that using your imagination is actually a brilliant way to end to the day. I put on an episode of my favorite headcanon, and within ten minutes I’m asleep. I’m not worrying about the day ahead or second-guessing my decisions.
There is brilliance in the blardy blar, DCP. Because you’re accessing your imagination more than the average citizen of Panem, there are all sorts of benefits that keep your brain nice and wrinkly. But the downside is that sometimes the OTP Channel is a 24-hour network. You’d rather watch Hayffie flirt than finish your homework or hang out with friends.
In Catching Fire, Haymitch shares an interesting observation with Katniss and Peeta. From now on, your job is to be a distraction so people forget what the real problems are. And like the star-crossed lovers from District 12, your OTP does exactly that. They distract you.
Humans deal with anxiety in two ways. By distracting, and by engaging it. Neither tactic is bad as long as we use both of them. That means turning off The OTP Channel sometimes. So pastry bear, here’s what I recommend that you do.
Step 1: Pay Attention! Go 24 hours and make a note every time you think about your OTP. Where are you, what are you doing, who’s around you? What thoughts, difficult situations, or responsibilities might you be avoiding?
Step 2: Spend some time in your head. Pick a free moment and set an alarm for 5 minutes. Close your eyes, take a few deep breaths, and pay attention to your thoughts. Don’t judge yourself if they’re negative or they land on your OTP. Just neutrally nudge them aside and focus on breathing and your senses. This is called mindfulness.
Step 3: Make the odds be ever in your favor. Start taking moments throughout the day where you’d think about your OTP and instead be mindful of what’s around you. Set a reminder on your phone if you have to. Making lunch, showering, sitting in boring staff meetings, and driving to the grocery store are all opportunities to look up and appreciate the sights and sounds around you. To pay attention to what’s making you stressed or worried and to be rational and solution-focused.
Step 4: Reward yourself with headcanon. The fangirl is an expert at diving deep into her imagination to avoid the real life opportunities snapping their fingers in front of her face. But the fanwoman doesn’t hide behind headcanon. Instead it’s her treat at the end of a long day of BAMF-worthy conquering.
I don’t think you’re one of those people, friend. You’re one of my people, and we’re people who conquer, blardy blar and all. So stay alive, stay focused, and show them something they’ll remember.