Sometimes, these forms of self care don't seem to be working at all. This is where we need to get creative, guys and gals.
Generally speaking, a lot of us tend to lose our sense of self when we face a period of stress. This taxing time is also accompanied by feeling a loss of authority over yourself and your life. How do we fight this dreadful feeling? With a new haircut or piercing of course. By changing up your look somewhat drastically or subtly, you can trick your brain into thinking that you have some semblance of autonomy of your own life. Thus you'll end up feeling good momentarily until the reality of the situation sets in again.
Under the umbrella of stressful situations, I have also encountered people who are worried about their appearances. It is usually centred on hair loss, which is a great source of sorrow for myself too. But there is no reason to fret, dear reader. If you want to overcome the stress of the daily grind and outward appearances, just take a long hard glance at the fallen hair on your floor. Almost immediately, you will be overcome with a sense of dread when you realise you are trapped on a floating rock, in a decaying meat prison. The dread will soon pass and the overwhelming feeling of optimistic nihilism will wash over you. Groovy.
If you want to opt for something that's focused on the virtual world, why not try posting about your feelings online? Whenever you feel yourself caught in a frenzy of negative emotions, social media posts are here for you. There are a lot of outlets to choose from as well, such as: obsessively sharing niche memes, retweeting questionable but strangely specific tweets, sharing targeted images on stories and, perhaps the most therapeutic of all, posting a black and white picture and captioning it with too many details about your personal life and then eventually deleting the entire thing when you wake up in the morning. It's like a juice cleanse but somehow even worse.
Finally, if all else fails, you could always indulge in the warm embrace of retail therapy. Spend your hard earned (pocket) money on materialistic things like books you'll never read, stationery you'll never use, clothes that seemed like a good idea at the time of buying but who are you kidding? You'll never wear those either. Build your mighty, towering boulder of bourgeoisie and keep a watchful eye over it, like a dragon hiding its riches. Your failure to accept that you just spent money on things you don't need and won't use will sink in very slowly, through multiple layers of denial and justification.
But by then, you'll be so distracted, life won't get you down anymore (for a little while).
Fatima Jahan Ena considers herself to be a chaotically neutral egg with feelings. Fight her at firstname.lastname@example.org