Self-Care For Dummies by Jill M. Talbot

eek comfort where you can, even if it’s in a dumpster
Have someone explain it to you like you’re a toddler
Read more on ways you can help, even though there are none
Read Wittgenstein
Eat Life cereal
Have more questions than answers
Dance like nobody’s watching
Change your password to Spiderman
Count backwards by sevens
Shout, “How did we get here?” during Happy Hour
Grade preschooler’s artwork
Google Breathing for Beginners
Watch Shark Tank wearing pyjamas
Send TikToks to your therapist
Jump start your exercise
Nourish yourself by getting rid of mirrors
Re-create Grandpa’s famous lasagne
Learn how to make a prettier pie
Read a thesaurus
Lose yourself in the produce aisle
Stay connected with candy floss
Sit down to write an actual letter
Make your own Self-Care list
Sign off and repeat tomorrow.

This started as an erasure poem from an NPR article on self-care during the war in Ukraine. A few of the suggestions remain. I was reminded of a crisis centre whose response to my suffering was always to tell me to drink milk and have a bath. Most self-help out there seems equally absurd to me


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Mad in America hosts blogs by a diverse group of writers. These posts are designed to serve as a public forum for a discussion—broadly speaking—of psychiatry and its treatments. The opinions expressed are the writers’ own.


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