Self-care is important for everyone, but our hosts feel it is extra important for people managing mental illnesses and other mental health issues. It stands to reason that, if you don’t take care of yourself, then the symptoms of an illness will have an easier time making our lives miserable.

In this episode, our hosts discuss what self-care is, what self-care isn’t, and what they personally do to care for themselves. Listen now!

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“Would it be self-care for me to watch a bunch of guys getting hit in the privates?’”
– Gabe Howard

Highlights From ‘Self-Care for Your Mental Health’ Episode

[2:00] What do Gabe and Michelle do for self-care?

[6:30] Why did Gabe and Michelle start a podcast?

[11:30] Why does Michelle watch “fail” videos?

[13:30] Gabe loves fidget spinners and believes they help with his self-care.

[17:00] Watching Jeopardy is an example of self-care.

[19:00] Michelle + Gabe + The Peoples’ Court = group self-care.

[22:00] Who thinks watching Buffy the Vampire Slayer is the BEST self-care?

[23:00] Is personal hygiene an example of self-care?

Computer Generated Transcript for ‘Mental Health Self-Care’ Show

Editor’s Note: Please be mindful that this transcript has been computer generated and therefore may contain inaccuracies and grammar errors. Thank you.

Announcer: [00:00:06] For reasons that utterly escape everyone involved, you’re listening to A Bipolar, a Schizophrenic, and a Podcast. Here are your hosts, Gabe Howard and Michelle Hammer.

Gabe: [00:00:17] You’re listening to A Bipolar, a Schizophrenic, and a Podcast. My name is Gabe Howard. I live with bipolar disorder.

Michelle: [00:00:23] Hi, I’m Michelle. I’m schizophrenic.

Gabe: [00:00:27] And today we are going to discuss self care. But like low end self care, like easy self care, basic self care, the self care that nobody thinks about because everybody’s always thinking about like these grandiose self care ideas.

Michelle: [00:00:42] Well like going to a spa and getting a facial?

Gabe: [00:00:45] That would be one. Or going on vacation, or being able to stay home for a week. Quitting their jobs.

Michelle: [00:00:51] I mean yeah quitting your job. What else is As grandiose self care?

Gabe: [00:00:57] I think the biggest grandiose self care is like marrying a rich person and just eating bonbons while watching TV all day.

Michelle: [00:01:04] Wait there’s something wrong with that?

Gabe: [00:01:05] There’s nothing wrong with it. It’s just the kind of self care that most of us can’t participate in.

Michelle: [00:01:10] I mean that seems kind of like a pretty good self care.

Gabe: [00:01:13] I think that is an excellent self care and we’re gonna do a companion episode called self care for the rich and famous and that will be on there.

Michelle: [00:01:20] If you’re a sugar daddy looking for a sugar baby and you’re not a total creep, email me.

Gabe: [00:01:24] Really? The creep thing, do you care? That’s kind of creepy behavior on your part. You’re literally looking for somebody to take care of you.

Michelle: [00:01:31] Okay fine I’ll change that. If you just are a really rich person and you want to give me a lot of money for no reason, hit me up.

Gabe: [00:01:36] Michelle, you and I both live with severe and persistent mental illness and we’ve managed to live successfully for a number of years. And we always talk on this show that there’s more than just medication. There’s more than just therapy. There’s more than just peer support or group therapy or having stable housing or having good friends and family and one of the things that we almost never talk about, and an alert reader pointed out, is we never talk about basic self care tips. And I’m really surprised because between us we have like so many. And I love it when we get together and our little self care ideas don’t quite mesh. A big one of mine is going to get Diet Coke and just chilling.

Michelle: [00:02:13] At seven thirty in the morning.

Gabe: [00:02:16] That’s why it doesn’t quite mesh. And one of your self care tips is going to get coffee but like closer to eleven and it’s very difficult to find a place that has Diet Coke and coffee that you find acceptable.

Michelle: [00:02:30] Like McDonalds?

Gabe: [00:02:30] I mean McDonalds. That was a good compromise on our part. But remember when you tried to take me to Starbucks?

Michelle: [00:02:37] Yeah, and you refused to go to Starbucks. You think you’re better than Starbucks.

Gabe: [00:02:41] I don’t like coffee.

Michelle: [00:02:43] Why not?

Gabe: [00:02:43] Why don’t you like Diet Coke?

Michelle: [00:02:45] I do like Diet Coke but I don’t want it. I’d rather have coffee in the morning than Diet Coke.

Gabe: [00:02:51] You see the problem and this is why you shouldn’t have mentally ill friends ladies and gentlemen. We did an episode a few weeks ago where we talked about vices and Diet Coke was brought up as a vice because I drink so much of it and we’re not walking that back. But this is the flip side of that where it relaxes me. It helps me. It is a part of my self care especially when I get very stressed out at work or when I get overwhelmed on a project. I can step out, drive someplace, sit down, sip a Diet Coke, people watch, look around, and that really allows me to calm down. This is a self care option that cost me a couple of bucks and I know that you feel the same way about coffee.

Michelle: [00:03:31] Yes, coffee is readily available walking through New York City. Oh I want some coffee? I’ll be at a coffee shop in at least three minutes.

Gabe: [00:03:38] You once described that if you wanted coffee in New York, you just have to hold out your hand and say coffee and it just magically appears.

Michelle: [00:03:44] It’s ridiculous how much coffee you can get in New York City. Maybe that’s why everybody’s so amped up all the time? People just go go go go go. Maybe that’s what it is. That’s why everybody is just so fast and everything in New York City? Is it just the readily available list of coffee everywhere?

Gabe: [00:04:01] And espresso.

Michelle: [00:04:01] And espresso, is everywhere in New York.

Gabe: [00:04:04] Do you have people that call it ex-press-so? Where they don’t pronounce the s? They call it X-presso, instead of S-presso?

Michelle: [00:04:10] I thought it was X-presso for so long.

Gabe: [00:04:12] You pronounce the X? That doesn’t exist?

Michelle: [00:04:13] I didn’t know why. I didn’t know. I had to be educated, Gabe. I needed to be educated about coffee.

Gabe: [00:04:20] As longtime listeners of the show know, I also host the Psych Central Show with Vincent M. Wales and Vince is a master coffee person. Like he has all the equipment in his home. He knows everything about coffee; he knows everything about the beans. He has so much coffee knowledge and he tries to impart this on me all the time and I just give him this glazed over look like can I go now?

Michelle: [00:04:42] You never told me this about him. So I don’t know why me and Vin are not better friends now.

Gabe: [00:04:47] Oh, Vin loves coffee.

Michelle: [00:04:50] All the sudden I like Vince so much more than I ever did.

Gabe: [00:04:53] Well there’s another thing that I should tell you about Vin. He loves New York style pizza. It’s the only pizza that he will eat.

Michelle: [00:05:00] Why did you never tell me this about Vin?

Gabe: [00:05:04] I’m telling you now.

Michelle: [00:05:04] Ack!

Gabe: [00:05:05] Don’t assume that all the people around you are like old and god awful. Maybe ask them some questions? Maybe find some common ground?

Michelle: [00:05:14] All I know is that he likes comics.

Gabe: [00:05:16] Well I mean he does like comics. That’s true.

Michelle: [00:05:18] And I have nothing in common with Vin because I don’t like comics. But now that I know I have all this stuff in common with Vin, maybe maybe Vin and me can be BFFs?

Gabe: [00:05:23] I always thought you and Vin were BFFs.

Michelle: [00:05:27] No, you didn’t.

Gabe: [00:05:28] I know. Listen everybody, Michelle and Vin don’t have a rift. They get along just fine but they have a lot in common and they don’t realize it because you know Vin is well into his 50s and Michelle acts 12. It’s a big big gap. You know Vin lives in California, Michelle is from New York. We’ve got the whole male female thing going.

Michelle: [00:05:48] It’s going to be a long distance relationship.

Gabe: [00:05:49] It’s going to be a long distance?

Michelle: [00:05:50] Yeah.

Gabe: [00:05:50] Vin is very like muted. Like he’s nothing like me. He’s just very like, Yes, thank you.

Michelle: [00:05:55] Yes, hello, yes. My name is Vincent M. Wales.

Gabe: [00:05:59] He’s a novelist. He spends a lot of time alone with his words. I spend a lot of time alone with my words but I’m not writing them.

Michelle: [00:06:05] You’re just talking them.

Gabe: [00:06:06] I’m just talking. You know how you said early on that one of your coping mechanisms, not self care but coping mechanisms, was you put earbuds in? And that way when you walk down the street, people were like, “Oh, she’s not talking to herself she’s singing along to music. Or maybe she’s on a Bluetooth? Maybe she’s on the phone, etc?” It doesn’t look weird because you have the earbuds in.

Michelle: [00:06:25] Yes right.

Gabe: [00:06:27] I became a podcaster because originally when I was sitting upstairs just talking to myself, my wife thought it was weird. Now I’m like oh podcasting. She thinks I podcast 14 hours a day.

Michelle: [00:06:37] I know. I know my friends in college thought I was on the phone. Sometimes I’d be on the phone, but often they’d be like, “Who are you talking to?” And so I was, “I wasn’t.” I would try to say I was on the phone more times than I actually was, honestly.

Gabe: [00:06:51] One of your self care techniques was to educate the people that you lived with. I don’t think you’ve ever lived alone, have you? You’ve always either lived at home, lived in the dorms, or lived with a roommate?

Michelle: [00:07:01] Yes.

Gabe: [00:07:02] So you’ve had to do that. Part of your self care regimen is educating the people that you live with so that they give you the least amount of flack or shit or trouble as possible, right?

Michelle: [00:07:14] Yeah pretty much yeah. It’s never really been a big deal with anyone I lived with like outside of college. Since moving into Queens and Astoria and living in the apartment I live in now. The only thing that bothers anyone is that I don’t clean enough.

Gabe: [00:07:25] But that’s not schizophrenia.

Michelle: [00:07:26] No, that’s not schizophrenia. But like you know, being as schizophrenic, you always learn like they’re not the cleanliness of all the people blah blah blah.

Gabe: [00:07:35] We’re gonna get letters for that. Wait, did you just say people with schizophrenia aren’t clean?

Michelle: [00:07:38] We just watched that video that was like, “Schizophrenic people might not be dressed the best.” Or whatever that stupid video said. Like, okay, sure we don’t dress great. But what kind of ridiculous freakin’ fact was that?

Gabe: [00:07:49] You know it’s messed up. I know personally two people who live with schizophrenia. I have lots of, you know, co-workers and colleagues and fellow mental health advocates but two people who live with schizophrenia that I consider like like buddies. One of them is Michelle Hammer.

Michelle: [00:08:03] Mmm-hmm.

Gabe: [00:08:03] The great Michelle Hammer.

Michelle: [00:08:04] The great.

Gabe: [00:08:07] And the other one is Rachel Star. Rachel Star is like the best dressed person we know.

Michelle: [00:08:11] I know. And she knows how to walk in heels.

Gabe: [00:08:13] Yeah. She teaches it. She actually had a fashion blog for a while where she taught people how to be a girl and like how to walk in high heels, how to wear the belt, how to do the makeup. She’s like well put together and she has schizophrenia. So I’m starting to think that maybe these videos where they say things like, “people with schizophrenia don’t dress well, and they dress weird, and they act weird, and they’re they’re not clean, and they’re not organized, and they walk funny.”.

Michelle: [00:08:34] And they walk with an awkward gaunt.

Gabe: [00:08:38] Yeah I think maybe.

Michelle: [00:08:38] What is gaunt? The awkward gaunt?

Gabe: [00:08:40] I don’t know what any of that is either but this leads us into our next form of self care. Don’t watch that shit.

Michelle: [00:08:47] True.

Gabe: [00:08:51] So many people, they’re just constantly Googling stereotypes and offensive things on the Internet so that they can be mad at it.

Michelle: [00:08:58] Yeah.

Gabe: [00:08:59] Why?

Michelle: [00:08:59] It’s almost like they want to educate themselves as much as possible but then they find these online articles that really just are stereotypical and are wrong and they just start thinking bad things.

Gabe: [00:09:12] It pisses you off.

Michelle: [00:09:13] Yeah.

Gabe: [00:09:15] If you seek out things to be angry at, you’re gonna find it.

Michelle: [00:09:18] Yes.

Gabe: [00:09:20] But here’s the magical thing though. If you seek out things to provide you with joy on the Internet you will also find those.

Michelle: [00:09:26] What do you find for joy on the Internet? Porn?

Gabe: [00:09:28] Listen I’m not going to lie and tell people that I’ve never looked at pornography on the Internet today. Because that would just be a lie.

Michelle: [00:09:37] And nobody would believe you.

Gabe: [00:09:39] And nobody would believe me. But there are really cool things on the Internet that I do enjoy reading. One of the things that I’ve done and I think that this is vital to self care is I use a news curator. That eliminates a lot of news that I just don’t want to hear about, or sources that I consider to be offensive or dramatic or don’t follow journalistic standards.

Michelle: [00:10:02] Personally like just don’t.

Gabe: [00:10:03] Your personal beliefs are really irrelevant. It’s the part where you’re constantly being bombarded with you’re wrong you’re stupid you’re wrong you’re stupid you’re wrong you’re stupid. You realize once you put a slant on news it’s no longer news.

Michelle: [00:10:14] It’s just bias.

Gabe: [00:10:15] It’s just gossip.

Michelle: [00:10:15] It’s biased news.

Gabe: [00:10:17] It’s opinion.

Michelle: [00:10:18] It’s why I like E News.

Gabe: [00:10:20] Yeah I like I like to read my news. I also don’t like like live news, and by live news like I don’t turn on like the 24 hour news station on the TV because it always ends up like this. Like we’re getting word that something is happening. We have no facts or information so we’re just going to make shit up.

Michelle: [00:10:36] I personally love watching car chases.

Gabe: [00:10:38] Yeah, car chases are kind of fun.

Michelle: [00:10:39] I like when they watch the car chase and then the car goes under a bridge or something like that and then they start watching the wrong car.

Gabe: [00:10:47] They follow for a minute and then the helicopter goes back left?

Michelle: [00:10:48] Yeah. They watch the car and like oh the car seems to be pulling into a gas station. Oh the guy in the car seems to be wearing a different color shirt. They don’t seem to be really in a rush. Oh I’m sorry guys. I think you’ve been following the wrong car now.

Gabe: [00:11:01] Oh the police all left.

Michelle: [00:11:02] It seems like we’ve, uh, we’ve lost the car. Those are hilarious.

Gabe: [00:11:06] To answer your original question of what are some things that I like to read on the Internet that are fun? There’s all kinds of uplifting things. The biggest one for our community that we like to push out is The Mighty. TheMighty.com. We do ask us anything on the first and third Monday, we do it live. You can see our pretty faces. Just go to mental health on TheMighty.com.

Michelle: [00:11:25] You can see my pretty face and Gabe’s ginger face.

Gabe: [00:11:28] One of my self care things is to limit the amount of time I spend with Michelle.

Michelle: [00:11:31] No, but going on what I was saying about watching car chases. I look up on YouTube like fails.

Gabe: [00:11:37] There you go.

Michelle: [00:11:39] And it is just hilarious. But of course if anyone actually got hurt in the fails they wouldn’t be in the fails compilation but it’s just so funny to me watching these people get hurt. It’s hilarious. Rope swing fails are hilarious. Like any kind of like snowboarding fails. Those are pretty funny. Or just ridiculous like just kids doing something stupid. But I know it’s not good to watch this one but it’s hilarious. Baby fails. Baby fails are the funniest fails ever. They just fall over; they trip over things. Or like the babies cover themselves in peanut butter. Hilarious. And of course, the granddaddy of all them is when guys just get hit in the balls.

Gabe: [00:12:19] Just get hit in the balls?

Michelle: [00:12:19] Just getting hit in the balls. I cannot physically know the pain of getting hit in the balls but it looks painful and it’s hilarious to watch them. Have you ever been hit in the balls, Gabe?

Gabe: [00:12:28] Yes.

Michelle: [00:12:29] Sorry. I’m sorry.

Gabe: [00:12:31] It’s amazing to me because on one hand I’m like oh man, would it be self care for me to watch a bunch of guys getting hit in the balls because I know that suffering and that it always makes me cringe. But on the other hand I’d laugh hysterically.

Michelle: [00:12:43] Laugh hysterically. Hysterically, hysterically. Let’s take a break and hear from our sponsor.

Announcer: [00:12:49] This episode is sponsored by BetterHelp.com. Secure, convenient, and affordable online counselling. All counselors are licensed, accredited professionals. Anything you share is confidential. Schedule secure video or phone sessions, plus chat and text with your therapist, whenever you feel it’s needed. A month of online therapy often costs less than a single traditional face to face session. Go to BetterHelp.com/PsychCentral and experience seven days of free therapy to see if online counselling is right for you. BetterHelp.com/PsychCentral.

Michelle: [00:13:20] And we’re back talking about self care.

Gabe: [00:13:22] How do you feel about fidget spinners.

Michelle: [00:13:23] I like fridget spinners. Why not?

Gabe: [00:13:25] Have they helped you? They’re not new anymore. I mean they’re well over a year old and I think the fad has kind of gone as far as mainstream.

Michelle: [00:13:32] Oh they were all over Chinatown when I was popping up in near little Italy. They were everywhere. Every kid that came into the market had a fidget spinner a couple of years ago.

Gabe: [00:13:42] They were everywhere for ten dollars and then last year I went to the fair and they were a buck.

Michelle: [00:13:45] Five dollars. Chinatown five dollars. That’s how much they were.

Gabe: [00:13:47] Yeah, everywhere in Ohio ten bucks ten bucks ten bucks ten bucks and then at the fair this year a dollar.

Michelle: [00:13:51] Yeah, well whoever invented them they made a lot of money.

Gabe: [00:13:55] So the mainstream fad is over. I’ve kept mine. I still find it to be very very helpful. I keep a little, not a fidget spinner, but a little fidget toy in my pocket. And I still use what I consider like fidget spinners’ great great grandpa, like Koosh balls or squeezy balls. I find all of those things.

Michelle: [00:14:13] You how? You squeeze your balls?

Gabe: [00:14:14] No, I don’t squeeze my balls. I have a little foam ball that I can squeeze.

Michelle: [00:14:19] Oh, okay.

Gabe: [00:14:19] But it’s interesting that you’re over there thinking about my balls.

Michelle: [00:14:23] No I was just like you like squeezy balls. I mean you said squeezy balls, Gabe.

Gabe: [00:14:28] Stress balls.

Michelle: [00:14:29] You said you like squeezy balls.

Gabe: [00:14:30] Stess balls have been around for a long time.

Michelle: [00:14:31] You said you liked squeezy balls.

Gabe: [00:14:33] Do you ever think that we like bicker back and forth like siblings as part of our self care regimen? Is that like our thing? Because we laugh hysterically when we do it. So.

Michelle: [00:14:42] I guess we do.

Gabe: [00:14:43] So it’s clearly not an argument.

Michelle: [00:14:44] Talking about self care specifically, I always like to bring up the late great Whitney Houston who said learning to love yourself is the greatest love of all.

Gabe: [00:14:59] But how is that a self care thing? I mean isn’t it like a high level concept? It’s kind of like telling somebody that is having financial problems to just make more money or if you’re distressed just love yourself.

Michelle: [00:15:08] Well she decided that to paraphrase I don’t know the exact words but Whitney Houston did say that she decided long ago not to wander in anyone’s shadow. You know what I’m saying?

Gabe: [00:15:19] Because that way if she succeeds it won’t be her destiny or something?

Michelle: [00:15:24] If I fail, if I succeed, at least I lived as I believe. Live as you believe, Gabe. Don’t wander in anyone’s shadow. Don’t be in anyone’s shadow. Be you. Don’t let anyone tell you what to do.

Gabe: [00:15:37] I think that that is excellent advice. You’ve also stumbled upon another thing that I think is amazing. Music.

Michelle: [00:15:42] Yes.

Gabe: [00:15:43] This music really speaks to you and I know that you have described when you’ve been depressed stressed worried or even a little manic, that you use music to like regulate your moods. You think that’s a common thing? I have that big like 12 speaker surround sound stereo in my car, bluetooth enabled and I use it to listen to our podcast. But whenever you’re here, we connect it, and we’re like doing carpool Karaoke and like screaming to music and people are staring at us.

Michelle: [00:16:08] Yeah like that time I made you play White Houses by Vanessa Carlton and I was singing my heart out.

Gabe: [00:16:14] You were and what I love is I don’t like it when people sing because it grates me. But I was able to turn up the music so loud I couldn’t hear you.

Michelle: [00:16:21] Listen, you don’t like my singing voice? I am a professional singer.

Gabe: [00:16:24] Who sang that song?

Michelle: [00:16:26] Vanessa Carlton.

Gabe: [00:16:27] Let’s keep it that way.

Michelle: [00:16:29] Yes yes yes. Everybody used to say that back in the day.

Gabe: [00:16:32] Wait wait wait wait wait wait wait wait wait. Knock knock.

Michelle: [00:16:35] Who’s there?

Gabe: [00:16:35] Interrupting cow.  MOOOOOO!

Michelle: [00:16:38] Yeah. Everybody knows that one too, Gabe.

Gabe: [00:16:39] Wait, wait, wait. Why did the chicken cross the road?

Michelle: [00:16:41] To get the other side.

Gabe: [00:16:43] Oh you’ve heard this one.

Michelle: [00:16:44] Who killed Alicia Keys?

Gabe: [00:16:46] Who?

Michelle: [00:16:46] No one no one no one.

Gabe: [00:16:52] Alicia Keys is alive, right?

Michelle: [00:16:53] Yeah.

Gabe: [00:16:54] Okay.

Michelle: [00:16:54] That’s her song.

Gabe: [00:16:55] I didn’t know that.

Michelle: [00:16:55] Oh, okay, well.

Gabe: [00:16:57] Who’s Alicia Keys?

Michelle: [00:16:57] You know, she plays piano.

Gabe: [00:17:00] I think she’s a no one. No one no one.

Michelle: [00:17:02] OK. That’s not funny.

Gabe: [00:17:04] It’s a little funny.

Michelle: [00:17:05] Fine, whatever you want.

Gabe: [00:17:06] I think we like different music. We have found music that we both like and I would say that you know that’s another self care tip. Maybe be willing to compromise with your friends. I don’t like to listen to music in the car. It’s not something that I really do. But you and I have had to take several road trips as part of our job and you were like look I talk to you for money so I’m not going to talk to you for free. So I compromised and agreed to listen to music and we had a lot of fun doing it. It really was fun. But when you’re not around I don’t do it by myself. So I think that sometimes self care is being open to new ideas and maybe finding the joy in things that maybe you wouldn’t do alone. Another example of that is Jeopardy. I don’t watch Jeopardy when you’re not around.

Michelle: [00:17:46] I love Jeopardy. I love it. I just love to see more of the competition type aspect because when I watch it maybe I get like five questions right.

Gabe: [00:17:56] I get none.

Michelle: [00:17:57] No you get some.

Gabe: [00:17:58] Never.

Michelle: [00:17:59] I mean I wish I could be on Jeopardy but those people they just they have facts that I don’t even I didn’t even know where actual things. How do they know this stuff? They’re amazing. They’re amazing people.

Gabe: [00:18:11] You find that very interesting, right?

Michelle: [00:18:11] I do. That these people are so smart and I find it so interesting that they know these facts and like where did they learn these? Like, I went to high school, I went to college. I didn’t go to an Ivy League or anything like that, but how do they know these facts? And even there’s the teachers tournament and when I ever thought of a teacher I was like yeah your teacher teaches this subject.  I was that you know they know this subject. No no no. You watch teachers tournament they know everything. Every. Thing. And then the college tournament, they know everything. But I do very well on the high school tournament. Those are those questions I do pretty good and then they had like the juniors. I was so good at the juniors. You have no idea. Those 12 year old kids, I’m on their level.

Gabe: [00:18:56] You know that show Are You Smarter Than A Fifth Grader?

Michelle: [00:18:59] I’m bad at that.

Gabe: [00:19:00] Well, I was not. I was not smarter than a fifth grader.

Michelle: [00:19:02] I was not Smarter Than A Fifth Grader either. Yeah that’s how it is. Well, Gabe, when you’re not around I like to watch The People’s Court. So when we’re together we always watch The People’s Court.

Gabe: [00:19:12] You watch The People’s Court when I’m not around?

Michelle: [00:19:13] I try to.

Gabe: [00:19:14] I never watch Jeopardy when you’re not around. Like that’s only something that I do with you because I only get joy when you’re around. And truthfully I think the only joy that I get is watching you watch it. Listen I think that sometimes people miss the idea that self care doesn’t necessarily mean getting your way. You know so many people are like self care is doing what you want to do and it is. There’s a part of that, but self care is also about finding joy in things maybe you wouldn’t find joy in. And I think of things like, let’s take marriage for example. When you’re married you have to go to places or eat at restaurants or experience things that you wouldn’t seek on your own. I did not want to see Hamilton.

Michelle: [00:19:57] Why not? It’s supposed to be amazing. I want to see it so badly but the tickets are expensive.

Gabe: [00:20:00] But my wife wanted to see it so I went.

Michelle: [00:20:03] I’ll go . I’ll go with your wife. You buy the tickets and I’ll go with your wife.

Gabe: [00:20:07] It’s too late we already went.

Michelle: [00:20:08] Well, you didn’t invite me!

Gabe: [00:20:09] Maybe, but there’s an example. Though I did not want to go but I agreed to go. I got dressed up, we went out to a nice dinner, and I enjoyed myself. I both enjoyed the play and I enjoyed sharing it with somebody, making my wife happy. It’s also about the pageantry of putting on a suit. My wife and I don’t wear nice clothes around each other very often and it doesn’t matter if it’s Hamilton in a nice restaurant or if it’s just going to the Taco Bell in the nice section of town around the corner. Make it special. There’s all kinds of ways to take the mundane and turn them into better, and that is an example of self care.

Michelle: [00:20:45] This self care really is classified under the problem solving.

Gabe: [00:20:50] Problem solving self care?

Michelle: [00:20:51] This is problem solving.

Gabe: [00:20:52] Dun dun dun.

Michelle: [00:20:53] Yeah. All of this is really is problem solving self care. This is what we’re really discussing right now.

Gabe: [00:20:59] I agree.

Michelle: [00:21:00] Yeah.

Gabe: [00:21:00] You read an article didn’t you?

Michelle: [00:21:03] Possibly.

Gabe: [00:21:03] I’m sorry.

Michelle: [00:21:04] I did some research. Yes, what can I say? What can I say? I know.

Gabe: [00:21:08] You know, nobody has ever called you illiterate, Michelle.

Michelle: [00:21:11] Nobody. Nobody’s ever called me a illiterate since I learned how to read. I learned how to read, Gabe, one day.

Gabe: [00:21:16] You know jokes are funny. You asked earlier about things that you can seek out on the internet. Jokes. There’s jokes everywhere.

Michelle: [00:21:23] There’s jokes everywhere.

Gabe: [00:21:24] And there’s there’s inspirational writing.

Michelle: [00:21:26] Yes.

Gabe: [00:21:27] That’s always fun.

Michelle: [00:21:28] Watching TV like TV can be self care. I’m a huge fan of Buffy the Vampire Slayer. I’ve been a huge fan since I was eight years old. And you know with the beauty of you know online streaming services and stuff like that I now can just go on to any one of those. Know the episode that I’m looking for. Watch it. And I feel that feeling of just like comfort. And it makes me feel better because I know the feeling that I get when I watch that specific episode. Like the episode where Buffy has to kill Angel and the devastation.

Gabe: [00:22:02] No.

Michelle: [00:22:02] It’s just I it’s like when I’m depressed I watch that episode and I’m like at least I didn’t have to kill my love. You know?

Gabe: [00:22:10] Wow.

Michelle: [00:22:11] She leaves town and goes to L.A.

Gabe: [00:22:13] Does Buffy kill her podcast co-host?

Michelle: [00:22:15] She doesn’t have a podcast, that didn’t exist.

Gabe: [00:22:19] OK. So I’m safe. That’s what I’m hearing.

Michelle: [00:22:21] Yeah.

Gabe: [00:22:21] But your significant other? You might have to kill someday?

Michelle: [00:22:24] Only if she tries to end the world and takes the sword out of Acathla as he’s going to swallow the world. And the only way to save the world is to kill her and send her to hell.

Gabe: [00:22:37] I know your significant other and she’s not that motivated. We’ll be fine.

Michelle: [00:22:40] Yeah.

Gabe: [00:22:42] Here’s some other like just real quick self-help tips that people don’t think of. Brush your teeth.

Michelle: [00:22:46] Yeah.

Gabe: [00:22:47] Eat something healthy. Make a meal, like make pageantry out of, you know? Don’t just grab the chips or you know the bagel bites in the microwave, actually cook a meal. There take a shower, shave, take a walk around the block, go to the gym. I mean it ramps up from here.

Michelle: [00:23:03] Exercise is great self care.

Gabe: [00:23:05] I’m not going to do that. But you’re right it is great self care.

Michelle: [00:23:10] It is and also joining a sports team. Any kind of club team is also great self care too.

Gabe: [00:23:16] People don’t think about that a lot, especially adults. You know I talked to a lot of people over the age of 50 and over the age of 40 because I’m at that age, and like I don’t know what to do for self care and I say like have you ever considered joining like a book club or a bowling league? And they’re like well but isn’t that like for young people? No, and one of the things that you turned me onto a long time ago, which is in your Jeopardy theme, is a lot of sports bars and bars like during the week will have trivia nights.

Michelle: [00:23:41] Yes.

Gabe: [00:23:41] Trivia nights are a lot of fun and you don’t have to sign up, you just have to show up so you show up and you can have fun. And listen, what’s really cool about them that I found out is that most people just suck. They just suck at trivia night but it’s a lot of fun. There’s always like a couple of teams are taking it like really serious and.

Michelle: [00:23:58] People take it ridiculously seriously.

Gabe: [00:24:01] Yeah.

Michelle: [00:24:01] Like ridiculous.

Gabe: [00:24:01] But at least half the room is just like, “Huh, trivia is hard.” But they’re still having fun.

Michelle: [00:24:07] I’ve never placed in regular trivia above second to last place.

Gabe: [00:24:11] Second to last place? So you beat somebody?

Michelle: [00:24:13] One time only. Because one of the sections was Disney.

Gabe: [00:24:17] One of the sections was Disney?

Michelle: [00:24:18] Yeah. That’s how I got 2nd to last place.

Gabe: [00:24:20] Didn’t you participate in a Buffy the Vampire Slayer trivia?

Michelle: [00:24:20] Yes I have many times and I have placed and I’ve never placed below fourth. I’ve got to go first second third and fourth.

Gabe: [00:24:29] Oh wow so you did get first when it was very specific to an amount of knowledge that you had.

Michelle: [00:24:33] Yeah I only placed first the one time where I was alone.

Gabe: [00:24:37] So if I want to take first in a trivia contest I should find like bullshit trivia?

Michelle: [00:24:42] Yeah.

Gabe: [00:24:42] Because I would place first.

Michelle: [00:24:44] If it was mental health trivia you would.

Gabe: [00:24:46] Oh my God. Could you imagine? You and I we would dominate it.

Michelle: [00:24:49] We would dominate mental health trivia.

Gabe: [00:24:51] Not only would we dominate but like if any of the stereotypes were the answer we’d correct it.

Michelle: [00:24:54] Oh, my God. We should have mental health trivia night somewhere. We should start that.

Gabe: [00:25:00] This is an excellent idea.

Michelle: [00:25:02] We should have a little contest or something.

Gabe: [00:25:06] A contest?

Michelle: [00:25:06] A mental health contest. Mental health, we should do something. But how do we know?

Gabe: [00:25:08] Eh, people are going to Google.

Michelle: [00:25:10] They’re gonna google.

Gabe: [00:25:12] I’ve got the first question though and they won’t be able to Google. I figured it out, Michelle. All right everybody, using [email protected], send us an email with the nicest thing that somebody did for you to help you cope with your own mental illness. So a nice story about a friend, a caregiver, a stranger. All stories are welcome. Please send them to [email protected] And if we use it on the air we’ll send you stickers because we’re chill like that.

Michelle: [00:25:39] Or a talking mental health T-shirt, Gabe.

Gabe: [00:25:42] That is so mean. Why you gotta be mocking the talking mental t-shirts?

Michelle: [00:25:45] I’m not. I’m not mocking them. I’m saying we should send them more than stickers, Gabe.

Gabe: [00:25:50] All right, I will revise it. The winner, the best story, the most moving and meaningful story, will get A Bipolar, a Schizophrenic, and a Podcast care package, including more than just stickers. But all of the other stories that we use on an upcoming show, will just get stickers. Fair?

Michelle: [00:26:07] But you have to actually write a good story.

Gabe: [00:26:12] Yeah, you got to read a good story.

Michelle: [00:26:13] You can’t just say, “My buddy gave me a Kit Kat and I was so happy about it.”

Gabe: [00:26:19] I mean you can, but you’re not going to win and we’re not going to use it on the show. And now I want to Kit Kat.

Michelle: [00:26:24] We have some downstairs.

Gabe: [00:26:24] Sweet. That’s where we’re off to. Thank you everybody for tuning into this week’s episode of A Bipolar, a Schizophrenic, and Podcast. If you are on iTunes we would love your five star review. Write a review, like use your words. Tell people why they should listen and please share us on social media. Email us to your friends, help us go world wide famous. And finally, if you work for BuzzFeed, or know anybody that works for BuzzFeed, where’s our love? Please write a story on us. We will see everybody next week on you’re supposed to yell out A Bipolar, a Schizophrenic, and a Podcast.

Michelle: [00:27:04] A Bipolar, a Schizophrenic, and a Podcast!

Gabe: [00:27:06] Thanks everybody for tuning in. And we will see you next week.

Narrator: [00:27:15] You’ve been listening to A Bipolar, a Schizophrenic, and a Podcast. If you love this episode, don’t keep it to yourself head over to iTunes or your preferred podcast app to subscribe, rate, and review. To work with Gabe go to GabeHoward.com. To work with Michelle, go to schizophrenic.NYC. For free mental health resources and online support groups, head over to PsychCentral.com. This show’s official web site is PsychCentral.com/BSP. You can e-mail us at [email protected]. Thank you for listening, and share widely.

Meet Your Bipolar and Schizophrenic Hosts

GABE HOWARD was formally diagnosed with bipolar and anxiety disorders after being committed to a psychiatric hospital in 2003. Now in recovery, Gabe is a prominent mental health activist and host of the award-winning Psych Central Show podcast. He is also an award-winning writer and speaker, traveling nationally to share the humorous, yet educational, story of his bipolar life. To work with Gabe, visit gabehoward.com.

MICHELLE HAMMER was officially diagnosed with schizophrenia at age 22, but incorrectly diagnosed with bipolar disorder at 18. Michelle is an award-winning mental health advocate who has been featured in press all over the world. In May 2015, Michelle founded the company Schizophrenic.NYC, a mental health clothing line, with the mission of reducing stigma by starting conversations about mental health. She is a firm believer that confidence can get you anywhere. To work with Michelle, visit Schizophrenic.NYC.

Podcast: Self-Care for Your Mental Health