Silence Breakers, Self Care, and Puppy Problems (012)

Sarah and Kim open up about the consequences of news-cycle anxiety (Kim couldn’t even pet a puppy!), and discuss the recent wave of sexual assault allegations in the headlines. They share their personal experiences with harassment and their hopes for what may change for women. Since the news is so exhausting, they also give their top self-care advice.

The #MeToo Movement

Disclaimer: Chat on sexual assault starts at 11:00. Since we want to encourage self-care, if you need a break from chat about sexual assault or it’s just something you’d prefer not to hear, feel free to skip that part! (Our chat on self-care starts at 34:05.)

Kim recently realized how stressed and anxious the news cycle has made her when an encounter with a puppy left her seething in anger with a clenched fist. Sarah agrees that the news is a constant terrible nightmare (Hi, Tr**p Administration) and appreciates when people on Twitter remind her to take a break. (Both of us are having trouble staying on our usual sleep patterns because of extra stress and anxiety, yay!)

For Sarah, taking time away from the news is important but disconnecting completely will never be an option since staying informed is too important.

Another layer of stress has been added in the past month due to the sexual assault allegations and high-profile firings in the news. It’s just SO MANY… and women are not surprised, y’all.

#NotAllMen doesn’t make it any less prevalent, as Sarah points out, because one man usually has many victims.

Kim just wishes it wasn’t framed as a shocking news headline EVERY time, since the conversation should be about how this isn’t actually shocking, and Sarah suspects many people who are shocked, are actually just “shocked” and either scared for their own safety or they’re shitty dudes who don’t call out their bros. (See: Quentin T. and HW.)

Sarah reiterates that not laughing at rape jokes is key, since it reinforces the culture.

Men “not knowing where the line is” is something we have no tolerance for. Newsflash: If you don’t harass women, you are good. And if you do, then we will buy tickets to your take-down ceremony. Bonus: If your flirting can be mistaken as harassment, just DON’T.

Kim brings up that there are many women who also don’t know when they’re harassed because of rape culture acceptance, trauma, or denial. Another hard, sad part of being victimized.

Sarah shares the first time she saw a strange, naked man– without consenting or being over 10 years old! 🙁

They both have stories of being harassed by men and feeling unsafe, but in every situation telling someone or reporting is not the first priority, getting to safety is.

Kim shares a recent phone conversation with her 86-year-old grandpa that devolved real quick from “Happy Birthday!” to “All these women are coming out of the woodwork to take down men.” Um, she didn’t love that conversation and Sarah suggests that next time she just mail a card.

We all agree that women never have an easy time coming forward with allegations but it was only harder in the past.

Sarah is pretty shocked that Roy Moore was banned from an actual mall in the actual 1980s.

It can also be really exhausting to talk to people in your family/life. You can’t always be ready for that, but you always have an obligation to speak up if you can.

Dear Men,please do the work to end harassment, it’s not on women. THANKS.

Self-Care

Starts at 34:05.

Sarah started therapy four days after the last presidential inauguration. (Not a total coincidence.) She highly recommends therapy if you can manage it. It’s so nice to talk through things, whether related to current events or past traumas, or both, as in Sarah’s case, and worth every penny.

Kim spent the first several months after the election feeling anxious and in “get to work” mode, but seeing others taking  breaks really helped.

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Sarah has a self-imposed “news curfew” with a nice nighttime routine. She cuts off news a few hours before bed and reads romance novels or occasionally watches TV (but only the kind that feels happy).

She also has gotten back to baking, since she has a new kitchen now. It’s really relaxing. Even if you only have a toaster oven, you should make her two chocolate chip cookies or this Dutch Baby. (They can be made in a full-sized oven too!)

If you like watching someone’s baking process (and failures), go follow Sarah’s Instagram Story on the weekends.

Another relaxing thing they’ve done all year: bullet journaling! Don’t do a bunch of trackers if that’ll stress you out.

Games to play to relax: Animal Crossing, The Sims, Stardew Valley.

TV that is a delight and won’t keep you up at night: The Good Place (MUST WATCH!), Kimmy Schmidt, and Mrs. Maisel.

Take care of your house. Clean out that closet. News will still be there tomorrow.

Do puzzles! Kim recommends the Target puzzle section for random finds.

Get a manicure/pedicure or find a foot spa (like the one Sarah goes to and loves).

Get a puppy! Or watch cute animal videos online.

Read romance! Kim just started Tessa Dare’s Spindle Cove series. (Sarah posted about it on her Reading Romance blog recently. That’s a good place to read little snippets from romances Sarah reads when you need a book rec: readingromance.sarah.blog.)


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