THE SHIT LIST: A COLLABORATIVE SELF CARE APPROACH
It’s 3:30 pm and the grey sky-light has packed up and disappeared.
Your phone glows in the dark, it’s the group chat.
‘I feel like shit’ a friend types.
You all rally round, asking what you can do to help, but they don’t quite know.
‘idk everything just seems shitty
HOW TO MAKE A SHIT LIST:
Making a shit list begins with exercising a quiet attention to the moments where you’ve actually made yourself feel better. Some are easier to remember some than others, and you might want to enlist the help of friends and people who know you well.
Slowly write down your list of shit. Note down the actions that make you feel better as they’re happening or after you’ve done them. Shit-lists get better with time, and make sure to number each one, the longer your shit-list the wider your list of options.
Now for the most important part: share your list. Send it to your group chat, someone you trust, or as many people you feel comfortable with.
Sit back and wait to feel like shit. When the low mood strikes, reach out to those who have your shit list. Depending on your vibe you can work through options together, ask to be dared, or even ask for one to be completed for you. The numbers are a way of simplifying asking and reminding you of your options. If none of the numbers feel doable, select and modify the most doable number until it's tiny enough to feel possible.
Numbers can open up lots of fun possibilities, so if you’ve swapped shit-lists in a group don’t be afraid to mix it up. Do joint number challenges, shit-list lotteries and bingos, or all go in for one joint number and share pictures.
The more specific your shit-list the better and your actions don’t have to be hard to do or specifically grand. Some of my simple favourites include No.1: ‘listen to 0:45:25:’ of one of my favourite podcasts and ‘stick your head out a window for a minute’
8. The first page of my own shit-list can be found here below for reference:
I’ve been using my shit-list for around 3 years now both solo and with my friends, and it never fails to surprise me. No matter how apathetic I am towards every item my shit-list, it just feels to have a friend pick a number out for me, and watch the way my mood lifts after I complete it. Shit-list escapades have ventured from composing set-lists for friend’s shower concerts, to having food ordered for me without saying a word, and having my mum kiss her teeth as she walks in on me doing a roly poly across my bedroom carpet.
A standout moment for my shit-list was when I re-listened to the podcast that previously made me cry
on a particularly bad day. I was in such a low dip that I didn’t even crack a smile, but I still felt the sensation
of a laugh shift slightly inside of me, and even though it didn’t manage to make from my belly to my mouth, the fact that anything had shifted at all was a begin enough win, because it reminded me that this feeling wasn’t permanent.