Mette Sterre .  Poly PPE.  photo © Joep Deumes

Mette Sterre. Poly PPE. photo © Joep Deumes




Let’s talk about self-care. What do you do to take care of yourself? Is it effective? Is it always the most healthy thing? Can self-care be damaging? This issue, our artists share how they cope with stress. They emotionally posture, they doodle, they masturbate, they create crazed performances based off their anxieties.


"Mental illness is incredibly lonely. The experience of a depressive bout, a manic episode or an anxiety attack is not something you can share, it's deeply personal. How we manage our mental illness is incredibly personal as well. We've all found habits and tricks to stop us from plunging off the deep end. The behaviors and tactics for managing mental illness fall under "self-care", a term that has been picked up by the masses to create memes out of coping mechanisms.

Self-care is taking your meds, getting enough sleep, drinking enough water, avoiding triggers. A lot of self-care seems desperately obvious: just take care of yourself. But for those of us who are not neurotypical taking care of yourself can become a Herculean task, and the influx of self-care trends has allowed us to substitute easy, enjoyable tasks for actual mental maintenance. 

Instead of focusing on managing your symptoms, self-care has become about ignoring them. The term has come to mean less of "take care of yourself" and has been replaced by the "treat yo self" mentality from Parks & Rec. But the hard truth is that these self-indulgent behaviors actually cause harm. Cancelling plans. Lack of sleep. Dehydration. Impulse shopping. Reckless behaviors. We've traded coping mechanisms for distractions, and our mental health will deteriorate because of it. 

We need to refocus the self-care trend onto actually managing our disorders. 

Watching Ina Garten prepare a potato dish is my happy place. It brings me the same contentment I get from taking an edible and watching Disney movies. It feels right. I feel taken care of. But in reality it does nothing for me. I'd be better served by hanging out with a friend, or taking an art class.

If we stop labeling our distractions from reality as self-care, and instead focus on actually maintaining our health, we might see an improvement."  - Brian O'Mahoney


#003 : family matters

How does your family (biological, found, chosen or other) help or hinder your mental stability?

WE ACCEPT WORK FROM poets. visual artists. performance artists. writers. illustrators. chefs. makeup artists. set designers. architects. costumers. photographers. light artists. industrial designers. clowns. directors. curators. filmmakers. inventors and more! THIS INCLUDES BUT ISN'T LIMITED TO poems. essays. photographs. film stills. performance documentation. recipes. short stories. design drafts. installation documentation. sketches. illustrations. product designs. etc etc.

Deadline : December 1, 2018| submit your stress here