Self-Care for the Cursed
By Reina Cruz
Happy summer everyone! One quick update before you jump into this month’s story. I forgot to announce in the monthly newsletter. Son of Horus has a release date! Daughter of Isis’s sequel will be out October 25th, 2022, so mark those calendars!
Please enjoy the following short story. Let me know what you think. I had fun writing this one :)
Self-Care for the Cursed
So you’ve been cursed with a Toko. Life often comes with unexpected twists and turns. Check out these top ten tips for self-care before you completely lose your mind.
1) How did you get here?
Remember, Tokos don’t have free will, per say. Someone bound the Toko to you through an ancient ritual, so every time you trip over a loose cord or cut yourself after breaking your grandmother’s china, the Toko has nothing personal against you. The person who cursed you probably does, though. That might be worth looking into.
2) Reflection is key
Journaling is a great self-care activity. Pour yourself a glass of wine, sit back and write down some reflections. Concentrate on who you wronged that would curse you in this way? How did the cheer captain go from valedictorian and receiving a scholarship to Stanford to being a waif of a version of herself, with pimples blemishing those perfect cheekbones because every beauty product you buy has mysteriously gone bad? Don’t worry if that list of people you stepped on to get to where you are now goes on for pages. Just get it all down. You can narrow it later.
3) The Power of Scent
While lit candles are asking for an accident to happen, oil diffusers have fewer reports of damage. I mean, that electric fire could have happened by plugging in a lamp or your hairdryer (DO NOT, I repeat DO NOT leave that blow dryer plugged in while you are taking a relaxing bath).
4) Keep it moving
Getting your heart pumping can really get your endorphins flowing. Why, just this morning, you rinsed soap from your face and saw the Toko’s grin in the mirror behind you. That mad dash you made out the bathroom door really gave you the boost you needed to start your day, didn’t it?
5) You are what you eat
After a great workout, it’s important that you fuel your body with healthy food. That chicken sandwich you had for lunch today was okay, but did you see how much mayo was on the bread? You know that would go straight to your hips and what are you without your slim curves? Wasn’t that what you told me? Need to keep it tight in your sorority. It’s all about the image, that’s what the frats come to see, that’s what’s admired across the student population. High and tight, high and tight, girl.
6) Chug! Chug! Chug! Chug!
Drink water. Disregard the cloudy nature of your tap water. That gritty film in your mouth after drinking is bothersome, but the plumber suggested they were probably minerals. Minerals can’t hurt, right?
7) Nothing like a good night’s sleep
Make sure you are getting plenty of sleep. If you close your eyes, you can almost forget the whispers in the shadows.
8) Mindfulness is the new vodka
Everyday life can be overwhelming, but you really show the world that women can have it all. Never mind the people you cheated along the way. Brush away the asterisk of your life and move on with your day, just like you did this morning when you saw something skirt from your sight, the size of a child, but skinnier, unnaturally skinny. And don’t worry about that smell. Must be coming through the walls of the apartment next to you. Or perhaps you need to call the plumber back?
9) Get your eyes off your screen
While the glow of your phone screen may seem like a comfort after all the lights have gone out, remember your phone battery has been on the fritz. Sometimes a break from social media is just what you need to recharge and reboot. No need to worry about how many likes you received. You have bigger things to worry about, like the rustling in the corner of your bedroom. And was that a growl?
10) Clear it all out, start new
Finally, clear that clutter. So much of it accumulates in our lives. Do you really need that extra cast iron pan? Or that stack of magazines? Throw it all away. Only keep those things that truly make you happy. From the way your pile of donations is growing, I’m going to assume your new apartment is smaller. I know you think you’re escaping the torment by packing up and moving, but you missed the unlabeled box at the back of your trunk. When your back is turned, it shifts and shuffles. Before you finish unpacking at your new apartment, the box will be gone. The Toko inside would have already slipped through the door behind you.
Don’t worry, though. Self-care is a lifelong journey and your Toko will be keeping you company through it all.