This will probably be the least paranormal or spooky blog that I’ve ever written. Yet, I feel like this is an important part of the investigative and researching process that no one really talks about; self-care. Sure, I’ve heard plenty of tips and advice telling me to pray for protection from evil ghosts, demons, Bigfoot, and what not. But what if you’re someone who isn’t healthy all the time? Or, what if you’re battling some ailments and you’re worried that investigating will take too much out of you?
Keep in mind, I’m not a doctor. I’m only going to be expressing my experience and what has worked for me personally. If you find something useful, that’s awesome! If not, I’m glad you stopped by and I appreciate your time.
I was in a car accident in 2005 that basically broke my pelvis in half as well as several bones in my spine. I was hit by a car and thrown off a freeway ramp after my car hydroplaned. Long story for another time. Anyway, I got surgery and two titanium screws were put in my pelvis to level things out. When the accident occurred, I was 19 years old and still invincible to the world. I felt even more so after surviving that car accident.
Fast forward to 2015 and I’ve started to hurt. I can do a lot physically, but boy do I pay for it. Not only that, I have fibromyalgia that really makes everything even spicier. I hope my sarcasm isn’t offensive. Sometimes, I have a great night and I can go all night on an investigation, but I have to prepare for it. I can’t overdo it, or I’ll find myself in a tremendous amount of pain.
For example, when I was in New York City about a month ago, I walked 18,000 steps in a day. I hadn’t done that in a while. That night and even the next day, I couldn’t bear weight on my right leg because my hip hurt like hell and kept popping. It wasn’t even the side where the screws were. Simply put, moving was miserable.
I don’t want to feel miserable while on an investigation. Here are my tips on dealing with the physical side of self-care before an investigation:
- Eat Well: It’s easy to fall into the trap of chips, Red Bull, candy, basically sugar and caffeine in order to stay awake. I eat a decent amount of protein before investigating. If I’m in the mood, I’ll throw in some vegetables too.
- SLEEP: If you’re going to do an all-nighter, you need to fit in sleep if you’re physically inhibited. Whether you plan a nap during the investigation, snooze beforehand, just be sure to get enough rest before going for several hours.
- Check In With Yourself: During transitions or break time, check in with yourself to see how you feel. I try to do a self check in every hour just to make sure I can keep going.
- Consider a Workout: One of the fibro friends is also a paranormal investigator, and she fits in a 30-minute workout before her investigation. She finds that it reduces her flare ups and calms her body down. I haven’t tried this yet, but I’m considering trying it out for myself. I’ll let you all know how it goes.
- There’s No Shame in Rest: If you find yourself needing to take a break, TAKE A BREAK. You will feel so much better taking a breather than pushing through and feeling sore, miserable, and just unhappy for the remainder of the investigation. Some people can go all night, but don’t feel bad if you can’t.
Anyone who knows and sees me regularly know that I have ridiculous anxiety. My anxiety flares up my fibromyalgia, sometimes it’s the other way around. Anyway, add in a pinch of depression and other mental health issues, and you have the perfect recipe for ghosts (and people) to mess with you. Oftentimes, my anxiety isn’t triggered by spookiness…it’s triggered by the real world. However, if you’re someone who gets scared, and you have concerns with your mental health, then talk to your health care professional before proceeding. If you get the all clear, talk to whoever is in charge of the paranormal investigation you’re going to participate in and let them know what is going on. Perhaps even email them ahead of time to let them know so they’re prepared if you need to step out.
Again, I don’t want to be miserable on an investigation because of what’s happening in my head. Here are some things that help me when I’m feeling out of it:
- Separate Yourself If You Need To: Sometimes, a paranormal investigation can get intense. Not just physically, but emotionally. You could be scared, you might be feeling emotional, or you just might not be in the right head space. Within the bounds of being safe, separate yourself from the situation and regroup if you need to.
- Ask for Distance, But Let a Friend Stick By: I’ve only had this happen to me once or twice, but I got really exhausted randomly and really REALLY moody at a haunted location. I felt the need to nap. In this situation, my team (nor I) knew what was going on with me. However, I was stuck because I didn’t want to inhibit my team’s time at this location, but I just couldn’t bring myself to investigate at that time. So, I got out my jacket and took a nap in the break room. During that time, I needed space. Yet, the location’s staff and my team made sure that I was never alone. They just let me “be”, if that makes sense. Knowing that someone was there if I needed them meant a lot.
- Consider Grounding & Shielding: If you find that you’re especially emotionally vulnerable and feeling unsteady during an investigation, I would recommend that you consider grounding and shielding. Grounding is recommended by psychologists anyway. Getting grounded is key to help you through an investigation. Check out our Tips & Tricks on Grounding & Shielding for more information.
- Take a Shower After the Investigation: You will probably want to do this anyway, but if there’s a way you can grab a shower after the investigation, it will really help in your post-investigation head space as well as get off all that grime, especially if you’re investigating an older location that isn’t well-maintained.
- It’s Okay to Feel: The most important thing is to feel those emotions. It’s okay to cry, it’s okay to feel mad, it’s okay to feel confused, and it’s okay to not feel at all. Don’t try to bury your emotions for the sake of letting things move. I always recommend having a trust friend with you on investigations so that you have someone who is on your side. Meaning, if you need to step out, get some space, or just hold a hand, you have a support system. Ghost hunts and investigations are a very private experience that can be overwhelming at times. It’s okay to process and work on why you’re feeling the way you do.
Finally (and maybe there’s 11 tips instead of 10), if you need to stop…STOP. Pushing through a ghost hunt or investigation could potentially be more harmful than just stopping. There can be some guilt since you might have paid for that investigation, but definitely self-assess your limitations and abilities as much as possible.