Sometimes in life you just need to learn lessons the hard way. For me, and recently, that was learning about self care and putting myself first AND…most importantly that it is NOT selfish to do so. I work two jobs, try to run and create a successful blog, and if there is time in between all that I balance time for friends and going to the gym. Oh, and not to mention I try to spend as much time as I can cuddling my fur baby, Checotah. Sounds like a lot, right? I almost get exhausted thinking about it all, I can only imagine how you feel reading all of that. Although, it is my choice to partake in all of these things I feel like I can do them and if I am able I should. Thanks to my planner, I am able to manage all of these things to the best of my abilities and keep my ship afloat. One thing that I am not good at is taking the time for myself. In the last couple weeks all of these things really had me overwhelmed and I wasn’t quite sure how to handle it. I felt as though if I took time “off” to rest, relax, recharge, or do anything for myself was selfish. Why should I sit on my couch and be lazy when all these things need done and I am fully capable and able? Well, because my brain and body need rest that’s why. My brain and body need a break on occasion to be able to function at 100% so when I am doing all the things, that they are done right.
After being so overwhelmed, I came to a hard decision of taking a day off of work. I don’t think I have ever taken a day off to just do nothing. To take a day off with the intent of basically “wasting” my day. Funny thing is, it’s not wasting it when it was needed. I did not allow my self to work, go to the gym, clean or do anything but sit on my couch and rest. I learned two things. I’m not good at being bored and that I need to be better about being “bored”. I felt so guilty that I was taking a day off leaving my work for others to pick up the slack from my absence, all so I could sit on my couch and do nothing. What I didn’t realize was that it was important to myself and my coworkers to rest so that I could recharge to give my best self to my activities and work.
Taking a day off and actually resting was one of the best decisions I have made for myself in a long time. If you find yourself overwhelmed or overworked, it’s ok. It’s ok to take a day for yourself. It’s ok to take time you need to step away from those things. It’s ok to go easy on yourself and give yourself a break. This is something I need to do more often – I need to learn that self-care is not selfish. I am a work in progress – as most of us are – but if you are anything like me, I want you to know you are not alone and it is OK. After taking a day off, the world still went on, work still got done, people understood and I got the rest that was needed.
My only regret about not giving myself more self-love…is not doing it sooner.
Below are a few ideas of how you can give yourself more self-love:
- Watch tv…live. Not the DVR. I consider it a luxury to actually be home and able to sit down and watch a show when it is live and not via the DVR. And actually watching it. That’s the key. Watch your show. No phone. No doing work while the tv is on. Give yourself that one hour.
- Read a book. Even if its only 20-30 minutes. Dive in to a good read and forget about the world. Make it even better by going outside and reading.
- Take yourself on a date. Take yourself to dinner and a movie. Turn off your phone, you’re on a date with yourself and not your phone.
- Go try a new fitness class. This is a whole other topic I can cover about my journey with working out and finding a gym that’s right for me but I always feel so much better if I get some kind of activity in my day. There are a lot of places that also let you try a class for free so you can find the right fit.
- Treat yourself to an at home spa day. Get some face masks, sit on the couch with some wine, order a pizza and turn on your favorite movie.
Of course there are many other options you can try, but do whatever brings you joy. Do more of what makes you happy. You’ll thank yourself in the long run. Just remember that taking the time to do things for yourself and putting yourself first is not selfish.
If there is just one take away I can give you on this is to take time for yourself sooner rather than later. Don’t get to the point where you are so overwhelmed that you stress yourself out. It’ll all be ok, in the end. If it’s not ok…It’s not the end.