here are times that were must just take it easy and relax. There are time that we must take to heal and take care of ourselves. And there should be no shame in it. And when we do it, we should absolutely enjoy it, and make the rest worth our time.
A friend asked me what I did today, and I really couldn’t tell her past the one appointment that I had. I told her that I had been staying up ridiculously late, because I am a nite owl, sleeping late, purging things I don’t need from the house, watching TV, and not really much of anything really. I started to say that I felt a bit guilty and she interrupted me – “In other words you are resting, healing and taking care of yourself.”
And there it was. Her words brought me to a complete stop…I had not thought of it that way, but she was right. After all, I deserve to rest a bit and not feel guilty about taking some time off. I have been going long and hard for three years.
Why do we, especially women, feel so guilty for not doing anything but taking care of ourselves and healing after a hard time? I don’t know, because it doesn’t make any sense. Self care is so important to our physical, mental, spiritual and emotional health. We are stress out, underpaid, overworked, super tired, burned out and feeling sideways.
Maybe we feel guilty because there are others whom still need our care? Or maybe we don’t want to be seen as lazy, or unproductive, or selfish? Maybe we have the need to be needed, and taking care of ourselves is so foreign that it just feels wrong. For me, it is a combination of all of those things, plus I do not feel useful unless I am busy doing something, accomplishing something. But who is to say that self care is not a huge accomplishment?
Because we are taught to take care of everything and everyone first. And not just women. Men are taught they must kill themselves for their job and career. And single parents, both men and women, feel like they cannot take the time, because they have no help and must do everything themselves.
But the price of not taking care of yourself is expensive. I have experienced it first hand and never want to visit again. The feeling of being burned out and completely bent is not pleasant. Not to mention that when we are overwhelmed and sad, everything else is magnifies. All those little things that would not normally bother us, can send of over the edge. Because our nerves are already so raw, that the slightest touch is like touching an opened wound. The only protection we have, is rest and self care.
And so before life gets all crazy again, with a job and the relationship and travel and life in general, I will take this time for myself. I will stay up late, sleep late, watch my favorite shows and heal from the last few years. I am already happier than I have been in years, and taking this time of self care will only make those crack and chips even stronger and shinier.
So take care of yourself. Set that time aside, whether it is an hour, a say, a week, or more if you need it. Concentrate on making sure you have everything that you need. And stick with it until you are good again. Because when you step back into the world, you ill feel better. YOU will be stringer, finer, happier and better equipped to handle life. And you will have more to offer whose for whom you care. An empty vessel cannot full itself, or any other vessel. Trust me, you are the best investment you can make.
Life is short. So take care of yourself, and don’t feel guilty about it. You deserve the same amount of compassion and understanding as you give others. Treat yourself, invest in yourself, and watch your life, and quality of life, improve dramatically. And the best thing? Practice makes perfect.