This morning I was feeling restless and antsy. I had cleaned basically my whole apartment and I just finished watching episode of Grey’s Anatomy. I was sitting there and I couldn’t put a finger on what was causing me to feel this way. I was actively searching for and trying to think of tasks that would occupy my time and make me busy. I kept saying to my boyfriend that I felt like I should be “doing things” and kept saying “just chill and relax for the day”. I went upstairs to take a shower and while I was showering I was reflecting and it clicked. This feeling of restlessness was amplifying because I was actively avoiding exactly what I know I needed to do. I was avoiding taking care of me and taking time to rest and focus on myself. Bae was right, I did need to chill (don’t tell him I said that). I needed some Me-Time. Self-care, me-time, rest days, treat yourself, etc., doesn’t really matter what you call it really, but what does matter is how often you engage in it? When I am doing good I engage in some form of self-care or relaxation on a consistent basis. When I’m not on top of my game like I have been recently, I can barely remember the last time I focused in on my own needs. The past 2 months or so have been very busy and I have been focused on work, keeping my house in a somewhat livable condition, family, fun , adding a pet into the mix, and being a decent human that my own needs have been on the back burner. We and when I saw we I mean, women, tend to make a habit of putting our needs last. Self-care is rarely at the top of the list of priorities, but it should be. It should be something that is more routine than foreign. You shouldn’t feel guilty about it (although it does happen),taking time for yourself isn’t taking time away from anyone else! You do deserve it (although it may feel as though you haven’t earned it). You do have time for it (trust me the dishes and laundry can wait), any small amount of time counts. The beauty of the concept of self-care is that you get to pick the activity you engage in, and the time frame. It can be as simple as watching your favorite 30 minute TV-show or it can be a whole day or even weekend full of activities you enjoy. It can be unplugging and having some alone time or meeting up with your friends for a girls night because you haven’t seen them in forever. There is no right or wrong way to engage in self-care. I am currently in the middle of my self-care afternoon at Barnes & Nobles writing this post. I went out to lunch dolo and enjoyed the hell out of my own company and the food ( I live to eat!). You might be thinking “but you’re working! how is that self-care?”. It’s self-care because this is therapeutic for me and it helps me to clear some of the clutter out of my head. After I finish, my self-care afternoon will continue. I will be book hunting and hopefully will find a captivating book that will consume me for the next 24-48 hours. Oh, and there will definitely be more food, a drank or 2, and some music and dancing incorporated into this Me-Day as well.
I know it can be hard to tell when you need to take a self-care break, so here are some potential warning signs. Irritability, feelings of being overwhelmed, fatigue, difficulty controlling emotions or fluctuating emotions, increased feelings of anxiety or depression (Disclaimer: you don’t have to have a diagnosis of anxiety or depression to experience some of the more common symptoms, and experiencing some mild symptoms doesn’t mean you have a mental health disorder). With all that being said, I’ll leave you with this. If you don’t value and care for yourself enough to prioritize your needs and wants, take the time to get to know yourself, enjoy your own company, and love yourself; what makes you think that anyone else will?