It’s in most people’s nature, specifically women to take care of others and put the needs of others before ourselves. In trying times such as the current political climate or just daily life, it’s easy to become overwhelmed and neglect yourself. Whether it’s an impromptu shopping trip, or blowing off friends for alone time, those feelings of guilt start to creep in that you’re letting someone down if you don’t respond to a text right away or answer your friend’s call when they need to vent. But at some point you have to ask yourself, what’s best for you?
Work issues, taking care of children, elderly parents, and just plain adulting can be extremely overwhelming. Yes, it’s a part of life and we all have to do what we have to do, but the other side of the coin is that everyone needs a break.
Everyone has their own set of problems and sometimes something as simple as socializing or watching the News can become mentally exhausting. It’s not uncommon to take on the stress of others as our own and in turn end up feeling drained.
You can’t be there for someone else if you aren’t at your best mentally and emotionally. Do not allow anyone to make you feel bad for taking the time you need to recoup, refocus and regroup.
Here are a few self care techniques that I subscribe to:
- Binge watching television- A distraction technique at its finest but it works like a charm. One way to escape external drama is to immerse yourself in the drama of others. Netflix and Hulu are perfect in these situations. You can sit uninterrupted and watched episode after episode of shows that keep you captivated and allow your mind to go somewhere else and makes the outside world cease to exist for a little while. Fake drama >>>>real drama.
- Reading a book-similar to binge watching, this is the same concept. I’m an avid reader and find that not only are the stories are captivating but just reading certain characters and their behaviors in how they deal with situations can serve as an example that helps you understand people in real life.
- Shopping-There’s an old saying about money that I completely agree with–“You can’t take it with you when you are dead.” It’s important to be fiscally responsible, however, one shopping trip where you splurge on at least one thing for yourself is not going to be life or death. Spoil yourself. Buy that handbag or shoes, or video game, or whatever it is that makes you happy that you can enjoy.
- Disconnect from Social Media-I love social media most of the time but have found it very necessary to disconnect from it every once in awhile. While it can be informative and fun, it can also be a cesspool of foolishness and toxic people. There’s no escaping the drama of the world when you log on any form of social media, especially in the comment sections of stories. And if it’s not politics or race, then its crazy fandoms and their delusional fantasies about fictional characters and the actors that play them. It’s too much and can give you an immense sense of peace to pull back from time to time.
- Take a staycation day-This can be what I refer to at work as a mental health day. You take a random day off work, don’t let any of your friends or family know that you are off, don’t answer any calls or text messages, lounge around your house and do whatever you want to do. It can be a walk around the neighborhood with some music playing or listening to a mellow podcast, doing some spring cleaning or my absolute fave, doing absolutely nothing. What a concept. A day with no one asking your advice, asking for a favor, no work emergencies, no responsibilities to fulfill just you reenergizing yourself so you can tackle the next day and let the rest of the world in.
Everyone has their own vices for how they choose to relax but whatever it is, make sure you do them and don’t let anyone make you feel guilty for it.
Self care is not selfish, it’s actually selfless. You can’t be there for everyone, when you aren’t there for yourself.
Reclaim your time!