ARE YOU BECOMING COMPLACENT WITH SELF CARE?
The title of this post is simply a question. Not an accusation. Simply, a question.
I found myself with an annoying amount of free time today. I say annoying because, to me, a fast-paced, busy personality, I truly despise having ample amounts of free time. It makes me miserable because I set and rack my brain for something “productive” to do, something to clean, someone to help.
Over the past few years, I have learned to evaluate myself in those times and spaces. Asking questions such as, “Could it be that it is simply time to rest?”
And I have learned that often the answer is yes. I have learned that it is okay to be still. It is okay to watch an episode of Netflix, to zone out for a moment, to take a nap. Not all of life is meant to be one big hustle.
But today was different.
I came to this place of panic as I looked at my day. I had 1 meeting scheduled that would take approximately 30 minutes.
And the next thing on my “calendar” was Harrison arriving home from a business trip at 11:45 PM.
So that meant I had from 8:30 AM until 11:45 PM (minus 30 minute meeting) to fill.
14.75 HOURS OF TIME TO FILL.
I do not say this lightly -
That is my worst nightmare.
What made things worse is that I was already caught up on all the laundry and chores, grocery shopping and errands.
I had nothing to do.
As I began to panic, I asked myself, “could this mean it is time to rest?” And I felt so clearly that the answer was no. I have been resting plenty these days. Work has been slow, and I’ve had multiple days with free time, just not this much free time,
So I tried to search for a gut feeling of what I needed to be about today.
The answer quickly came; I was meant to push myself today.
So I did. I jumped the gun. I took action on the things that were bothering me. I’d been going back and forth on whether or not I wanted a hair cut. I went for it and scheduled an appointment for the late afternoon.
I have been working out consistently, but today felt like it was time to push myself further. So I did. I went to the gym and tried new things that scared me. I shrugged off weird looks from others around me, and I tried new things, new equipment, new exercises.
This might be typical for you, but for me, I stick to my comfort zone at the gym and that is that.
I pushed myself to cook a homemade lunch when I felt exhausted and lazy.
I pushed myself to leave my phone in the other room multiple times throughout the day.
I pushed myself to decompress, to dig in and process things from this year. To journal about the hard stuff, asking myself real and honest questions. And returning those questions with real and honest answers.
I surprised myself.
And I walked away from today feeling like I cared for myself FOR REAL, for the first time in a very long time.
I realized that I have become complacent with self care.
I have learned to give myself grace, which is a beautiful thing. Something I was once horrible at. But that grace has now (at times) turned into complacency, a relaxed attitude, and excusable moment.
I am beginning to find that there is a balance to seek after.
I whole-heartedly believe in face masks and movie nights, naps and nail painting. I believe in taking the day off and resting, doing whatever it is that fills your soul with rest.
But that is not all of self care.
I believe our culture does a pretty good job at encouraging us to push ourselves, to strive for greatness, to “Be Boundless” (s/o UW). But I think we often look at this through a lens of exhaustion, pressure, and expectation.
And what I have found today is that pushing myself is a whole new layer of self care.
Today I cared for myself best by challenging myself, not by laying on the couch cuddled up with a good book.
So go back to that title. Ask yourself the question. Have you become complacent with self care?
Maybe the answer is no, and that is great too. But I felt the urge to get this out on (electronic) paper because I know there is someone out there who needs to be pushed. Someone who is learning how to care for themselves, someone who needs to see that self care can be two-fold.
Caring for yourself is often more similar than you’d think to caring for a friend. We love our friends; we empathize with them, we forgive them, we show them grace. We also keep them accountable, we challenge them, we ask them questions when we’re worried, we push them, we do what we can to help them become stronger.
All I’m asking is, do you do the same for yourself?