One of the major things that I am super unsure about and basically still learning is how to do self care. I know how to take care of others (my mum has called me Mother Hubbard for as long as I can remember) but self care has always been a little tricky.
I can say that at least one part of self care is indulging every now and again. Indulging in a favorite snack or indulging in face masks (which has become a personal favorite) or indulging in too much wine on a Friday night (which I get to do tonight whoo!). This is all like a reward for me. A reward for not losing my shit as my child decides for the fifth time that day to upend her hamper and mix her dirty clothes with her clean clothes. A reward for surviving traffic and drivers who have forgotten how to signal before merging.
The other part of self care, the part where you are supposed to be paying attention to your body, is a little more difficult for me to grasp. Mainly because growing up, when something new happened inside my body, whether it be painful or uncomfortable, I was always told it’s normal. So I kind of assumed it was all normal.
Recently, I have been exhausted. As my close friends and family know though, I am always tired. I am always wanting to take a nap. If I am comfortable enough around you, I will doze off for 10-15 minutes and feel rejuvenated afterwards. So being tired isn’t something new for me.
However, this exhaustion was different. I was tired down to my bones. Waking up in the morning was hard. Getting up and moving was hard. But once I was up and out it was easy for me to slip right back into that role that nothing was wrong. Because I think I’ve been through this before and I just automatically knew what to do: distract myself, don’t think about it because if you think about it, it’ll get worse.
So I distracted myself for a good week with going out with my friend to appointments and driving around. When I got home, my friend would be there with her son and the little ones would run around so I was still distracted. Distraction was working. For a bit.
It soon got to the point where it was all starting to grate on my nerves. I felt like exploding. Like everything was too much. Even being alone was too much. I caught myself near hyperventilation twice while just sitting in my room. Light headedness is now my friend. I keep thinking it’s just because I’m not eating enough but it still happens even after I eat and drink water.
What sucks even more is that when I have voiced my concerns about it, it has been brushed off. And I think it’s because everybody else doesn’t want there to be something wrong with me just as I don’t want there to be something wrong with me.
But I was exhausted. I didn’t want to deal with anything anymore. And that’s not what I want to feel. So yesterday, I tried something.
I just constantly said no. To doing anything that I didn’t have to do. I let my laundry sit for the day. My friend wanted to come over and I said no. She wanted me to come over and I said no. I didn’t sleep despite wanting to because my husband came home early and fell asleep before I could and one of us has to watch the little one.
But I made dinner (which felt like a long process in itself). My husband did the dishes for me without me really saying anything more than the fact that I have to do it after I was done with dinner. I poured myself some wine. Put the little one to bed. Took a shower. And then went to bed.
I slept in today. I don’t have to wake up early in the first place but I do it because I feel like I get more done. But today, I stayed in bed for an hour past my usual time.
And cats (that’s you guys), I feel better. I’m not a 100% because I still feel the tiredness behind my eyes and my lightheadedness has hit me while writing this but the edge has been taken off. I’ve only had to use my mommy voice three times on my little one in this past hour (she’s in full on toddler mode, which is a post for another time) and I’m about to get ready to go to the store without feeling like I’m chained to a heavy ball.
Self care, as I had already known but didn’t really KNOW, is more than just wine and face masks. Or Burger King on a cheat day. It’s taking literal time to just be alone. Be by yourself. Not do a damn thing beyond what you have to. Friends who are truly friends will be there the next day. Family who don’t get butt hurt easily, will still talk to you when you’re done healing yourself.
I know that last part sounds hippie but it is legit true. And the fact that I am a hippie at heart has nothing to do with it.
I am not sure how often I am going to feel like this or if the method that I did yesterday will work all the time but I’m just gonna have to try right?
Thanks for reading! Peace!
AND I would really like to know what ways you take time for yourself or things you find healing so that I can try new things out for myself beyond googling it! If you follow my blog, you already know how much I don’t like googling stuff, which is also another post for another time.