I spent the last few weeks trying to heal my body by trying to avoid stress. Which is actually super stressful, as it turns out. Because I can actually feel the stress seeping into my bones when someone tells me to avoid stress and work a little thing called self care into my already hectic routine.
It’s important to take time for me apparently.
“Go out to dinner with friends!” they say.
“Get a massage, you’ll feel great!” they tell me.
“You know what you need? Meditation. Meditation is the answer,” say the people who somehow have this all figured out.
But darn it if I’m not just too tired to even hear what they are saying.
Instead what they say sounds suspiciously like, “Find a babysitter and plan and make a meal that you won’t eat so that you can leave the house and stick your exhausted husband with all the work. Then cry when he asks to take a night off for himself.”
Or “Spend money you don’t have to have a stranger touch your touched-out body when you should be using your precious time for doing laundry because there is zero clean underwear in the house.” (Which calls into question the underwear you will be exposing people to during the massage, clearly).
Or “Sit in the quiet and then feel like a failure because mediation translates into a mind racing to a million issues followed by a nap when you try and do it, so you’ve missed mediation to worry and then drool on a pillow.”.
Plus all this self care takes time, energy and money and those things are in really short supply around this house these days.
Right now, my reality is this…
At the end of the day I am so tired that I cannot even work the remote. For real. I wait on the couch and stare at a blank screen until my husband turns up to put a show on for me.
My current self care routine is sitting.
That’s it. It’s all I can handle my friends.
I sit and let my husband put something on Netflix that will not give me nightmares (I’m looking at you, The Walking Dead) and then I gently fall asleep with my mouth hanging open so my sweet husband can change the channel from the This is Us I’ve tried to watch three times, back to The Walking Dead.
It’s a whole thing.
There may be seasons of life when self care can be more than this, and then there is the one I am living, where the sitting and the Netflix will just have to do.
Because worrying about self care right now is simply one more thing I have to do that stresses me out.
And because I am a grown up and can do my own thing, it’s OK to admit this. I claim it and am just fine living in this season, knowing it will pass. Right now self care just looks different for me and I know not everyone understands this. My massage loving, eating-dinner-out friends have got their jam down and I’m happy for them. But that doesn’t mean it’s what is right for me.
I have to remind myself, I am not failing by skipping out on dinners and meditation and shopping trips and getting a pedicure and whatever else I am “supposed to” be doing to take care of me.
Because sometimes the “supposed to” is the thing that stresses us out the most.
And taking care of myself right now also means I have to cross off the supposed to’s…even if they sound fun to the rest of the world.
I’m in the season of sitting and Netflix, my friends. And when I look around at my people: my exhausting, high-maintenance, crazy, time consuming, expensive, glorious, beautiful, blessing-filled people, I wouldn’t change a single thing about this season.
Not one thing.
(Except for maybe my husband’s need to watch The Walking Dead. Seriously, zombies are so scary.)
This post originally appeared on Perfection Pending
Oh I just feel this in my soul.
That’s exactly how I feel, like self care is just one more thing I need to add to my list to stress me out. Thank you for writing this post. It’s nice to know I’m not the only one.