It’s Tuesday night and I’m already stressed out about all the things I have to do this weekend. My mental health has taken a hit recently, so I’ve been neglecting tasks like doing the laundry, walking the dog, and getting a haircut. It was starting to show. I felt bloated and sluggish, but I was too tired to exercise. My skin was dry – I hated how rough my legs felt as I peeled off my skinny jeans at the end of yet another day and crawled into bed at 9pm – another evening cut short as I was too exhausted to function. I hadn’t even been writing regularly, if I didn’t catch up and write some new posts soon, I was going to have nothing to post and I’d probably quit instead of persevering. I was on the verge of another breakdown, each one more destructive than the last as I kick myself for not learning from them. I needed to take better care of myself, my health comes first.
Self care isn’t something I’d heard of growing up – having your life together was just another normal, easy attainable thing and if you struggled you were just told to suck it up – because everyone else could manage. It seems, at least to me, a fairly new concept. The same way you’d treat a headache with painkillers, an anticipation of burnout is treated with self care. It’s about listening to what your body needs, slowing down, and taking care of yourself, even if that means ‘sacrificing’ a few things. Yes, you probably should have loaded the washing machine last night – but don’t kick yourself, there’s always tomorrow night. The world won’t implode if you fall a bit behind.
Everyone has something that melts their stress away: hot baths, long walks, Netflix marathons. I love getting into my pyjamas, making a hot drink, and watching hours and hours of film reviews and video essays on YouTube until I feel comfortable again. Everyone has their ‘thing’ and it’s important to find yours so you can go to it on a bad day.
The to-do list can wait for now, I need some time out for me first.