Sometimes when we need extra self-care because we’re absolutely exhausted or struggling with something difficult, we get down on ourselves. We think about all the things we “should” be. We should be more productive. We should be less “dramatic,” less sensitive to everything. We should need less tending. We should be stronger.
We start making a mental list of everyone else who does so much more than us; everyone else who does what we’re too tired to do. Several times a day. They work harder. They work out harder. They don’t need so much time to heal or recover.
Recently, I wrote an article about the importance of accepting reality — instead of fighting it. There’s so much liberation in accepting what is. So I’m working on accepting the reality that sometimes I get tired and need more rest. Sometimes, writing takes a lot out of me, and so do the worries that regularly visit. Sometimes, life and to-dos feel really overwhelming, and I can only accomplish a few tasks.
This isn’t something to freak out about or bash myself for, but something to get curious about. It’s something to inform my future decisions and how I structure my days.
I’m also playing with different statements, with having a different dialogue with myself. Instead of being a tyrant, or punishing myself for my lack of productivity, I’m reminding myself of this:
- I am not a robot. It’s natural and understandable that on some days, I’ll be exhausted. On some days I’ll require more rest, more time outside, more time to write an article, more time to wash the dishes, more time to do absolutely nothing.
- My worth isn’t shaped by my ability to write X number of articles or to clean X number of rooms or to decorate our home like an Instagram feed.
- I can’t be like this person or that one. We’re all capable of different things on different days. I cannot measure my self-worth based on anyone else’s abilities, talents, skills and habits. I’m not less than because someone else runs faster, lifts heavier weights, has a cleaner house or checks off their entire to-do list. There is no race.
- I need frequent breaks. This is OK. Again, not a robot.
- Watching TV is OK. Sometimes, you just need to veg out in the evenings, laughing at and trying to solve the case in your favorite shows.
- Some days, my energy is bursting. I want to tackle lots of tasks, and I do. Other days, it’s like I’m walking through mud. Up to my neck. I’m still good and OK on both these kinds of days.
What can you say to yourself on the rough days? What can you accept that may have a big impact on how you take care of yourself or structure your days?