Yes, I said it. It’s OK- I’ll tell you why.
I’m one of those people who struggle to realise that taking time for yourself is OK- that having a quiet day in or skipping an event because you’re feeling off is acceptable and I know a lot of others feel this way too.
I have never considered myself a guru, or offered my advice online- I guess it could have been a confidence thing but I think enough people may feel the same way as me so I can get away with it or somehow my blog can finally find room and grow with me, evolving and accepting my experiences and not-so-wise words.
I hardly ever have days where I will sit at home and just chill. I always have an agenda, something to do, something to post or someone to see. Only recently I remembered that it’s ok to just do “nothing” (I quote this as I never do nothing nothing, “nothing” for me is just a connotation for not having have a set schedule or something on a list to do.) I realised that you’re free to wonder through twenty minutes, an hour or a day, pottering or to put it loosely, just breathing.
I had a day off a little while ago, obviously- I’m lucky enough to have a job that gives me Sunday and Mondays off- so Monday is my “alone time” day, sometimes. I had done the chores and had already seen who I needed to see by Sunday that week, I had even stayed up late to finish a few things off Sunday night. Still, I was out of bed by 8am and had had my morning coffee. I was joining a couple twitter chats like I usually do on Monday’s- I reserve most of Mondays for blogging and chores. I read and commented on posts, replied to emails and planned- just like I usually do, but that was the only thing I had on my list- the only thing I needed to do this Monday- not because I had to but because I wanted to. Yet I still looked at my watch every half hour, glanced at the clock- I still checked my to-do notepad, I got fidgety as if I had somewhere to be and worst of all I started to feel guilty.
It seems that it is ingrained in me to constantly think this way- what did I need to do next, what did I have to get finished, what did I have to start. Maybe it is my career in banking that makes me to this, or maybe it is just a part of who I am- but I realised suddenly that I shouldn’t be guilting myself for having nothing planned or to do- I should be enjoying the small window of solitude.
I became conscious of the fact that I don’t sit down to read anymore, because “I don’t have a moment”, my mind is to busy to focus- I don’t sketch, or paint or anything like I used to- and that thought made me a bit regretful. When did I stop making time for myself?
When did I start worrying about what I had to do for others even before I had fed myself, dressed or slept?
I understand that this is all part of adulthood, it is part of being a family and a responsible human but adults, families and responsible humans should be taking a small window of time for themselves also. Twenty minutes, an hour- a day, whatever you can manage- you shouldn’t beat yourself up for taking time out. Go for a walk by yourself or read a book on your lunch break, take twenty minutes after washing up to take a bath, just sit with the sunset or the scenery- just breathe- who cares? When did we stop making times to enjoy our lives and get away from the constant rush?
I think most of us need to realise that it’s OK to take time for yourself.