What happens when our self-care days turn into anti-social anxiety-inducing days?
You know, that day you’ve been looking forward to all week where you’re going to do exactly what you want to do and nobody can stop you. You’re going to binge that new TV show! Sleep in! Not answer your phone! Wear the same outfit all day!
Self-care or “me time” is really popular right now. NPR recently did a segment about how millennials are obsessed with self-care routines concluding that their priorities to take time for themselves could mean that their emotional intelligence is greater than the generations that came before.
Now, I’m all for this whole “increased emotional intelligence” thing, since I think millennials get a bad rep. After all, I am a millennial and I eat avocado toast, but I also practice self-care! I’m proud of this. Well, until it goes wrong.
My self-care day (or days) sometimes turn into a dark, sleepy and depressing day where I do not leave my apartment, stew in my anxieties about student loans, life and my career while cleaning aggressively and staring at my phone, computer and TV screen for much too long. But I do yoga, cook myself nourishing meals, journal and take a hot bath so that means I’m taking care of myself right?
Does anyone else experience this? Am I alone in struggling to find a healthy balance between being a hermit who takes care of themselves versus a well-adjusted and confident woman taking care of herself?
Sometimes I really feel like I need the day to do nothing. To zone out. To just be with myself because living in New York, working a service job and trying to start a Health Coaching practice is a lot and I want to escape from it all. It’s important that I recognize that I need that and I provide myself with the space to rejuvenate.
But how much time is too much time? Self-care days should be purposeful. Active, not passive. You should be driven to take care of yourself, it should be fun! You should not feel ambivalent about such an awesome thing. It’s about prioritizing time to nourish your mind, body and soul.
Nobody said it was easy!
There is a line that is easy to cross regarding active and inactive self-care days and the later is something I suggest trying to stay away from because, in my experience, that’s a formula for a self-care day gone wrong. Taking care of yourself is not easy and it takes a lot of thought and effort. But it’s worth it.
You won’t know exactly what to do for yourself to help yourself when you first start practicing self-care but I promise that you’ll figure it out. We’re always going to be figuring it out because we are always changing. You’re not always going to need the mani/pedi as part of your routine, maybe you’ll need to start seeing a therapist as a new form of self-care, and so on and so forth…
If it’s hard, don’t give up. You’re not worthless and you deserve to be taken care of by someone who knows best and, believe it or not, that is YOU.
I hope that my honesty and transparency with my own struggles help a little bit. Because it IS possible to feel great, to take charge of your life, to get out of that toxic relationship, or whatever you’re going through. I’m not here to change lives, I’m here to provide honest perspective that I hope will help you. After all, we’re all human and what we can relate to in others often helps open the door to better relations within ourselves.
Try not to focus on changing yourself, instead explore what’s already within you… you’ll be surprised at what you find.
Happy exploring and be well!