Self-Care Versus the Dreaded Shoulds

My name is Tami and I’m a Should-A-Holic.

This weekend I had some tough choices to make.

Do I spend my limited time away from work doing more work?

-I really should figure out my timed math ‘system’

-I really should spend more time with the math curriculum

-I really should fill-in-the-blank unfinished teacher work

Or do I invest some time in self-care?

Sunday afternoon I found myself having a serious case of the I-don’t-wanna-goes/why-can’t-weekends-be-longers which is what happens when I don’t work on Saturdays.

If I don’t work on Saturdays, I feel compelled to work on Sundays.

Never mind that I worked Monday-Friday.

At my two jobs.

So I consulted the Book of Me.

This weekend I remembered why I wrote the Book of Me in the first place.

It’s so I don’t lose my shit when I go back to work.

See, self-care is much easier when I have less demands on my time.

Of course, I’m going to spend time with friends.

Of course, I’m going to eat healthy food.

Of course, I’m going to go to bed early and get enough rest.

When I’m on break it’s much easier to take good care of myself. It’s when suddenly there are demands on my time that I have to remind myself that even though I am working and have responsibilities, self-care is IMPERATIVE.

My solution? 

To focus on some simple activities that make me happy.

Some things I will add to the Book of Me.

  • Mini-pedi {everything except the polish}
  • Phone date with a lifelong, now long-distance friend
  • reading a book for pleasure {Committed: A Skeptic Makes Peace with Marriage by Elizabeth Gilbert}
  • making an easy, tasty dinner

Let’s be honest, work will always be there.

Time away, truly away to recharge your batteries and enjoy the simple things, is limited.

My friend, Johanna, is taking a whole year off from teaching so she can recharge her batteries, connect with her family and find a place of self-care. She writes about it here.

{click on image for source}

Tell me, how do you take care of yourself when life gets busy?

8 thoughts on “Self-Care Versus the Dreaded Shoulds

  1. Over the past year I learned my lesson about working too much and now I’m making the effort to take the time I need for me to workout (yoga, zumba) and spend more time with my family.

    Melissa – you are right – zumba rocks and is like going to a dance party to get your exercise.

    Please write about the Elizabeth Gilbert book – I just finished Eat, Pray, Love – and was considering reading her next one, so would love to hear what you think about it.

    • @maria: working is definitely over-rated. screw work life balance – if we actually took better care of ourselves we’d be much better workers. {head shaking…}

      i promise to try zumba and i’ll report my findings.

      i am re-reading eat, pray, love {loved it the first time} and committed is BRILLIANT {wish i would have written it – i, too, was skeptical about marriage}

  2. I spend time many times a week taking workout classes regardless of my to do list. My favorite one is Zumba, a dance class – which I do almost 4 times a week. (But I also like the weight class.) The reason why I would recommend this is because 1. you sleep better. 2. you feel better about yourself. 3. the music is blaring and you can’t think of other stuff. 4. anger, exhaustion, saddness, frustration – it is all blasted away. What is more fun than dancing anyway!?

    • @melissa: i admire your dedication to fitness. i just joined a gym again and have been slowly making it a part of my life again. and i have been sleeping better, feeling better aobut myself and generally enjoying how much better life is when i commit to moving my body and few times a week.

      i may have to check out this zumba thing. i just got off crutches a couple weeks ago, so i’ll need to take it slow but it’s been highly recommended by a few readers and friends.

      thank you for reading!

  3. Love this post, love the Book of Me. So helpful to have a reference for one’s self. I would love to talk about “Committed” – I found it really refreshing.

  4. The best way for me to make sure I take care of myself is actually to schedule my time. I know it seems crazy. For example, if I decide to watch a movie because I feel stressed out, I’m not really relaxing, I’m avoiding the work that is causing me to be stressed in the first place. If I create a schedule that includes watching a movie, then I get the double benefit of getting the work done and getting to relax and watch the movie. Self care is not just something you fit into your life. You need to make time for it.

    • @katie: i love this! i’ve just started using an electronic calendar and i’ve been scheduling my workouts. so far, so good. there is something about writing it down. even better – the idea of scheduling fun in too. thanks for the tips and thanks for reading!

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