Another personal post, coming at you live from someone who is very susceptible to what is happening in the world around her and also suffers from depression.
So, yesterday was a really rough day. I had a slow day at work and I was really excited about that, as it would give me time to work on a project that I really wanted to get ahead on before work becomes absolutely bananas in terms of my workload. And I started working on it, but throughout the day, I experienced distractions in the form of news and updates. Like:
- Coronavirus and the racism spreading from it
- The erasure of Elizabeth Warren and the misogynistic bullshit that is
- Climate change still not being believed and actively fought against
- Personal body positive struggles and issues with being fat
- Medical bills coming in that were a ridiculous amount more than expected
- The broken American healthcare system
I’m not going to expand on exactly why all of those things were so overwhelming to me yesterday, because I don’t want to spiral again. Needless to say, the entire afternoon, I dragged, I felt guilty for feeling so unmotivated to use the time I really should have been utilizing and I became more and more depressed–feeling more hopeless than I had in a long time. I knew I was going to skip the gym session I had planned that night and began to feel even more wretched about my body, fearful for my future and hopeless about the state of the world. And on top of skipping the gym, I also wanted to skip reading for SPFBO (even though I’m a little bit behind and really need to stay on top of that) and skip writing and reading and everything else I had planned.
Guilt-ridden and depressed, I texted my boyfriend to warn him of my mood, because I haven’t felt that down in a long time. I went home and we talked. I cried. We then took my dog for a walk in the gorgeous weather, came home and made some delicious pasta, before splurging for ice cream blasts at Sonic (and got Dovah a pup cup, of course!). We spent the rest of the night watching two of Iliza Shlesinger’s comedy specials on Netflix. We cuddles and laughed and then went to bed. I slept in this morning before work, instead of getting up early to write, like I promised I would all week.
And instead of letting myself feel guilt for any of it, I gave myself a break.
I told myself it was what I needed, after a day where the world was just too draining to deal with, and depression and despair were easier to give into than hope.
It was the right move.
Today, I had six appointments at work (which is the most I’ve ever done in one day) and I crushed them. I got lunch with a friend and had a good time. I got home and took my dog for a walk, enjoyed the weather, made dinner with my man, took a nice long shower and then worked on SPFBO, blogging and wedding planning for my sister, before playing some video games to relax. I double checked that I was registered to vote, logged off Twitter when it was already too depressing to read at 8:00am in the morning, told myself I am beautiful in the mirror as I stared at my rolls and later ate chocolate without guilt.
Despite having a shitty day yesterday.
Despite the world being on fire.
And despite breaking from the new routine I’m attempting this week, even though it was only day two of attempting it.
I think that was an important reminder, right there. I know I’d had a rough day mentally and I needed to check out from responsibilities and plans and the world and check in on myself, before it got worse. I needed to take care of myself and yesterday, that looked like good food, spending time with my boyfriend and my doggo, and watching comedy specials on Netflix. A different day–a usual day–self care is being productive and checking items off my To-Do list. It’s reading and writing and balancing commitments, because I love completing the things I set out to do and chasing my dreams.
But recognizing when you need a break? And listening to your emotions and following through and not allowing yourself to feel guilt when you do just that? I 100% believe that’s what enabled me to get back on track so quickly today, to allow myself to feel more myself and have a good day, in a good mood, even despite *gestures wildly at all the dumpster fires still lit around the world*
It’s a new feeling for me. I usually don’t allow that break. I’m usually too overridden with guilt to listen. Is this growth? Is this realizing that is something I can’t do anymore? It just might be. So, here as remember to you, too: if you feel like the world is too much. If you feel like life is overwhelming, the patriarchy is horrible and oppressive (which it is), that everything is impossible and you’re breaking?
Let yourself break.
Just a little. Just enough to allow yourself the strength to put yourself back together again, when you’re ready.
Cry. Nap. Shut off your social media, ignore what you can and block what you need to. Go outside. Huddle inside a blanket fort. Binge TV. Play a video game. Read a comfort read. Talk to a friend, confide in a partner, connect with a family member. Take a hot shower or soak in a warm bath. Hug your pets. Eat good food and splurge on dessert. Paint your nails or buy something that will excite you when it arrives in the mail in a few weeks. Stay inside alone for a while and just let yourself be. Light candles. Open your windows. Shut your blinds. Breathe.
Self-care is different for all of us. Only you can know exactly what you need and how you need it. But please, give yourself permission to do what you need to and take care of yourself, even if it’s hard. Even if, at first, it makes you feel like a failure, because you’re not “doing enough.”
You are doing just fine, because that fact alone, the fact you decided to show up and stay here at all?
That’s worth everything.
And so are you.