Learning To Take A Break, and Take Care.

Learning to Take a Break, and Take Care

We are a people on the go – all. the.time. We live in a fast-paced world where everything moves 100 mph.

BUT, that doesn’t mean we don’t all need a break every now and then. Even you! Even me.

This weekend I was afraid I overdid it. I came home from a day of high school graduation parties, running around in 90 degree heat, and was afraid the cramping I was feeling in my lower back was the start of contractions. Fortunately an hour later they calmed down, and eventually went away. False alarm!

That wasn’t the first time I thought to myself that I needed to slow down, and I’m sure it won’t be my last. Sometimes I just don’t know when to take a break. But, when do I really have time for a break anyway?

I joked recently to a friend that I don’t feel like I really have “days off” anymore. I know a lot of adults feel this way! You leave work to come home and start a second job there. When you’re not working, there’s laundry to do, a yard to mow or something waiting on the sidelines that you’ve got to get done. As a parent, I feel especially spread thin. The weekends aren’t as relaxing as they used to be, though they are more enjoyable in other ways. My nights aren’t as restful, but every hour I’m making memories that will last a lifetime. I try to remember this on the days I think, “I just want a day off, away from it all.”

Am I the only one who feels guilty for wanting that? My husband offered to take my daughter out for a few hours so that I could have some time to myself. As appealing as that sounded, I felt guilty for wishing them both away so I declined. In hindsight I’ve realized, what’s wrong with needing a break and taking care of myself?

Am I doing my job well if I’m overexerting myself all the time? I know I’m not fully devoted to my daughter when I’m exhausted, because all I want to do is lay on the couch and let her mindlessly watch Blue’s Clues for hours. Managing stress, navigating our day, and waddling through tantrums are all much easier when we are better rested and feel taken care of. Otherwise, we feel exhausted, under appreciated, and miserable. I’m realizing it’s better to take a few hours {or however long} to ourselves in order to preserve our relationships, our sanity, and our ability to function properly.

Last night my daughter went to bed an hour early. So, I sat on the couch, ate nachos, and watched my favorite show. I didn’t clean the dishes. I didn’t fold laundry. And I tried not to feel bad about it. It’ll still be there tonight {or, if I’m lucky my husband is doing it while he’s home today}. The world hasn’t ended and nothing has gone askew. What has changed is that I feel better today knowing I took a few minutes to myself to enjoy the time I normally don’t have to relax.

Maybe you’re realizing that you need to schedule some “time off” in your future as well. Don’t feel bad; even the creator of the world rested on the seventh day. 


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