Self-care. If you do a little research on the subject, there seems to be endless tips for how to practice it: meditate, have a girls' night out, go a mini solo holiday, get a massage, the list goes on. While it's important for everyone to put themselves first sometimes, for parents — since kids tend to drain every ounce of energy out of us — it's vital. But while self-care seems to have become almost a trendy thing to do to get more Instagram likes, I prefer to do the one thing that many people feel guilty about doing: nothing.
Self-care looks different for everyone, but I'm so sick of feeling guilty every time I choose to do absolutely nothing to recharge.
Our culture has such a "be on 24/7" mentality that so many of us have forgotten about the long lost art of what I like to call "sitting on your ass." We hear words like "hustle" and "grind" on a regular basis, fearing that if we don't work our assess off all the time in every aspect of our lives, we'll fall behind the rest of the pack. This "get ahead" mentality has been ironed on our brains — chase the big job, have the perfect home, take amazing vacations, get to work early and stay late. While there's nothing wrong with that, there is something wrong about the fact that most of us have forgotten how to chill the f*ck out.
Self-care looks different for everyone, but I'm so sick of feeling guilty every time I choose to do absolutely nothing to recharge. I don't take a picture-perfect getaway, I don't snap a photo from my rose petal-infused bath, and I don't brag to my friends about the beautiful, Wild-inspired hike I went on to clear my head. No. Me? I've always been a great ass-sitter. Really. Since I was a little kid, I've been able to just sit down and read, watch TV, or simply have a conversation with someone. But other people — including many of my friends and family — find it difficult. Their "day off" includes running all over the room picking up their kids' toys, doing the dishes, or getting ahead in their work. They act like they don't deserve to sit down. But they do. YOU do. Don't ever feel guilty for not doing a damn thing.
Of course, self-care isn't limited to just one thing. Pursuing your hobbies, whatever they may be, is so important to feel strong, fulfiled, and happy, but so is doing nothing. My favourite time that I spend with my family is on Saturday mornings. We're slow to rise and spend the morning together doing nothing in particular. The fact that we have nothing to do and nowhere to go is what my family needs most sometimes. All of the activities start much younger compared to when I was a kid. Sports, piano lessons, gymnastics — my young kids have been in that grind for years already. It's always "go, go, go," but I try to teach them that it shouldn't always be like that. Not only do I teach and show them how to relax, but I also let them know that they deserve to relax.
Yes, I hustle and work my ass off at so many things, parenting included, but I also don't feel guilty when I shun every responsibility I have to just . . . be. If my kids see me always burnt out, they'll think that's normal, and I refuse to let that happen. They should go after what they want, but also take joy in sitting on their asses. I know I do.
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