Just typing that feels a bit odd.
I know beyond a shadow of doubt that looking after myself is important, but there’s still a whiff of self-indulgence around talking about it.
Maybe it’s the hyphen. Hyphenated things can be like that.
This just gone weekend I had a lot of options for being out and about. Each opportunity was undeniably good – getting a haircut, seeing a close friend, celebrating a sweet boy’s first birthday, the chance to meet people I’ve come to value (and go from URL to IRL with bonus creativity built into the meet-up), and an invitation to attend an event about a deeply personal issue, all loomed large in my calendar.
Before I began the weekend, I had a sinking feeling that if I tried to do ALL THE THINGS I wouldn’t cope. Being newly back to work, and finding that incredibly stressful, means that my predilection for recharging downtime has become almost insatiable.
So I had some decisions to make, and it was not an easy process.
On Saturday I’d hoped for a nice sleep in before my midday haircut, which I planned to follow with a leisurely lunch with my friend Suzanne.
I was wide awake at 7am.
I got my hair cut (yay!) and then drove up into the hills to have a long lunch with my friend (quadruple yay!). It was so nice to catch up, exchange news, eat fantastic food and to order another coffee and some cake because there was so much for us to talk about. After lunch, we wandered around a sweet vintage-y shop and I stopped on the way down the hillside to snap some photos.
It was wonderful.
And tiring. I’m not sure if I’m alone in this, but when I got home, I do what I normally do after a day of gallivanting – I tallied up the hours I’d been on the go. It was about six hours.
I set my alarm, but when Sunday morning rolled around I decided not to go to the meet-up. I had been particularly looking forward to meeting the people I knew were going, but I had to balance that against the fact that I’d had a full-on week, I’d been out on Saturday, and my downtime tank was running mighty close to empty.
I found myself feeling a bit on edge, more than a bit, and so I ended up staying on the couch in my pjs until very late in the day. I needed to be at home, by myself. Even though that meant missing fun stuff, the meet-up, and then my gorgeous and courageous friends’ son’s birthday party.
Could I have pushed myself and at least gone to the birthday party for an hour? Yes, I suppose I could have. But I didn’t. It doesn’t mean I don’t celebrate my friends and their beautiful children. I do, I love them.
I’m still working out how to balance things – I won’t get it right every time, and I may disappoint or hurt people in the process. The thought of that makes my stomach churn.
This may sound like a really whiney post, but something came into my mind across the weekend, and I’m trying to process it. I wondered if I have a little social anxiety. I’ve never wondered that before.
I have come to accept, and embrace, that I’m an introvert. I enjoy hanging out with people, and it is so important to maintain my friendships, but I need to pull up the drawbridge and spend large chunks of time by myself. It’s how I regroup.
I sleep in when I can, I usually watch TV, blog, or cook. I sometimes paint, or just lay on the couch looking at the ceiling or out the window. I may read a book, or spend a whole day doing “nothing”. It is these things that fill my tank and keep me from allowing the stresses of this season to overwhelm me.
There’s no need for me to justify any of these things, that’s not the purpose of this post. This is my life, and as someone without family responsibilities, my time outside of work is my own. What I guess I’ve been pondering this weekend is whether there is an element of social anxiety in the mix, or if this is simply my expression of introversion.
Right now I could be at the opening of an exhibition called Without Consent, which has come about following the national apology for forced adoption practices. I attended the apology in Canberra two years ago. It was a momentous day for me, as an adoptee.
Last night I had yucky dreams about rejection and exclusion (which happens very rarely), so I’ve decided that today is better spent at home, doing laundry, writing this post, and perhaps I’ll make a quick trip to the library later on.
What’s important is that I remember that these days dedicated to self-care are not days of self-indulgence, even if they look that way to some. If I say yes to everything, even the ace and special things with a bit of FOMO attached, I’ll effectively be saying no to my own self-care, and that’s just asking for trouble.
How do you take care of yourself?
Ever struggled with social anxiety?
I’d love to open up the comments and chat about these things.
Yours, still in my pjs,
36 thoughts on “Self Care Sunday, & Monday”
Not whiny at all. As an extrovert I too need the down time. Bravo to you for knowing you need to balance things. xxx
It’s good for us isn’t it Katie?
Glad it didn’t come across as a whinge!
Not a whinge, Annette, just recognising what is right for you! I relish down time too – without it I can start to get a hit frazzled! I find it’s a bit tricky to achieve now with only one child at school, the other having moved to the in/out schedule of university and a husband who likes to work from home at times! I’m trying to carve out little niches in the day to sit quietly and have a little read, draw, craft or scroll through social media. It’s not quite the same as having a whole uninterrupted day to myself but it sustains me.
Grab all the moments you can Carolyn – maybe you can suggest a big chunk of time as a Mother’s Day gift? Thank you for stopping in and commenting.
I totally have social anxiety at times! Usually its an indicator to me that I need to spend some time alone and regroup. Thank you for opening up about this. x
Got to be me Shaz, like that great Kylie clip where she’s all her personas – I am sometimes confident, sometimes quiet, or creative, or cranky, and introverted!! ❤️❤️ to you
I am much like you. I love seeing people and going out, but I am an introvert. I get tired. And like you, I need to practise self care. Sorry to have missed you yesterday, but I am so glad you took time for you x
Thanks Carly, it was a shame to miss it, but the older I get, the more easily I listen to the signals.
Self care for me usually involves having a bath and popping into bed a bit earlier with a book or an episode of a tv show. It feels really empowering I think to recognize your own needs and put them first. I love getting home after work and getting into my pjs knowing I don’t have to go out again or my most stretchy comfy only wear at home clothes . Such a relief! Glad you took time for yourself Annette and I’m looking forward to meeting you some other time soon x
I’m all about pjs as soon as I get home too Emily! I love that signal that I’m done with public life for the day. It’s a wonderful part of not being in your 20s to just put yourself to bed early or say no to things isn’t it?
I love that you signed this off “still in my pjs” and I completely understand the concept of a drawbridge. It’s important to know our boundaries and when we have had enough – as much as I love our friends and family, me time is ok too. I used to get sent to my bedroom on my own birthday because sometimes it just all got too much. At that age I didn’t know how to draw up my own drawbridge, so mum did it for me 🙂
That’s cool that your mum was your drawbridge operator. I’m such a fan of knowing myself well enough to miss the fun. It will make my whole week better, so it is worth it.
Another awesome post Annette 🙂 So many of your fabulous posts resonate with me but this one in particular. I have only recently embraced the fact that I am an introvert and relish being on my own. I have also recently turned down a number of social invitations (or cut them short) in order to be kind to myself and the more I do it the better I get at it and the less guilty I feel. The best bit is that I am starting to feel like I don’t need to justify my decision. ‘Me’ time is definitely my time to recharge and I can’t do that if I say yes to everything. I know it is such a cliche but when I take care of me I am a better mum, wife, friend etc.
I have been diagnosed with social anxiety in the past but I am starting to wonder whether it was in fact not social anxiety but simply me needing time on my own for self-care and recharging and learning to love my introverted self. Or possibly it is social anxiety but I have just become really good at managing it? I’m not sure whether it is or not but I am sure that recharging my batteries by spending time at home on my own is my ‘crack’ as BabyMac would say!
Hey Rachel, my fellow crack addict, how are you? Hope work has been good to and for you this term.
Isn’t it amazing how much easier life becomes when we take time to understand ourselves? I do think there are too many labels around stuff like this, but some of them can be helpful if we use them sparingly.
Let’s have another coffee date when we’re not both in hidey-hole introvert mode!
You read my mind Annette! A coffee date sounds perfect 🙂
I have the opposite problem – I am an extrovert and I say yes to ALL the things – so much so that I end up rushing from one thing to the next without savouring it. Good on you for understanding what your soul needs and nurturing it. Sometimes I write TOO much and I end up all in my head – which isn’t good for me – I need to be around people for positive energy. Figuring out what works is the hard part – particularly when it means giving things up we might enjoy.
That’s the thing I have found the most freeing – setting those boundaries for myself. Even extroverts only have 24 hours in a day. Running yourself ragged, even if it generally fuels you to be around people, can’t be a long term plan. Pick the ones that really fill you up, that you have great rapport with, and prioritise hanging with them!
Love this post, Annette – I have a post on self-care in the works myself as it’s something I’ve been thinking about lately too.
I tend to be more on the introverted side of things as well and find social interactions can be REALLY draining – especially when I’m meeting new people. I had a wonderful time at the meetup on Sunday but was absolutely buggered when I got home and even felt the effects of it on Monday too! I’m definitely one who needs some time out to be by myself every now and then. Reading is another great escape for me. And napping. Because napping is awesome.
Hope you’re feeling well-rested, Annette! x
It definitely means I have the energy to work more hours than expected this week, so it was good to say no, even to good things.
a good honest post Annette! … ans love those dying flowers! paint them quickly!
I’m an introvert and I hear you!
it’s important to listen to your inner truth and nurture yourself when it’s needed!
also you have started a new job and that is always a time of stress and turmoil!
especially after being your own boss at home whilst in between jobs!
enjoy your spaces! love m:)X
It’s really good to be at the stage where my needs mean more to me than any worry about missing out.
Oh Annette, I totally get the “alone” time. I think the lack of alone time was the biggest thing I had to get used to being a mum. Even in the bloody toilet I can’t get peace.
I’m glad you listened to yourself and put yourself first. So glad that my post seemed timely for you.
I am sending a big hug. I only just took my pj’s off, lil dude is still wearing his and Imogen is on about her fourth change of clothes. xx
That was a good hug!!
Hi Annette, I am an introvert at heart too, but I tend to commit to things and have a lot of energy one day and then the next day lay low to re-energise. Take care of yourself x
If I pace myself, it’s fine. Introverts rock!
Great post, Annette. I’m feeling the full effects of lack of self-care over here. I finally made it to the half-way point in my study semester, and to six lovely days off work, only to come down with a revolting cold. So I’ve been thinking a lot about all of this and how I have to change things up a bit and take more time out. Keep taking care of yo’ self :).
So, so important for us to look after ourselves Laura – it can be a difficult habit to form, BUT it’s absolutely necessary. Start small, make a date with yourself, stay in bed a bit longer on Saturdays, go for a walk on a Sunday afternoon, think about what recharges you. Let me know what works for you! Oh, and get some hot water with lemon into you and go back to bed!
I loved this post, it was so honest and comforting to know I’m not alone in my need to well be alone a fair bit of the time. After a day’s work especially, all I usually want to do is go home and recharge my batteries. Sometimes I feel like I need to justify this to myself and wonder if I’m missing out on something but more and more I’m accepting rest is good, needed and entirely worthwhile in the long run. I reckon being comfortable with some solitude is important, to let thoughts and feelings settle.
Hi Naomi, I couldn’t agree more – I really think we need the ability to enjoy solitude and just “be” for a bit. I’m straight into my pjs after work most days. It tells me that I’m done for the day. Aaahhh!!
What I love about you Annette is that you know how to take care of yourself. I think very few people actually have that skill. I have felt like your Sunday morning since mid-January and still haven’t had a day of doing nothing. My last one was maybe Boxing Day. This is exceptionally unhealthy but it is hard to break habits.
I’m not sure you have social anxiety as such. I’m sure there is more to your thoughts about that than what you have shared here. It does just sound like fairly normal introvert behaviour, the recovery time and such. If you do, at least you don’t let it get in the way of having some fun.
Hey Nicole, brace yourself – you simply MUST prioritise looking after yourself. You must!
If a full day seems too out of reach, block out a morning to sleep in and do nothing but laze in bed with a book or go for a walk or drink coffee in a sunny spot. Or an afternoon/evening at home with the drawbridge UP and the phone off.
Busy-bee habits are hard to break but they’re not impossible. The cost of NOT doing the things you need to look after yourself – far too high.
I look forward to hearing about your half day recharge soon.
I know, I know. I think I have a spare afternoon in June 😉
Annette what an important post! Last week I spent the entire time doing things to revive my health and well being. It seemed incredibly self indulgent when I came up with the idea but in the end I realized my family would be the benefactors if I were recharged.
It’s so hard thinking you’ll miss out on something or hurt someone but at times saying no is the best way we can take care of ourselves- I can remember being stretched so thin that I dreaded events I would normally enjoy because I was burnt out.
You have to take care of number one, otherwise you’re no good to anyone.
[…] and just all-round lovely person, Annette, wrote a post about the very important topic of self-care over at I Give You The Verbs. Check it out! I’ve got a post about this topic in the works […]
[…] P.S. A lovely fellow blogger by the name of Annette wrote a great post about the process of taking some time out for yourself at I Give You The Verbs. Check it out here. […]