Do you ever see those posts about how you should listen to your body? Me too.
They’re right, you should. I should, too. But I think people forget how hard that can be. I try to listen to my body and take breaks and rest, but I seem endlessly worn down. My body may be resting on the couch, but my brain is constantly telling me all the things I should be doing. Ultimately, I end up feeling drained regardless of how much I rest my body because my mind refuses to rest. But if I don’t rest my body I wear myself down physically, and that’s when I get sick.
We should not be pushing ourselves to the point where the only time we rest is when we get sick. That’s not what your life or my life should be. We have to try to live in THIS moment. We have to take control of our lives. I love the way that sounds, but I don’t know what that means or how to do that.
I have been trying really hard to be okay with resting since I tested positive for Covid. I’ve been so fatigued since being exposed and in quarantine. My boyfriend has no problem relaxing, and he deserves it. He is one of the hardest workers I know. He had no symptoms until Thanksgiving day and since then he hasn’t been feeling the greatest, but definitely not the worst. My symptoms started off iffy and got better. Now I’m just tired and I don’t even know if it’s from having Covid or because I’m just mentally exhausted. I try to nap if I’m tired, I don’t sleep through the night and haven’t in months. I try not to obsess over cleaning or being perfect, but it’s not a quick fix. I’m going to therapy, recovering from trauma, trying to work as much as I can so I can feel like I’m worth what I get paid (working from home is a different challenge in itself.) I try to be a great pet parent, workout, eat healthy, meditate, journal, and get up early enough to do ALL of that. I usually don’t do all of those in a day or in a week and I’m starting to realize I’m constantly tearing myself down even when I don’t notice. It’s a constant voice in my head saying “you should be doing (insert task)” or “do more, do more.” Those are the nicer things I say to myself. Now that I’m trying to rest more I realize I don’t even feel more rested. I know I’m not alone. I’m sure you can relate to at least one thing in this paragraph if not all of them. I hope you don’t relate to all of them, but you’re human and we all have things to work through.
I don’t feel rested because mentally I am NEVER resting. I literally can’t even watch a movie without thinking of everything else I “should” be doing. I’m working on it, I really am. I’m working on being nicer to myself and I hope you are, too. You deserve to rest, you really do. You deserve a break, regardless of what your brain or anyone else is telling you. You do not have to explain yourself. I do happen to have some tips to help that I’m trying to utilize myself.
- First, I know I have mentioned the program I use for working out, and no, I most definitely don’t get sponsored by them. I just genuinely enjoy the program and the people behind it. The lady behind the program, Katrina (@collegecleaneating on Instagram), released a mental health program, The Self Care Space (In the app store). I mention this because it’s actually pretty cheap, compared to other programs. It offers a lot like meditation, journaling, people in your area, daily topics, people asking for advice, and it follows the therapy program she used to help heal some trauma and stop bad habits ALSO her therapist is a partner, so it’s pretty legit. You can try a free one week trial. The reason I mention this is because the first month is all about self talk. I tried it and I honestly just beat myself up for not using it. I am already trying so many things like therapy, mediation with Shine, journaling with Shine, and I didn’t need to add another thing to my list. I did try to follow the program, but it was too many things adding up for me to do with all of the apps. I would still recommend it if you are it aren’t getting help already and even if you are. You can go at your own pace so if you’re a socially anxious person it might be a good start for you! I just wanted to recommend it because it starts with self-talk which is what my topic for this blog is. I also recommend it because I really did like it, I just had other apps I was already paying for and I just couldn’t keep adding to my lists of apps to use for my mental health.
- My second tip is to talk to yourself like you’re your own older sibling or your friend. How would you talk to your friend if they were going through what you are right now? You’d probably be more gentle with them than you are to yourself, so talk to yourself with that same kindness and understanding.
- My therapist gave me a journal prompt for when I get overwhelmed and I want to share it with you! It goes like this:
Today’s date ______ Start time _______ Three words describing how I feel right now: ____________, ______________, _____________.
I want to explore…..(one of the words)
The first thing that comes to mind…..
Beneath the surface I find……..
I feel anxious (scared, resentful, mad, bad) about…..
I feel hopeful (good, okay, at peace) about…..
I would benefit from…..
My next step is….
Three feeling words: __________, ___________, ____________. End time ________
It looks like she got it from Kathleen Adams, Center for Journal Therapy, Inc.
- Another tip is to reground yourself. Something that might help you do this is to check your senses. What do you smell? Hear? See? Feel? Taste? What are you currently doing?
- My last tip, and sometimes it helps bring me back to reality, but it doesn’t always help, is to think what is actually the worst thing that will happen if you rest? My house will be FINE, my dogs are gonna be happy to snuggle, etc. But like I said, that doesn’t always help.
Bad self-talk is a really hard habit to break but you can do it and I can do it. One day we will say more nice things to ourselves than negative things. We deserve to be talked to nicely. So stop being mean to yourself! I don’t want to spend my life hating myself, I want to spend it enjoying the person I am and the body I am in because there is only one of me and there is only one of you.
You deserve happiness.
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