I was talking with my roommate this evening and she was expressing how burnt out she is. As she was explaining I kept thinking where is your self-care? She has a job, an internship, and classes but she has no “me time”.
Now some might say (and they could be right) that I have too much “Tammy time”. But I need all the “Tammy time” I can get. I am an introvert at heart. I like being around people but I love to refuel by being by myself. So at least 1 hour a day I try to do something for me. Now I am poor so that doesn’t mean spending money on myself. Rather it means spending 1 hour reading a fiction novel “for fun”, or spending 1 hour coloring in a coloring book, or spending 1 hour watching my favorite tv show, or spending 1 hour knitting or spending 1 hour taking a nap. Now some days I am lucky and my “Tammy time” is longer than 1 hour and I can allow myself to relax a little bit longer but some days it is just 1 hour and I find that even that 1 hour is enough to refuel me to carry on to the next day. Some of my “Tammy time” is about reminding myself that even in this crazy world and crazy time in my life I am a capable person.
I could see on my roommate’s face that she had trouble allowing herself some “me time.” When I see that look on my friends’ faces I want to say, “You can either take your “me time” each day or one day a week or you can choose not to do self-care and burn out by the time you are 40.” For me the price of spending time on me is less than the cost it would be to have a mental breakdown because of the enormous amount of pressure I feel I am under. I decide to take “Tammy time” because 1 hour a day and possibly 1 day a week taking care of myself is worth it.
Today was a really difficult day for me. Mainly because a really close friend of mine is having surgery tomorrow and I am really worried about her. I went to see her tonight and looking at her lying in that hospital bed reminded me of what happens to my body when I ignore it (not that that is her problem but it reminded me of what could happen to me). If I don’t pay attention to my body when it tells me I am exhausted then there is a good possibility that I could get sick. So 7 hours a week and 1 day a week I spend time on me because the consequences of not doing so are too severe.
My advice to you is to do the same. To take 1 hour a day to do something fun just for you. Now your list might include playing a video game or playing board games or hanging out with the person that you love. But whatever it is I encourage you to take that time. To make time for yourself and let it be just that: for yourself. Don’t feel guilty that you are neglecting your responsibilities because you are not. Taking care of yourself no matter what field you are in should be your first priority because who are you going to be able to help when you have a breakdown or get sick. Take care of yourself so that you can better take care of others!!!! 🙂