My Sunday did not go as planned.
I had plans to meet a friend at church, grocery shop, attend a workout class with another friend. I then had hoped to edit photos, write and plan for the week ahead. However, my body had other plans for me.
I woke up in the middle of the night with a headache and didn’t sleep after 3:00am. I kept thinking the headache would go away and that we would make it to the church service. I even got up, showered and polished my nails (one can do a lot early in the morning).
It is not unusual for me to push myself. I also know there are many others who do the same thing. It is easy to say “It’s just a headache.” and “It doesn’t hurt that bad.” For a majority of my life that is how I functioned. I’ve worked through severe ear infections, returned to work too early from sick leave. Never shared with anyone how badly I felt. Looking back, I know that I did it for a variety of reasons. I never wanted to appear weak. I didn’t want coworkers, employers or others to feel I was letting them down.
Taking care of myself used to be a struggle. Yet, I have always been the first to encourage a coworker, client or friend to take care of themselves.
While holding my warm coffee to my face, I acknowledged I simply didn’t feel good. I didn’t want to put forth the energy of getting dressed and making it to the 9:00 am services. I climbed back into bed and sent a text to my friend about being sick. In all honestly, I thought I would be able to make it to the gym but a few hours later I sent a text to the other friend.
I listened to my body that was needing a day on my couch, watching tv shows I never make the time to watch. I allowed my husband to make me breakfast, lunch and dinner.
Compassion is easy to give to others. Years of negative self talk and criticism make it difficult to provide the same compassion to ourselves.
If you struggle with this concept, try treating yourself like a toddler. After all, if I had a toddler around the house who had not slept and was not feeling well, I would not have hesitated in cancelling my plans.
Wishing you a week full of listening to and respecting your own needs.