Self-Care, Mental Health, and Taking a Half-Day Off


trees by the river

As a woman who is very driven to get all of the jobs done, period, end of story, it’s been a tough challenge for me to accept that (1) I’m not getting any younger, (2) my body is reminding me of that every day in a myriad of ways, and (3) I just can’t keep up this pace forever. I tend to work until I can’t, crash for several days (or longer, sometimes), then pick myself up and wade back into the fray. Rinse and repeat.

Well, I’m tired of the “crash days” – I literally can’t get any work done those days because I’ve pushed myself too hard and too far. The answer? Not a vacation in the socially accepted view of that word. I can’t get anyone to watch the farm and the animals, and I really don’t want to go anywhere for an extended period. Maybe that means I’ve made that life that I don’t want a vacation from? Whatever the reason, more than a day away from the farm is problematic and more stress than I want to deal with (a close parallel to teaching here – it was easier to teach while sick, because getting together sub plans and dealing with the aftermath of being out of my classroom was simply awful.).

How about a day trip? Great idea in theory, until I got to thinking about it. Most of the places I would day-trip to are a good couple of hours away, effectively shooting half the day before I even get started. Plus, those places are materialistic-based, and that’s not where I am anymore. To me, spending the day shopping sounds more torturous than relaxing!

Enter my dear husband, who is effectively a mind-reader and can usually determine what it is that I truly want, even when I’m saying, “yeah, I want to go antiquing all day for a vacation.” His solution? Just take the morning off – get some breakfast, a fancy coffee, hit the used bookstore, check out the downtown stores, and come home when you’re ready.

I have a master’s degree and didn’t think of that.

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