As women in midlife, we’re spread so thin. We spend our morning taking our aging parents to the doctor and our afternoon taking our college-bound son to SAT tutoring. At some point during the day, we’re working, and at night we’re making sure everyone has dinner. We don’t have time to even think about ourselves.
And yet, we still need to take time now and then for a bit of self-care because if we don’t, we’ll burn out. We need to learn to read our own “tell,” our sign that we need to stop and take some time for self-care.
If you find yourself engaging in any of the following ten behaviors, it’s probably time to stop and ask yourself if you need to take some time for self-care. I include a few sample ideas for self-care that I want you to take advantage of right now!
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Ten Surprising Signs You Need Self-Care
1. Every Day Feels the Same
When someone asks you if the meeting last week was on Tuesday or Wednesday, you can’t remember, because honestly, what was the difference between Tuesday and Wednesday anyway. Schedule some time into every day that makes you smile or schedule an activity this week that you can look forward to.
2. You Drag Your Feet Getting Out of Bed
How many times are you hitting the snooze button in the morning? If it’s more than two, you need a reason to want to get up. When was the last time you met a friend for lunch?
3. You Look in the Mirror and You Don’t Like What You See
Is that because you’re not taking care of yourself or because you’ve lost touch with who you really are? Take some time for yourself to get to the heart of the matter. Maybe you need a new haircut or perhaps you need to spend some time getting to get to know yourself again.
4. You Always Feel Like You’re Coming Down with a Cold
Girl, you need some rest! Take a sick day and watch TV all day. If you need recommendations on what to watch, check out this thread on Twitter. Tons of great ideas!
5. You Find Yourself Competing for “Who’s Got it Worse.”
When you’re talking with friends, co-workers, your spouse, all your stories are somehow about how hard you work and how bad you have it. Find a hobby that excites you so much you become that annoying person who can’t stop talking about that thing she loves.
6. You’re Envious of Other People
If you’re jealous when something good happens to someone else or when anyone has fun, it’s because you feel like there are not enough fun, good things in your life. There is a time and place for retail therapy, my friends, and this is it. Go buy yourself a little something. Is this an extreme case? Plan a vacation.
7. You’re Distracted and Forgetful
You’re telling yourself that you’re going crazy or that it’s the beginning of dementia. However, I’m telling you that it’s probably this: you’re trying to remember too much. Make someone else do carpool duty and go get your nails done.
8. You’re Too Hard on Yourself
Honey, don’t tell yourself things like you’re going crazy or that you’re showing signs of early dementia! Learn to show yourself some compassion. Also, leave work early and walk up and down the aisles of Target, admiring all the pretty things.
9. It’s Like, Whatever, Sure, OK
If you’ve become so apathetic that you agree to anything anyone asks you, please consider this the ultimate sign that you need to take some time for self-care. You’ve just stopped caring and that means you’ve stopped caring about yourself. Self-care, in this case, looks like a serious conversation where you evaluate your priorities and see what needs to change.
10. You’d Be OK if Everyone Else Weren’t so Annoying
I hear you. And I want you to know that you’re right. It is them, it’s definitely not you. You need to get away from them for a while. Take all the time you need. Put the knife down.
I hope this made you smile, but the need for self-care isn’t a joke. If you start feeling any of these signs, do remember to take some time for yourself and take care of yourself. You’re important and you deserve to treat yourself that way.