Is This... Relaxing? Recharging? Nope Not Anymore.
My best friend called me to vent, feeling overwhelmed. I had a small brain blast while we were talking because (surprise, surprise) I also feel overwhelmed more days than not.
She and I are both still doing the same shit to rest, relax, and recharge that served us in our early 20s - is it that surprising that these same methods don't cut it now that we have different, often bigger fish to fry? Things like eating well and exercising more were a lot more effective at improving the mental health of a 21-year-old - as we near 30, this is now the bare minimum we need to do, or else we risk feeling like the human embodiment of a stale piece of bread.
So - how do we find new things to do to relax and recharge ourselves?
Understand that Recharging is Probably Going to Be More Work Now
My first thing to do is find a therapist whom I can maintain a long-term relationship with. As my best friend put it, it’s time to do therapist dating, which sucks almost as much as regular dating and there's not even a cool app to match you with a modern and relatable therapist like the ones you’ve seen on TikTok. This next chapter of life's meaning of recharging means doing the dirty work to understand uncomfortable feelings so I can best deal with what life throws at me - the good and the bad.
Not feeling relaxed and recharged at home is also an issue, which brings me to my next point.
Giving Myself Permission & Some Time Back
You took a day off from your 1.5 jobs to rest.
But - you’ve got a really messed up sense of whether you’ve earned the right to relax, and you’re also a woman and therefore are in charge of maintaining the cleanliness and stocked-uppedness of your home.
So instead of using your time to relax (because if you just sat there, doing nothing, you would feel too much guilt to stand it), this day off will now be burnt on catching up on all of the household chores and shopping so that you can “just get it done and then relax.”
This is me, and it happens every weekend, not just when I take time off. I finally hit a wall this month and put my foot down - I need to work through this perceived need to 'earn the right to relax' with my therapist, and I need to think strategically about how I am managing the domicile. It is OK to have help, I'm not too young or unestablished to have a cleaning person I pay for, and every place offers pickup and delivery now. I have the resources - why shouldn't I use them?
This is about ME and ME only
One time, in college, a guy I deeply cared about informed me that he was breaking up with me a) because he didn’t love me (jury's still out on if he ever did) and b) because he found me boring.
Fast forward to now, I am in a different relationship, but I am still terrified that one day this one will wake up and find me boring too. The difference is, I now understand that the point is to be interesting FOR MYSELF and MYSELF ONLY - if I live my richest life, I will never be boring, and if a man still dares to tell me he thinks I'm boring, then I have way more of a leg to stand on when I laugh in his face for failing to understand and appreciate me.
Going For Broke
There's another post I have in the pipeline related to the phrase “Go For Broke”, a phrase used by Japanese-American troops in World War 2 that loosely translates to “wager everything” or put it all on the line. In regards to learning what makes me feel relaxed or helps me recharge, I recognize a need to think outside the box and go for broke when it comes to trying new things that may fit those needs.
New stuff is scary. Learning new skills is tough, and the beginning of the learning process can be unfulfilling. Changing habits can be painful. I have a high potential to make mistakes, which makes me deeply uncomfortable. I have to open myself up to meeting new people and forging new friendships, which I find exhausting.
All of these negative things are true, but they are only the beginning stages of great things to come later. Going For Broke for myself means pushing through the difficulty to experience all that I am made to do, be, and see.
So - what’s next?
I already did the legwork to find a therapist, and I am excited to begin working with her.
I am identifying a chore day to include planning and ordering groceries and household goods. I will stop making extra side trips for one or two items and learn to do without.
I am practicing saying no, and letting it be a complete sentence.
I am learning to recognize when I prioritize another person's needs, comfort, and time above my own. I am not afraid to backtrack and say, I thought this was ok but I now realize it is not.
I am going to crack open my Solo Adventure Journal by the end of January.
I am finding two gluten-free places to go and enjoy each month.