Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Taking Care of Myself

Why is it so hard to put myself first?

I have been having a bit of a rough week physically. Monday I pulled a muscle in my back. Tuesday I felt feverish and sick to my stomach. Nothing serious, I just wasn't at the top of my game. Normally I volunteer at a local farm on Tuesday and Wednesday morning. The farm is just over nine miles away by bike. On Tuesday I didn't go in because my back was still sore and riding that far and then doing all the work on the farm didn't seem like a good idea.

I wanted to go this morning because I felt bad missing the entire week. I set my alarm for 6:30. At 5:30 I woke up and could not go back to sleep because my mind was racing with all of things I needed to accomplish today (go to the library, get groceries, make dinner, clean the kitchen, go to the market, finish up a cover letter and resume for an internship...). At 6:00 I finally stopped trying to sleep and got out of bed to start working on my cover letter and get ready for the farm. I didn't get enough sleep, still wasn't feeling a hundred percent, and was still determined to go.

Why is it so hard to put myself first? Why do I feel like I'm letting everyone down when I take a day to slow down and take care of my body? I used to run my body into the ground whenever I was getting sick because I refused to say no and admit I needed a break. I'm trying to break that habit, but it's a work in progress. Even though I knew that taking the day off was the best thing for my body, I was plagued by irrational fears that people would judge me or think less of me for not showing up.

I didn't go to the farm today. And that's okay. I'm learning to listen to my body and follow through on what it needs instead of worrying about how other people will perceive my choices. Easier said than done, but I'm getting there.

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