When I was a kid, my mom allowed my brother and sister and I to take a "mental health day" every once in awhile. We were usually allowed one or two per year. Whenever school (especially high school) got overwhelming, we could stay home one day to look after ourselves: sleep a little later, watch TV, get caught up on homework if that's what was stressing us out, hang with the dog.
I didn't have the language for it then, but I know now that we were practicing self care -- the maintenance of personal and emotional health. I learned more about self care during my time in college, when the habit of reserving a day per semester to take care of myself really came in handy. It was a very necessary maintenance of my emotional well being, and since I'd been used to the idea since childhood, I felt (and continue to feel) zero guilt about staking out this important time for myself. As an adult, self care days mean sleeping a little longer, going for long runs, taking baths, cooking, reading, cleaning, writing, watching "The X-Files" -- doing the things that settle my soul.
Today, I'm taking a self care day. (It's worth noting that this is only possible because of privelege -- I have a great day job that gives me lots of flexible time off. Self care, like lots of important things, is inextricably tied to privelege.) I could give a list of reasons why I feel I need one (coming back from vacation is never an easy adjustment, I think), but I don't feel like I have to justify it. It's just what's happening today. I'm planning on cleaning the house a little, going for a run with Samson, and generally just doing whatever I want. No obligations, just restful activities.
Do you take self care days?
Links I've been loving lately...
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Who knew power-washing could be so satisfying?
I love Philip Stearns' binary blankets
An epic timeline of wardrobe colors in Breaking Bad (oh my god, Marie and the purple...)
A pop-up library...on a beach
15 inspiring TED Talks for freshman year
Festive garland ideas
Portraits of Albanian women who have lived their lives as men
9 androgynous clothing labels you should know
I love these portraits of couples getting married at City Hall
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And don't miss...
I'm so honored that ours are the first same-sex engagement photos featured on Oh Lovely Day.
Don't forget to enter my very first giveaway. You could win two boxes of Glutino gluten-free toaster pastries!