The guilt of a rest day

I knew I would be hungover today. Yesterday was one of those rare occasions where I’ve binge drank in a long time (I’ve been limiting my alcohol consumption for medical reasons for the past 6 months). So I kept today free to take it easy and get some Sunday errands done.

Instead, I didn’t leave the house all day. I spent most of the day watching Netflix and puzzling to distract from the anxiety of starting writing an essay for a competition. I ordered Uber Eats instead of doing my groceries and cooking. I didn’t water my plants (1 week late), didn’t even shower or brush my teeth. The only things I did was my laundry, meditated and post photos of shoes I want to sell. I couldn’t even get myself to FaceTime Mum like I said I would, which only amplifies the guilt and disappointment. Let’s just say I was feeling pretty damn sorry for myself.

Why did I avoid the things I wanted to do? And why did I throw myself a pity party afterwards? While continuing the lazy behaviour?

I guess it wasn’t the guilt of taking a rest day that I was really dealing with. It’s that I had made expectations of doing things that I need to, but don’t usually make time for. Then, I wasn’t explicitly clear to myself about it, so I opened the gateway for me to procrastinate the day away with Netflix Christmas movies and Reese Witherspoon’s new show. Or perhaps the anxiety that tells me I don’t deserve to get shit done so I can be anxious about all these things tomorrow. Putting fuel on these emotional habits.

In a way, I didn’t know and couldn’t express to myself what I really wanted or what I really needed out of today. Maybe not everything on my ‘to-do list’ was necessary for today, but I did really need to go outside and get some fresh air. Maybe I really did want to relax and watch one movie this morning, but probably could’ve reset the dial afterwards and watered my plants.

I am becoming more aware of the negative self-talk, but I’m not responding to that by reflecting on what I really need. Checking in on how I can shift the mindset for a hungover today and press pause on the guilt trip. Maybe it was too late today when I realised, or maybe the fact that I realised is enough.

As my psychologist has recommended, I caught the negative feelings and tried to diffuse it. “It’s okay, it’s just one day, you can manage a few things being out of place at home, it doesn’t reflect your own control over your own life.” Even though there were negative emotions throughout today and I didn’t catch them until 9:30pm now, the fact is, I still caught them.

So I’m telling myself now, just before bed: “It is okay if your house is not tidy and perfect. It’s okay if your whole life isn’t in a regimented routine, from your workouts to your meal plans. It does not reflect your own intelligence, or responsibility, or ability to be independent. It does not change you as a person. Do not let your or someone else’s negative talk impact your worth as a person. You are 200% enough and you deserve a place in this world.” Whether you’re dealing with a massive life challenge, or just had a bad day, keep repeating this. It’s the only way you’ll believe it.

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