Self-Care Sunday: The Guilt of Resting

After last week being all work and no play, I decided to make this week mostly play and little work. As a result I was more rested, more at peace, more relaxed. Since my bf was out of town, I also made an effort to be social: inviting friends over and even trying my hand at a new vegan recipe. I also binged watched my new favorite show Power. Even when I made an attempt to do work, it was minimal.

However, relaxing put me behind in pretty much everything, including getting ready for the event that I had today. I have been preparing for weeks, but still had a lot of minor last minute things that I had to do, which added up to hours of time that I could have used on my days off instead of relaxing. I was up until almost 1 am getting everything ready (which is actually pretty good because in the past I wouldn't sleep at all the night before an event AND I would still be making batches of soap). My goal had been to make sure I was well rested last night. Surprisingly, I still ended up well-rested, but it didn't make me feel any less guilty for actually taking a couple of days off to clear my head.

This is the first time I have been wrought with guilt. When I was going to grad school full-time, juggling a job, and internship, four classes, and a long-distance relationship, there were many times I felt guilty for skipping a class to just merely catch up on sleep. Where does this guilt stem from?

Likely from other people's comments like that professor showing their disapproval because you handed something in late (despite being ill and sleep deprived). It's that side comment from a family member because you missed another event. It's that sigh someone gives when you tell them you didn't have the time to do something you promised. It is your subconscious scolding you for not making your goal for the week. It is all of those voices collectively that make you feel guilty. For some reason, while your rationale says that no one is a super human and everyone needs a break regularly, you are still plagued by guilt.

What can we do about it?

1. Replace the negative thoughts with positive ones. Remind yourself of all the good that came of it. Remind yourself that you wouldn't be able to do anything at all if you never rested. I always tell myself: you're no good to anyone dead.

2. Establish boundaries. This was probably the hardest thing of all: telling others no or delaying something in order to rest. This is especially true when it comes to a significant other, family, or even your work.

3. Plan your rest, One of the things I got into the habit of doing, was making sure my work and school schedule always had at least a half day out of the week where I did absolutely nothing. However, it is important to be in tune with your body to know when you need rest well before your allotted time.

Do you have guilt about taking breaks? How do you manage?


The Body Buffet creates handmade artisan soap, shampoo, conditioners, spa bars, beard care, body wash and more for Baltimore, the DMV, and beyond. We have been creating conditioning skin-loving, hair-loving, since 2009. Visit our shop at Marquita Johl is the soaper-in-chief and a self-care advocate. She has been crafting soap for eleven years.

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