Ever feel like you need to get something off your chest? Sometimes I’ve just gotta talk it out. That’s why I’ve decided to do a monthly feature called “Thoughts On…” At the beginning of the month, I’ll provide a prompt to stimulate discussion. The point is to get us to put our thoughts out there – writing it all down can be quite cathartic. If you want to keep your writing private, that’s your thing and I won’t question it. If you’re ready to put it all out there, I invite you to share your thoughts in the comments. At the end of the month I’ll provide my own thoughts on the topic of the month. Think of it as a book club for writing.
Earlier this month I got to thinking about antisocial behavior…
I’ve always been so busy that when I take some time off, I feel like I’m doing something wrong. Even though the break is of my own choosing, sometimes I feel like “wait…does nobody want to hang out with me?” I also have a serious case of FOMO so I think constantly of all the fun things people are probably doing without me.
With age, however, I’ve noticed I don’t bounce back as quickly as I used to. A hangover can be debilitating and a long week of work can require the whole weekend to recouperate. My body needs the rest. That’s the physical of it all…but there’s also the emotional part. I am only now able to admit that, for the sake of my mental health, I need to take time to myself. Also, I can finally say out loud that I sometimes like being alone to recharge my batteries. If I need to stay home watching ABC Family on a Friday/Saturday night (or both – gasp!) instead of going out and getting wasted, I’m going to. And I’m mature enough now [finally] not to care if other people think that’s lame.
After being on the go for too long, I feel the need to retreat. If I’ve been really stressed, run down, or overloaded, my first response is to shut down. Actually, my first response is usually to take on even more. Then I realize that only adds to the stress so I then take the necessary step of shutting down. I’ve gotten much better at recognizing when I need to take a break after burning the candle at both ends. Like I said, I’m maturing. Sometimes when I’m alone I like to just do nothing. Every once in a while I need to not use my brain. I watch mindless tv and eat takeout and fall down a Pinterest rabbit hole and it’s glorious.
For me, a good rule of thumb has been to have one lazy weekend night a week. It has become much harder to stick to my own rule now that I’m in a relationship. Albert and I are both social people so that means double the fun opportunities, some of which are simply too good or important to pass up. If I end up spending both Friday and Saturday nights out, I try to chill for the first half of the week. After all, if I stress too much about relaxing at a specific time, I won’t be relaxed at all.