The Cold Penguin

expanding the box

A case of the “I deserves”

on December 9, 2013

Yet another doctor appointment.  This irritating health problem will not go away.  I will spare you all the details, but let’s just say it’s less than pleasant.  I normally put off going to the doctor for what I consider small and annoying things, and apparently I shouldn’t have for this one.  Oh well, lesson learned.

And another lesson I’m still learning.  Whenever I’m sick or have had a bad day, I play a big game of “I deserve”.  And there is only one rule to the “I deserve” game: giving in to all temptations.  I don’t feel good, so I deserve to nap all day and let the dishes pile up in the dishwasher.  I had a very busy day and I’m tired, so I deserve to have this leftover Halloween candy (and lots of it!).  I had a bad encounter with another person, so I deserve to skip a workout and vent to my husband.

Yep, for the past month, I’ve been skimping on chores, eating lots of unhealthy items, and skipping workouts.  All because of the “I deserve” game due to this unpleasant, annoying but not limiting or contagious ailment I have.

Cutting myself a little slack when I have ailments, headaches, bad days, etc. is fine.  But I take the game to a whole new level.  And when you have one “I deserve” moment, it can easily snowball into a day full of “I deserve” moments.  And I end up resembling this adorable and sweet puppy I care for, who wants to lie around and be petted all day instead of going for walks.

dog

You want me to go outside?  Nope, not gonna happen!  (Yes, he’s fully leashed and refusing to go out by lying on his back and begging for tummy rubs – he does this 98% of the time when it’s time to go out)

So, how do you balance cutting yourself slack with still taking good care of yourself and following up with your responsibilities?

Rule #1: Do everything you NEED to do in a day, but take your time.  If you need to get things accomplished for work that day, then do them.  But don’t rush, stress or push yourself too hard to get them completed.  You have more time than you think in a day.  And you don’t have to accomplish everything in one day.  Prioritize and get what you can done in a reasonable manner that day.  Stress and overwork lead to a big case of the “I deserves” at the end of the day!

Rule #2: Think of your health, especially if you are suffering from a health ailment that is leading to your “I deserve” moments.  This means eating nutritious foods, getting plenty of water and exercising appropriately for your current health level.  If you normally run 5 miles a day, but you can’t get rid of a nagging cold, cut your exercise level intensity and time down.  Maybe jog a few miles, get going on the elliptical, do some strength training, or walk.  And one thing I like to focus on when my health is a little sidelined is flexibility.  Yoga and stretching are great ways to get a good workout without overdoing it.  Added bonus is it’s also extremely relaxing!

Rule #3: Make sure to schedule your me time.  You should be doing this every day whether you are at your prime or off your game.  But when life has you thinking “I deserve”, then you may want to up your me time a bit.  If you normally take 10 minutes to meditate, paint your nails, or walk around the block for your me time, you may need to up that to 20 or 30 minutes to really give yourself the time you feel you deserve to unwind and relax.  Take that time to do what you enjoy, whether it’s reading, watching a silly TV show, or playing with your puppy.  Give yourself a true break from whatever is nagging you, and focus on being calm and happy.

self care

These three rules are really applicable every day, but when you feel like you deserve a special break, revisit these steps.  I bet you are not following any of them, and that’s why you broke into the cookie jar last night!  So forgive yourself for the extra cookie, and start fresh and refocused.

Did that sound like a pep talk to myself?  Because it pretty much was!

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