As women, we are trained from a young age that a woman’s job is never done. If you take on traditional gender roles, cooking, cleaning, housekeeping come to mind. If you live a more business-esque lifestyle, working, making money, being on top of everything comes to mind.
While all children are taught how to clean, there is a special emphasis on girls to always have your surroundings in tip top shape, to always be improving themselves, to always be healthy, to always be something. When I was little, the women in my family taught me how to cook, how to keep the house, how to find a man young.
Now, as an adult, there is this innate need to always be doing something. I always feel like if I am sitting on the couch relaxing, I should be cleaning something in my house. I feel like this is part of the old school gender norms that I was surrounded with my entire life. The man got to sit and relax and the woman busted her butt cleaning and cooking.
I have a hard time doing nothing. And let me tell you, I love doing nothing. It’s my favourite thing, but I rarely get to sit, do nothing, and enjoy it without intrusive thoughts flooding my brain.
I’ve been trying to remind myself it’s okay to take a break. It’s okay to do nothing. Here’s why.
Not everything is your responsibility, even if it feels like it is.
This is something that is hard even for me to get in my head. I cook, I clean, I order groceries, I take care of my cat and my boyfriend, I meal plan, I make sure everything is done. However, I don’t have to. Danny has told me many times he would clean. He would order groceries. He would do whatever is needed to give me a break, but even when he tells me, I still feel like he should be relaxing and I should be doing the housekeeping.
This was how I was raised. This is my normal. I’ve been reminding myself that everything is not my responsibility and to accept help from my significant other.
Always being busy is not “productive” and it is not mentally healthy.
People need breaks, which is obvious, but there is this narrative online of people who wake up at the crack of dawn and complete their to-do list before 10:00 am. It’s not always realistic and for a lot of people, this isn’t good for their mental health. Trying to emulate these people and not acknowledging that your energy level may be different can burn you out fast.
It’s normal to want to veg out on the couch
I know a lot of people that believe relaxing is tidying the house, taking a long shower, shaving their entire body, doing their hair, and making a good meal. For me, relaxing is sitting my ass on the couch and doing absolutely nothing for a while. Both are normal, but a lot of people think the latter isn’t. A lot of the time, I don’t. I think your body talks to you, and when you overwork yourself for too long, your body is going to want to just relax for a while.
You don’t owe anyone anything
At the end of the day, you are the only person that lives your life. You can see people online saying you should be working out, or you should be deep cleaning your house everyday, but the fact of the matter you “should” only do what makes you feel good. If doing those things make you feel good, then do them. But don’t feel bad if doing nothing makes you feel better, because you don’t owe anybody anything.
And above all,
Take care of yourself