Though I tend to post self-care ideas that are focused on the “fun stuff” there’s another type of self-care that is much harder at times.
This is the list of things I gleefully toss under “adulting” and try to ignore. Doing laundry, paying bills, cleaning house, even cooking as much as I enjoy it, they’re chores. We do them, once in a while we get a sense of achievement, but mostly they’re boring, uninteresting things that take our spoons.
As you handle things this weekend, reward yourself for completing the task you’ve been avoiding.
Live in a household where everyone avoids the chores? Try a site like Chorewars and make it into a competition.
If you’ve been avoiding your laundry don’t feel awful. We all do at times. It’s a LONG job, even if you use a laundromat. Reward yourself when it’s done! Give yourself an hour or two to read, take a long soak, get a manicure or pedicure, or something else you enjoy. Make the reward big enough to match the mental effort of doing the job.
Just for example: I’ve been terrible about getting things done this past couple of weeks. (In part, not my fault, in larger part, totally my fault.) I need to do laundry. I need to do my meal prep. I have medical appointments this week I absolutely can’t miss. I need to vacuum, dust, and mop. I feel tired just thinking about it all.
I NEED to get these things done. A clean home will lift my mood. Good food for meals will give me energy and keep me from wasting money on junk food. The medical appointments have strong odds of finding new solutions to the recurring brain fog and fatigue.
So, while I won’t have time this week, I’m going to reward myself next weekend. I’m going to go get a massage. I haven’t had a professional massage since before the pandemic. This is going to be amazing. I won’t have a ton of things to do because I have a plan to do them all this week. I can relax before and after the massage. All I have to do is get the things done.
While I’m working on a big reward, I do small rewards, too.
Did I finish the dishes I left sitting the day before? Great job! Have some froyo!
Did I hit my walking goal even though I wanted to stay on the couch with my K-Drama? Excellent! Now, enjoy another episode!
Rewarding ourselves feels great, provides motivation, and lets us have space to appreciate our accomplishment. Doing the dishes or taking out the trash may not seem like they should be huge tasks, but if you have depression or anxiety, or some level of executive dysfunction, they’re enormous. It’s okay, take a reward and applaud yourself!
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