mental health real talk weekend wellness

comfort zone

photo by Briley Noel
This was supposed to be a post about my weekend spent at Austin’s Women’s Empowerment Conference. However, I ended up not going going, so I can’t write about the awesome women who spoke, connected, and learned. What I can write about is the decision I made, and why I don’t regret it.
I often read inspirational quotes on Pinterest and Instagram about pushing yourself past your limits, leaving your comfort zone, and never giving up. To be perfectly honest, I don’t like these sentiments. I understand their purpose, and I understand their place. What I don’t subscribe to is not listening to yourself and your needs, and not valuing your comfort zone. I reject people who make me feel ashamed for not leaving it.
I’ve been feeling extremely crispy (a term people in the social services field use to describe feeling a little burnt out, because burnout has a lot of negative and dangerous connotations) lately, and have really needed a day off from work. For the last several weeks, I’ve been going and going and going, even on the weekends, so I knew I needed to dedicate some time to just laying around and recharging.
I scheduled both Friday and today off of work to give myself that time. And then I packed both of those days with plans of things I wanted and needed to get done that I haven’t had time to do because of work. When I found out about WE Con, I hesitated for about a minute before registering because I was reluctant to give up my weekend. The workshops looked awesome, so I went ahead and signed up. 
I spent Friday shooting outfits all day with Briley, going to a photography exhibit at St. Edward’s, and then spending time with rad babes at a bar on the East side. By time 2 am on Friday night rolled around, I knew going to the conference on Saturday was less and less realistic. I had a friend in town who I really wanted to meet for brunch, and my mom had asked for my help up in Pflugerville. Those plans sounded a lot more chill and realistic, so I skipped the Saturday workshops, completely intending to show up on Sunday, ready for learning and being inspired.
Saturday ended up being incredibly long, and Dago was running a fever by the end of the night. I haven’t spent much time with him lately, and I’ve spent almost no time at home. I was running on zero, and I was really started to dread all of the social interaction in the coming day. I set my alarm for Super Early to make sure I could leave on time for the conference, but still didn’t get to sleep til Super Late because I was worried about Dago feeling so sick.
My alarm went off the first time Sunday morning, and I hit snooze. I snoozed three more times, each time trying to imagine myself going to the conference. I just couldn’t make it happen in my mind. I know myself well enough now that this means my body is trying to tell me I need something else. A lot of people might equate this situation to giving up, or giving in. What I believe it means is valuing what my body has to say. 
Ultimately, I needed some alone time to recharge from the immense social interaction I’ve had lately, I needed to not be advocating for anyone for myself. I needed to sleep. And I did. I slept more hours than I didn’t on Sunday, and I needed it so badly. I got to lay around with Dago and Contessa and not plan outfits or engage in the heaviness that comes with my job. I ate Nutella on waffles and drank a lot of water. I closed my eyes and curled up under a blanket. And it felt awesome. This weekend, my comfort zone was exactly where I needed to be.
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