“Go to the party”, the voice urged me.
One of tens or maybe hundreds of voices overlapping in my psyche; this was my Bossy Pants voice.
Not to be confused with my Mean Girl voice, who’s tone is slightly more pitchy and slopes like a Valley girl.
Bossy likes to tell me what I should do. Her favorites are telling me to do yoga, eat clean, clean my apartment, be more adventurous, and read.
Tonight she was demanding I go to a Super Bowl party because as Mean Girl would say, “It’s, like, super lame to stay in for the Super Bowl.”
Bossy doesn’t talk like that, she has a much more leveled-headed, logical, if not domineering tone.
“It will be good for you to get out and socialize,” she says, and when I tell her I’m exhausted and just not in the mood and don’t really care for football anyway, she responds as per usual, “You really need to do it.”
The chorus of voices agree, I can almost hear their eyes roll to the back of their heads.
But there’s another voice, so soft-spoken and faint, I could barely hear her. Speak up, I urge her silently, hoping she might give me a justification to stay in like I wanted.
I have to tell the others to shut up, and listen closely, when I hear her: the voice of Self Care.
When I hear her speak I know she’s the one who actually cares about my wellbeing. She’s not concerned with what I “should” be doing, she doesn’t care about me fitting in that very narrow box of social “norms”. She wants me to do what will make me most happy and operating at my best-self.
And tonight that meant wearing pjs and writing in Starbucks (with a book on the table I was “supposed” to read, but didn’t, because that wouldn’t have been self care.)
It’s really hard to differentiate between what we “should” be doing and what’s truly in our best interest. Between what will deplete vs what will recharge us, what will make us feel like we’re doing whats expected of us vs doing what feels right.
Parties are fun, and socializing is absolutely necessary, but forcing yourself to do something you’re just not up for is not self care- it’s peer pressure.
I got texts of photos of beer-pong from Half-Time and secretly wondered how Justin’s performance and commercials were going to be- and a small twinge of FOMO pinched me.
But the cool thing about Self Care is that you get to change your mind- at any point you can turn your car around if you want to. Self Care will tell you exactly what will help you feel best- you just need to tune out the Bossy and Mean Girls- and listen out for hers.