Recently, I had recognized without scheduling that I needed to just take a day for myself. This was at first a hard thing for me to do as I initially felt as if it was some sort of punishment, but in reality it was a really good thing and I was validated for doing what I needed to do.
It has taken me a long time to recognize that I needed to take time for myself. Being in a better frame of mind in the past few weeks has allowed me to recognize the fact that every so many weeks that I just need to do so. I can recharge myself from autistic burnout and feel better when resuming my normal activities. I still to some degree need validation from my support circle to take time for me even if I can sense that I need to.
A few times before the most recent time, I could sense that I needed to take a few days. I had a one day on, one day off, one day on, sort of schedule that week. I thought that I would be OK, but as the evening on the second day approached, I could slightly sense that I could need to take the day in between and make it three days instead of going in the middle day However, as I woke up on the middle day, of which I went back to bed after the alarm, I eventually came to terms that I just needed to call off, which I did.
The main thing about taking time for you is to make the best of it and not feel guilty about it or worry about things you have no control over. Worrying about things only defeats the purpose and takes away time from doing something that you can find enjoyable. For me this can be hyperfocusing on a talent or hobby or it can just be relaxing. This can look different in autistic people and should be accepted as their way of coping as long as they are not reacting negatively.
It can also help to have a good playlist playing to make the mood feel good. Uniquely for me, it is the rock hits that I grew up listening to. It brings memories of the times that things were better and happier for me. It takes me to a place where I once was and where I might want to revisit someday. We can’t change the past, but we can do our best to make the future what we want it to be for us. Having a playlist can be the segway of making the day even better.
The times prior when I had taken time for myself, I had catastrophized about being penalized for taking time for myself even though I was perfectly fine to do so. It was because I was not taking care of myself at the time and now that I am better grounded, I can see the benefits of doing what is right for me in the long run by not only allowing myself to grow more from days like these.
In this day in age it is more intuitive to recognize the need to take care of yourself so that you can be there when you are needed the most by those who need you. Everyone will benefit when you are in a better place to make wiser decisions and choices for yourself and not be mentally unwell. There is no health without mental health and this affects not only you but those that have to be in your company. It is important to not only have a healthy home, but other environemts as well. In a world where there is so much going on it is important to just relax and take time for you.