Monday Musings #12 – Coffee Shop Self-Care

I don’t often sit in coffee shops. While the free wifi that’s pretty commonly available these days helps, I always feel self-conscious and anxious when setting out to do so. What if I can’t find a comfortable place to sit? What will I do with all my stuff when I have to go to the bathroom? What do I do about food if I’m there for a long time, take snacks (if I have any) or just spend money there? If I take my laptop, what if I can’t get a seat near a plug? Or what if I do, but lose it as soon as I get up to use the bathroom? And let’s be honest, do I really even want to use a public bathroom?

But today I’m just on my phone, and while I’m vaguely concerned about the battery I am temporarily without a charger besides the one in my car so it doesn’t matter if there are seats near the outlets. I ended up with one of the comfy chairs. The music has settled into a tolerable background noise. Today is a paid day off thanks to the holiday, and I have nowhere in particular to be. Well, at least not yet.

So I’m spending the day just chilling. This mornings I woke up at (gasp) 6:30am to have an early breakfast with my brother and parents, and see him off before his drive back to Nevada. Then I went back to bed. When I woke up again, I dusted off one of the half hour yoga recordings and did a (mostly) standing series of meditation stretches. Although that was mildly exhausting it returned to me some of the sense of unwinding that I felt after getting that massage the other week – where the masseuse recommended I do neck and shoulder stretches before bed and first thing every morning. This is the first time I’ve actually done so and I’m going to try and do it more often.

Over the past few weeks I feel like everything has been set to Fast Forward. Work feels as though it’s demanding that I move at breakneck speed, although I feel as though everything I do is more like treading water and I cannot explain that contradiction to myself – I’m pretty sure it’s all in my head. I’ve recently read the suggestion that one of the symptoms of depression is becoming a workaholic, and that seems to ring true because I feel so frantic to get something, anything done and that’s the easiest arena for accomplishment. In my personal life, situations keep escalating in the blink of an eye – this one I know this is all in my head and I’m spacing through a lot of what’s happening for various reasons.

My slipping grip on self-care recently is probably equal parts cause and symptom. That’s why I was so determined to start back in on yoga this morning – the last time I meditated was last Monday. I just can’t concentrate on it. Some of my attempts just turn into naps, which is acceptable, but mostly I just end up working through my breaks, which is a terrible habit to get (back) into.

Is there a Workaholics Anonymous out there somewhere? Are there people who would understand this, not just because they have had similar feelings but because they’ve literally done the same things and know the kind of sympathetic commiseration I need? (Because I’m not sure I know.)

This is a very personal Monday Musings and I’m not sure how I feel about posting it. I’m not sure how much separation I should keep between myself and my blog. My chosen topic is creative writing, so why the strong urge to make what amounts to a personal journal post?

All I can say to that is that this is my human condition that I struggle to express to the people in my life. If being able to do that means I might be able to write more believable characters, I am willing to bare my soul every now and then. I am willing to take the time to sit by myself in coffee shops (listening to what I guess is light jazz right now?) and be introspective. It’s not like I’m going to do anything else here, so it’s sort of a way to hold myself accountable to doing so.

Other things I want to hold myself accountable for, and I’m going to start with baby steps for now: get more than 6 hours of sleep every night, meditate at least 4 times a week, and do yoga at least 3 times a week.

I’m sad and exhausted, but still sort of optimistic. How are you?

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9 thoughts on “Monday Musings #12 – Coffee Shop Self-Care

  1. Why the strong urge? Because writing is expression, and expression is personal (: I’m recently struggling with my blog’s content, and decided I’ll just keep it the way it is. When you feel the urge to express, then do so. Which is why I’ll go off on a rant every once in a while.

    As far as being a workaholic though, I can relate. Unless I spend every minute of the day being productive, I feel utterly useless and annoyed with myself. And utterly exhausted after weeks of this until I just binge on video gaming…for a day. And then I get annoyed and commence another month of keeping myself busy.

    And it’s hard to just let yourself unwind. It won’t be an easy habit to remedy. Allotting yourself “breaktime” is one way to start showing yourself that it is okay to “be unproductive,” yet it’s good for you. It’s a matter of perspective.

    But I definitely can see the perspective of how “never-ending productivity”is a symptom of depression. I won’t agree with it as a defining symptom, but I will say that I was going through a very hard time in my life a couple years ago, and that was when this need to be productive became an obsession of mine. It feels good to always be taking care of business (TCOB), but it’s also stressful. Just be aware of your body and its needs. Treat yourself how you’d want others to treat you. We are our own worst critics.

    Hope you’re feeling better today.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. It is… There was one Denzel Washington movie where one of the characters said “everything’s personal if you’re a person,” and that seems to apply to writers for sure.

      Definitely not a defining symptom, I kind of trend that way at the best of times, but I’ve been in kind of a hole lately and it’s been getting a little excessive and desperate-feeling. I’ve taken most of this week off because I just hit a breaking point and it made me physically ill… By the time I go back I think I’ll feel a lot better about things.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. I’m glad you’re able to get a couple days off. Just need to release all that pent-up air so you can breathe again (: I hope you’re feeling better *hug*

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  2. I was just drafting a post on self-care! I’ve been pushing myself pretty hard and I definitely know where you’re coming from. Sometimes you just need to take a step back. Extra sleep can make a huge difference.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. I enjoy when bloggers open up and share something personal, it helps form a connection with their readers I think. I feel like I’m kind of in the same head-space as you describe, and not really sure how to get out except of course letting time pass.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Yeah, it’s nice to read. I have a bad habit of mixing up which blog/blogger is which because I have a bad memory for that sort of thing. And if I had my way no one would ever change their user icon, heh.

      Liked by 1 person

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