5 Things I’ve Learned in Southeast Asia, #3

The third lesson I’ve learned since moving to Southeast Asia is that I have to let go of guilt surrounding self-care. 

I’m used to the female martyr, women who sacrifice everything–including their own sanity–to make everyone else around them happy. More times than I care to admit I’ve been that woman. In the past, I’ve stopped doing things I enjoyed (re: attending a writing club, going to the gym, socializing with friends, etc…) so that others could be more comfortable and have more opportunities. I’ve worked late long after the incompetent boss went home and gotten up early to help the slacker masquerading as my partner get on his way to work. 

Those days are over now. I now guard my private time with a fierceness that would put the president’s security detail to shame. Quite frankly, I love saying no now.

Because I need to exercise so I can relieve stress and allow the healthy, fully abled body that I was blessed with to be as strong as it can be.

Because I need to write so I can process my emotions.

Because I need to enjoy the fruits of my honest labor; if that means I’m getting a massage, mani/pedi, and a week long trip to a new locale that I saved for…then I’m doing it.

I’m hoping me building a habit of self-care now will allow me to be a better daughter, friend, and person in the future because I won’t feel harried, resentful, and tired all the time.

And with that, I think instead of researching for work I am going to curl up on my new couch with a book I want to read and a cup of ginger tea.

No guilt attached.



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