I turn off my alarm, my throat is scratchy, and there’s a dull pain at the base of my skull. My big plans for the day are being rewritten as I can hardly get out of bed. My spirit and energy are depleted before the sunrise. Was it that croissant I had yesterday? Did I sleep poorly?
Maybe I need to go gluten-free. Maybe I didn’t hydrate enough. I’m constantly scheming and striving for better habits to improve my energy. After all, who wants to waste even a day feeling like the gutter?
Periodic dips in energy may just be part of life though. I can either fight against every last one of them, or just find some acceptance in imperfection.
It seems that some days I will not be putting my best foot forward. Because no matter how hard I try, some days I wake up and just know it’s going to be a slog.
Not Even a Classic “Self-Care” Day
First, I’d like to make a distinction between a “junk” day and a classic “self-care” day. A junk day doesn’t begin with herbal tea and a meditation practice because that’s self-care, and self-care still takes energy and a bit of inspiration. It takes an ounce of willpower to give yourself a manicure, cook, or organize your sock drawer. Even reading — my favorite way to spend the evening — requires an attentive focus.
No, a “junk” day is struggling to find energy to do the bare minimum. It’s going to work and going through the motions. It’s coming home and watching The Bachelor or Two and a Half Men reruns. It’s ordering Indian takeout and eating the mango lassi dessert first (…just me?).
On this day, I’m not learning Russian. I’m not reading inspirational articles (sorry, this isn’t one). I’m not trying a new recipe. Or any recipe.
Junk days are non self-improvement days.
Self-care is when you consciously slow down. Junk days are when your body has already decided that for you. So on these days, I shift my brain into neutral and coast.