My doctor says, "Think of yourself as in rehab. This is the work." She's talking about rehab from depression, but I would add that it's recovering from perfectionism plus years of pushing my people-pleasing self to do too much.
So I'm giving myself permission to take care of myself. I'm happy to make sacrifices for others, but I can't help anyone if I don't take care of myself. If I'm drained, exhausted, and mentally worn out, I can't be a good wife, mom, or friend. It's the same idea as putting on your own oxygen mask before helping someone else.
As my pastor would ask me, "What does that look like?"
I take a break when I need one. I pray. I read. I nap. I exercise (not because I like to, but because I know it's good for me). I blog (when I have something to say). I make cards. I bake. I try not to stress when my to-do list doesn't get finished.
I don't do all of those things every day. Still, to at least one person, it looks as though I'm doing nothing productive. Housework is often transparent: no one notices clean clothes (except when there are none), clean sheets, dinner on the table (except when it's not), a dusted room. Everyone notices what still needs to be done.
That's why I'm taking the professional advice to rehab. I'm giving myself permission to restore my body and soul. I'm learning to be a better wife, mom, and friend by putting on my own oxygen mask first.