“I’m selfish. I'm lazy.”
There my mind goes, starting to beat me up again. It's latching onto the fact that I went back to sleep this morning - after dragging myself out of bed and getting my daughter to nursery, I returned to bed. Now I've got 30 minutes to get everything done before I have to go and pick my daughter up again. So my mind is blaming me - if I'd just muscled through, I could have got a lot more done. I'm lazy. I'm selfish. It's easy and somewhat automatic to treat these thoughts as truth - certainly, I could have got more done if I had chosen to use my time differently. But I didn't choose to do that. My stressed mind is very quick to forget why I did something, it just focuses on where I am left now, on all the things I am not going to get done today, on what I should have done.
At moments like these it is important to catch the mind at its games. I turn my attention to the memory of myself choosing to go back to sleep with compassion in my heart. I know that my decision wasn't coming from a place of laziness or avoidance of the tasks I had to do, but because I had woken up feeling exhausted and that feeling just wasn't fading away. So I chose to find out if a nap would help me to feel more awake. That decision came from a place of self-care, not selfishness. Yes, that choice resulted in me not getting as much cleaning done as I would have liked but I let go of that alternative version of events because it is just unhelpful right now. “What if it's my depression coming back and by sleeping I'm giving in to it?” Thanks for your help mind, but I remember what trying to sleep off depression feels like and this wasn't it.
I continue to get on with what tasks I can in the time I have left. My mind pipes up a few more times trying to hook me, but I just notice it and let it be while I carry on with my cleaning. I leave the house without the burden of self blame weighing heavily on my shoulders. I hold my expectations of how much I will achieve today lightly and acknowledge that it's ok to put myself first once in a while.