Yes. It is. Not everyone in today’s date and economy has the ability, time, and resources to just drop everything and go for a short vacation for some quality me-time. Forget about a vacation, most are not even able to find some time in the day to take a nap!
I will be honest that in my younger days, I did not have the awareness of the importance of rest. In fact, I do not think the concept of me-time was even popular back then. I used to laugh at one of my favourite actors, Simon Baker for taking a nap in ‘The Mentalist’ television series, back then. It looked very funny before, but I realize the importance of that short rest now. It is only in recent times, that we have learnt from media, pop culture, and medical programs that many are falling sick, mentally, and physically due to overwork. Let us face it, when we have the energy, nobody is going to feel like they need a break from whatever. Stress does not seem like a big deal in front of incoming money.
However, although times have changed, I cannot quite say that young people of this era are not resting enough due to ignorance; it is just that they cannot! One would expect that over the years, access to quality living would be a gift for most. However, it breaks my heart to see that not only young people but also older people who should be retired and resting already are all forced to toil for a decent living.
Not napping when you need to might not seem like an earth-shattering problem; but when you develop hypertension or depression due to work stress, trust me, you would wish you had taken that nap three years ago and continued practicing it as a habit.
But again, it is undeniable that collective failure has led to a point where most people would feel guilty to even consider a vacation given the amount of pending work and unsettled bills. You would end up being restless in doing something you intended as a rest.
So, what is the solution? How do we normalize guilt-free self-care?
Now, for those who actually have the privilege to take some time off in a day or even a week to do something completely for yourself, I would say, please go for it! And for those who are struggling to make ends meet, please hang in there and practice self-care in whatever little but meaningful ways that suit your time, energy, and money. Your body and mind will thank you for it someday.
Dr. Sarala Thulasi Palpanadan
Centre for Language Studies
Universiti Tun Hussein Onn Malaysia (UTHM)