– How do you spoil yourself? – I was curious since my girlfriend was always tense: tight jaw, intense look, back spasms, and the ongoing fight-flight-and-freeze demeanor.
– What do you mean?
– You seem to live under too much stress all the time.
– Don’t you get that I gotta work? – She sounded awkwardly defensive and desperate trying to excuse her being in the worry box 24/7.
– How do you spoil yourself? – I repeated the question soaking a chamomile tea bag in the water.
– I have no idea, Vixen, never thought about it. What do you do for yourself?
– Everything that makes me happy.
– My job makes me happy.
– Good for you, – I finished my tea and went home, she focused on her financial reports.
When we met later that year, she looked different; no eye puffiness, no extra weight, no shortness of breath. She sounded sincere thanking me for the compliment on her appearance. Her response to my “what do you do to look beautiful?” was “I am dealing with anxiety”.
She learned to allow herself not to think too much, substituting excessive worries over performance. reviews and audits for daily treadmill running and fresh water.
She started practicing thoughts stopping focusing on breathing in and breathing out.
She overcame the fear of socializing and took several drum lessons from street musicians; rhythmic hand drumming helped relax almost getting her into trance.
She developed the habit to daily watch sunsets.
She de-stressed while coloring pages with fluorescent pencils.
She pampered herself with home foot-spa and stone massage.
She started her Mondays holding sea shells to her ears listening to the sound of waves.
She finished her busy days with sandalwood incense and meditation music in the headphones.
She stopped sacrificing the “me time” for Friday parties.
She quit drinking and totally replaced alcohol with purified water and tummy workouts.
She put valerian root in the bedroom to improve her sleep and discontinued watching action TV shows prior going to bed.
I did not respond much to her “I decided to prioritize myself, life is too short not to indulge” since she was perfectly right.