Taking A Nap: My Guilty Pleasure (and Treatment!)
Do you find yourself feeling guilty for needing to rest or nap? I used to. In addition to feeling guilty I would also feel anger towards my body for not being able to stay awake. I wasn’t able to embrace my nap times until I accepted that they were a form of treatment.
Not a form of punishment
As a child I despised naps. I wanted to play, not waste time sleeping. Having to lie down for a spell was the equivalent of being put in time out. How dare my mom make me rest! But mom knew what was best for me, she knew that if I didn’t get my midday nap I would be a beast by evening. She wasn’t punishing me; she was helping me have the best day possible. The same rings true now that I am a middle-aged woman with multiple chronic illnesses. Getting through the day while battling symptoms from psoriatic arthritis, fibromyalgia, and endometriosis is hard work! It is no wonder that my body requires naps most days of the week. While mom knew what was best for me when I was a wee one, my body is now in charge of telling me when I need to take a break.
Letting go of the guilt
Although I accepted that naps weren’t a form of punishment, I continued to struggle with guilt. Friends and family would poke fun and say that they wish they had time to nap. This killed me because I didn’t really have time to nap either - in fact, I could go a month without a nap and never come close to catching up on tasks I was unable to do because of time lost to physical and mental fatigue. To make matters worse, if I try to fight my body’s urge to nap nothing will get accomplished or I will make so many mistakes that I will have to redo it. I had to accept that my body needs rest and that it won’t always be when I like it. Now when someone says they wish they had time to nap I respond with this: “I don’t have time for naps either, but if I don’t give in to the demands my illnesses and body makes I won’t have time for anything else either!”
Do you regularly track your psoriatic arthritis symptoms?