I’ve been thinking about this for the last few weeks. So, I suppose in some ways this post is my way of asking for advice.
I have always been pretty bad at relaxing. I am definitely a “doer” so when I sit down to chill, it’s as though I have “ants in my pants”.
It takes me at least three sittings to watch a 40 minute programme on TV as I always leap up to “just something quickly”, thereby sabotaging my own relaxation.
As for actually doing nothing – I am truly abysmal. I find the theory quite appealing, but in reality doing nothing feels bewildering and slightly scary.
I’m getting rather annoyed with myself, and tired, so I need to take action, but how?
Now I am not claiming my life is any more full than anyone else’s and I have always thought of being self-employed (as I am) as a luxury, especially when you have children. I can fit things around my children’s needs and make up time elsewhere.
But the down side is I can always make up time elsewhere so I don’t factor in time to stop.
I am, however, quite good at doing things for my well-being. I meditate daily, exercise 5 times a week and my sleep is extremely precious to me.
But I have realized it’s not same.
Meditation, exercise, even sleep have a purpose. Relaxation doesn’t feel that way. And as for doing nothing – isn’t that a bit of a waste of time?
There is also the ‘maternal guilt factor’ – because just sitting down to relax or doing nothing feels lazy.
As I write this, I remember reading an article several years ago in relation to parenting, which discussed the importance and benefits of children doing nothing and how too much structure was not good for them. So I suppose the same principles can apply to adults.
So I wanted to come up with a list of things I could do to relax so I have been asking friends and here are some things they have suggested:
- Reading – This one should be easy. I love to read. But nowadays I rarely sit down with a book unless I’m on holiday.
- Watch a TV programme or film from start to finish without my laptop or phone to hand (this feels like intermediate level relaxation…)
- Go for a walk – just for the sake of going for a walk. I always have the best of intentions with this one, but never seem to manage to make the time.
- Gardening – I feel this one might be a joke as I am not known for my “green fingers” – but maybe I could sit in my garden more often…with a book??
- Do something restful – like sew or knit. Funnily enough I used to do both these things as a teenager…maybe it is time to dust off my sewing machine…
- Cook for pleasure – now I must admit I don’t really associate cooking as relaxing these days, it is more a necessity – and I’m pretty sure many mothers would agree. But as I have mentioned before I do find baking very restful, so maybe I need to make more time for that, as I’m sure it would be appreciated in my house.
So whilst this list is not looking unachievable, I have no idea where I would find the time and I suppose that is the point.
We have to make the time to relax and the purpose can be that there is no purpose and that has benefits in itself….
What do you think? I’d love to know your thoughts and what you do to relax.
And as for actually doing nothing – that feels far too advanced for me – so I’ll have to work up to it…