A while ago when I was writing my ‘about me’ for this blog I asked my friends to send me words that described me or sprung to mind when they thought of me. These were then worked in with my own thoughts. This is not an experiment I will ever do again (it wasn’t bad it just made me uncomfortable (I don’t take praise and compliments well)).
When I was thinking what to write a post about (obviously ignoring the 8 that I currently have in various stages of completeness in my drafts) I asked a trusted friend. Knowing me really well she said “How to relax“.
Which is a bit of an in joke as I am famed for my inability to relax. On the days that I say I have or will relax I actually mean I will have about 12 things on my to do list. Today as an example, this is a long weekend for me, BH Friday and a day off on Monday. My day today is a relaxing day. It started with a 4.5 mile run, a 1.5 mile walk. At the moment I am composing this post, then will complete 2 of the drafts, then do the washing, some work in the garden, remove sealant from the shower, clean and reseal it. Then a trip to the supermarket, finishing with dinner and a few chapters of my book.
This is what I call a relaxing day. Anyone who actually knows me knows that I am a hard task master and hold myself to a high level of accountability. The workouts I do on weekdays are high intensity, I ensure that every set is done with clean reps, or those reps are repeated.
If my to do list has ten things on it and I only deliver on nine of them then I beat myself up for not having done the tenth, I never congratulate myself on the nine that have been achieved.
A couple of years ago we went on a dream holiday, a reward for making it through a series of really bad times over a few years. We booked a lovely resort in a perfect location. A place of pure relaxation. For most people.
This place was perfect, set in its own bay every room had its own private area of beach, four bars, four restaurants, a spa, swimming pool (with waterfall), a nature reserve, water sports, boats, a spa, extensive gardens.
Perfect place to go and relax, let all your worries and cares disappear right?
Well for everyone but me maybe.
Every morning I ran that beach topless and barefoot through the waves which was amazingly relaxing as it cleared my mind and allowed me to see the beauty of where we were. Most afternoons I went to the gym (it was air conditioned and lovely) and worked out to earn (or counteract) some of the amazing food and cocktails. We walked the gardens and nature reserve daily. I swam in the pool and the sea daily.
So it seems that I don’t have the ability to relax even in the most idyllic and perfect places for relaxation. There are many other examples I could use, but you have got the idea by now right.
However, let us check the definition of relax in the dictionary.
to make less tense, rigid, or firm; make lax:
to diminish the force of.
to release or bring relief from the effects of tension, anxiety, etc.
If we use this definition, then my whole view on relaxing changes. As with so many things in the world, relaxing means different things to many people. For me the satisfaction of having achieved, made a difference, ticked things off the list is very relaxing.
When I take my book into the garden to read, I see jobs that need doing, weeding, pruning, trimming. Once I have seen, them I can’t ignore them, this often means that I need to do them then read, so my planned relaxation still happens, just in a different way,
While we are in lockdown I am trying hard to work on my ability to relax in a way that most people would think is normal. But I am also learning how to celebrate my individuality and recognise the things that I find calm me, as relaxing.
Are you able to relax?
How do you do it?
Like me do you relax in odd ways that you haven’t even recognised as relaxing?