Is trying to relax stressing you out?
Picture the scene.
It's been a hard few weeks. You just want to relax. Everyone has seemed to want something from you, the bags under your eyes look bigger than your credit card bills, you yawn more than you talk and you can't remember then last time your brain just shut up.
So you've taken an afternoon away from everything. Or an hour. Whatever you can spare. And you're going to do something nice.
It might be picking up the book that's been on your bed side table for the last couple of months, catching up on a TV series, going out for a walk, meeting up with a friend or trying a new recipe.
You're all set. You've been looking for forward to this.
When you’ve really struggled, you’ve had this to fall back on.
Now the time has come.
And you are STRESSED.
You can't pick what to do. The minutes are ticking by. You can't make a decision. The endless options of nice things to do has turned into a quasi to do list and you haven't got a clue where to start.
I’ve been there. Multiple times. It’s similar to when you think of something to write and you get it all sorted in your head - the moment you hit that blank page, it was as if what you had in mind never existed.
So here are a some things you can do if you’re faced with relaxation paralysis:
1. Do the first thing that comes to your head
Pick one and commit. It sounds a lot simpler than it is, but remember why you set aside this time for yourself. It’s not about doing everything at once, although that's how our minds often default.
2. Pick one and schedule the others
Similar to the first one, pick the one that appeals to you most in the moment, but first take five minutes to schedule in your other plans. I’m sure you’ve heard the phrase, if it’s not in the schedule then it doesn’t exist? While that’s not completely true, as people who have a tendency to put self care and relaxation on the back burner, sometimes we do need that extra push to make sure we take the time.
3. Do nothing
Aka the beautiful Italian phrase dolce far niente; the beauty of doing nothing. Sometimes it’s about not having a plan, giving your mind some space and enjoying being in the present. You never know what ideas will surface.
And remember, if nothing else, all of our experiences are learning curves. You may have felt like your time was a waste, felt like you could have done something else, but your mind and body appreciate the break.
Have you had a similar experience? I’d love to hear about it and what you did to overcome it in the comments below!