Why It’s so Darn Hard to Relax

Why It’s so Darn Hard to Relax

Why is it so hard to relax? Do you ever ask yourself that question and can’t come up with a decent explanation? Hardcore relaxation is without a doubt one of my goals in life. I live and breathe for reaching work-life balance nirvana. And while the life part of that equation is filled with many different things, relaxation tends to be relegated to a pretty low spot on the list even when it’s something I always want more of.

My favorite way to relax is to nap. Hands down there is nothing better on a weekend afternoon than to drift off for an hour and wake up feeling refreshed. This is definitely the most consistent form of relaxation in my life. I don’t deny myself when the desire to sleep starts invading my body, and I’m not quite sure that I would be able to function at the level I need to if it weren’t for those moments of rest.

There are definitely other things that I find relaxing like sitting on my porch swing while drinking a cup of coffee, and laying on my couch while my dogs cuddle all around me. More often than not though, when I do have ‘free’ time, I’m investing it in my career. In a way this makes logical sense. This is a time in my life where I can be selfish and focus on achieving my personal and professional goals. How do you know though when it’s time to shut off the productivity machine for the day and just settle in to read a good book without your mind wandering?

Some situations really lend themselves to cultivating this mentality. I don’t really watch TV during the week, and with the exception of Game of Thrones, most of the stuff gets recorded for later. I lose recordings all the time because I just never got around to seeing that one episode of The Big Bang Theory. Yet in certain instances, I can spend an entire day watching television, most recently when I binge watched season 2 of Stranger Things. The all or nothing mentality always strikes me as odd though.

Does the more you work make it easier to fill your free time with more work? Is it really work if you’re doing it for yourself because you enjoy it, like writing a blog post? Redefining what is considered relaxing might be the key to actually having it happen in the first place.

Traditional forms of relaxation like watching TV may not do the trick if you have a hard time switching off. And while it’s definitely worthwhile to examine why there are times when you can’t switch off from work; accepting that you find other things relaxing, even if to an outsider observer it may seem like you’re still working is the way to achieve any rest in the first place.

Maybe we all just need to take some relaxation classes with mandatory spa days once a month. Now that sounds like a relaxing note we could all take advantage of.

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