This is where I was 2 weeks ago.
It was beautiful, gorgeous, serene and just perfect.
While I was away I had a massage. I don’t get massages regularly because they are expensive and I don’t tend to find them to be as relaxing as I should. It’s not to say that I don’t enjoy them, because I do. But every time I get one, I lay down and relax and then the massage therapist says, “relax”. Then they say it again. And then I’m thinking about relaxing and I can’t relax.
And as I lay on the table it bothered me that I did not know how to relax. That I almost innately go through life never being relaxed. Even when I sit down to relax I wind up checking emails or writing grocery lists or getting back up because something needs to be done.
I do not know how to relax. I do not know how to just be. I don’t know how to push aside all the to-do lists and scattered thoughts in my head.
So after my massage on Wednesday I decided that I was determined to learn how to relax. To put my phone down, to stop checking Facebook, to stop doing chores at 9:00 at night, to turn my to-do list off. To let go of the things that I have no control over like a toddler who won’t go to sleep or a husband who refuses to pick up his socks and a dog that only whines when I sit down.
Which on paper sounds easy but in practice it is really hard. It’s hard to turn off the voice in my head that is an endless loop of things to do and things that frustrate me. The voice that reminds me that I’m falling behind on the blog or that I should be using my down time to work on something else, that tells me that I need to flip the wash or clean the kitchen. The voice that makes me feel like every day is non-stop and that when I stop I should be doing something else.
And I realize that part of this comes from being a SAHM. From feeling like because I don’t work, I must constantly work. That if there is something that needs to be done then I’m the one that should be doing it. That down time is not an option.
For my happiness project this month I’m focusing on relaxing. I know lots of ways that people relax. I have friends that do yoga or go for a run or take a bubble bath. I need to figure out what relaxing is to me. I tend to think relaxing is a glass of wine and a cupcake but I’m not sure if that is just indulging and not really relaxing.
But I’ve always learned, as with the massage, that I can’t just relax, so I’ve made a list of ways that I’m going to try to teach myself to just let it go and relax.
- No household work after 8pm
- No Facebook after 9pm
- No IPhone in bed.
- Get up earlier
- Stop stressing about things I have no control over
- Regular exercise
- One activity at a time
- Read, crochet and write more.
- Listen to more music
And I’m not doing this just for me. This isn’t just about me taking a break or having some downtime. I know I’m a happier, better mom when I’m not constantly in motion. I know I have more patience when my to-do list isn’t constantly on my mind. I know I feel better and act better when I’m not stressing over stuff I have no control over.
So tell me friends, how do you relax? Or do we never relax in this hyper-connected, 24/7 times that we live in?