When is the last time you took time to relax without feeling guilty for it? Does taking a much-needed break often come with a healthy dose of anxiety? A lot of people struggle with the idea of relaxing. There’s always something that needs to be done, meetings, chores, work, and everything under the sun. We’re a society that is always on go, and place a high value on our ability to produce. No wonder we feel bad when we’re not producing. However, many of us forget that we need to make time to relax in order to be able to perform at our best. We all deserve to have some peaceful downtime from time to time. Here are 6 simple ways to relax without feeling guilty for it.
The Importance of Relaxing
Relaxing is literally defined as ” to make or become less tense or anxious.” So why do so many of us struggle with letting our angst go when we hit pause on our lives? Relaxation although not the same as rest goes hand in hand with it. Rest is defined as “ceasing action, motion, and freedom from activity or labor.” Finding time to relax and rest on a regular basis not only helps your productivity, but it also comes with a number of health benefits including:
- Lower blood pressure
- Reduced stress (when you’re not stressing about relaxing)
- Overall boost in your energy
- Better sleep
- Improved mood
The Risk of Not Relaxing
I personally live for those days when I can shut off my phone, grab my favorite ice cream, and binge-watch my favorite TV shows without a care in the world. But lately, I realized that my off days we’re being overshadowed with my obsession with my to-do lists, what I could be doing with my downtime, deadlines I have to meet, and all the things I’ve been neglecting. In the past, that guilt prompted me to work and always be on go 24/7. And do you know what happened? I burned out.
For those of you that don’t know, burnout is defined as “the physical or mental collapse caused by overwork or stress”. When you experience burnout you can become sick, unmotivated, or your job performance can suffer. Just remember that balance is key. So if you feel yourself becoming overworked or simply spread too thin, take a moment to listen to your body and set aside some time to relax. I promise you, it won’t be the end of the world and you actually are giving yourself a chance to re-energize, refocus, and come back to work in full swing.
Burnout is very real and scary. And if you’re not careful and intentional about making time to relax, you run the risk of burning out. Check out my blog about burnout here.
6 Simple Ways to Relax
Remember you can not produce if you’re not at your best, mentally or physically. So make time for you and your rest. Here are 6 simple ways to relax.
Change your mindset
Accept that your health and mental wellbeing are important and should be a priority in your life. When you accept that, you will understand that relaxing and rest are perfectly fine and that you deserve it.
You have to make time and be intentional about your downtime. Incorporate time for rest and relaxation into your schedule and stick to it.
Listen to your body
Always be in tune with your body and spirit. If your gut is telling you to slow down, take heed to that feeling. If you don’t you risk burning out and making the problem bigger.
Make it productive
If you are obsessed with a to-do list and things like I was. Try incorporating “productive” ways to relax. Like going for a walk, reading, journaling, etc.
Sometimes it is hard to relax without feeling guilty because we’re constantly being bombarded with information and what everyone else is doing when you’re trying to relax. Take a day to completely unplug and quiet the noise.
Spend time with loved ones
Take advantage of this time to spend it with the ones you love the most. People that you can talk to, decompress with and completely be yourself. You’ll be relaxed before you know it.
You have every right to take a break and relax. Remember that you can’t pour from an empty cup, so take care of yourself and relax! In addition to the 6 simple ways to relax, here are some ideas of things you can do to chill.
Treat yourself to a nice, hot, long bath! Turn on your favorite tunes, pour yourself a glass of wine, and relax. Trust me, your body will thank you for it.
Go to a park, take a walk, or go for a relaxing drive. Just don’t think about work! Allow yourself to live in and enjoy the moment!
Reading can be an escape in itself and also therapeutic! There’s nothing like getting lost in a good book or even movie for that matter! Kick back and enjoy it!
Looking for a book to read? Check out my novel, “Red Echo.”
Or simply do nothing…
And that is ok! Like I told you before, I do it from time to time. Sometimes those lazy days are necessary. Give yourself a chance to catch up on all the sleep you’ve been missing.