This raises the age-old question, “How do you relax?” And, whether that’s being asked rhetorically by someone too busy to even imagine relaxing or by a client who genuinely wants to learn some skills for relaxation, it is a question worth contemplating here!
How do you relax? Of course I can think of dozens of ways to relax but, to go to the heart of the issue in our busy Western do-driven culture, the question behind the question is really, “How do you give yourself permission to relax?”
That’s a tougher nut to crack when it comes to busy schedules, the clamoring of many stakeholders in our lives who all have expectations of us, and then, there’s that inner critic who’s fast to say, “You don’t have time for relaxing!”
So, how do you relax? I would offer a three-pronged approach:
- First, make it a planned activity – put relaxation on your calendar!
- Second, let others know you’re doing it – share the fact that you build relaxation into your life with those who matter so they feel less comfortable interrupting your “special” time!
- Third, audit your life – meaning, look back at what you’ve planned and what you’ve actually done with your time. Did you take that walk around the lake on the day you planned to? Maybe it rained, did you substituted something else relaxing – or did you abandon relaxation for that day?
These aren’t tough tools to learn, we use them for everything else we want to accomplish in life. So why is it so foreign to employ them for planned relaxation? Do we still feel guilt for imagining ourselves as people who need self-care? Okay, that a whole other blog.
For today, since tomorrow, National Relaxation Day, is coming up fast, PLEASE put something on your calendar that will feel to YOU like relaxation and do all you can to keep that promise to yourself that you deserve a break in the relentless “doing” of life to simply experience life as a human being!