Your relaxation time doesn’t actually have to be relaxing.

Self care, rest, taking a break, and relaxation are all wellness buzz words. The idea that our own well being matters and remembering we’re humans, not robots, is pretty important. I’m loving the slow shift towards prioritizing our health, especially when we’re burn out.

So what can you do to relax?

Usually that question brings to mind the standard list: meditation, reading a book, watching a movie, sipping a cup of tea slowly, etc. etc.

I’m sure there are more that I’m not thinking of, but as you’ll soon learn, this isn’t exactly my area of expertise. It’s great if one of the above strategies works for you. But what if it doesn’t?

I don’t like to sit still.

We could argue all day about whether that’s a problem, but for now, it just is what it is. Sedentary activities happen when I’m tired or sick. I don’t actually consider that relaxation, though. I consider that a necessity. Relaxation to me is what you do before you get to the point of considering if it’s really worth it to get up to go to the bathroom. I’m kidding. It’s always worth it. I only debate it for like, .3 seconds. Anyway…

It’s not how I like to chill out and feel like a more calm version of me. It usually ends up stressing me out more. I tried meditation a couple of times, and it did not go well. Yes, through the apps. Yes, with that soothing guided voice. It was still bad. I actually felt more anxious than I did before I started the meditation. Not only that, but I also felt bad about myself that I couldn’t relax and chill out the way I was “suppose to”. Cool. So not only am I not relaxed, but I’m anxious and self loathing now. Thanks, meditation!

I don’t mean to bash meditation.

I recommend it to clients. It works for a lot of people. I am just not one of them. So I write this very long winded explanation to say, it’s okay if you don’t relax in relaxing ways.

The point of relaxing is to feel more calm and more at peace.

There are absolutely times in which the journey is more important than the destination. I don’t think this is one of those times. If something doesn’t make you feel calmer, then why do it? Because someone else said it’s supposed to mellow you? Well, it doesn’t matter if it’s supposed to if it doesn’t.

If there’s an activity in which you feel like you’ve just taken a giant sigh of relief after you’re done, that’s your relaxation. It could be knitting or it could be climbing mountains. For me, it’s usually running or some type of movement. It’s also organizing, planning, or good conversation with my favorite people. None of those may seem very chill, but it’s what works for me.

It’s okay if your relaxation doesn’t fit the mold. It just needs to be what makes you feel like a new person.

Struggling to figure out a routine that works for you? Want to talk about how meditation is just NOT it? One of our therapists would love to have whatever conversation you want. Click here to book a free phone consult to get started.

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Viva provides clients with individualized, holistic, and culturally competent care. We focus on working with the whole person and firmly believe that a healthy lifestyle looks different on everyone.

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