I had a little revelation over the Christmas holidays. An epiphany of sorts.
I don’t know how to relax.
I spent the first half of my fortnight holiday driving around the north of England catching up with friends and family, enjoying good food, seeing the sights and generally getting in to the festive swing. The second week? I did next to nothing.
The weather was gloomy (can anyone remember the last time we had a glorious sunny wintery day?), I was full of cold, and I had a lot of telly to catch up on. So that’s pretty much all I did.
And yet… I felt guilty. Like I should have been painting my hallway, or stripping and varnishing the floorboards, or sorting through the store cupboard of doom. Like watching box sets and flicking through magazines was a waste of my time off work.
As part of my epiphany I realised that the only time I really feel relaxed is when I’m on holiday abroad – where it’s legitimate to do nothing but lie on a beach and read, to potter around museums or to people watch with a glass of wine because heat makes it easy to relax and go slowly.
2016 is going to be a busy year for me. The pace of my job is picking up and I’ll be travelling more. A lot of my weekends will be spent away visiting friends and family, and I have quite a few DIY challenges to tackle in my flat. But I also want, in light of my festive revelation, to make sure that I am relaxed and refreshed enough to enjoy what I have planned, and to feel productive rather than stressed.
And so, I need some advice.
Do you get The Guilts if you have a lazy day? How do you switch off, recharge and relax?