imageI 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?

14 thoughts on “Relax

  1. @bonnyirishlass says:

    Yes! All over this! I seem to find that I don’t have enough time to do all the things I want to do and when I am doing something I’m thinking about something else that I should be doing! We did a 8 week mindfulness course at work recently and we worked on that a lot. Trying to be more in the moment and telling yourself it’s okay to do nothing or to spend time on yourself. I highly recommend it!

  2. Liz S says:

    I sometimes feel quite guilty if I’ve sat around and watched lots of TV. I don’t tend to feel bad if I’m reading though, as that somehow seems more productive! I’m not sure what the solution is though… Sorry that’s totally unhelpful!

    Liz x
    Distract Me Now Please

  3. Sarah Rooftops says:

    I used to – I’d be lying on the sofa, trying to read a book and thinking about all the chores I really *should* have done (or novels I *should* have written etc etc). But… I don’t know how I got over it… Sorry!

    These days, I’m the other way round – I’ll be working away on my blog and feeling guilty because I *should* be using my free time to put my feet up and read a book.

    • Gwen says:

      Ah that’s interesting! I suppose however we spend our free time there’s *always* a list of things to do. Or books to read!

  4. Amanda says:

    I can do nothing but I still struggle to relax – I’m naturally a fretter & highly strung. Wish I could change this about myself.

  5. Janet says:

    This sounds SO familiar! I often say that the only place I truly relax is at my mum’s- it’s familiar enough that I don’t feel I have a list of things to see (as I too often do when on an actual holiday) and yet because I’m not at my own house I don’t have the constant nag of “I should be cleaning/crafting/blogging/decorating”. So yep, no tips unfortunately but I feel your pain.

    • Gwen says:

      Interesting! I think you have a point about the visiting/things feeling familiar. When I’m on holiday I tend to allocate my sightseeing to specific days then relax on others. Maybe I should try the same at home!

  6. FiJo says:

    I totally change gear in the campervan, or a tent, being away from home helps a lot!
    Perhaps we should all convert a wardrobe or cupboard into a little escape pod!

  7. Lucy in the Clouds says:

    So interesting how everyone says they can only relax away from home – which is the one place you should BE ABLE to relax! My aim is just to get my house to a state where I can sit and read a book without being surrounded by mess, then I think I wouldn’t feel as guilty.

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