By Josh Mitchell/Corinth Today
Like a lot of people, I often can’t relax unless I have exerted myself in some way beforehand. I feel that I need to do some work in advance in order to “earn” some time to kick back.
In some ways I think this is good while in other ways I think it is a detriment. It all comes down to a matter of frequency. In some cases, I think it is healthy to do some work and then reward yourself with some downtime. This can be a great way to motivate oneself to get things done.
But I think it can be a bad thing if someone always feels obligated to do a whole laundry list of chores in order to “earn” some downtime. People should be able to chill without feeling guilty that they have not caught up on their entire to-do list.
However, sometimes hard work can make relaxation more satisfying, which is why I often go for a 30-minute run in the middle of a summer day before getting in a pool. The exertion from the run makes the cool water that much more refreshing. But it can be frustrating if I get to the point of being unable to enjoy the pool without going for a run first.
Sometimes people just need to relax and forget about all the work that has to be done. This can be hard for me. If I have something that needs to be done, it can be hard for me to relax until I have completed the work. Sometimes I wish I wasn’t this way, but other times I’m glad that I am. If one cannot relax until all the work is done, there will never be any time to relax because there is always more work to do. A vicious cycle.
I think the key is finding a balance between work and relaxation. Some people want to relax all the time and not work while others want to work all the time and can’t relax. Ideally, people should be able to prioritize the things that they need to get done every day and then set aside some time to do what they want. That could include spending time with family, doing a hobby or just watching TV without thinking about work. Teaching yourself how to relax and put work on hold could allow you to perform the tasks better once you go back to them.
Some people find work relaxing which can create a conundrum and take away from time with family. These people may find work relaxing because they don’t know how to truly relax.
In many cases, I think relaxation is more mental than physical. However, there have been times that I have been very physically tired and just wanted to sit without moving. The last time this happened to me was in the fall when I raked about 40 bags of leaves.
But in other cases, I think a person can be very physically active while relaxing. Some may play tennis, work in the yard or go for a walk to relax. And then afterward they will say they need to relax again because they are tired from all their activity. These are the ones you have to look out for.
It is probably fair to say that the word “relax” brings up mental images of someone lounging in a chair. But for many people just sitting quietly could be the opposite of relaxing if they are prone to over thinking. These types of people may relax more if they are engaged in an activity that keeps them from focusing too much on their thoughts.
Regardless of whether you are a passive or active relaxer, it is important to set aside some time for yourself to unwind. And it may also be helpful to turn off your smart phone.