As someone who struggles to relax at the best of times, occasions such as National Relaxation Day are a particular pet peev.
Not just for the spa-day salt that those #relaxationday reels tend to rub in the Monday wounds.
Not even for the wishful thinking that ‘and relax!!’ is so often met with!
Mainly, it’s because the narrative so scarcely represents the race against tantrums and meal times, that ‘relaxation’ so often is!
In my case, the noise is constant, the chores keep coming, and self-care is invariably scraped from the bottom of the busyness barrel.
Against the vision of book-reading, herbal-tea sipping solace that we’re sold on social media, my tepid-coffee-quaffing ‘relaxation’ reality ( enjoyed whilst ceremoniously slumped on a pile of washing in a rare moment of calm) is probably NOT the one!
For anyone who can relate to the joy in these dregs of down time… it actually is. THE ONE!!
If I’ve discovered one thing in my years of begging, stealing and borrowing breaks from the jaws of parenting responsibility, it’s that the absence of rest, makes the heart grow all the fonder of those feet-up moments…as and when they happen.
These spontaneous moments when silence reigns - fleeting as they are - are often more likely to hit the serotonin spot, than even the most planned and prepared-for power downs.
The reason? When relaxation is mandated (and maybe it’s just me), it becomes just another un-checked to-do on the never-ending list of things to squeeze into 24 hours.
In effect, it then feeds the very stress that it’s designed to break and - for the ‘always-on’ among us - can also (quite ironically) bring anxieties into sharper focus.
With this in mind, today’s life-coaching content comes not from a place ‘disconnect to reconnect’, with tropes of time-outs and ‘turning inward.’
Instead, it leads from the beggers-can’t-be-choosers camp, where even the least relaxing situations have zen-potential, with the help of a little honed talent for selective zoning out!