Time to Relax

I used to think that sitting down to Netflix and eating whatever I wanted was relaxing.

I’d come home after a long day, feeling stressed out and look forward to the escape.

Funny thing though… I wasn’t refreshed.

It was great blocking everything else out and spending the evening without having to make a decision.

But before I went to bed, I actually felt more exhausted.

The morning was not too far away, and I didn’t want to start it all over again.

Don’t get me wrong, I wanted to live. I just didn’t want to get up and do my schedule.

I’d get up right before I had to run out the door, rushed, reapplying makeup to my yesterday’s makeup face, not having time to put my well-intended lunch together because I didn’t leave myself enough time. Grabbing whatever was fast and comforting to eat and feel bloated.

I wasn’t getting real rest. I wasn’t having real relax time. It was the illusion of relaxing.

The urge still comes up to do all of that. Stay on the couch for hours, shove food in my face – a lot of food, and roll out of bed at the LAST minute (I love sleeping).

When I ask myself why I want to, my answer is, ” I just want to relax.’

Hmmm, so interesting because you think by now I’d know I’ll feel more exhausted.

This is the thing. It was a habit for a long time that my body thought I was benefitting from. My body thinks I still will. It’s familiar. It was also a time to block out negative emotions and hide from my running thoughts.

The real truth is I don’t want to do that. In the moment when something else is planned, I’ll want the instant gratification of the TV and food.

I don’t want to have it as a nightly ritual. I don’t get REAL rest. It’s not refreshing. It makes me feel worse and push back the things I really, really want to do.

Netflix only sounds relaxing because it’s familiar and my body gets to do zippo.

You know when I really feel relaxed?

When I don’t Netflix and binge. I feel relaxed and satisfied when I set time aside for myself to refresh. That includes barre, walking, reading, planning, spending time with friends, spending time with Jay (my hubby), working in the hard, playing cards, and a nice massage.

Those might not sound like refreshment, but they are to me. They really are, but I forget that I find more enjoyment in those things when I listen to the default ‘couch command’ to sit down and do nothing.

The illusion of rest is there, but the refreshment is not.

When I chose to watch TV and movies in advance, that’s my time to do it.

But when I have something else planned and feel the urge to throw it to the wayside for streaming, it’s going to be a no-go.

We don’t have to be on default if we don’t want to anymore. If you feel weighed down, anxious, tired, and unmotivated and don’t want to keep that cycle, you don’t have to.

To get started, test out new things this way (write the answers down):

  1. How do I want to practice not watching TV this week? One day off, two days off, …
  2. How do I want to decide in advance to answer the desire when it comes up and feels urgent? No, thank you TV. I’m more tired when I watch you.
  3. What things do I really want to do that refresh me (write those down)? Read, take a bath, journal, hang with my bestie, go get a massage, start that goal I had.
  4. I am not at the mercy of a habit. I can decide right now to do something else. Yeah, girl!

Your rest time is so valuable especially with the schedules we have these days. Check-in with yourself to see if your ‘rest’ time is refreshing you.

It makes all the difference when the rest time is real rest time.