How not to relax

It turns out I don’t know how to relax. Like, at all. Or at least I appear to have forgotten how to relax.

I took three days off work recently to take some time out for myself. I’d been waiting for an eternity (slight exaggeration) for Dave to stop working huge hours, so we could get away on a family holiday. In the end, I got sick of waiting.

I was exhausted, easily stressed, and was suffering from headaches and migraines. I had pretty much let myself get to that point again, where I was on the verge of burn out.

With the kids at daycare and Dave at work, the plan was to indulge in some much needed me time.

Well, that would be nice … if only I could remember what me time actually is. It’s been so long since I’ve had some, that on my three days off, I couldn’t figure out what the hell to do with myself.

On day one of my leave, I dropped the kids off at daycare and came home to a deliciously quiet and empty house. There was a certain excitement running through my veins, yes, but there was also a sense of panic. Umm … what do I do now? Watch a movie, read a book, soak in the bath? I wanted to do all the things. I decided to put on a load of washing while I made up my mind.

While I was waiting for the washing, I thought I may as well strip the beds. It was a gorgeous sunny day, after all, and I thought I should make the most of the great clothes drying weather.

It did occur to me at that point that I was now equating sunny days with the perfect opportunity to dry clothes rather than laze on the beach, but I shook away the thoughts that I’m becoming old before my time and powered on to do a spot of ironing and cook a nice dinner for the family.

Before I knew it, I’d spent the whole day cleaning and was, not surprisingly, cranky as all hell that I had:

a) not relaxed at all; and

b) let one of my precious three days to myself go down the drain.

With razor blades starting to form in my throat, I tucked myself into bed early promising I’d treat myself to a movie the next day and shout myself my favourite Raspberry Ripe drink from Boost Juice. Woo party!

On day two, I could feel the lurgy taking hold. I dropped the kids off to daycare and instead of toddling off to a movie, I came back home and sat writing at my computer all day. I love writing of course, but sitting locked up in the house in front of the screen for eight hours is not the best way to relax. Oh wait, I lie. I did get some fresh air. Yep, I got some air when I hung out more washing.

There went another day down the drain. Day two = epic fail.

Day three started off well. I had booked myself a facial and was well and truly ready to indulge in some me time. Mind you, I opted for the 30 minute facial rather than the one hour one because, you know, time is precious and I didn’t want to waste too much time enjoying myself and relaxing, did I?

Now, this is the moment when I realised I’d completely flipped my lid and lost all sense of what it means to relax. The beauty salon left me waiting 25 minutes for my facial and instead of calmly sitting in the salon reading a mag or scrolling through my Facebook feed, I sat there letting every muscle in my body tense up. I was mad. Oh boy, was I mad that my precious time was being wasted. By the time the beautician took me in, there was smoke coming out of my ears.

Not surprisingly, after not relaxing on my time off and not taking care of me when I was rundown, I ended up getting sick.

The following week I insisted on going to work rather than rest as I was flat strapped and didn’t want to be seen to be taking the mickey having two weeks off in a row.

Feeling like death, I took myself to the doctor after finishing work for the week. I had bronchitis and an ear infection, which I’m still trying to shake now. I was cursing myself for once again not taking more time off or heading to the doctor sooner.

I’ve promised myself that next time I take leave and some time out for me, that I’m going to pre-plan and stick to it. There will be nothing but pure indulgence for me and good drying days can go to hell.

Have you forgotten the art of relaxation? How do you spend your me time? What would you do on three days off?

Linking up today with Jess and my crew for IBOT.

72 comments on How not to relax

  1. Raychael aka Mystery Case
    August 11, 2015 at 6:47 am (2 years ago)

    I can relate to this on so many levels. Perhaps me time looks different these days and it involves a clean organised house and we both need to embrace the change?

    Reply
    • Mummy, Wife, Me
      August 12, 2015 at 2:18 pm (2 years ago)

      Yes perhaps it does, Raychael. I know I can’t relax until things are in order.

      Reply
  2. Vanessa
    August 11, 2015 at 6:54 am (2 years ago)

    When I took myself away for a night in Jan, I got so stressed at waiting for chips to be cooked. Why? Because it was eating into the 30mins of lunchbreak I was “allowed”. Major wake up call. I also have a lot of trouble relaxing. I am getting better but boy the getting better increments are small!
    I hope you feel better soon – and take time off to recover if you need to!

    Reply
    • Mummy, Wife, Me
      August 12, 2015 at 2:19 pm (2 years ago)

      Thanks Vanessa. And I totally get what you mean about allowing yourself a 30 minute lunchbreak. I do that too. Gosh we’re crazy aren’t we, lol?!

      Reply
  3. Lydia C. Lee
    August 11, 2015 at 6:59 am (2 years ago)

    Man, I’d love 3 days off – we just don’t give ourselves permission for that!

    Reply
    • Mummy, Wife, Me
      August 12, 2015 at 2:20 pm (2 years ago)

      No, we don’t and I was very lucky to have mine even if I was doing the housework.

      Reply
  4. Kathy
    August 11, 2015 at 7:54 am (2 years ago)

    You poor think Renee. We definitely need to get you into relax school. Next time take a drive down the coast and take a walk on the beach. I can give you a yoga/meditation session, make us a nice lunch (with a glass of wine of course) and if you bring a load of washing I can chuck it in the machine and hang it out and it’ll be dry before you head back home.

    Reply
    • Mummy, Wife, Me
      August 12, 2015 at 2:21 pm (2 years ago)

      Oh Kathy! You are such a sweetheart. You really are. I don’t think I’ve met anyone as kind and generous as you before x

      Reply
  5. JodiGibson (@JFGibsonWriter)
    August 11, 2015 at 8:25 am (2 years ago)

    It’s so hard to come down from the mega hyped world that is our day to day reality. I find it tough too. xxx

    Reply
    • Mummy, Wife, Me
      August 12, 2015 at 2:21 pm (2 years ago)

      Yep, that’s the issue, Jodi. I definitely let myself get overstimulated and it’s hard to come back down x

      Reply
  6. Sammie @ The Annoyed Thyroid
    August 11, 2015 at 8:32 am (2 years ago)

    I can totally relate. I work three days and have two days “off” but on the days I’m at home, I’m actually busier than when I’m in the office. I really hope you feel better soon and get some QRT (Quality Renee Time.) If I had three days off, I’d bake, run, colour in and eat a lot of dumplings (but not all at the same time.) Now, let’s all step away from the washing machine… πŸ™‚

    Reply
    • Mummy, Wife, Me
      August 12, 2015 at 2:22 pm (2 years ago)

      Lol. Yes, lets! QRT sounds awesome. I definitely need some. I hope you get some QST soon xx

      Reply
  7. Mumma McD
    August 11, 2015 at 8:43 am (2 years ago)

    That damn washing machine always beckons doesn’t it! It’s hard to relax when there’s always so much to do… hope you’re feeling much better soon!

    Reply
    • Kirsten McCulloch
      August 11, 2015 at 8:54 am (2 years ago)

      You have hit the nail with that statement – “It’s so hard to relax when there’s so much to do.” That’s the core of it.

      Reply
      • Mummy, Wife, Me
        August 12, 2015 at 2:23 pm (2 years ago)

        Yep, that’s definitely the problem. It’s just neverending!

        Reply
  8. Ingrid @ Fabulous and Fun Life
    August 11, 2015 at 8:48 am (2 years ago)

    It’s amazing how often I end up being sick when I have a short break.It’s almost like my body holds it together when it needs to but when it knows I have a break it says enough is enough and it refuses to do anything more!

    Pre-planning your next break sounds like a good idea! I hope you recover fully quickly.

    Reply
    • Mummy, Wife, Me
      August 12, 2015 at 2:24 pm (2 years ago)

      Thanks Ingrid. Yes, I think lots of people have the same problem that they fall sick once they take a break. We all need to learn to be kinder to ourselves.

      Reply
  9. Kirsten McCulloch
    August 11, 2015 at 8:53 am (2 years ago)

    I can soooo relate to this.

    Days off for me are about trying to catch up on a fraction of the untouched housework, or maybe get some meal planning and shopping done, or… you get the idea. And the taxes! They are now hanging over my head too.

    That line about booking in only a 30 minute facial because you wouldn’t want to waste too much of your precious relaxing time, doing something that was, well, relaxing? Yeah. So, so true.

    I am trying to take Wednesdays “off” at the moment, not to relax but to get through some of the house work and do shopping and cook and.. well, okay, maybe one of those things anyway. But I am *trying* to make each Wednesday start with a swim and then a coffee with my cuz. We don’t always manage it, and I don’t even always mange to go home and do house work instead of work-work, but hopefully, if I can manage a few hours doing something “useful”, each wednesday before school pick up, then when I DO take a day off to relax some time, I will actually be able to force myself to do it!

    As for you – you should book in another “relax” break soon, and make the most of it. Even if it’s just one day! πŸ™‚ I like the idea of pre-planning to enforce relaxation! LOL.

    Reply
    • Mummy, Wife, Me
      August 12, 2015 at 2:26 pm (2 years ago)

      Kirsten, I love the idea of your Wednesdays starting off with a swim and a coffee with your cousin. Swimming is so good for the soul and the only way I really know how to relax. It sounds like a great plan and I hope you can stick with it.

      Reply
  10. Karin @ Calm to Conniption
    August 11, 2015 at 9:02 am (2 years ago)

    It is so frustrating! Time to sit and do nothing is now wasted time in my head. I always try to remember “The time you enjoy wasting is not wasted time” but there is always something else I could be doing. I think to really get back into relaxing you need a week because it takes 2 or 3 days to remember how to do it! I hope you shake the illness and grab some more me time soon.

    Reply
    • Mummy, Wife, Me
      August 12, 2015 at 2:27 pm (2 years ago)

      Yes, exactly Karin. It definitely takes a few days – sometimes a week to remember how to relax. I love that saying. I’ve never heard of it, but will adopt it now πŸ™‚

      Reply
  11. Nicole@ The Builders Wife
    August 11, 2015 at 11:44 am (2 years ago)

    I wish I could say I don’t get this, but really, it’s like I’m talking. So much so, my break that I so desperately need, is to go to ProBlogger this weekend, and I’ve just realised it’s not a break at all, but seriously hard work!! Still a break in routine might just be the start. Next time you’re off, let me know, we can do coffee, I promise not to be late, and you’ll get us much time as you like relaxing. Hope you are feeling better now xxx
    P.S I would have been seriously pissed at the beautician as well!

    Reply
    • Mummy, Wife, Me
      August 12, 2015 at 2:29 pm (2 years ago)

      Lol. Yes, a catch up would be great. I’ll definitely let you know when I’m kid free and ready for some hang out time πŸ™‚ Enjoy Problogger this weekend x

      Reply
  12. Maxabella
    August 11, 2015 at 12:20 pm (2 years ago)

    Poor Renee. I know what’s going on here because I do the exact same thing. Somewhere in our minds we think that there is an end to the housework and that if we could just get there then we can relax. You know the answer to that. Next time you just need to lie in a hammock for the duration. That’s all that can be done. x

    Reply
    • Emily
      August 11, 2015 at 12:22 pm (2 years ago)

      Nailed it. I’ll just do this because when it’s all done I’ll feel so much better. BUT IT’S NEVER DONE!

      Reply
    • Mummy, Wife, Me
      August 12, 2015 at 2:29 pm (2 years ago)

      Ha! So true, Bron. There is no end to it and I’m definitely better off relaxing. I love it I love it! x

      Reply
  13. Emily
    August 11, 2015 at 12:21 pm (2 years ago)

    I have absolutely forgotten how to relax. I would have done all that. Without the facial. You poor, poor thing. I hope you feel better soon. x #teamIBOT

    Reply
    • Mummy, Wife, Me
      August 12, 2015 at 2:32 pm (2 years ago)

      Thanks Em. I’m glad I’m not the only one x

      Reply
  14. Min@WriteoftheMiddle
    August 11, 2015 at 12:35 pm (2 years ago)

    Oh dear – this all sounds very familiar! I hope you can re-learn how to relax because I didn’t and had a mega super duper burn out thingy majiggy! Funnily enough my post today is about self-compassion and self-care! πŸ˜‰ xo

    Reply
    • Mummy, Wife, Me
      August 12, 2015 at 2:33 pm (2 years ago)

      Yes, I enjoyed the read, Min. We’re on the same page xo

      Reply
  15. Erika @ Ever-changing Life of a Mum
    August 11, 2015 at 12:43 pm (2 years ago)

    I hear you loud and clear Renee, I think we are always so busy, busy, busy, go, go, go that it’s really hard to relax sometimes and when we do finally get the opportunity we feel like we need to fill it with something. But it’s so important to have some me time, down time, relax time, whatever you prefer to call it. If I had 3 days totally to myself I would catch up on my favourite TV shows, go for a walk, do some yoga, get a massage, sit outside and read a book and just enjoy the quiet. Ah bliss. Hope you’re feeling better soon xx

    Reply
    • Mummy, Wife, Me
      August 12, 2015 at 2:34 pm (2 years ago)

      That does sound like bliss, Erika. I hope you get some time to yourself soon to do it!

      Reply
  16. Vicki @ Boiled Eggs & Soldiers
    August 11, 2015 at 1:07 pm (2 years ago)

    I completely relate I find it hard to relax when there is always something to be done and there is always something to be done!!! Staying at home and relaxing don’t seem to equate in my world, best book a holiday away!! I hope you get some down time soon for a proper relax. x

    Reply
    • Mummy, Wife, Me
      August 12, 2015 at 2:35 pm (2 years ago)

      I’ve just booked a holiday, Vicki!! I hope you get a chance to have some time out soon too x

      Reply
  17. Neets
    August 11, 2015 at 1:29 pm (2 years ago)

    Oh hon, I’m so sorry that you didn’t get any you time on your 3 day break. It is so so important. In fact, Dr Neets is insisting on making one night or day a week where you do something for YOU! It could be a bath every Thursday night, a yoga class once a week. For memory, you like swimming right? Go swimming once a week. You will feel so much better for it. I run on my Tuesday KID FREE day and when I get back from my run, I vacuum so I don’t feel so guilty. ha ha. xxx

    Reply
    • Mummy, Wife, Me
      August 12, 2015 at 2:36 pm (2 years ago)

      Haha! I love it Dr Neets πŸ™‚ That is very good advice. I can’t wait to get back into my swimming once I’m fully better xx

      Reply
  18. EssentiallyJess
    August 11, 2015 at 2:19 pm (2 years ago)

    Oh I think I would be exactly the same Renee!
    I probably would spend lots of time writing, but otherwise I would be doing housework.
    I also equate sunny days with washing. It’s crazy how things change.

    Reply
    • Mummy, Wife, Me
      August 12, 2015 at 2:36 pm (2 years ago)

      Oh it is! I’m turning into my mother lol πŸ™‚ x

      Reply
  19. Bron from Flat Bum Mum
    August 11, 2015 at 2:23 pm (2 years ago)

    This is BRILLIANT!!!! I feel exactly the same way! Thank you. I think the pre-planning is a great idea for next time. Or….book a hotel for yourself ! Bron

    Reply
    • Mummy, Wife, Me
      August 12, 2015 at 2:37 pm (2 years ago)

      Now that’s an idea, Bron! I like the way you think πŸ™‚

      Reply
  20. Deb @inner compass designs
    August 11, 2015 at 3:16 pm (2 years ago)

    Big hugs hon. I hope next time you can let yourself unwind however you need. I am the queen of relaxing and worry I am too lazy lol. No perfect amount really. Xxx

    Reply
    • Mummy, Wife, Me
      August 12, 2015 at 2:37 pm (2 years ago)

      That is awesome, Deb. I need to take a leaf out of your book πŸ™‚ x

      Reply
  21. Tash @ Gift Grapevine
    August 11, 2015 at 4:30 pm (2 years ago)

    What have we become Renee?! I too get excited at the prospect of good weather equating to getting more washing done. Doing the ironing in front of the TV is considered “me time” if I do it with a glass of wine! You sound like you need a proper holiday – stat. Get away from everything. No housework, computer or social media distractions. Just a change of scenery. I hope Dave’s hours reduce and you get a chance to escape away soon xx

    Reply
    • Mummy, Wife, Me
      August 12, 2015 at 2:38 pm (2 years ago)

      Thank you so much, Tash. We’ve actually just booked a week away in October. I can’t wait πŸ™‚ I laughed at your drinking wine in front of the tv while ironing comment. So me πŸ™‚ x

      Reply
  22. Hugzilla
    August 11, 2015 at 4:43 pm (2 years ago)

    Oh Jesus I can see so much of myself in this! The number of “free days” I’ve wasted because I have no freaking idea what to do with myself so I end up doing housework! I can so relate…

    Reply
    • Mummy, Wife, Me
      August 12, 2015 at 2:39 pm (2 years ago)

      What are we like? Glad I’m not the only one though πŸ™‚

      Reply
  23. Julie @ Off to the park
    August 11, 2015 at 6:12 pm (2 years ago)

    Oh no you poor thing, I hope you are feeling better and get another chance to relax soon!

    I’ve just been bought a colouring-in book titled “The Little Book of colouring for calm”, I’m so hoping this will give me a few minutes of calm and relaxation I need when the girls are busy doing their own colouring and drawing.

    If I had 3 days all to myself, I would spend a day doing art (ie. painting and drawing), take myself to a movie, have lunch with my Hubby in the city and visit the art gallery πŸ™‚

    Reply
    • Mummy, Wife, Me
      August 12, 2015 at 2:40 pm (2 years ago)

      That sounds perfect, Julie. I love the sound of that colouring in book too. I will have too look out for it.

      Reply
  24. Emily @ Have A Laugh On Me
    August 11, 2015 at 8:38 pm (2 years ago)

    Have totally been there but I’m gutted for you – GRR to being sick – I also find boring housework to do when I could be enjoying me time- what is wrong with us????!!!! You rock, rest up and here’s to a great Burleigh break soon xx

    Reply
    • Mummy, Wife, Me
      August 12, 2015 at 2:41 pm (2 years ago)

      Woohoo! All booked in and I can’t wait x

      Reply
  25. Toni @ Finding Myself Young
    August 11, 2015 at 8:49 pm (2 years ago)

    Bahaha what is relaxation? I’m looking forward to Problogger because it’ll be all about me for once and I wont be able to do the washing or cooking {which is what I normally do too}.

    Reply
    • Mummy, Wife, Me
      August 12, 2015 at 2:41 pm (2 years ago)

      Toni, I hope you have an awesome time at Problogger. I can’t wait to hear all about it!

      Reply
  26. Natalie
    August 11, 2015 at 9:05 pm (2 years ago)

    Oh yes that’s me! It’s a vicious cycle that always ends with being run down and sick. Our body finally telling us to slow down!

    Reply
    • Mummy, Wife, Me
      August 12, 2015 at 2:42 pm (2 years ago)

      Yes, if only we listen to the signs along the way πŸ™‚

      Reply
  27. stephanie@stephsjoy
    August 11, 2015 at 9:19 pm (2 years ago)

    Hope you are on the mend and feeling better Renee. I’m very fortunate that I am good at taking me time. This past week I strolled through the Botanic gardens and did a spot of photography in the sun. Quite blissful!

    Reply
    • Mummy, Wife, Me
      August 12, 2015 at 2:42 pm (2 years ago)

      That sounds really really lovely, Steph.

      Reply
  28. Kellie
    August 11, 2015 at 9:24 pm (2 years ago)

    I am 47 years old and have just had my first facial and massage because a dear friend gave me a gift voucher and I (had to) select something to treat myself. I have two kids, have worked for the better part of the past 18 years (the almost age of my oldest) and I have NEVER had a me time! It was a struggle to know what to select of the many treatments available (and I have to travel 150km to get to the salon, we are very rural). But when I did it, I felt so great after, and that buzz has lasted almost a month now! Do it ladies, spoil yourselves…. Your family will still get fed, your house will still be clean and YOU will be happy!!

    Reply
    • mummywifeme
      mummywifeme
      August 12, 2015 at 2:50 pm (2 years ago)

      Oh Kellie! Great advice! I can’t believe you’ve never had a facial before. I’m so glad you made the effort to get one done. I hope it’s just the start of plenty of me time for you xx

      Reply
  29. Janet aka Middle Aged Mama
    August 11, 2015 at 9:45 pm (2 years ago)

    When I used to work in an office, it seemed that EVERY time I had some time off, I got sick! It was like my body realised I was relaxing and decided it was a good time to fall apart! Hope you’re 100% soon x

    Reply
    • Mummy, Wife, Me
      August 12, 2015 at 2:43 pm (2 years ago)

      It’s always the way, isn’t it?! I’m definitely on the mend now x

      Reply
  30. Malinda @mybrownpaperpackages
    August 11, 2015 at 10:06 pm (2 years ago)

    Yep, that’s me too. I always have the best of intentions with ‘days off’ and end up pissed off at the end of the day because I never got around to doing all the ‘me’ things I was going to do.

    Reply
    • Mummy, Wife, Me
      August 12, 2015 at 2:43 pm (2 years ago)

      It sounds like a lot of us have the same problem, Malinda πŸ™‚

      Reply
  31. Bec @ Styled by Bec
    August 11, 2015 at 10:36 pm (2 years ago)

    I can so relate to this. I would do exactly the same and feel exactly the same. The thing is, the moment I have time to myself I think I can ‘get ahead’ by doing the housework but it never stops. We never stop. I hope you get better soon. You have had a rough trot at being sick lately – with the parasite and then this. I hope you feel better by this weekend so you can enjoy the amazing weather Brisbane has been having lately. x

    Reply
    • Mummy, Wife, Me
      August 12, 2015 at 2:44 pm (2 years ago)

      Thanks darling. Feeling quite good today. I think the end is in sight πŸ™‚ x

      Reply
  32. Lucy @ Bake Play Smile
    August 12, 2015 at 10:10 am (2 years ago)

    I couldnt agree more with you Renee. I really find it so difficult to relax and do nothing. At the moment I’m feeling the same – know I;m getting sick but am too stubborn to stop, rest and try to get better. Ugh. If you figure out the answer, please let me know. In the meantime, rest up chicky xxx

    Reply
    • Mummy, Wife, Me
      August 12, 2015 at 2:45 pm (2 years ago)

      Thanks lovely. You rest up too. You need all of your energy for Problogger x

      Reply
  33. Elisha Ross
    August 12, 2015 at 4:23 pm (2 years ago)

    Woah woah woah!!! Where are those reins? I can totally relate to getting a few house jobs done, as when opportunity strikes to do it uninterrupted I’m onto it too. The latter, bad girl, you do need to relax. Lucky I’m an expert at it and you can hang out with me anytime. Ps I’m not far away from u the next 2 weeks as I’m Noosa!! I’ll send the beach vibes your way.

    Reply
  34. Dannielle
    August 12, 2015 at 11:46 pm (2 years ago)

    I hear you girlfriend.
    It’s like I have to complete all the tasks I think should be done (cleaning, washing etc before I let myself completely relax) the truth is those jobs are never done and when you’ve done them you think of other jobs you should be doing. As you say you just have to plan for ‘me’ time and ignore everything else (as much as you can πŸ˜‰
    Rescue remedy jubes are my best friends to help me level out my crazy Mummy head at times and all natural!
    Take care of you lovely lady, if it’s sunny this weekend don’t wash the sheets, sit out and read a book!
    xxxx

    Reply

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