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.