Aaahhh, the importance of relaxation. Something I never understood until I was diagnosed with RA.
To give you some background, you should probably know that I can’t watch a movie on my couch without checking my phone, playing on the computer, folding laundry, PACING, etc.
Seriously, I’ve never been able to sit still.
Something which has served me well professionally but something which has been a problem when trying to rest and take care of myself with a chronic illness.
I’ve had to really schedule and plan ahead for relaxation time. Because if I don’t do that, I won’t. And while that’s fine with my Type A personality, it eventually catches up with my RA body and will result in a complete physical and emotional breakdown!
Flashback to last year when I was flaring so bad: I planned myself so tightly that I was having to internally coach myself to do things.
Ok, you’re going to work all day. Then you have a networking event. I know you’re tired but after that, you have to jump on the laptop and catch up on emails. Then you have to plan a sales blitz. Then you have to email the region about it. Then you have to be prepared for your cellphone to ring with questions from coworkers on said sales blitz. Then you have to call your mom to check in. Then you have to do some laundry, clean, and lay out clothes for the nextday.
Then you crash. HARD.
I have to really take a step back to realize that I don’t HAVE to do all these things. I don’t. And while I should realize that life is too short to absolutely kill yourself to keep up with all of these extra events, I have a really hard time doing that.
So how and what do you do to slow down, take care of yourself, and plan time to do nothing when you’re hard-wired not to?
You force yourself, that’s how!
I try to pre-plan at least two things a week where I only relax. A walk in the park, a bubble bath, massage, or simply enjoying time with a friend. The only rule? I have to do these things with 100% focus. IE no cell phone, no laptop, no pacing. I hate that I have to force myself to do these things…but if I don’t, I pay for it.
I had the best weekend last weekend! I took a walk in the park. I got a massage. I went and danced my booty off at a concert. I haven’t enjoyed a concert like that in a long time. Seriously…all I did was dance. For a whole two hours. No cell phone, no nothing. I just enjoyed myself and had a blast with my friend. I really needed that.
What do y’all do to relax? Am I the only one who has to force myself to take “time” off?