In the last year I have been increasingly present to how much guilt exists around simply allowing ourselves to relax. I first noticed this with a few of my touring friends. I have worked in the touring concert world for over a decade. First, as a sound engineer, then a tour manager, and then in the position I created as Joyologist. I created this position to take greater care of artists while on tour, because I saw first hand how freaking exhausting it is.
The life has some glamour, but really it is incredibly long day after incredibly long day, where you pretty much only see the inside of airports, tour busses, concert venues, and maybe radio stations, or television studios. Touring, and even touring well, takes a toll on you, no matter how well you are taking care of yourself. Even if you have hired a Joyologist to keep you healthy in body and mind, feeding you green juice, leading you through yoga, talking things out with you, and making your space grounding and comfortable.
In all my years of touring, I always would come home and if schedule allowed, I would set myself up for a couple days of doing absolutely nothing. Sleep in. Stay in bed all day watching movies or an entire season of a TV show. I allowed myself to be the laziest person ever. I knew that I deserved it. I knew that my body had been operating in a fight or flight mode and that it wanted to be recharged. I was not ashamed of my lazy days. I would bluntly tell people that I had plans to do nothing, to rest and to recover.
What I didn’t realize until recently was that not having guilt around having lazy days is not normal. My fellow touring mates were just as exhausted as I was but they were afraid to be lazy, and even more telling, they were afraid to tell others, even people that would totally understand, that they had done nothing all day and had loved it.
These days, people whom travel for a living are not the only ones who are over-exhausting their bodies. In fact it seems like more people are exhausted these days, then are rested and energized. Why? Because we are not allowing ourselves proper down time. We say Yes to too many things and over extend ourselves. We even say yes to things that we don’t want to do!
Then when we do take advantage of relaxing time, we are filling our heads with what we could be doing. Instead of lounging on the couch and catching up on your favorite show and paying full attention to the TV, we are thinking about all the things we need to get done. Instead of lounging in the sun with a good book and fully allowing ourself to be pulled in, we are thinking about the errands we could be running, what we will eat for dinner, that email we still haven’t replied to. Blah, blah, blah.
It doesn’t count as relaxing if your mind is not relaxing. It doesn’t count as relaxing if you are feeling guilty for doing it. It doesn’t count as relaxing if you jump off the couch and try to look busy when you hear someone coming. It doesn’t count as relaxing if you lie to someone about what you did that day, or night.
The Universe needs you to commit to relaxation days so that you can shine even brightener.
Please for the love of yourself schedule in some time for you to do nothing! My favorite way to relax is to read in bed…during sunlight hours! What is yours? Remember drop the guilt, turn off your mind, and truly savor every bit of your time.