Signs You Don’t Know How To Relax

March 19, 2019  |  
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relaxation techniques

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I have a pretty high motor, which is great for my work life but not so great for the other areas of my life. Living a go-go-go lifestyle makes me happy. I like to squeeze as much juice out of each day as possible. If I have a social engagement in one part of town, I immediately start asking myself what errands I could run while I’m over there, or if there’s another friend who lives in the area to whom I could pay a quick visit. I find a way to turn one activity into three, over-cramming my days, running around like a chicken with her head cut off. When I make these plans, I feel proud, but when the day is over, I feel burnt-out. Having a high motor is a blessing and a curse like that. It also makes it very hard to relax when it’s time to relax. I’ve conditioned my brain to always look for ways to do more—not less. My boyfriend gently says I could work on my vacation behavior because I don’t help him relax, either. Here are signs you don’t know how to relax.


Your “chill” days involve errands

When you tell yourself you’ll do “nothing” on a Saturday, that means you’ll pick up a prescription, pick up some items from a home goods store, take a fitness class, list items on Ebay, and re-organize your closet.


If you stay home you must clean

If you force yourself to simply stay home and not run errands on your “chill” day, you always wind up cleaning. You tell yourself you’ll just sweep that one area, but suddenly you’ve bleached the tubs and sinks, cleaned all the windows, dusted every shelf, and the day is gone.



You work on the plane ride to vacation

You test the boundaries of when vacation begins. You will work in the taxi on the way to the airport, in the airport, on the airplane, and in the taxi on the way to the hotel. You’re even wrapping up some work in the hotel lobby while waiting for your room to be ready.


You require 24/7 Wi-Fi on vacation

You are diligent about making sure you’ll always have access to Wi-Fi on your trip. You’ve requested the days off. Nobody should be emailing you about work. But you can’t stand the idea of not having the option to work at any given moment.



Sitting on the beach never works out

Though a beach day is a nice affordable way to unwind, your attempts to have a beach day are hilarious. You get all packed up—umbrella, cooler of snacks, chair, book, Frisbee—and make the long trek down to the beach. You have to park a 15-minute walk away and walk even further on the beach to find a good spot. Then, you sit down for 20 minutes, find yourself bored, and go home. Or start exercising.


Sitting by the pool is a failure, too

You cannot just sit by the pool. You find yourself thinking, “So, this is it?” Then you start trying to chat up people nearby, but they’re trying to nap, suntan, and just—you know—do nothing. You’re not reading the room (or the pool area).


You plan real life, on vacation

While you’re on vacation, you’re already talking about all of the things you’ll have to do when you get home. You’re looking at your planner, circling openings you have for a teeth cleaning or to take the dog for a check-up. You’re not really present on vacation.


You only read books about your career

You can’t remember the last time you read a book for pleasure. Every book is about business or career tips. Every book is teaching you a new skill or knowledge you can use in your career. You never just read a romance novel or a humorous book.


You network on vacation

Your networking antenna never goes down. You overhear someone in the Jacuzzi mention what they do, and your wheels start turning on all the ways you could work together. So, you just have to chat her up and exchange information.


You brainstorm on vacation

Everything you see on vacation makes you think about work. It has you brainstorming ideas and thinking about the ways a business operates. You can’t just enjoy a resort; you have to look at it with a business mind.


You’ll only take a three-day vaca

You won’t take more than a three-day vacation. Taking multiple days off of work for a vacation makes you very anxious. You don’t want your vacation to interfere with your work, really. But then, that’s not a true vacation, is it?


You check out of the hotel early

When it’s time to check out of the hotel, you want to do so at the earliest moment possible. Your partner wants to have lunch in a local spot before driving home, but you just want to hit the road. You’ve checked out and you say vacation is officially over.


You over-pack your weekends

You think you relax on weekends because you socialize, but you over-socialize. You say yes to 10 am yoga with one friend, noon lunch with another, 2pm coffee with another friend, 5pm drinks with this buddy, and dinner with that one. Socializing should leave you feeling energized but the way you do it leaves you feeling exhausted.


You must always watch the clock

You always know what time it is. You never let yourself experience the luxury of not watching the clock. You just over-schedule your life so much that you can’t afford to not know what time it is at all times.


Having an unscheduled day makes you panic

Waking up and realize you’ve planned nothing for your Saturday makes you panic. You instantly text 11 friends to see if they want to meet up and you start looking around your home for DIY projects. You’re almost afraid to see what would happen if you just did nothing.

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