How to Unwind When Relaxing Feels Like Work

When we’ve been so used to the rollercoaster ride of hyper-productivity and excessive laziness, taking a break becomes an exhausting ordeal.

The idea of resting is so stressful to many. It may sound ironic, but the truth is, there is difficulty in turning your brain off and choosing to relax. When we’ve been so used to the rollercoaster ride of hyper-productivity and excessive laziness, taking a break becomes an exhausting ordeal. Some people feel like they’re not resting correctly, which stresses them out even more.

Perhaps people who think that relaxing feels like work just don’t know how to channel that restorative downtime that we all need. To achieve that sweet spot of relaxation, here are some tips that might be helpful:

Carve out time for it.

It’s common to hear someone having late meals because they were caught up with work. Although the dedication to the task is admirable, taking breaks is still better in the long run. It’s not easy for everyone to cut themselves some slack, so set a schedule that works for you and stick to it. When it’s time to rest, fully commit and be intentional with it. Close yourself off to distractions and focus on what you need to get from your breaks, such as relief, comfort, or joy.

Know your own love language.

Plenty of people struggle with resting because they simply don’t know what relaxes them. They force themselves into certain activities without considering that it might not have the same effect on them. Based on your own love language, assess what self-care methods you actually prefer. This may mean playing with your pet (physical touch), buying fun subscription boxes (gifts), or spending some alone time (quality time). This differs from one person to another, so figure out what works specifically for you.

It’s worth noting that  more people are considering natural-based products like CBD tincture to help them unwind. These products can help ease stress, soothe discomfort, and promote relaxation. With just a few drops under your tongue, you’ll enjoy these benefits and unwind by enjoying it with your favorite tea or dropping a few into your mouth. It’s always best to read more on such natural alternatives to help you make a well- informed personal choice.

take a break - pets
Photo by Yerlin Matu

Sprinkle rest all throughout.

Avoid over-exerting with whatever endeavor you have going on. Instead of working non-stop and reserving the rest for the end, sprinkle it throughout the day and the week. Instead of waiting for the lunch break or end of business, go for brief 10-15 minute breaks now and then. Momentarily stepping away from your task gives you the chance to breathe and focus on yourself instead of work. These quick breaks are necessary to avoid burnout, too. 

Establish a set of activities.

Some individuals struggle with resting because they get overwhelmed by all the free time they have. There are so many possibilities, yet they don’t know what to do. They carefully choose between watching a movie, reading a book, or trying a new hobby, but before they know it, the time is up. To avoid this, it helps to establish particular activities that you really want to do. Plan it ahead of time and pencil it in your day’s to-do list to accomplish more with your break.

Keep in mind that you inherently deserve rest.

Feeling like you have to “earn” rest won’t do you any good. You have to remember that you deserve to rest, whether or not you were productive according to your terms. Many people consider rest as a prize to reward hard work with, but this only makes you feel guilty when you do decide to take a break. It’s perfectly normal to want some downtime, so don’t be too hard on yourself for wanting to catch your breath.

take a break - hammock
Photo by Phi Phi

If you still have trouble giving yourself permission to take a break, remember that resting supports your work as well. Aside from its importance in your overall well-being, it also helps you become more productive. Simply put, taking a break from work will make you better at work. You will have more energy to think and perform better, so be kind to yourself and understand how crucial resting is.

Header: Vladislav Muslakov

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