You’ve probably heard that you should relax more and that your health depends on it.
Unless you meditate, do yoga, read self-improvement books, take the right supplements, journal every day, spend plenty of time doing nothing and colour precisely between the lines in that mindfulness colouring book you haven’t even started yet, you’ll be trapped in a vortex of relentless stress for the rest of your life.
Oh, and by the way, you only have a tiny window time to do all this before all of life’s other pressures (work, bills, kids etc.) come crashing down.
So relax. Are you relaxing yet? Why aren’t you relaxing?
Feeling like we have to unwind can put undue pressure on ourselves to do it. Here are a few tips on how to chill out about chilling out.
Loosen your demands
One reason relaxing can be stressful in 21st century culture is that technology has made it hard to turn off. With unread email notifications and social apps reminding us to scroll, we can never really switch off.
A weird side effect of our devices' ability to be "always on" is that we’ve come to believe that we too have be always on and 100% effective 24 hours a day. Even our downtime is supposed to be efficient.
But that’s just not how human's energy levels work! Your body and mind need downtime in order to function properly.
There’s nothing you “should” be doing, especially when you're off the clock – it’s your time, so however you spend it is perfect. And while practices like meditation do take discipline, it’s useful to remember that you’re making an active choice to do them because of the benefits – they’re not obligations.
Although technology can improve our wellbeing when we use it properly, it can also add to the problem. When apps track everything from the calories we eat to the breaths we take, it’s easy to feel like you’re having KPIs monitored every time you sit down on the couch.
The simplest solution to all this is to re-train your brain by creating a firm boundary between work time and relaxation time. It could be helpful to switch off your phone or go into aeroplane mode.
When you’ve set aside time to chill out, remember that you’re doing it because nothing is more important than your mental and physical health. Steer clear of that inbox: Norbert from Sales can wait until you’re in the office.
Go easy on yourself
Not feeling as 'zen' as those radiant Instagram yogis look? Social media can set up impossible standards of apparent wellbeing that most of us can never hope to achieve. Comparing yourself to others can be really hard on your mental health, especially comparing yourself to people on a platform like Instagram where you mostly see the best parts of a person's day.
The real key to relaxing better is to do it your way, and let go of any judgments or demands you have on yourself to be a certain way or do certain things that don't fit your lifestyle or interests.
Find ways to relax that you enjoy, and don’t beat yourself up when things don’t go according to plan.
Looking for ways to unwind at the gym?
We've got an assortment of active options to suit your mood. From yoga to Pilates to our spa and saune, we've got you covered. Book your tour today and see what we have to offer in person.