I don’t know how.

So I realized something this weekend.

I don’t know how to relax. 

Like at. all.

I found myself with the morning and part of the afternoon on Sunday with absolutely nothing on the agenda. Instead of settling into a nice, chill Sunday with Scott, I found myself in a giant funk.

“I should wash the windows, they are all gritty,” I thought. (to which Scott scoffed and told me to chill…)

“I should make my lunch for tomorrow and get myself organized for work this week,” I also thought. (and did)

“I should go for a run, it’s a beautiful day,” I thought (and didn’t do…but felt super guilty about, ugh).

“I really need to write a blog….but don’t have a topic in mind,” I considered (and alas, this blog post was born).

But why, why, why was I playing this game with myself, the “I should…” game?

Why don’t I know how to embrace downtime? I never have hours of downtime at once, least of all during the chaos of the work week. Yet here I was, with a bundle of downtime and I was fighting it. My brain immediately turns to “I should…” instead of just being in the moment.

Similar to what this beautiful friend of mine posted about this weekend, my soul has been needing some ‘fitness’ and I’ve been ignoring it. Big time. I’ve been too busy cramming as much into every hour of every day that I missed the big picture. My soul was screaming at me to chill, slow down, embrace.

Source: oprah.com via Jess on Pinterest

 

I mean, really. I have a BIG week ahead of me. After coming down from an equally big week last week. I taught ten barre n9ne classes last week. Ten. Loved every minute but yes, it wiped me out by the end of it all. I also worked my day job all week per the usual and managed to cram in erranding, a few #runsimply runs and other shiz last week too. I probably sat on the couch for a total of an hour or two at most. And this week will be similar. Teaching seven classes this week (some in the new room too, yay!). Hoping to fit in three solid runs this week (would’ve been four if I had forced that run yesterday…glad I opted against, big picture, big picture, big picture). And plans almost every night this week after work, including Friday (barre n9ne ‘closet sharing party’ and a wine tasting courtesy of me and Jo, woohoo). Lots of GOOD. Lots of FUN. But lots of a LOT.

So this is my forced note to self: Slow down. Grab that downtime and give it a giant bear hug. Quit railing against it already. 

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32 thoughts on “I don’t know how.

  1. when we were in NZ, i had downtime and felt so guilty not “doing” things. Until my mother in law said… “you don’t NEED to do anything.” Just sit and see what comes. So i did, and i read a book, outside. I went for a walk. I felt ODD not being “productive” in my eyes, but then realized how FIT my soul was becoming. God i miss that. Here’s to a slap of reality to us both. Soul check! Lift some soul muscles.

    • I LOVE how your mother-in-law gave you the perspective you needed at the exact right moment. How awesome is that? I need to remember to lift those soul muscles a LOT more often. Thank you for the right words at the right time, as ALWAYS friend. LOVE YOU.

  2. I can totally relate. I don’t do well with slowing down and truly relaxing. Lucky for me I have the girls as a handy excuse at all times to keep me busy. heh.

    I’m with you, though….I need to learn how to slow down and relax and just be. Nothing wrong with that at all….in fact…it’s necessary.

    • LOL I love that your girls give you a good ‘ol excuse to keep busy — but YES, it’s a trade I have not quite learned, the art of embracing downtime…and enjoying it without guilt. So hard for me.

  3. Girl, we really are bloggers soulmates ;) I don’t know how to appreciate a SECOND of downtime either…and all those little “I shoulds” that went through your head would have been my exact thoughts too. I’m working from home today and thinking about everything I should be doing today while I am fortunate enough to work from home. Sadly, I dont even know how to sleep in anymore. The latest I can sleep is 8:00 because my mind is already speeding and thinking about everything I have to or should be doing. If you find the secret to slowing down, let me know ;)

  4. I chuckled as I read this because I totally don’t know how to relax and embrace downtime. I get it from my mother. She’s always shuffling around from one thing to the next and cannot.sit.still. I know that I need to do it more and Lindsay is absolutely right – our souls do need fitness as well.

    • YES. CANNOT SIT STILL to save my life. It’s actually pretty incredible that I have a desk job if you think about it, all that sitting LOL. But yes, our souls DO need fitness, and we often neglect that fact…at least I know I do.

  5. Man. Ten classes? I knew I saw the check-ins every time I got on FB. lol You’re a crazy girl! lol Then again, that’s a passion of yours – which just happens to be very good for you and happens to be the exercise you need every day. So not only are you staying physically active, but you’re feeding your passions, too. The other stuff, on the other hand? You need to just sit down and take advantage of your Type-A personality and plan. Plan the downtime. Meaning, plan to LIVE IT. Live the downtime. Don’t plan to fill it with something. Plan to leave it open. Spend the time snuggled up on the couch with Scott. Spend some time sitting in a warm, sunny spot reading a book. Or drinking a glass of wine. Or taking a bath. Something to let you relax. I am extremist, though. I either get all go go go go go or I embrace downtime too much. Ha. I’m learning the balance, too. PS: it’s Thanksgiving next week. That means it’s officially the holidays. Which means? The PERFECT time to embrace downtime. :)

    • Ha yup, an all-time high week for me on the teaching front — definitely not the ‘norm’ and I promise I planned accordingly with my other workouts last week ;-) I do LOVE it dearly though so it was ALL totally worth it. :) But yes I need to LIVE THE DOWNTIME, I LOVE that phrase and mantra friend!! SUCH a good mantra for me to embrace especially as we head into the holidays and lots of time to be spent sharing memories with loved ones.

  6. Obviously, I can relate to this too, but I think you somehow struggle with it even more than me! It’s hard to slow down when you’re go go go all the time, but your soul needs a break, just like your body does. You needed yesterday. And sometimes you just need a gentle nudge or reminder to just stop and chill the eff out ;-) I am glad you settled your mind and body a bit yesterday and as for this crazy crazy week we both have? It’ll be worth it, it’ll be fun and we get to spend lots of time together, what’s better than that ;-) XO

    • I definitely do struggle with it more, I am just such a perfectionist to a fault…I’ve noticed you’ve gotten better at not being QUITE so intensely Type A and I need to follow your lead a little bit more somehow. Will you teach me please??

      PS YES this week includes LOTS of sister time, which I LOVE.

  7. Let’s trade places. This weekend I made myself a to-do list……….and I did 1 thing of 12. ONE! I spent nearly all my time relaxing, taking an impromptu roadtrip (which was awesome, but still) and letting myself chill.Oh and I did some errands – but not ones I was supposed to do (like cleaning my car), no no I went shopping for wants. LOL.

  8. You need to come and spend a week with me. I can teach you all about the art of downtime :-)
    It includes, but is not limited to: reading a book, watching a little telly, sipping some wine on the back porch, heading to your favorite store just to browse, or listening to your favorite podcast while going for a walk.
    I am all over ‘free time’!

    • I would love, love, LOVE to come visit you — I’m pretty sure we’d have an incredible time together…I could learn TONS from you, tons and tons. I love your list of things to do during down time — especially just reading a book or sipping wine on the back porch ‘just because.’ Love, love, love.

  9. Totally hear you on this my friend. I get it from my parents too. I notice they are the same way. haha

    I am really striving to be better about this, especially since when I don’t relax I’m not taking full advantage of time with my son to do nothing!

    It’s so so hard when you always feel like there are things you can do. Damn us over-achievers. Let me know if you figure out any good tips! The only one that works for me is watching a TV show I really love with my husband or taking a walk with my son. (But is that really relaxing or not?)

    • That’s exactly right — it’s the overachiever nature I have coupled with a sincere issue ever giving myself a break without feeling guilty about it. Totally not a healthy way to go about things right?? I didn’t see it as clearly until yesterday when I literally was struggling with myself over having a chill couple of hours of nothing-ness. Perhaps we need an overachievers support group to tackle this issue together, hmm?

  10. I often feel so guilty for not always doing something, even if it’s something small. But this weekend I totally embraced the downtime. It was so nice to not feel guilty that at 11 am I was still in PJs. The world didn’t end because I didn’t vacuum the rugs or make the bed or fold the laundry.

    • Exactly. It’s such a mental battle sometimes and really TOTALLY silly and a little bit unhealthy to never give yourself a break and a break without ANY guilt associated with it. I’m vowing to work on it. I’m happy to see you’re working on it too :-)

    • I LOVE that you worked your soul muscles for a week! A FULL week of rest sounds absolutely divine and like something we could ALL afford to do now and then huh? So glad it helped you!

  11. Tony and I are the same way with not knowing what to do with ourselves when we have down time. I think it’s great that we are always up to something, but sometimes it is truly ok to just take a break, sit down and enjoy a relaxing moment. I hope you have a great week!

    • That’s my issue — for some reason I never think it’s truly ok (for me) to sit down and take a break. WHY is that?? Like today ended up being an utterly insane day and I’m eerily really pleased with myself at all that I jammed into the day. But really, how wacky is that?? NOT good. I need to embrace balance a wee bit more, hmm?

  12. I’m like this too, even when I have a day off work, I jump out of bed early get a workout in, run to the shops, walk to town, get some nutrition study in for college etc. I find if I have a good trashy book, I’ll actually make myself sit down and relax.

    Wow that’s a lot of barre classes, it’s still on my bucket list to attend you and Jo’s classes in the near future.

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