Why Is It So Difficult to Relax?

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It is really hard for me to sit still. I have this thing where if I sit still for too long, I feel like I am wasting time. I also believe there aren’t enough hours in the day … that I could benefit from a thirty-two hour day, as compared to our standard twenty-four. I could afford a few extra hours of sleep each night. And, although I don’t necessarily want a longer work week, I could definitely benefit from a three-day weekend. Sound familiar?


Not too long ago, I added a few days onto a business trip and made a mini-vacation out of it with my husband and a couple of friends. During the time that the three of them were there with me, we had relatively-filled days. They weren’t action packed, but they were definitely not zone-out time either. However, when they left and I was left by my lonesome, I had about six hours of “do anything I want” time. Rare I tell you … very rare. So after only a few minutes of checking email and writing a blog entry, I took myself down to the pool, with nothing but sun block and a magazine. No iPod, no telephone, nothing to distract me from me, myself, and I. 


I found myself fumbling around for awhile: finding the right amount of shade … applying some sun block … placing the towel just so … getting into a comfortable position. It took me a good thirty minutes to “settle in.” When I finally did, it struck me: I realized that I had no idea how to relax … I had no idea how to “just be.” As I watched all the kids and families floating by and playing in the “Lazy River Pool,” I had to smile. It reminded me of the days when I was a kid … without any real cares in the world … no bills … no career … no responsibilities. As my muscles started to let go and I felt the warm air on my skin, I felt like I was in heaven for the next three hours. It felt so luxurious … yet I was alone, spending no money, away from technology, away from food. Just pure, simple relaxation.


My question is, why do so many of us get to a point in our lives that we don’t know how to relax? What is it that drives us to work ourselves so hard, that relaxing becomes so foreign? We all know that we are supposed to stop and smell the roses, but do we? Or, do we just talk about it? Why does it take a vacation, a spa, or spending money to get us to make and take the time we need to decompress? Our society, especially, is so prone to living to work, versus working to live. Have we gone too far? Do you take the time you need? Do you relax? If so, tell us how you find time to do so!

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