Why is it whenever I try to relax I become agitated?
There is something I should be doing…
I have loads of things to do…
I must call my Nanna….
I must I must I must!
I feel guilty for just sitting on my sofa watching Netflix or lying by the pool and I seem to feel more at ease by jumping up and cracking on with my to-do list or worrying about things which haven’t even happened. Even saying that out loud I know it sounds weird!
Life gets busy – relationships, careers, children, schedules, emotions, worries, hobbies! All of these combined can make it difficult to take time out. I almost need to be anesthetized to be able to relax.
I am fully aware of my lack of ability to rest and have been working hard on this aspect of my life. It’s important to rebalance and recharge and if you can get this right, life is a much happier place.
After many tried and tested methods, I have settled on 5 simple things which I can put into practice easily. There is no point in setting yourself something to do which is unachievable or is something you may find difficult to do. After all that defeats the object of being relaxed and helping you to unwind. If you are also an energiser bunny and struggle to put the 24*7 hype to one side, these may just be the ticket for you:
I switch my phone to ‘Do not Disturb’
I do this from 10:30pm every evening and it wakes up again at 7:30am. That way I can start the unwinding process to help pump those Zzzzzs without the distraction of the bright phone light or notifications keeping my mind active.
I do this on the bus to work! It only takes 10 minutes. I stick in my headphones and before I know it I am in a much better place so I can begin reading the morning news or catching up on last night’s episode of Eastenders. Just paying attention to my breathing for that short time helps pause my busy mind. Try it, it works! I recommend the Calm app, it even kicks you off with a 7 day plan to get you started.
I give myself the day off from worrying
I am a worrier, I worry about things which haven’t even happened nor may ever happen, what’s that all about?! A few months ago I said to myself one morning that I was taking the day off from worrying. I was not going to worry about anything just for one day. That made me feel better as I knew I could resume the worry the next day and it wasn’t that I was saying don’t worry forever (I am not a lunatic I promise!). After trying it for that one day I felt lighter, I was worrying about things that I couldn’t change and nothing was changing about the situation other than me feeling sick, so how was that helping? So I have learnt every now and then to take the day off and give myself a break! Plus, worry gives you spots! No thanks!
I go to the beach
I do this purely to relive one of my childhood memories. I am lucky that I live within walking distance to a beach. Sitting on the sand, looking out to sea, surveying a mix of ships and sailing boats takes me back to being a teenager. The memories transport me away from day to day life to a special childhood moment. I grew up being part of Southport Sailing Club. It was a big part of my life as a kid and each weekend was spent being my Grandad’s shadow as he went about his day completing his duties as Treasurer for the club. Sailing holidays regularly took place and my all time favourite with some awesome memories, was Abersoch in North Wales. One day I will go back there but for now it makes me smile and the memories are special.
I have a massage!
What a better way to relax. What can I do when I’m lying on a massage bed, hands and fingers kneading my skin, removing knots whilst I inhale soothing aromatherapy oils? It’s not as if I can go anywhere! I can’t jump up and get my to do list, I can’t pick up my phone, I can’t do the laundry – BOOM! I have no choice but to give in and allow myself to relax.
I recently discovered a gem of a spa called Nimble Knead in Tiong Bahru. This is one of the oldest but hippest hoods of Singapore. It’s a quaint residential area lined with shophouses showcasing sophisticated cafes and relaxed eateries. One recent thing I learned about Tiong Bahru is that all the streets are named after Chinese pioneers of the late 19th and 20th centuries!
I have struggled to find a decent massage in Singapore, Groupon offers galore I just haven’t found a great place. I have had so many bad experiences, even one where my poor other half had bruises down his back from the beating he got which was apparently ‘just how they do their massages!’
My find however is unique. It’s a massage in a shipping container! Literally! It’s located on Eng Watt Street and back to my earlier point about Chinese pioneers this street was named after See Eng Wat, a Malacca-born merchant! They offer 32 services in total; body and foot massages, body scrubs, body masks and facial treatments. Once you step inside you are transported to zen heaven; the ladies are softly spoken and serene music floats in the air whilst they work their magic (Btw – I recommend the Swedish Massage!) Hot ginger tea is served in the indoor garden post massage to complete the experience.
At the end of the day it can be challenging to have time out to relax, my nearest and dearest are always telling me to unwind and have some me–time. I am getting better at it and have recently received a cushion from my best friend as a reminder to just sit down…
The chaise lounge is now reserved with my cushion taking pride of place. Bring on more luxury of serenity and tranquility! I hope sharing my simple techniques on relaxation may also work for you!