Today I had to go for a blood test so now I’m trying to relax. Some people have this done and walk out of the surgery to get on with their lives. Not me. I spent an hour in a coffee shop drinking sugary tea and trying not to pass out before struggling home and realising my day might not be as productive as planned.
I’m a big doer. Boyfriend gets annoyed, he’s a big not-doer; he can sit and play Playstation for hours and not feel guilty. I often only properly relax when my body forces me to, like today with the blood test reaction.
I thought I’d be clever and do deep breathing to try to relax during the test. Apparently doing deep breathing during a blood test makes you feel more faint, who knew?
I don’t know how to relax
When I was a teenager I suffered from chronic fatigue. It was basically one long period where my body was forcing me to relax. Except it wasn’t relaxing, it was being at home being away from other people and feeling guilty for not being normal. Maybe this is why, now I can do lots of things, I do as much as I can. Perhaps for fear that if I stop I won’t be able to start again. A friend also had chronic fatigue as a teenager and feels the same way.
From when I could do things again I was always piling too much on my plate and subsequently being told I should relax. I get stressed out about things a lot, worry about stuff I’m working on/possible future events. The thing is if you’ve ever been told ‘you need to relax’ you’ll know it tends to make you more tense.
Learning to relax
The thing is I preach the power of relaxation to others all the time, it’s about time I practise what I preach. Yoga has been a big presence in my life this past year and a bit, and it’s definitely helping me tune in to myself and take time for my own relaxation. My favourite YouTube yoga teacher Adriene Mishler recently sent a newsletter out. It’s about listening to our natural rhythm, and one question really struck me.
Honestly, yes I probably would. I’d say I haven’t got the time, there’s so much stuff I have to do. But really it’s probably because I’m scared to relax, to let go. I recently wrote about how I want to implement follow your gut time into each day. So far this week I haven’t been successful with that. Why? Because I find it hard to differentiate what my gut wants to do and what I should do.
So I’m setting a resolution right now to make time to relax everyday. Because I know how important doing nothing is for me. I want to tune into my natural rhythm not just when my body screams at me, and who knows maybe doing so will mean I don’t nearly pass out next time I have a blood test! As Adriene also says in her newsletter:
Stand your ground and take time for you.
Let me know how you relax and how you make time for it in your schedule in the comments below. I’m off to have a relaxing hot tea…