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I Need to Relax in a Way That's Productive

The Inability to Hyper Fixate on Taking a Nap; Instead Get Sidelined Into Creating the Perfect Playlist for Sleeping


When I’m told to relax, what they mean is to take a nap, maybe meditate, or watch or read that thing I’ve been talking their ears off about.


But how I interpret it is that it’s a task they’re making me want to do.


That I’m probably not making use of my time properly, and the fact that they felt the need to tell me to do it meant that’s something I need to correct.


So when this happens, the first thing I always ask is, obviously, how to relax.


Relaxation for me isn’t much an alien concept but more something I apparently misunderstand.


Because if I spend my free time being productive, I consider that to be relaxing.



You know, every time I’m not out there giving some poor soul another healthy heaping of nightmares, I go through my day off list.


It includes a few items that I wouldn’t have been able to do while working like writing essays or the next nightmare I’ll inflict on the world, catching up on episodes I've missed, studying whatever language I’m hyper focusing on at the moment, and so on.


Whenever I get to tick off more than one thing on that list — meaning, I didn’t just spend the day sitting on my bed having an argument with myself about a totally made up issue, then that’s a win on my end. That’s relaxation.


Do I necessarily feel rested? No.

Am I as tired as when I’m working? Yes.

Does it make me anxious if I do less than two things on that list? Very much so.


I like it, though. However, they tell me that’s a problem because my relationship with rest and productivity isn’t very healthy.


What does that mean??


What does having a relationship with rest and productivity even look like, let alone one that’s balanced and apparently invigorating.


Maybe they were right, I really don’t get it. When I tell them that it comes to a point where if I don’t see any results from my Day-Off, like something I can look at that says I finished something, I get a little frustrated with myself. Not too much, of course, it’s not that big a deal. Nothing ice cream can’t fix.


But I do get frustrated. And a little disappointed.


There are days when I do get it, I think. When I’m incredibly tired — my body wants to shut down but my mind is still racing with thoughts like it’s being chased by a Thought-Eating Monster who never seemed to be satisfied.


On those days, I like to eat something that’s fried and sugared. Greasy, comfort food paired with something cold and sweet. I wouldn’t say no to a cheeseburger with mocha milkshake. That’s bliss for me.


I guess it really only doesn’t work when someone else tells me to relax. I think of it as a challenge, so I try very hard to create the perfect condition for it like a playlist or the right positioning of chairs or pillows until eventually, I fail to the thing. And then it's just another loop of self-loathing, food, and forgetting.


Anyway—


What’s up with you, what does relaxation look like for you?


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