ShinyThoughts

Help, I can’t relax!

Calling all couch-dodgers, list-lovers and weekend workers! Is ‘relaxing’ a term that doesn’t exist for you either? You’re in good company… I can’t relax.

I’m forever creating lists. Lists of jobs, tasks and things to do that when added up leave approximately 0 hours for that thing people call ‘down time’. It’s a problem. So much so that it drives my boyfriend mad (he’s a champion relaxer), leaves me with friendships I never tend to and a body and mind that never gets to actually stop.

 

Sofa-aversion

I have a confession to make. I think I’m allergic to sofas. If you are ever to find me sat on one, reasons for this may be attributed to either; feeling ill, being forced to watch a film or, entertaining guests whereby conventions dictate me to sit down with said guest for the purposes of having a chat (though close friends will know me to sit at the table whilst doing this). I just can’t do it, I can’t relax on a goddamn sofa. Perhaps it’s my particularly old and mushy settees that have me thinking about the 2000 calories i’ll need to expend just to get back up again or maybe it’s just that I’m scared to give into relaxing.

 

Weekend work

Weekends and I have a difficult relationship. One the one hand I’m relieved. “At last, I can take it easy!” On the other hand I’ve stacked up a meaty list of ‘must do’s’ that I’m desperate to tick off. Friday Lucy is full of hope, planning people to see and things to do. There’s the list of Instagrams to shoot, cleaning to do, plants to water, blog posts to crack on with, piles of forms to fill in and papers to file, cupboards to sort out and family and boyfriend to see, not to mention London to explore (and that’s all if I’m not out of the country).

Somehow, probably something due to me being human, I never get it all done. This leaves me very disappointed. Sunday Lucy is frantic and woeful. A 10pm clean is not uncommon and beating myself up over tasks I never touched is impossible to avoid.

I can’t be alone in this. Fellow efficiency enthusiasts, tell me you feel the same?

Tube time well spent

Multi-taking is probably its easiest when you’re travelling, right? With my commute lasting an hour each way, I expect to smash through a good chunk of emails and nail that mental pile of life admin by the end of it. It’s a whole HOUR afterall – Just think of all the things you could achieve in an HOUR.

Wifi (or lack of it rather) is possibly the main source of anger in my life. There’s nothing more stressful than losing signal on public transport. You know the sitch, when you’re underground poised and ready to refresh a web page the second those three little arches appear. To combat the highly inefficient 3 minutes between tube stations, I come armed with magazines to scan read. Clever huh?

I know the lay of the land well. For instance it’s common knowledge that Bond Street on the central line has no wifi. Planning for this inconvenience is paramount. The second I’ve passed Oxford circus, out comes my mirror, brush and foundation (I obviously don’t waste valuable sleeping time doing my slap before leaving the house). Then at Marble Arch, it’s back to replying to that email.

Holiday? Yeah right.

Spa weekend? No thanks.

Beach break? Will there be wifi?

Holidays are a tricky one for us ‘content creators’ and internet folk. Do we ever switch off? When it comes to filling my 23 days of holiday quota, the majority of it is filled with trips that have me juggling a camera in one hand and a phone in the other. Very little of it is spent doing what you’re supposed to do, which is giving your body and mind a break.

Luckily, I’m incredibly fortunate to be invited on amazing fun-filled trips in order to create content but even on my own vacays, I’m doing exactly the same thing. Queue the classic ‘I need a holiday to get over my holiday’ line as I rock up to work bleary-eyed on a Monday morning.

It’s totally my own doing and I’m really not complaining, I’m simply telling myself that with a jam-packed itinerary should also come a period of time where I remain horizontal for my own sanity. I just need to actually make time for it.

Masters of efficiency

If you’re anything like me, you’ll have ladies you look up to who are professionals in Getting Shit Done. I’ll always remember admiring two ASOS colleagues; one was my Manager (who always managed to tick off her To Do list in time to catch her train each day) and the other who worked in PR and probably got more done than 3 of me put together. She was quick at life; fingers typing at 90 miles per hour, toilet breaks lasting no longer than 10 seconds (probably) and deadly efficient at conversations (small talk was reserved to one point before she swiftly moved on). Basically, she was my idol.

The trouble is with all this constant striving to tick the final box on the list is that in reality, I never give myself a break. I’m forever feeling guilty. I completely tire myself out and neglect relationships. It’s not a particularly healthy way of seeing life, literally living in regret of all that you haven’t achieved.

 (Read my ‘Career so far’ post)

 Family faffing

I blame my Mother’s side of the family. My Grandma grew up during the war where food was scarce. Since I’ve known her, I don’t think I’ve ever seen her in a seated position. Instead, she’s forever hovering around a table ensuring everyone has a constant supply of grub. Bless her, it’s her no.1 priority. That and keeping the fire burning/ animals fed/ kitchen clean/ husband happy.

This attitude was passed down to my Mother. My Brother, Dad and I would forever shout ‘SIT DOWN’ to her at the start of every meal whilst she pottered about checking that every possible condiment had been added to the table. I’ve literally never seen her reading a book and if she’s watching TV she’ll be busy faffing around doing something else in an attempt to be productive.

I’ve sadly continued the trend, forever juggling loads of washing with the hoover trailing behind me whilst my housemates lie in the lounge netflixing. Why can I not be more like them? Why can I not just sit the hell down?

 

Let it go! Let it go!

So what hope is there for us list-lovers who never feel like they reach the end? Those of us who have a pile of unread books and magazines sitting there waiting for the day we have a free minute to read them. The answer I think is in letting go.

Instead of focusing on what we haven’t achieved, we need to celebrate what we have. I’m making a pact to give myself permission to relax. I’ve been starting to walk home from the tube to give myself some nature time. I’ve been leaving evenings free with only the expectation to get one thing done and I’m really trying hard to appreciate all the things I have like a balcony with a beautiful view over London – ensuring that I stop and just admire it every week.

So here I am sitting on a sofa just doing nothing. You know what, it’s not so bad after-all.

Now sorry for finishing this blog post so abruptly but I just need to go and finish something. In the meantime let me know if you’re the same and if you’ve found ways to let go – I’d love to hear your tips!

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Thank you to Made.com for letting me shoot in your showroom and thanks to Kim for taking these photos!

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8 Comments

  • Reply Lauren June 24, 2017 at 9:15 PM

    Oh I completely get this! My verison of relaxing is being on my laptop doing something NOT relaxing – my mum is a master of meditation and switching off but I’m always plugged in, needing some sort of stimulation, and then find I’ve not done everything I’ve needed to do in full. I will admit I am sitting a lot though due to editing and REALLY should get moving more *eeek*

    Lauren x
    Britton Loves | Lifestyle Beauty Wellbeing

  • Reply Mariana June 24, 2017 at 4:09 PM

    Hi Lucy! I totally relate to this post. If it is of any help, my favourite way to relax is being bussy with the things I enjoy most 😉 Its been years since I dont watch TV at all and I also carry my computer on the metro to keep up with “work”. I just think that people are like that, some need to stay bussy to be happy whereas others need to stay bussy and relax to feel okey with themselves. As long as it makes you feel good what you do or dont do, its totally fine!

  • Reply Fern June 21, 2017 at 8:47 AM

    I don’t think you could have summed up my internal monologue better! Wish I could learn to let go, but it’s the guilt of being unproductive that constantly bugs me..argh !!

    • Reply Lulu June 24, 2017 at 11:51 AM

      TOTALLY feel you, it’s totally a guilt thing. I’ve had Sunday nights where I’ve felt SO BAD, it’s ridiculous! We have to learn to celebrate what we have achieved not what we haven’t. Writing a list of what you’ve done at the end of the day can help. Good luck! x

  • Reply Liyana Aris June 19, 2017 at 10:45 AM

    Hi Lucy,

    Gosh, I’m afraid I can’t be of any help and offer you any tip because I am the COMPLETE opposite of you. Whenever my weekend ends I always think “Darn it, more jobs undone, AGAIN!”, but unlike you it’s because I’d have been relaxing too much. Also, unlike you, since I’m a professional procrastinator, I’m probably less hard on myself than you are on you when you don’t get things done.

    I LOVE my couch, and I could spend hours on it, just watching Netflix or HBO or whatever, and I love reading too. The downside is my body doesn’t move as much as it should though; being a potato couch is a health hazard! That being said, it’s not such a bad thing for you to be the way you are, is it? =)

    i do know people who are a lot like you though, so I guess I could share a tip I learn from them: allocate a Relaxing Hour (or two) every day on weekends. Pencil it in, so you have no excuse to miss it!

    Good lucky Lucy!

    xo, Liyana

    • Reply Lulu June 24, 2017 at 11:52 AM

      Hey Liyana,

      Haha this is brilliant! Love that you admit to that, it’s brilliant! You’re lucky that you let your body and mind have it, it’s definitely healthy. I will try the relaxing hour, thank you! Lucy x

  • Reply Becky ⋮ Adventuring & Things June 18, 2017 at 10:53 PM

    I mean, if you can’t relax on sofas that cute you really can’t relax.

    Also: I can’t cope with reading this post on a 30 degree day when you’re wearing knitwear, haha!

    Becky ⋮ Adventuring & Things

    p.s. Guilty as charged re: the Sunday night clean!!

    • Reply Lulu June 24, 2017 at 11:52 AM

      Loollll SORRY! As you can guess, this was shot a LONG time ago haha (was too busy doing things beforehand). haha x

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