Chill Out!

I came to the realization this week that I stink at relaxing.  You wouldn’t think relaxing is a skill that needs to be learned and practiced.  I may be missing a gene, or maybe I was dropped on my head as an infant.  I could have missed a class on relaxation. Whatever the reason, I just can’t relax. Hang out. Chill.

So this summer, I will learn to relax.  Except that sounds like I am planning to relax, which in effect negates the whole idea of relaxing.

This is hard.

I envy people who can just chill out on the couch, watching sports or a favorite sitcom.  I can watch TV, but I am usually also thumbing through a magazine, folding clothes, trying to blog, surfing the Internet, stretching my chronically stiff hips, or playing fetch with the dog.  And relaxing, I guess.

Even if I pour a glass of wine, shut down the laptop, and cuddle next to hubby on the couch I am likely to still be “on” in my head.  Menus to plan, schedules to coordinate, who needs to be where tomorrow at what time?  It’s like that ticker on Wall Street with the same information streaming by every few minutes. Except even the stock market shuts down and takes a break. No ticker, just quiet.

Some people relax while going for a walk.  I usually spend time on a walk thinking about what I need to do when I get home. Or what I should be doing rather than walking.  Walks feel like they need a destination, a purpose.  Other than just the relaxing, of course.

I tried yoga class a few years back.  Friends said it would be relaxing.  It felt good to stretch, but I just couldn’t turn my head off.  After about 15 minutes, I started clock-watching.  When would this relaxing be over, so I could get on with things that needed to be done?  After the class ended, so did my stint with yoga.  I may try again someday, in a studio with no clock.

I do enjoy reading, something that I find more time for in the summer.  But sometimes I find that I want to finish a book so I can start the NEXT book in my pile.  Now it seems like a task to complete, not a method of relaxation.

Maybe my problem is that I don’t REALIZE I am relaxing while I enjoy favorite activities.  Relaxation may not have to take place on its own, but instead with a symphony of other things interrupting it in the background.

Or maybe I just have the attention span of a Cub Scout.

This summer, I have visions of a lounge chair on the beach, a great book, listening to the waves, and trying to soak up some sun through my SPF 50, umbrella, and floppy hat.  Sometime this summer I will relax, and I will enjoy it.  It may have to be while I am asleep, but I will be relaxed.


  1. I don't relax well either. I've never been good at meditating or sitting still. But that picture looks pretty enticing.

  2. A worthy goal! I've always been an expert relaxer. (Or maybe I'm just lazy…). Don't worry about your mind still running a mile a minute — just do what's fun for you ๐Ÿ™‚

  3. Aging Mommy says:

    I think most women have a hard time relaxing – after all back in our days of living in caves men just went out hunting and women did everything else, and so it is that modern man is perfectly capable of devoting all his attention to one thing whereas we still run around doing a million things a minute while in our heads we are listing a million more! But you do seem to have it especially bad.

    For me, the one thing that allows me to relax is walking or hiking. I love the fact that I am getting good physical exercise but exercise that doesn't require me to focus on it, so my mind is free to just think. Oh wait, now that's two tasks I am still doing isn't it ๐Ÿ™‚

  4. Lula Lola says:

    I stink at sooo much, but relaxing, I've nailed. I cannot just watch TV either. It's not relaxing to me. And if I am watching TV, I'm also online, thumbing through catalogs or at the very least doodling.
    The reading thing, or time on the water seems to work best for me. I have to say, relaxing is better with company. Especially those that you don't have to make plans with. I do my best relaxing with my best friend. She knows everything about me, but we don't have to talk about paying bills, dentist appointments, or scrubbing toilets. Takes the responsibility out of things!
    Good luck getting your "relax" on. It's certainly a worthy goal!

  5. Natalie says:

    I love this post…really, I love it. I'm exactly the same way. Especially now that I'm into blogging, anytime I have a free minute I'm on the computer doing "something". I really need to work on learning to relax, and just be…

  6. Jenny Brown says:

    Hey,….just stopping by to take a look at your blog. I noticed you started following mine (Thank you, by the way!)…… so I thought I'd come over and snoop around yours for awhile. :):)

  7. Paula/Lulubelle says:

    In my opinion, relaxing is way over-rated! Or maybe I just think that because I don't know how to do it??