As a busy scanner with lots of projects that light my brain up, engaging in ‘passive’ relaxation activities is not my ‘go to’. I often want to jam pack my ‘down’ time with painting, or writing, or gardening, or community projects. Which I love doing but eventually my body does need rest and quiet time. If I don’t give it the rest it needs sometimes it responds with exhaustion, illness, burnout or low mood.
It can be a challenge if we have a long list of ‘fun’ projects we want to work on. The fear can be that if we don’t work on them NOW when we have a day off we will never get to them.. we will never ever get them done.. and that it’s a ‘wasted’ day.
But just like sleep is just as important as awake to creating balance in our lives, so to is passive relaxation* a balance to active relaxation.
A cup of tea feeling the sunshine on my face.
Laying flat on the couch and watching a tv show that isn’t wildly engaging.
A slow meandering walk with eyes really open to my surroundings.
Having lunch laying on the green grass of an inner city park looking up at the leaves of trees.
Being absorbed in music.
A brief nap.
Not tied to productivity.
In and noticing the body.
Through these activities I slide from a more activated and excited, engaged, ‘creative’ state into a more restful and calm state… even if just for a few minutes, a half hour. I soak in the essence of rest.
I recharge. I ‘refuel my tank’**.
I prevent exhaustion later by taking little sips of rest along the way.
This is part of how I aim to prevent future experiences of burnout, and keep myself working and playing steadily into the future.
*I’m using the word relaxation synonymously with ‘leisure time pursuits’
** Terribly fossil-fuels-centric metaphor isn’t it? I ‘recharge my solar batteries’??