Not everyone knows how to relax. For some, attempting to sit still, relax and enjoy a mindless activity like TV is absolutely anxiety inducing. The list of what we aren’t accomplishing is running through our minds and the fear of being unloveable, not valued, and useless rises within us causing anxiety and panic. There are a lot of reasons that this can arise in adults. Mostly, it has to do with your childhood and early relationships.
Fast forward years to decades later and you are an adult trying to enjoy some down time. It is impossible and causes so many side affects. Anger and resentment that everyone around you can chill out but you can’t. So you are working on chores and getting more and more upset that others are not seeing the messes because you don’t want to look too closely as to why you can’t do what everyone else does.
Learning to relax is a struggle. I resent that I had been taught that my value in a relationship is tied to what I do for others. It makes unstructured quality time so difficult for me. However, I am fortunate to have people around me who understand the struggle and why I have this problem.
Gently, my partner is helping me with this. for months he has been encouraging, sometimes pushing, me to take time after the kids are in bed for myself. Just a small amount each time. It hasn’t been an easy path to try and learn to just let chores go and focus on my wants and needs.
Being asked what I want to do for myself is so very difficult. I wait for it to be devalued, so sharing it is terrifying. This weekend my partner got me to admit something I had been wanting to do. I have been wanting to rewatch a lifelong movie series that I love, but I haven’t been wanting to say anything because I know that he dislikes the first movie in the series.
Support can be amazing. Being reminded you are loved is amazing. We started the marathon and will continue through the coming week. These little things can make the world of difference to someone who was taught that their only reason to be loved was in acts of service.
Life is about finding the peace within. Emotional healing is about understanding and finding the peace within. Mindfulness and meditation can really help to find those. Give yourself the gift of 15 minutes a day. Do breathe work. Take a long hot shower. Do one thing that you can focus on for that period of time. Notice how you feel. Make a note of any memories or emotions that arise.
One moment at a time healing can happen.