From an outsider’s perspective, my life is pretty crazy – and anything but relaxed. I am at the not-gym* five times a week. Rehearsals are three times a week, and there are two more nights of singing on top of that, plus the practices I do at home. I also like to get some dancing done. Then maintaining a social life, and a job as well.
I do not really do the standing still thing – and when I get home, I still don’t stop unless I am napping or sleeping. As lovely as my flatties are, I am reluctant to socialise with them. I want my own mental space, because even when I am at home, I cannot stop. If I am watching a movie, I am usually browsing a magazine or the internet as well, or I am planning/writing a blog. If I am cooking, I am also trying to fit in some stretches or exercise around it.
Part of it is the chronic pain. I do best when I am moving (yes, singing is moving, and an ab workout, and lots of oxygenation to boot). On a day when I do not exercise and do things, I get very grumpy, mainly because my whole back will rebell. So there is a mental element to my need to move. Sitting in front of a television will hurt me, so I do not see the point of it.
There was one time when I was asked by a health professional when the last time was that I was relaxed. I was speechless**. My posture, coupled with the cycle of pain and inflamation made relaxation very difficult. This is still a problem of sorts.
I guess part of the issue is that some see relaxed as sitting by a pool with a disgusting cocktail that tastes like pot pouri in one hand. I would not be beside the pool. I would be in the pool. And if it were a tropical beach, I would be on the beach frolicking — or actually charging through the waves and body surfing, laughing at myself every time I managed to ingest a mouthful of sand.
For me, there are many types of relaxing:
1) Those dances where I am completely transported into the music and dance experience
2) Classes at the not-gym where I am in a position which is releasing the tension in my body
3) Singing a song where everything is working and my body is filled with the music.
4) Moments when I am hanging out with friends, being myself, feeling happy, laughing lots.
I am subverting the meaning of relaxing, I know, but I find I can only relax by doing very active things and finding the joy in these. This is not because I feel guilty about not doing other things. It is because my body and mind are happiest when I move.
* Definition is coming
**Trust me, this is not normally a thing for me.