I have never been taught how to relax.
Ever since I was little, all I remember of dinner-time conversation was my parents talking about work. My sister and I have a running joke of just rolling our eyes at each other and starting conversation between ourselves, imitating our parents. Every single meal time was the same. What happened at work today, what do they need to do about it, what the plan is for tomorrow, next week, next month and next year.
Every second of my parents day was planned around work. They would never not work and if they took a day off work, they would still talk about work. Even when we had family days out in London, we would always go to the office first to meet my dad there, or to pick up things, or to just spend an hour there to check how things were going. Fun things were still governed by work.
I’ve realised that the things I enjoy, the things that I picked as hobbies were still pretty much governed by work and goals. I used to horse ride. I loved it, but it was also for my DofE skills. I love Photography, but took it as an A Level too. It was both my hobby but also whilst I enjoyed doing it, everything I did was to meet deadlines and projects. I have struggled to keep it up as a hobby, I think because I have no pressure to do it. Currently I have turned my love of working out and exercising into working towards a PT qualification (I still love it, it’s just now it’s also dictated by deadlines and learning).
I don’t think I’ve ever had a hobby that hasn’t been governed by rules or projects or deadlines. I think it’s partially why I drop hobbies as easily as I pick them up. I have no idea how to do things for myself and I have no idea how to stop and relax.
When I relax, I feel guilty. I work to meet deadlines, I work because I have to, but I also work to relax. I am never not working or thinking about work because that is all I’ve known and I think that is why I consistently burn out.
I have no idea how to enjoy something for the sake of enjoying it.
(This is not a dig at my parents, they’re great people 😂)