Author Topic: I suck at relaxing  (Read 4734 times)

Pancake

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I suck at relaxing
« on: January 10, 2017, 11:11:25 PM »
FIREd using real estate but choosing to continue our side business as somewhat of a hobby and some additional funds for our 401k. You know, diversification and whatnot. Anyway, I really suck at relaxing. I'm getting worse as I get older, and I'm not that old (34). I have that terrible nagging need to do this and that, but it just makes me feel anxious or procrastinate things I actually need to do.  It's hard for me to turn my mind off.  I'm sure there are many of you on here who feel the same.

Does anyone have maybe a book recommendation to help me learn how to chill the F out? Dale Carnegie maybe (his how to stop worrying book)?  Or what have you all done to fight this? Thanks for the help.

Metric Mouse

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Re: I suck at relaxing
« Reply #1 on: January 10, 2017, 11:55:43 PM »
Have you tried hiring out some of the things that need to get done?   Sometimes I do this when there is stuff that has to get done, but I'm not willing to do it. Then I can stop worrying about it and get back to enjoying life.

snowdog

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Re: I suck at relaxing
« Reply #2 on: January 11, 2017, 06:27:00 AM »
Relax.  You're only 34.  That nagging feeling to get stuff done is normal.  You're supposed to do something with your life...produce something, add value in some way to the planet...not just sit around taking up space surfing the web.  Stop whining.

Fishindude

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Re: I suck at relaxing
« Reply #3 on: January 11, 2017, 06:50:58 AM »
Sorry, but this disease is incurable.
I can't sit still either.  When I'm home, I prefer to be working on something all of the time.

debbie does duncan

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Re: I suck at relaxing
« Reply #4 on: January 11, 2017, 06:57:22 AM »
The book, mindful Yoga mindful Life .
pg59 , chapter 7  Ahimsa: Dynamic Peacefulness.
Charlotte Bell wrote the book to explain to westeners what yoga is.
And it is not what we think it is.
Good luck with your monkey mind.

lthenderson

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Re: I suck at relaxing
« Reply #5 on: January 11, 2017, 09:06:48 AM »
I channeled my energy into volunteering and getting involved in my community to give back. Most organizations absolutely drool over a young person with time on their hands to run things for them. I quickly became president of two organizations and sit on the school board. I've also been asked to become politically active but I've thus far declined that offer until my kids are out of the house.

Libertea

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Re: I suck at relaxing
« Reply #6 on: January 11, 2017, 10:32:39 AM »
I'm a list-maker.  I write down everything that needs to be done, everything I can possibly think of.  If it has a time limit, I add that too.  Then each day I pick one thing to work on.  Just one.  And I cross it off the list when I'm finished.  Sometimes I'll do a second or third task on the list too, but I'm only "required" to complete one task from the list per day.

I find doing that is helpful for two reasons: first, I'm not worried that I'm forgetting to do something.  Everything is there on the list, so I can always go back and re-read it whenever I need.  Second, it forces me to prioritize.  Maybe cleaning my bathroom really isn't the most important thing on my to-do list right now.  Or maybe it is.  Having the full context of everything that needs to be done all in one place is what allows me to decide what I want or need to be doing right now.

Lnspilot

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Re: I suck at relaxing
« Reply #7 on: January 11, 2017, 11:25:52 AM »
The book, "Slowing Down To The Speed Of Life" by Richard Carlson is great, and can be found for less than four bucks, and free shipping here: https://www.abebooks.com/servlet/SearchResults?cm_sp=plpafe-_-all-_-soft&an=Richard+Carlson+Joseph+Bailey&bi=s&ds=5&n=&sortby=17&tn=Slowing+down+speed+life


Holyoak

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Re: I suck at relaxing
« Reply #8 on: January 11, 2017, 11:44:27 AM »
You and I are two very different kettles of fish (even when I was 34), so how about a change of perspective, a hard inward look where you can potentially change where you focus your energy?  What do you think is driving this terrible nagging need to do this and that, that has you feeling anxious or procrastinating things needing to be done?  For some I think it is fear of the unknown, loss of identity as a cog in the machine/routine, fear of not living up to some standard, fear of letting others down, no satisfaction in the conventional.  Maybe focus on other, never considered activities outside of earning $$$, can be helpful. Maybe visit places where people wait two days in line to have a sick child examined, not two days for the latest igadget.  Of course, volunteering as mentioned is a great suggestion closer to home, or perhaps taking on a deeply held cause can refocus, simply living a life incorporating great gratitude can help steer you toward something?...  My God, FIRED at 34; you have the world as your oyster, and a chance to do great work in any capacity you choose, or that chooses you.

I too have a mind that never shuts off; the key for me is to reshape this energy into something only limited by how I perceive it, how it truly has me feeling with blunt honesty, not run through some filter of what others may perceive or judge.  FIRE, especially when older gives you a great ability to truly not give many/any fucks for B.S., and allows the real you to emerge.  Give it some time, try to relax, and you may just embark on a whole new existence you could have never seen coming.  Wouldn't that be cool? 

Pancake

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Re: I suck at relaxing
« Reply #9 on: January 11, 2017, 12:44:20 PM »
Thanks for all the great responses, everyone! 

I guess I should clarify based on a few comments.  I am not actively seeking things to keep my busy mind busier.  I volunteer, I work out, I have multiple businesses (probably too much going on there), I travel and visit family and have many hobbies.  I am actually quite busy, but it's the down time I crave and just suck at.  It is really hard to make myself sit down and read or watch a movie occasionally.  Maybe I just have to do that, make myself and make it OK.

I too am a list maker, Libertea, and I like your suggestion of just one thing per day.  I used to do that at work and found it reduced my stress some, but work was terrible for stress.  So glad I am gone from there.  Anyway, I like the idea and will work to implement that.  I tend to make these giant unreasonable lists of things to do that day not accounting for all the standard daily responsibilities and inevitable problems that crop up.  Then I don't finish the list.

I currently don't hire much out, Metric Mouse, but I think I may have to do more of that especially when it comes to QuickBooks (barf).  I also really hate cleaning the house, but like a clean house.  I do everything else, especially outside which I kind of like doing, but for some reason scrubbing a bathtub is not my idea of a good time no matter how much I like it afterward.  haha

Thanks for the book recommendations as well.

Holyoak, I appreciate the thoughtful response.  I have only been at this whole new life since October, but the relaxing thing has been an issue for a while.  My mom was the same way and I remember I used to get so mad at her for not sitting down and watching a movie without getting up in the middle of it to clean something or do whatever busy work.  My dad is much better at relaxing, but I don't feel I got much of that gene.  From him I received the general disdain for working for the man and having managers!  I definitely do not feel any loss of identity from my job, it never felt right from the 1st day I sat in that cubicle.  I knew I had to get out as fast as I could and finding this page (MMM) was like epiphany for what I was always trying to figure out.  Maybe more of your last comment, "no satisfaction in the conventional."  You're right, though, I do need to take a deeper look in and see what I want.  I do often feel lost or confused about what I want to accomplish or do in life, but then I am not even sure what that means.  I do recognize that I am very lucky to be 34 and free to have these kinds of "problems."  And I do need to give it some time and take a step back and realize that not everything has to be done now now now with a plan in place for everything to be maximally efficient.  Damn engineer in me.  And you really captured my thoughts exactly with your last statement about embarking on a whole new existence I could never have seen coming.  It would be very cool.  I guess I just need to give it time to develop.


GreenSheep

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Re: I suck at relaxing
« Reply #10 on: January 18, 2017, 02:01:56 PM »
Sometimes it helps me to put my relaxing on my to do list. I keep my to do list on the calendar on my phone and Google Calendar, so I can look over a day quickly and make a realistic plan. If there's too much to do today, I move some of the less-important things to tomorrow. That helps me make sure I leave time for reading, etc. Even on my days off, I try to get all of my chores, errands, etc. done by late afternoon so I have time to make dinner (which is relaxing for me, though I realize it isn't for some), spend time with my fiance, read, etc. It helps me to put time constraints on "work time" and "play time." It also keeps me from racing around the house trying to get things done when I should be winding down for the day.

I also keep my phone or just a piece of paper and a pen next to me while I'm reading or watching a movie or whatever, so I can write down anything that pops into my head that needs to be done. Usually it's not something that needs to be done immediately, but if I write it down, it's offloaded from my brain, and I know I won't forget it, so I can stop thinking about it.

Finally, I read somewhere that if it takes less than a minute, you should just do it when you think of it. I've started implementing this, but the exception for me is that I'm not going to put my book down and get up and do something unimportant. I write it down instead. If I'm up and about, and something comes to mind, I'll just do it right then and there.

OutlierinMA

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Re: I suck at relaxing
« Reply #11 on: January 19, 2017, 03:44:47 PM »
I'm a list-maker.  I write down everything that needs to be done, everything I can possibly think of.  If it has a time limit, I add that too.  Then each day I pick one thing to work on.  Just one.  And I cross it off the list when I'm finished.  Sometimes I'll do a second or third task on the list too, but I'm only "required" to complete one task from the list per day.

I find doing that is helpful for two reasons: first, I'm not worried that I'm forgetting to do something.  Everything is there on the list, so I can always go back and re-read it whenever I need.  Second, it forces me to prioritize.  Maybe cleaning my bathroom really isn't the most important thing on my to-do list right now.  Or maybe it is.  Having the full context of everything that needs to be done all in one place is what allows me to decide what I want or need to be doing right now.

I like this, Libertea; I'm going to start doing this as well!

I retired in October as well, Pancake, and I assumed that I would just relax naturally. It hasn't really happened - that is, I'm enjoying retirement and doing a lot of reading and walking in the woods, but I am still in a bit of an anxious state of mind for some reason. I have been keeping a journal and this week I added a check box for meditation, yoga and qi gong, with the goal of doing at least one each day. I have used all three successfully in the past when very stressed at work.

I can't believe I haven't managed to check it off each day so far, but I have at least 2/4 checked off so far, so it is a start. Good luck!

Linea_Norway

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Re: I suck at relaxing
« Reply #12 on: January 20, 2017, 07:50:42 AM »
I am far from being retired yet, but I recognize your personality. I can almost not sit still at home. I always walk or run around the house to do stuff. And when I'm doing that, I notice other stuff that needs to be done and I try to do that at the same time, or directly after. Sometimes it takes 2,5 hours before I actually sit down after I come home from a working day.

Now for some managing tactics:
When I am reading a really good book, I can actually sit down and enjoy reading the book. Not so good books don't do the trick. I have also found out that both our bathrooms don't need to be made completely spotless every week. I can do the sinks and the toilets each week, but I only wet-clean the floors every few weeks. (We don't use shoes inside the house). My husband and I have also recently decided to buy some (healthy) fast food, so that I don't need to stress out cooking a healthy homemade meal.

Keeping yourself so busy the way I do to myself is mostly caused by myself. Probably the same for the TS here. Think about your ambitions and perhaps redefine some of them towards your real goals. Maybe taking up some sports activity (hiking, running or cycling) could make you feel relaxed? I do manage to relax some more when I am camping and spending the evening at a campfire. Even though I can spend quite some time walking around the tent organizing all sorts of stuff.

The Happy Philosopher

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Re: I suck at relaxing
« Reply #13 on: January 23, 2017, 09:53:42 AM »
Have you tried meditation?

It is excellent for something like this. It is not about clearing the mind, that is not really possible. Meditation teaches you to accept your thoughts and emotions and observe them in a non-judgemental way. It sounds crazy but my results with minimal meditation have been profound and long lasting. The ROI for meditation is astounding. Try it for 10 minutes a day for a couple of weeks. Seriously this is all it takes for many. There are a million sites and apps that have guided meditation of various flavors. Headspace and Calm are two popular apps that I've dabbled with.

MsRichLife

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Re: I suck at relaxing
« Reply #14 on: January 24, 2017, 04:32:00 AM »
Honestly I struggled with this until I made a separate list of 'relaxing' things to do. Now I try and tick off as many of them as I can each day. Some things on my list include:

Read a book
Take a nap
Meditate
Go for a walk
Spend time in nature
Pilates/Yoga
Chat to a friend
Journal
Create (draw/paint)

I only have to do them for 10 minutes and then I can tick them off. Often I'll spend much longer on something if I'm enjoying it, but there's no pressure to continue for a set time.

Now I get that sense of achievement at ticking things off a list, but they are all things that nourish my mind, body and soul - something that is sorely needed after burning out at work.
« Last Edit: January 24, 2017, 04:33:42 AM by MsRichLife »