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Guilt-free relaxation for mental wellbeing

Do you feel guilty when you take time out to relax? 

There is always something ‘productive’ or ‘useful’ that needs doing, right? The to-do list is never empty…

…which is why it can be hard to settle down on the sofa for a Netflix binge without the un-hung washing or un-loaded dishwasher or un-sent email or un-paid bill niggling in the back of our minds. 

Here are a few tips from Team Kamwell to ensure you get that much needed AND deserved rest and relaxation, guilt-free: 

  • Replace negative self talk, i.e. “you don’t have time to relax, you should be [add task]” with self-compassion, i.e. “you have worked hard all day, it’s ok to take it slow this evening”. Acknowledge that you deserve relaxation and that this is an important part of managing stress. 
  • Reframe relaxation as something productive. This is not you being lazy, this is you investing in yourself and that IS a productive use of time. 
  • If the idea of ‘doing nothing’ makes you feel antsy, remember that switching off doesn’t have to mean doing nothing - relaxation can come in many forms so find an activity that works for you. This won’t be the same for everyone so if the idea of watching TV doesn’t appeal, try going for a walk, taking a hot bath, calling a friend, baking, re-organising your wardrobe. If it makes you feel relaxed then it’s a good ‘downtime’ activity. 
  • If thoughts about un-done work tasks pop into your head when you’re attempting to relax in the evening try scheduling a ‘wrap up session’ at the end of your working day. 15 minutes will suffice and it’s very simple: get clear on what is outstanding and how you will make progress when you return to work. This will give a sense of completion, even when there are things left to do (and let’s face it, there almost always is!)
  • Try keeping some of your routine in place on the weekend or when you have time off, whether that be the time you wake up or go to bed, starting your day with your usual cup of tea or exercising at lunchtime - keeping elements of your ‘everyday’ routine will help you to relax and recharge comfortably and can help to keep guilt at bay. 
  • Resist the temptation to spend your downtime scrolling! It’s important that some of our rest and relaxation time is void of digital devices and blue light in order to let our bodies and minds fully restore.