“I’ll rest when I finish this project… when I’m done with work for the day… when I’ve checked everything off my to-do list…” Sound familiar? You might have learned to believe that you need to EARN rest and relaxation, which can make it difficult to actually relax when you need to. When will you have accomplished enough to actually relax? When will you feel deserving of it? In this episode, we’ll explore the negative consequences that result when you think you need to earn relaxation, and how to start giving your body the rest it needs (without becoming lazy).
In this episode, you will learn:
- Why you falsely believe you need to earn relaxation
- Specific ways to challenge this limiting belief and start being kinder to yourself
- 5 tips to help you stop punishing yourself and start relaxing- because you deserve it
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I’ll rest when I finish this project, when I’m done with work for the day, when I’ve checked everything off of my to do list. Sound familiar? You might have learned to believe that you need to earn rest and relaxation, which can make it difficult to relax when you actually need to. When will you feel that you’ve accomplished enough to actually relax?
When will you feel as though you deserve to relax? In this episode, we’ll explore the negative consequences that result when you think you need to earn relaxation and how to start giving your body the rest it needs without becoming lazy. Welcome to Calmly Coping. I’m your host, Tati Garcia. I’m a licensed therapist and a high functioning anxiety coach.
Calmly Coping is the podcast for people who struggle with anxiety and high functioning anxiety. Each Wednesday, you’ll hear informative episodes with actionable tips about decreasing anxiety, adopting a healthy mindset, and managing your time and energy so you can live a calm and balanced life. Let’s get started.
Thank you so much for tuning in. I have worked with With so many clients with this belief that they need to earn relaxation. In fact, I’ve already met with two this week, which actually inspired me to create this episode. And this is a belief that I used to hold in the past. I used to feel that I needed to accomplish a certain amount or get everything done on my to do list or, you know, finish a certain amount of tasks before I was allowed to take a break or before I was allowed to relax.
And as a result, I also used to feel guilty relaxing or taking a break in the middle of the workday or before I had accomplished what I felt like I should accomplish before I deserved or earned this relaxation. So this belief that you need to earn relaxation is an example of what’s called a limiting belief.
And a limiting belief is an inaccurate belief that holds you back in some way or negatively impacts you. So let’s talk about why you have this belief. Where could this have come from? So it could have come from family, relatives, other adults, or individuals that you looked up to or learned from throughout your life, throughout your childhood especially.
So maybe you saw the adults in your life constantly working and being very hardworking and this was something that was important to them or necessary for them. Or maybe you saw them constantly doing, staying busy, doing chores around the house. making meals, taking care of others, and didn’t often see the adults in your life actually taking time to rest and relax.
Maybe it was things that they communicated to you that if you took time to rest then that meant that you were lazy, or you learned that it was good to be busy and be productive and get things done, and this was something that was admired. Maybe you received or positive feedback when you created or stayed busy or accomplished things.
You could have also learned this belief from cultural norms, hearing sayings such as I’ll rest when I’m dead or rest is for the weak or the lazy. These messages that are communicated through movies and TVs and people that we admire. can have an influence on the way that we view ourselves and view our behaviors.
Maybe you also tie your productivity to your self worth and you believe that you are only as good enough or as worthy enough or as valuable enough as the things that you accomplish and you feel as though you need to continue doing things and accomplishing things and leveling up. in order to be good enough.
So these are just some examples of where this belief may have stemmed from. When we have limiting beliefs, we need to challenge them because like I said earlier, it’s an inaccurate belief. The idea that you need to earn rest and relaxation is not inherently true. It is not a fact. It is just something that you have internalized and believe to be true as a result.
And so let’s break it down and really. challenge this belief. So first, why do you need to earn relaxation? What’s the reason? Um, really think about and reflect upon this. Why is it necessary to earn relaxation? So we might have certain beliefs that come up, like it means that I’m lazy if I haven’t earned it, or, you know, it’s not going to feel as good if I haven’t earned it.
But in reality, it is not a fact that you need to earn relaxation. And also, what happens if you relax before you have quote unquote
And oftentimes what can happen is more internal than external, and it’s possible that you feel like other people may judge you or may look at you negatively. And even if they do, ultimately, we can’t control the way that other people, think about us or how they feel about us. And if those feelings come up within you, it feels uncomfortable, or it feels like you haven’t accomplished enough, or you feel guilty, or you feel bad about yourself.
Those are feelings that are coming up as a result of these internalized beliefs that you have. So your thoughts and beliefs influence the way that you feel. And the good news about this is that once you start to change these thoughts and beliefs, then you can influence the way that you feel. This is all stemming from a therapeutic technique known as cognitive behavioral therapy.
And it’s basically changing the way that you think and the behaviors that you engage in to affect the way that you feel. And this is a very effective technique for both anxiety and depression and many other mental health struggles. So now let’s talk about what happens if you delay relaxation. So you keep on pushing through and working through and eating through your lunch break and not taking any time to recharge during the day.
And. What are the consequences of that? Well, of course, it could be feeling tired, feeling exhausted, feeling mentally, physically drained. Feeling overwhelmed because you have so much going on mentally that you haven’t allowed your brain to process either the information that you’re taking in or just how you’re feeling or what’s going on inside of you.
You might start to take your frustration out on those around you and you could feel resentful towards whatever it is that is keeping you working, whether it is towards a boss or job or towards family members if you’re caring for them or whatever it is. You can turn into martyrdom, feeling like you need to sacrifice yourself because of this belief.
And you might also have decreased focus. Decreased ability to think clearly or make decisions. And this can also result in feeling like you need to numb yourself at the end of the day. Like you have no energy to do anything except for sitting down and vegging in front of the TV or scrolling through your phone or maybe doing both at once.
or having a glass of wine in order to calm your mind at the end of the day, or something else that will help you to just shut down and disconnect. This can happen because you haven’t taken regular breaks throughout the day, and then when it comes to the end of the day and you’ve pushed yourself through, you just have no energy to do anything else.
Whereas if you were taking regular breaks or resting or recharging when you needed to periodically throughout the day, then you may have more energy and focus in order to do things that you enjoy, such as hobbies or socializing or whatever else helps you feel more energized. Another way to challenge your beliefs are through positive affirmations.
And so these are basically statements like, I deserve rest and relaxation, where you are replacing the limiting belief that you hold with a positive or neutral belief. This is something that I recently started offering in my community, the Common Ambitious community, which you can learn more about in the description or in the show notes if you’re listening to the podcast.
But every month I’m releasing a new set of affirmations as well as weekly journal prompts related to a specific theme. The theme for the month of December is rest. relax and recharge. So I released an entire set of affirmations geared towards helping you reframe the limiting beliefs and the guilt that you may hold about relaxation.
And what this does is with repetition and consistency, this helps to rewire your brain. Even if you don’t initially believe these affirmations and it feels uncomfortable, that’s a sign that this could be an area or a belief that you could benefit from changing. So this could look like reminding yourself and repeating to yourself.
regularly things like I deserve to rest or I don’t need to earn rest and relaxation or rest and relaxation helps me recharge and helps me have a clear mind. So now let’s talk about some actionable ways that you can start relaxing after you have addressed the root cause of these beliefs and challenge these beliefs and doesn’t necessarily have to be after it can be simultaneously with.
or just on your own doing these things to help you to relax. So I’ve mentioned this a few times, but taking regular breaks throughout the day can be huge and game changing. And it does not have to be super time intensive breaks, but anything that will help to just take you away from what you’re focusing on, just give you kind of like a mental reset or mental distance from what you’re doing.
This could just be going and getting a cup. of tea or drink or taking a bathroom break or going for a walk or having a chat with a friend or a colleague or depending on what makes sense given the environment that you’re working in, reading or watching a show you enjoy or doing a puzzle or doing something that will help to take your mind away from the work that you’re doing.
Another tip that can help you to relax is to listen to your mind and body. Oftentimes our mind and our body give us
And if you are somebody who has this belief that you need to earn relaxation, or you just need to get through what you need to get through, then it is so easy to ignore these signs and keep pushing through and pushing beyond your limit, whereas if you just took a break for a little while, then you would find that you were re energized and ready to return.
So, what are some examples of these signs? It could look like feeling tired. It could look like feeling easily distracted. For me, I know this is a common one. You know, when I start to find that it’s difficult for me to focus on what I’m doing, then I feel like, okay, it may be time to take a break or Switch tasks, depending upon what’s happening or if you find that you are starting to feel frustrated or irritable or anxious, there could be many different signs.
And it’s about identifying and learning what they are for you and then recognizing them and listening to them. And a another thing that can be helpful that is often overlooked is identifying specifically how you will. take a break when the time comes. Many times people don’t really identify what they’re going to do and this can take more mental energy and create decision fatigue from having to decide, okay, how am I going to take my break?
But if you can identify even one or two things that you’re going to consistently do throughout your break, then that will help to just make it something that becomes more of a habit and something that you don’t have to think about or decide. And it will become easier to do and more automatic. And I listed some suggestions previously and you can come up with anything.
There’s no right or wrong way to take a break, but just focus and reflect upon how the thing that you’re choosing is going to make you feel. You may not necessarily want to take a break and scroll through the news, because that might be something that actually stresses you out more or provokes more anxiety or restlessness rather than recharging you, which is what we’re aiming for.
Another thing that’s important when it comes to learning how to relax is expecting negative self talk and judgments because they’re going to come up within you because you have trained your brain to think a certain way and to react a certain way when it comes to rest and relaxation. Expect that you might be judging yourself.
You might be calling yourself lazy. You might be saying, I’m not, I’m not allowed to be doing this. I shouldn’t be doing this. I should be working. Expect and acknowledge these and then challenge them as they come up or just kind of acknowledge them and set them to the side and focus on what you’re doing in the present.
This is going to be something that happens as your brain is kind of catching up to this new behavior that you’re trying to create for yourself. And also be sure to congratulate yourself. Be proud of yourself for taking time to rest, for listening to your mind and body, and for taking care of yourself in general.
And also notice the differences in how you feel. So do you notice that you feel different at the end of the day when you’ve taken time for regular breaks versus when you haven’t? This can be something that you kind of conduct an experiment with and see what works best for you when it comes to relaxing and reflecting upon what you enjoy or what is most recharging for you.
So if you’d like to take the next step and you would like accountability and support in taking time to relax in caring for your mental health in creating more work life balance, this is exactly what I support individuals with in my private community, the common ambitious community. This is a community for individuals struggling with high functioning anxiety, which If you’re not sure what that is, I have a free quiz that you can take by going to hfaquiz.com.
And in the Calm and Ambitious community, you get access to bite sized training, such as the training on how to stop overworking and cope with the guilt of relaxing. Monthly coaching calls, monthly affirmations, and weekly journal prompts, like I mentioned previously. And so much more support to guide you in achieving your goals and help you to care for yourself so that you can be more fully present.
in your life for yourself, for your family, for your loved ones, friends, and for your career. And as a thank you for being a listener to my podcast, I’d like to offer you a discount of 15 off your first month, which you can access by going to calmandambitious.com. You can click on the link in the description or the show notes and enter the code PODCAST at checkout. So that code podcast will give you 15 off of your first month in the community. And I’d love to hear your thoughts on this topic. If you are watching on YouTube or if you are listening on Spotify, let me know your thoughts to this question. What helps you relax and recharge? And while you wait for next week’s episode, I have another episode on what to do when you feel guilty relaxing that you can check out next.
Thank you so much for tuning in today and until next time, be calm. Thanks so much for listening. If you like what you heard, please share this episode with a friend, and please subscribe and leave me a review on iTunes. Also, remember to check me out online at CalmlyCoping. com and connect with me on Instagram @TatianaGLPC.
All content here is for informational purposes only. This content does not replace the professional judgment of your own mental health provider. Please consult a licensed mental health professional for all individual questions and issues. Till next time, I’m Tati, and this has been Calmly Coping.
Until next time…