My husband and I have very different relaxing styles. He loves to watch TV with his coffee, immerse himself in watching hockey or watch YouTube shows at the end of the day.
It baffles and sometimes frustrates me because I like quiet with my coffee, find hockey overwhelming (and also boring at the same time) and still really don’t understand YouTube beyond its use for awesome yoga videos.
I used to get frustrated, especially in the mornings, when my wishful quiet cup of coffee was interrupted with the noise of the TV and time that I would’ve preferred to spend journaling or working on something else was “wasted”.
But I’ve had to realize something…I don’t get to decide for others what they find relaxing, just like they don’t get to decide for me. I don’t get to decide if it’s the “wrong” way to relax and I don’t get to force them to relax in “my” way.
We all have our own ways to relax and while sharing our ways and trying other’s ways can introduce us to things we otherwise may never have tried, it is imperative for us to know and advocate for what is relaxing for us. And most importantly, each person deserves time to relax in their own way!
How can this be accomplished, especially when you live with other people?
- Recognize your needs. What leaves you feeling refreshed? Relaxed? Rejuvenated? What do you want to “accomplish” with your downtime? Do you want to do literally nothing and stare out a window while you daydream? Do you want to read a book or write in your journal? Do you want to laugh at your favourite comedy? What does this relaxation time mean to you?
- Communicate your needs. Before I realized I was a Highly Sensitive Person and truly recognized my need for quiet time, I would get so overwhelmed and grouchy at my husband for not “allowing” me to relax in my way. The problem was, he honestly didn’t know that I had different and specific needs in order to relax! I’m now able to ask him to hold off on turning on the TV for a little bit, or I let him know that I’ll be upstairs reading while he does his own thing.
- Advocate for your needs and protect your space. If you need quiet, find it. Drink your coffee outside, go for a walk, lock yourself away in a quiet room with a white noise machine running.
How do you like to relax? Do you hold this time as precious and something that you fiercely protect? You deserve what YOU need, so please take time to identify what this is and advocate for it!