Are you relaxing properly?


How does your ability to relax score on a scale from 1-10? (10 being the best you can imagine.)

What if I made that your ability to relax ‘uninterrupted and guilt free’?

  • when you are totally lost in something you really enjoy
  • when you forget you have a phone, or a door bell, or an inbox
  • when the clock speeds up
  • when your stress levels come down
  • when you feel good about yourself at the end of it

Are you still getting the same score? If you are, GREAT! please share.

People Voodoo is as much about the relationship you have with yourself as it is about your relationship with others, so today is about the quality time we give ourselves.

Here are five ways to make sure that you are reaping the rewards of your relaxation time.

1 – Separate the best from the rest

Know the difference between ‘on call’ time and genuine relaxation time. If you think you might be interrupted then this is ‘on call’ time, whether you are on call to your work or your family. This is not real relaxation time.

There is research to show that expecting to be interrupted affects the quality of our recovery from stress. There is no point telling yourself that on call time is as relaxing as uninterruptible downtime. Save the best activities for when you know you can guarantee not to be interrupted, even if that is only 1 hour a week. During on call time do things where you don’t mind some interruption.

2 – Know your guilt triggers

Make sure that you are spending your quality relaxation time doing something you enjoy and feel positive doing. If this is watching TV, then that’s just as good at helping you to relax as an hour of yoga or meditation, although it may not offer as many other health benefits. It doesn’t even need to be alone!

It’s not about what you are doing, it’s about how relaxing you find it. Guilt is not relaxing, so anything you’ll regret afterwards doesn’t count!

To help with the guilt, there is item 3.

3 – Be a bit more German about it

There is a great word in the German language; the verb ‘gönnen’. It literally translates as ‘to allow’ or ‘to not begrudge/resent’ but it is used much more positively than that. If I said to you that I ‘gönn’ it to you,  I am not just ‘not’ begrudging, I actually want you to have it. I think you deserve it! Being worth it is not just about beauty products!

So gönn yourself some relaxation time.

4 – Tell people what you’re up to.

If you want a 20 minute walk through the park or just need to shut the door for 10 minutes to read the next chapter of your book, let people know. They can’t support you if they don’t know your needs.

If they also practice People Voodoo then they will – you guessed it – gönn it you, and you can offer the same in return. If not, or if that presents logistical challenges, then you may need to do some planning or negotiating. A great opportunity for some open and honest conversation. It will be worth the effort.

5 – Remove any trip hazards

If you’ve got 1-4 under wraps then just make sure you don’t accidental sabotage your success. If putting a favourite gadget on silent still means you look at it every 10 minutes to see what you missed, then you are interrupting yourself, and off is the only way.

Trust the experts when they tell us that turning things off occasionally is good for us.



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