The thought of writing a post about relaxing would have been comical to me a year ago. I was in my last semester of university, thinking I had the hardest life in the whole world because I had 10,000 words to write with a deadline of about nine months and felt hard done by because I had to work weekends to fund my Boots addiction.
Fast forward a year and life couldn’t be more different. My alarm goes off at 6.30am, I commute two hours to work, do a full day, commute home for another two hours (often more with the unreliable evening trains) and then roll in after 7pm. I eat, shower and spend an hour or so doing little things before I have to get into bed to do it all over again. It’s absolutely exhausting but from the start of uni we have it drilled into us that we should grab any relevant career opportunity that comes our way, so here we are.
What I’m struggling with is enjoying any down time. Feeling relaxed isn’t any option for me in the week, which I understand must sound absolutely ridiculous to some but there is no time and it’s impossible to switch off for long enough in the evenings before you need to get ready for bed.
Weekends aren’t much better. Even if I have no plans at all for a whole day, I feel like I need to be doing something. I’ll lay in bed until late morning and my brain will be whirring with thoughts of things I need to do, should be doing, could be doing, be it blogging or applications or flat hunting or exercising.
A few things that I have found can help – meditation, walking, tidying and really long baths (I’m talking, the whole of 1989 long). Just the word ‘meditation’ would once have made me raise an eyebrow and I don’t even know if what I do can be classified as that, but I just sit still and upright in complete silence, close my eyes and just try to think of nothingness, like something vast and never ending and calm.
Spending time with my five year old sister is probably when I feel my most relaxed. There’s something so refreshing about being around an innocent mind who’s biggest concern is their Furby (which now cost £65, are you freakin’ kidding me?!) and when they are next allowed a snack. Just watching her doing something as simple as making a necklace out of pasta or trying to find the right piece in her Frozen puzzle makes me think things aren’t all bad.
People tell you that life after graduation is hard, as you are popped out of your three year old university bubble and geographically torn apart from the bonds you built with strangers who become like family in the same city, but I don’t think any amount of pep talks can prepare you for reality.
Scanning back, this post is just endless rambling but I sort of want to know I’m not alone in this manic, exhausted mindset which feels like it’s taking over my life. If you have felt like this or have any tips then I would love you to comment them below.
(I don’t want to leave this on a sad note so here is a photo of a panda on a rocking horse)