Writing and Relaxing

My fiancee and I joke that I need to “practice relaxing.”

Unfortunately, it’s one of those jokes that’s funny because it’s true. I tend to cram every spare second with some kind of obligation. 90% of the time, they’re stuff I want to do: professional networking, friends, family, personal goals like writing or running. I’m a busy person, and I like it that way. It’s a well-known fact.

But next week, I’m going to a writer’s retreat. In preparing to depart and disconnect from my many obligations for seven days, I’ve started warning people and informing them of my availability. Examples:

Me to work: I’m out next week, but I can check in…

Me to nutritionist: I’m out of town next week, but I will still log…

Me to trainer: I’ll be on a retreat next week, but I can still go for a run…

Me to extra curricular group: I’m gone next week but I can still schedule…

Me to friends: I’ll be in Lynchburg next week but I can still text or call…

All of their replies to me: Don’t.

They love and value my contributions to my goals, the organization, their lives, but they recognize something that I always fail to see: I need to relax.

It’s not the first time I heard that. A few months ago I ran a half marathon and then due to physical exhaustion took a bath and laid around for the rest of the day. When I chatted with a friend that night, I mentioned to her how it was a “really lazy Sunday” for me. She said, “are you kidding me?! You ran 13.1 miles this morning!”

Any writer knows, though, that writing is not relaxing. What’s the saying? Sit at your typewriter and open an vein? I have a LOT of work to do. But instead of forcing my writing projects to share my time with a million other things, my manuscripts only have one thing to compete with: myself.

Besides. If I jut laid around and played video games and went on walks all week I’d probably lose my mind. It’d be like the time management equivalent of the bends.

How do you integrate relaxation into your life? Seriously, I need the tips.

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