Everyone loves a warm bath, a good movie, and a good night’s sleep. So why do you feel guilty about it? Many people feel guilt when trying to relax… Why is that? And what can you do about it?
Why People Feel Guilty Relaxing
There’s several reasons why people feel guilty when they try to relax. Let’s take a look at the more common reasons and how you can combat them.
Loving What You Do
You might be surprised to learn this is a common feeling among people who are happy with their work. Society puts so much emphasis on careers and finding a good fit, that sometimes it’s assumed people who love their job have it all together.
Unfortunately, it’s not that simple. When you love what we do, you don’t want to stop. That’s fine…until you get into the habit of working non-stop.
Feeling Constant or Frequent Pressure
It’s hard to justify relaxing when you have a family, friends, and coworkers who need you. Sometimes you need to buckle down and get it done—and there’s no shame in that.
The issue may come when the pressure’s passed and you still can’t relax. Or when the pressure’s ongoing, and you can’t get yourself to sit still for five minutes.
Taking Pride in Your Work
Again, there’s no shame in taking pride in a job well done. The problem arises when you base your sense of self-worth on it. When you feel a constant need to work, to impress others with what you can do, and show everyone you’re capable, you start to feel like you aren’t yourself when you aren’t working.
How to Stop Working and Relax
The key is changing your mindset. How you should change it depends on where the guilt comes from. Let’s take a look at the reasons we listed and strategies for learning to relax.
When You Love What You Do
It’s fine to love your work, yet there are a lot of reasons you shouldn’t work non-stop. If you’re passionate about what you do, you don’t want to lose that love. Unfortunately, that’s exactly what will happen if you can’t learn to relax. You’ve probably heard of burnout, and that’s exactly what happens if you don’t take a break.
It might also help to not think of relaxing as “wasting time.” As many wise people have said before, time you enjoy wasting is not wasted time. Relaxation is productive because it prevents burnout and reinvigorates your creative fire.
When You Feel Constant or Frequent Pressure
Once the pressure’s passed, you can simply remind yourself that’s the case. If it helps, go over everything you’ve done that day or the past couple days. Tell yourself you’ve earned the respite.
If the pressure’s ongoing, remind yourself you can’t help anyone if you have a mental breakdown. If you don’t take five minutes to recharge, everything you’ve worked for will go down the drain.
When You Take Pride in Your Work
Remind yourself there’s more to your personality than your work ethic. Maybe you’re a loving father and comedic genius. Or maybe you’re a sharp-witted grandmother who always makes time to call her grandkids.
Your work can get done later. The time you spend with your friends and family, however, won’t last forever.
No matter the reason, your work can wait. Take some time to relax, or you won’t be much good to anyone.