Sunday, 31 July 2016

In praise of lazy Sundays

Post-run brunch is an essential part of a lazy Sunday

My Sundays have become a sacred thing.
In my attempts to try to learn to relax, they've been the day I try to put aside to recharge my batteries.
They are a day to challenge myself to take it easy, even when every fibre of my being is against it.
They are my mental health days.

They begin without an alarm. As you can imagine, this is quite a big deal for me. Not knowing what time I might wake up instantly raises my heart rate, but I know that I'm pushing myself a lot to get up at 5.30am every day to get a run and, most days, a strength session, in before work. I know I need to catch up on sleep over the weekends (and Saturday I don't have the luxury of an indefinite lie-in because I always want to go to parkrun) so going to bed on Saturday night without an alarm is my attempt to reset my body clock. I rarely wake up after 8am.

After some lying in bed and reading my phone, I give myself about an hour to get myself ready for my run. A cup of tea and piece of toast are mandatory. I try not to put pressure on myself to be out the door at a certain time, which is hard, but I'm usually out the door by 9. I'm still learning not to panic if it's 9.05am.

Then a run, the length mandated by my training plan, then a load or two of washing. And then, usually, that's a big chunk of my to-do list done. And then the challenging part - to relax for the rest of the day without going crazy.

Sundays are for chores. For cleaning the kitchen and putting away the washing and food prep. For doing things to attempt to reduce my anxiety for the rest of the week.

And for blogging, for working through my anxiety books, for meal planning, for reading. For what I think of as "active relaxing", where I'm not quite relaxing, but I don't feel guilty about it.

I find it hard to portion of a period of time for nothing in particular, but I find it even harder not to. If I don't have at least one day at home over the weekend (and usually, at least one night in during the week), I find it very difficult to not feel overwhelmed by everything I need to do. Little things that take 5 minutes can derail me if I don't get them done over the weekend.

I know my Sundays might not seem lazy to everyone, and I don't call them "lazy" to show off that this is what I consider a quiet day, but it's a big deal for me to try to have a day of doing "nothing" without feeling guilty. And I'm starting to enjoy it. I wrestled with myself a lot today over whether we took a cinema trip, but I know in truth, I had a busy day yesterday (I didn't get more than an hour at home between 8.30am and 7.30pm between parkrun and food shopping and mortgage advisors and house viewings and family parties) and if I don't give myself today off I'll find those little tasks like cleaning the kitchen or writing a blog post hanging over me for the rest of the week.

So here's to lazy Sundays. Here's to fluffy slippers and no makeup and "what shall we do now?" and middle of the day films and unexpected naps. It could be they're exactly what I need.

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