JUST RELAX - the two most hated words when Infertility hitsDec 28, 2020
Those two little words.
THE most dreaded solution when you're trying to conceive. We hear them all the time. And it has the ability to push us from calm to boiling point every single time.
I never truly understood WHY we hate those words so much until I found myself on a massage table berating myself for not ticking the "relaxation" box.
A girlfriend and I had booked ourselves in for a spa day. And when we completed the paperwork on entry, they asked what type of massage you would like. The options were - relaxation, remedial, or a combination of both. My pen hovered over the relaxation box. I wanted to tick it. But something stopped me. That would be completely indulgent. Perhaps I could squeeze some productivity out of this session? A remedial massage meant that any knots I had in my body would be removed. It was more effective.
I looked at which box my friend was ticking, and she went for the combination box. Guilt set in, so I ticked that box too, along with the "medium" pressure box.
An hour later, I found myself lying face down on the table, cringing in pain. The pressure was too much. It felt like the therapist’s thumb was grinding into my butt so hard it would leave a bruise. But I remained silent and tense. Something prevented me from asking her to ease up. I could handle this. Because it was being productive and for the greater good of my body.
Relaxation was nowhere in sight. Just regret, and pain and this intense need to suck it up. I would not give up. I could push through this pain. About 30 minutes in, I couldn't take it any longer. I quietly whispered to the therapist - can you go a little lighter please?
I spent the last half of the massage enjoying the scents, feeling the warmth of her hands, listening to pipe music playing softly in the background. I was also wondering why I couldn't just tick the damn relaxation box. I was kicking myself too.
This is what occurred to me. It has been drilled into me my whole life that relaxation is indulgent. When I was growing up, I never saw my mum relax. She was (and still is) someone who cannot sit still. Always pottering around and being productive. And now, whenever I sit still, I feel guilty. Because I don't want to be lazy.
I'm well aware of my belief's around relaxing. I have spent the last 6 months trying to rid myself of this mindset. To see that relaxing is actually being productive. But in that moment - when I was given the choice to tick that box, I failed.
I ticked the wrong box.
If you're anything like me, the hardest thing in the world to do is relax. So when people tell us to JUST relax, like it's something that's really easy. Well, it pisses us off. Because relaxing is unchartered territory. And it can actually be going against a major belief we've grown up with. It’s like having to rewire your brain.
And while we're at it, the other reason it pisses us off is because we know it's right. We know our stress is affecting our ability to fall pregnant. And if we could just relax, it could increase our chances.
For some of us, relaxation is a skill that needs to be learned. And laying on that massage table was a sign that I still have some work to do on smashing those old beliefs.
But I guarantee you, next time, I'll be checking that relaxation box!!
Which box will you check? xx
If you'd like to learn some TRUE relaxation techniques, the final week of The Lighthouse Project is all about sharing suggestions and providing you with permission to relax.
Doors are now open, so click HERE for more details.
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