Why Is It Hard To Relax & What Can We Do About It

I think it’s hard to relax because we all have so many responsibilities. That is particularly true at this time of year in the lead-up to Christmas. There are always so many things to do on our list. We’re either trying to finish things up for the end of the year or preparing for Christmas. I think with all of these responsibilities, we forget to slow down. We tend to put others first and not think about ourselves and what we really need.

On the surface, it’s easy to say I must relax and then expect that we can. It isn’t that easy. Many people need a guide to help them get there. A guide offers an experience that is very difficult for people to tap into by themselves.

A guide holds a space for a person to discover something about themselves. A guide will also show participants things they might not have seen if they were alone. This is particularly the case for forest therapy.

One of the several practices we do is just resting in nature and sitting. How often would you give yourself permission to just go out in nature, a park, a garden, or a forest, and just sit for 20 minutes and give yourself permission to just listen to the birds, look at the flowers, and watch the clouds move across the sky?

Quite often, it’s very, very difficult for people to give themselves permission to set this time aside for themselves. We sometimes don’t think we’re worthy. That might sound strange, but for many people putting themselves first is difficult. Are you one of those people?

At the end of most of my walks, I hear people say, “I need to do this for myself.” Once they have learned this practice, they can then take it away and make it part of their own lives. At the end of a forest therapy walk, we give people a nature prescription. It reminds them to just go into nature and sit for 20 minutes.

Maybe you are thinking of giving yourself or someone close to you the gift of relaxation this Christmas. What you are really giving is permission to stop and take time out. If you know somebody in Perth or the South West of Western Australian, who’s really under a lot of pressure, giving a forest therapy experience can be a useful circuit breaker. It can help people understand how stressed out they are and lead them to a positive option moving forward.