Podcast

Episode 61 • Relax

61

Unwind

Decompress

Take your mind off of something

Treat oneself

Soothing

Story

Boy: So, guess what? I got fired!
Girl: What?! Why?
Boy: I have no idea! I was at work the other day and, I mean, you know how much I’ve been working lately… I just felt like I really needed some time to unwind, you know… to decompress. All I’d been thinking about was all the meetings and emails and presentations… I mean! I’m a human! All I wanted was to take my mind off of that for a few hours…
Girl: Yeah! Of course!
Boy: So I decided to treat myself, because, you know, I never really do that. So I had some chocolates and some wine delivered, then I put on some jazz music… I don’t know what it is about jazz music, but I find it really soothing. And then I had someone come over to give a massage, and then someone else to fix my hands and feet! You should’ve seen my toes! And then right when I started to feel a bit better and a bit more relaxed. Boom! I got fired.
Girl: Wait. Your- your boss called you and said you were fired?
Boy: No, he didn’t call me. He came to my desk.
Girl: Wait. You didn’t leave your office.
Boy: No, I was at my desk.
Girl: Don’t work in an open space?
Boy: Yeah, why?…

Questions

Unwind

'I just felt like I really needed some time to unwind and decompress.'

• When do you feel the need to unwind? After feeling particularly stressed or particularly calm?

You feel the need to unwind after feeling particularly stressed. You need a break, you need to unwind and relax.

• How do you feel after unwinding?

Well, to unwind means to relax. Hopefully, after unwinding, you're going to feel relaxed and calm.

• How much time do you usually need to unwind properly, just a few seconds or more?

Well, if you need to unwind, it usually takes a little bit more than a few seconds. We're talking at least a few minutes. Sometimes it might even take you a week. That's why we go on vacation to unwind, take a break, and relax.

• What things do you do to unwind?

I think taking walks always helps me unwind. If I stay in the house watching TV, for example, it doesn't help me very much. It makes me in a way more stressed. Definitely taking a walk or listening to music, but it's better if I'm walking. Oh, and then I got another, one riding the bus. If I'm sitting on the bus, listening to my music, it really helps me unwind for some reason. I love it.

Decompress

'I just felt like I really needed some time to unwind and decompress.'

• When do you feel the need to decompress? After feeling particularly stressed or particularly calm?

Same as before you need to decompress, if you're feeling particularly stressed.

• How much time do you usually need to decompress, just a few seconds or more?

That's the same question I asked for unwinding. Here's the difference. Unwinding is probably a little bit of a longer process. Decompressing, it can take you even just a few seconds. Let's say, for example, "I just went through a stressful situation or maybe I just worked really hard all day. Well, before going home, maybe I will want to decompress." To take all the stress away just a few seconds. Maybe I sit down, I don't know. I listen to my favorite song or I talk to a friend. There you go. I've decompressed, and now I can go home.

• Do you take some time to decompress after work?

I always take some time to decompress after work. I don't like going from one stressful activity onto another. Usually, after work, I will take a few minutes to decompress. I will take my phone and watch a YouTube video, something silly that doesn't require a lot of effort. That's how I decompress.

Take your mind off of something

'All I wanted was to take my mind off of that for a few hours...'

• If you do an activity to you take your mind off of something, is it because you want to keep thinking about it or because you want to stop thinking about it?

If you want to take your mind off of something, you want to stop thinking about it. You don't want your mind, you don't want your thoughts to be there.

• Why would you want to take your mind off of something?

To take a break. Imagine it's something stressful, maybe like work or maybe you just got into a fight with your boyfriend or your girlfriend, and you keep thinking about it. You get more and more stressed. It gets to a point where you just say, "Listen, I don't want to think about that now. I want to take my mind off of that. I want to distract myself, do another activity, that's not going to make me think about that unpleasant thing."

• If you want to take your mind off of something, what do you do?

For me, like I said before, it needs to be something physical. If I watch TV, that doesn't help me take my mind off of something. I'll still watch the movie, but I'll still be thinking about that unpleasant thing. What I do is listening to music helps, and then doing chores. If I start doing the dishes or cleaning the house, because I have to be focused on something physical that helps me take my mind off of whatever.

Treat yourself

'So I decided to treat myself, because, you know, I never really do that.'

• If you treat yourself, do you do something that makes you feel better or worse?

If you treat yourself, you do something that makes you feel better.

• Do you have to spend money to treat yourself?

No, not necessarily. Sometimes you do. For example, if you pay for a massage to treat yourself, yes, you're spending money. You can also decide, for example, to take a break from work and not work for one day or maybe take a relaxing bath. That's also treating yourself. You don't have to spend money to treat yourself because you just need to do something nice for yourself.

• Is treating yourself something special or a habit?

When you say that you're treating yourself, it usually means that it's something that you don't often do. Let's say that, for example, you never take a bath, but you feel you deserve it, you've been stressed, you want to relax while you're going to treat yourself to a bath, and so on for many things. It's usually a special thing.

• When was the last time you treated yourself?

I think the last time, that would have to be yesterday, because I had a small purse that I loved that broke, and so I went and I treated myself to a purse to feel better. I didn't spend a lot of money, I only spent €6, but it still made me feel better and it was something special because I don't often go shopping. Yes, last night I treated myself and you should treat yourself too.

Soothing

'I don’t know what it is about jazz music, but I find it really soothing.'

• If something is soothing, does it make you feel more nervous or more relaxed?

If something is soothing, it makes you feel more relaxed, more calm, like these words.

• If something is soothing, does it make you sleepy?

No, not necessarily. It just means that you feel more calm, more relaxed, more at peace.

• What things do you find soothing?

One thing that for some reason I find soothing is listening to someone speak with an American accent. I don't know why I've always had a thing for the American accent, and now I listen to audiobooks. If I listened to someone speaking with an American accent, it just relaxes me. I find it very soothing for some strange reason. Then another thing, for example, is listening to jazz music. I'm not a fan of jazz music per se, but I do find it soothing. Sometimes I will take a bath. I used to take a bath because I don't have a bathtub now, but when I did, I would take a bath and listen to some jazz music, and I found it really soothing.

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