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Now’s the time to relax – if only I knew how

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Trying to relax is such an effort, if you’re someone like me. Someone who always has the nagging feeling that an urgent task needs to be done, not to mention that there’s so much to worry about.

What do you do to relax, people say, you seem to work all the time. I squirm and shuffle my feet. What do I do? Do I ever really turn off? The truth seems too sad and pathetic to confess. Whisper it quietly: work is my relaxation. Yeah, I know. I roll my eyes at myself too. Because of course it isn’t really. How could it be? Work requires concentration, effort; it makes me tired and exhausted.

The more that people tell me to unwind, out of simple kindness or professional concern, the more tensed-up I become. It’s a vicious circle. The more self-conscious you become about not being as chilled-out as everyone else, the worse it gets.

To access my whole Times column (£), please click here.

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