Top tips for relaxing with a type A personality
Do you constantly feel like you are on the go? Like you can’t just sit still. Even when it comes to taking time off work or your side hustle is still constantly on your mind? Do you struggle to just sit still and watch a movie? Does meditation feel completely impossible?
Definition of a Type A personality: ‘a Type A individual is ambitious, rigidly organized, highly status conscious, can be sensitive, care for other people, are truthful, impatient, always try to help others, take on more than they can handle, want other people to get to the point, proactive, and obsessed with time management. People with Type A personalities are often high-achieving “workaholics” who multi-task, push themselves with deadlines, and hate both delays and ambivalence. ‘
Well that is me. Until I read this definition I admit I felt a little alone in the way I was. But then I realized it wasn’t just me. The problem with Type A personalities is we hate to admit defeat; we aim for perfection and don’t let anyone see otherwise. We want to please everyone so are almost physically impossible of saying no.
We are so driven and passionate, that sometimes it comes as a downfall. Because when you are so focused on something you are passionate about, it is easy to forget the things that don’t move you forward in your career like your friends, your family and prioritizing time to relax.
This came as a big life lesson to me. I was working full time, working my but off in every other waking moment to make something of my side hustle. I couldn’t seem to stop my mind and I would get caught up that even when I ‘relaxed’ I would be on my phone checking emails, Instagram, Facebook – the lot. I would be working on my side hustle. But I soon found out this was in no way sustainable.
Don’t get me wrong, I often still fall into the trap and struggle to relax, but releasing my personality makes me check in with my self regularly and just see how I am going.
The key to relaxing with a Type A personality is finding the things that completely take your mind of work/life etc – for a lot of people this seems to be meditation.
- For me meditation is the last thing that works, give me weights in a gym, a path to run along, cookies to bake or a good book to read
- Make a rule to have an 1hour a day with your phone in a different room. Whether this be when you are eating dinner, watching tv after work, or just chilling out with friends – remove the distraction, because we all know that sometime the impulse to check it is just too strong.
- Keep a note pad next to your bed, in your purse, in your car – everywhere! The best way to stop thinking about something is to get it down on paper. The act of writing your task/idea/thought bubble down tells your brain it no longer needs to store that information because it is now safely jotted down to come back to later.
- Schedule a day off to spend with people you love every week – when I was working full time, I would come home and work at night and then work both days of the weekend to get things moving with my business. Sure it worked, I have created something that to me is so amazing. But it came at a cost. I didn’t make time to make friends in a new city, catch-up with work colleagues or even spend quality time with my sister. In fact I used to think it was almost a good thing I was doing long distance with my boyfriend, because it meant that every few months I would take a weekend off – but during my normal weeks I wouldn’t have to make too much time other than a phone call. But I quickly realized, that I needed to take a day off a week. Working 7 days a week takes a toll. So I would schedule my photography work on either Saturday or Sunday and take the other day off. I hated it at first, but soon found to love it. I would have time to go and explore new cafes in Melbourne, spend time with my sister, go out for a wine when I felt like it!
- I have mentioned this next point already, but it deserves more recognition – exercise. The key to a healthy life and in particular a healthy mind is exercise. Find some form of exercise that you love and move your body every day, even if only for 15-30min. I go to the gym most week day mornings, and then on the weekends take myself on big walks along the beach or through the quite streets in the surrounding suburbs.
If I don’t.. I see a notable change in my mood, the way I react to certain situations. It is the easiest way to take some time for you – and who could look at their phone, or worry about work when you are puffing through a run or struggling to lift the dumbbells in a gym?