When was the last time you had a cup of coffee relaxing in your balcony lazing over a weekend? If you can’t remember when, then I guess this needs some attention! Life has become robotic and individuals are busy with back-to-back schedules most of the days. The concept of weekend leisure has also been diminishing with work-from-home options ruining our peace completely. Adults adulterate leisure time with office calls and quick log-ins to complete some pending activity while children are left to their own even while on a vacation. This makes stress and anxiety man’s best friend which is evident with the rising depression rates and retirements even before reaching 50. One thing is certain: we have all forgotten to rest and relax. Maybe its high time to set things right and enjoy a solid break!
Busy Bees, Make Time to be Free
Response to “How’s life?” includes typical answers such as busy or very busy by those in their 20s, 30s, 40s or even 50s. We have started equating being busy with being important or in demand. I have a relation who loves to boast wherever he goes to with a response that he has important work in some other place. At office he tells that he is very busy at home with some important stuff and at home he comments that he is the busiest person at office. He never goes out with family, never spends time with kids nor sits down to talk to his wife. What is he trying to establish here? Whereas, my dad, a doctor by profession despite his busy schedule and his commitments towards his patients allocates Sunday evenings for his family every week without fail irrespective of his tiredness or late-night cases. He plans for one or two trips every year to make sure that he gets to spend quality time with his ‘precious gems in life’. Haha, that’s how he calls us 😊 This is not a quality that’s present in every human being, especially those in time-demanding professions. We have two contrasting cases here where both men have used their time and situation differently. What makes them do it this way? It is purely based on the way they prioritize things. While one person prioritizes work the other prioritizes work as well as includes his family in his life. The doctor brings on much more cheer to himself and his family compared to the relation here. Relaxing and unwinding is mandatory in life.
Even during times of Socrates mankind has been warned about the barrenness of a busy life (https://www.theguardian.com/lifeandstyle/2019/dec/07/self-and-wellbeing-how-to-rest-relaxation-gardening-travel). Life becomes monotonous without any spice to it. But now taking a break or not being busy makes us guilty, this feeling has been embedded in working women especially, as they are overfilled with guilt for not spending enough time with the child. Resting doesn’t mean replacing your busy day with total inactivity. Be active, be engaged but also ensure to take proper breaks without being guilty and stressed. Rest is interpreted in different ways and it once again depends on the individual to rest in his/her preferred way. It might be coping with lost sleeping hours; it might be reading a book keeping it down only when you are finished; going for a walk or jog can also be your choice of resting if it helps your mind to refresh; a day at the spa; even taking a leisure hair bath or spending time with kids too! Ultimately, your choice to rest and refresh must make you feel happier, rejuvenated and energetic to go back to your routine once again.
Active Or Inactive Resting?
Being busy with multiple projects and deadlines at office is not the only way to lose energy or become tired. It is crucial to understand that women and men (rarest of the rare as our society still doesn’t accept nor treat such men with equal stature and dignity) who stay at home to ensure welfare of the family are even more affected with the daily uninteresting and banal routine. These guys don’t even have people around them to chat or laugh, are imposed with workload every single day, don’t have an off during weekends and above all, aren’t richly paid for the job done as we treat it as their ‘duty’. How shameful! Everyone loves being rewarded for a work well done. Bosses reward you at office with promotions, teachers and parents reward children with food- and non-food rewards. But what about those at home? Refraining from cooking a meal and relaxing, going to the gym for an hour daily, taking a power nap, taking a pedicure service or being showered with a bunch of roses for a tasty meal are their rewards and ways to rest.
Office goers too need to take breaks while at office. Maybe a short 5 minute walk every two hours, stretching the body every hour or getting some fresh air by simply standing out away from the computer screen too helps. Its not wrong to take a break from the computer screen to even read a newspaper for a while, solve a crossword puzzle or call up a loved one to keep your mind sharp and focused. Working efficiently and not continuously must be the goal. Our mind is not a computer that can work continuously. It needs time to replenish lost energy and when you don’t follow the simple ones suggested here you are bound to reach saturation earlier than you expect.
These days, going for a vacation has been deemed as the most sought-after way to relax. This is good in every sense as you are with your family and visiting a new place refreshes you. It even makes you less connected with social media unless you are always clicking and posting photos on Instagram! But a vacation should be a vacation away from electronic gadgets, office laptops and work. You need to decide to spend quality time with your loved ones and take an oath to never touch your laptop or phone unless its an emergency. Some people might go on a trip but their entire mind is on the pending work back at office. This is not going to help you relax in any way and it might only add more stress. Avoid this by doing the most important tasks last three days before taking off and list down the important ones that need immediate attention once you are back https://www.forbes.com/sites/jasonselk/2019/04/11/relax-you-have-earned-it/#7e572dd9d182).
Having a to-do list is good but it must contain reasonable items that can be completed within the stipulated time. Don’t list items just for the sake of boasting about your busy schedules or to conquer your ego. When there is clarity on the things that need attention you will surely complete your priorities. Take up something every day that helps you disengage from your routine, free the mind and bring back lost energy to move on with the day. It could be just 15 minutes doing gardening (relaxes mind and body), preparing a hot cup of coffee and drinking at a leisure pace or having a good laugh with your neighbour-anything that satisfies you.
Stressed? Maybe Rest Can be Your New Hustle: https://www.forbes.com/sites/rodgerdeanduncan/2019/11/05/so-what-if-youre-stressed-maybe-rest-can-be-your-new-hustle/#640f6edd3429
The Most Productive Ways to Take Breaks at Work: https://www.forbes.com/sites/francesbridges/2018/09/29/most-productive-ways-to-take-breaks/#62e3f11b6f9b
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