indexFor some of us, there is still the memory of one day a week when the stores weren’t open, no one worked, went shopping or worried about ‘productivity’ and we took a well deserved day off.

The present reality is 7 days a week, full steam ahead, to do lists, being proud of being busy and stress levels that are skyrocketing.

Living in a world that revolves very much around doing, performing, keeping up, catching up and financial gain has led to most of us losing the art of relaxation or doing nothing. While we may have plenty of distractions – our smartphones, television, computers, video games, etc., none of these do anything to help us relax and actually up the level of stress in our minds and in our bodies. Most people think they are taking care of this with their outside activities: going to the gym, yoga classes, tai chi, pilates, meditation classes, art classes, classes galore, but these aren’t really giving you a break either, they are just other ways to keep busy.

For the few who actually set aside time to intentionally relax or do nothing, the result is a raised eyebrow and comments on how it must be nice to have the time. Yet, these are the people who have it right. They aren’t caught up in the busyness schedule, the doing something just for the sake of doing and also don’t feel they have to explain themselves. They know that having at least one day a week with their families and friends, uninterrupted, is crucial to their health and their relationships.

Having an identity outside of what you do or what you can possible offer others is a healthy way to avoid the stress that seems to be rampant in today’s society. Most of us seem to define ourselves by what we do instead of who we really are. In fact, when first meeting a new person, that is one of, if not, the first question we are asked or ask others. Taking a break from constant activity, whether it be work, classes or other activities that we deem good for us or for our productivity will, in the long run, result in a more productive life because of better health. Your ability to focus and enjoy yourself will improve, your energy levels will increase and you may even look better.

Being in the here and now, enjoying what you are doing, is far more important than keeping busy just for busyness’ sake. Taking a break will bring you back to earth and can even make you a happier person!


© Chris Draper, DemGen Inc. 2014

image courtesy of sodahead