Get right up in her face and tell her you demand leisure time. Okay, that’s a bit much, but you can probably take some leisure time without being a jerk about it. It’s as simple as taking fifteen minutes here and two minutes there. There is a reason why people are addicted to smoking and it’s not just the nicotine. They get to go outside and take a break from all the stress. I find it funny to see a group of smokers huddled on a cold day, but they’re out there because it gives them a chance to have their nicotine and leisure time.
I discovered a great article in the NY Times “Why Leisure Matters in a Busy World.” The author Marci Alboher interviewed Alison Link, who believes that everyone must have some leisure time to work happy. It’s great to see so many people dedicated to helping others improve their work life.
Q. Why should we care about our relationship to leisure?
A. Too often, leisure time that is not used in a satisfying way turns into idle time, or is used to do a single thing to excess (like overeating, or getting into family quarrels). It can even turn negative, which is what happens often in the cases of substance use, delinquency and criminal activity. Also, wouldn’t it be great if we didn’t define ourselves by our work? It should be just as valid to define ourselves by our leisure.
We all need to take our health and happiness into account when we work. Many of us work so hard that we become ill or depressed. We need to have leisure in our life to keep our lives fun and energetic. If all we do is worry about work then what type of life is that? It’s a prison.
My second favorite question and answer was about feeling free. We all need to live our lives as if there are endless possibilities.
Q. So how do you explain all those people who don’t feel free in their lives?
A. Few of us really think about or plan for leisure. We think we should just go with the flow, but too often we end up feeling stressed, overwhelmed and unfulfilled. We need to plan for leisure — perhaps by doing one small thing every day, identifying long- and short-term leisure goals, putting enjoyable activities on the calendar — like we do other aspects of life. But before people start moving up leisure on the priority list, they need to appreciate and recognize the value and benefits of leisure, even when they have constraints (that may be internal or external). We all have obligations and other constraints that inhibit us from engaging in leisure that range from guilt to time or financial constraints. Yet the personal benefits and collective benefits short term and long term are worthwhile.
Click here to read the whole insightful article.
The mind needs to unwind and just have fun. There is a reason why kids are given time to eat and then run around the playground. They need to release their stress and so do you. You need to schedule in some leisure time every single day.
Here are 7 of my favorite leisure breaks:
- Take a long lunch break and go to a museum by yourself.
- Stretch at your desk for two minutes
- Meet with a friend who you normally don’t see for Lunch
- Breathe deeply for two minutes and nothing else
- Walk around the block
- Call your mother (only if she doesn’t stress you out)
- Read a fictional book during your break
- Write a Poem
It’s up to you to schedule in a little leisure time for yourself, so you will work happier and be more productive. Believe me, your family will thank you for destressing throughout the day instead of letting it all come out when you get home.
Tomorrow I will be posting a short interview that Allison Link granted Work Happy Now. I asked her, “How does someone schedule in leisure time when they don’t have enough time to get everything done that their boss asks of them?“
You’ll just have to tune in on Friday to find out her answer.
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Photo courtesy of fcaballero