Pencil in more time to relax

A recent study in Britain found that it took the average British holidayer two days and 17 hours before they finally could enjoy their holiday.
Another study found it takes women in Britain more than three days to relax and begin enjoying their holiday.
I don’t know how long it takes Canadians to begin relaxing for their holidays, but I know I didn’t begin to relax until almost 10 days after I started holidays this past Christmas.
I will admit that travel and hectic schedules had me rising at my normal 6 a.m. for the first 10 days. It wasn’t until this past Monday morning that I awoke well past eight in the morning.
I can’t remember the last time I had slept so long. And then I knew I finally had relaxed.
I looked at my calendar yesterday and was shocked to see so many meetings and activities scratched on the next three weeks of dates. It was as if I had discovered that my time was out of control and I had over-booked myself.
Health magazines tell us that we should find time to relax and de-stress every day. Without finding a means to relax and refresh ourselves, our everyday routines begin to have ill effects on us. We begin to lack enthusiasm, have fading optimism, and bleaker outlooks for the future.
Relaxing may be as simple as getting up, opening the door, and going for a walk around the block. For some, relaxation can come in the way of a scrimmage hockey game. For others, it might be yoga or a trip to the gym for a workout.
When I am tense in the evening, I find that opening a book or magazine and reading for an hour can help me forget all the things that are piling up. I lose myself in the story.
A study that came out in November noted that most workers seldom leave their work behind on vacation or weekend. Laptops, tablets, and smartphones now accompany us everywhere. We are quick to respond to an e-mail or text or call.
If it arrives by one of those electronic gadgets, somehow we feel it is most important and must be responded to immediately.
We have to find ways of disengaging ourselves from our electronics. Personally, I believe that if it is really important, the landline will ring.
And since it can’t travel with me as I work in my wood shop in the winter, or fish from a boat in the summer, or go with me to the arena or mow the grass, I have eliminated one additional stress item from my life.
I admit to being as guilty as anyone when it comes to not being far from a computer. I have two on my desk, and I have another at home that sits beside the chair I watch television in. And if I am sitting in my chair at night, I can readily pick it up to check the various news sites that I monitor.
I’m trying to break myself of the habit.
I sometimes wonder what it would be like to be transfixed to a period five decades earlier with only four TV channels instead of 200, as well as no cellphones or computers. Would we become more social again? Would we take up curling?
Would the Rotary, Kinsmen, and Jaycees still be around doing good work for the community? Would Cubs, Scouts, Brownies, and Girl Guides be expanding?
The question has no purpose. Today in almost every family, both parents are working and often on very different schedules. And with the average household having two children, each having their own activity schedule, parents seem to seldom have a moment for themselves.
We remove any time for relaxing in our busy family schedules.
And looking at my calendar, I wonder, “Why didn’t you mark in more time to relax?”

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