You don’t need to revert back to your childhood to reconnect with all of life’s simpler and happier pleasures, but if that’s what it takes, then so be it. For many, living life has become all about working, the “job,” and nothing much else.
We all get too absorbed in our lives as we know we should be cutting back on our Careers and allowing for more leisure and family time. Where there should be a priority to get some needed rest as well as recreation.
This can include reserving a set hour on a daily basis, dedicated for strict “me time.” This hour can be a specific time every morning or at night, and should be reserved for reading or soaking in the tub. You can also schedule a few outings at night with your friends at the same time every month, just for some “fun out on the town” time.
Regrettably, the majority of North Americans log more hours at work than most of the other workers in the developed world. Also, there’s less time that’s taken off work than most workers in other countries as well.
Unlike the majority of the European countries, there’s a minimum of four weeks of vacation that’s required by law. American employers are not usually obligated to offer any vacation time at all for their employees.
According to Labor Statistics, most North Americans receive an average of 7 to 10 days of vacation time after working for one year, and then 14 to 21 days after working for five years.
Also in today’s tighter economy, many can’t afford or don’t take days off for vacations because they can’t afford it, or for the fear of looking lazy or losing their jobs.
Most are struggling with the extra responsibilities that’s inherited from colleagues who happened to be laid off during the downsizing process, and they don’t want to be next on the chopping block.
We’re living in times when employee’s are asked to do a lot more for less. What happens when you add all this up. is that you have a dangerous cocktail of mental, physical and spiritual burnout.
Can’t Stress Stress Enough
It’s our unprepared bodies that takes a beating as we never seem to ever catch a break. Our bodies as a result end up in a constant chronic state of distress. We’re always placed into the classic “fight-or-flight” response scenario when it comes to our stress points.
But fortunately we’re also equipped to recover from all this as well. Not doing so will lessen our ability to be able to fight off diseases or illness, as well as it taking a toll on our energy and vitality.
Chronic stressful situations will lead us into a large range of debilitating as well as damaging conditions such as irritability, fatigue, anxiety, sleeplessness, back and head pain, depression, hypertension and heart disease.
This constant all work and no play scenario makes us dull and boring as ever, as all we talk about is work and nothing else, this even on our days off or while on vacation.
There has been an ongoing study which has been conducted over the past fifteen years on a group of approximately 3,500 high-achieving professionals in a variety of fields such as: business, law, medicine and athletics.
They discovered that those who dedicated more leisure time into their working days, nights and weekends weren’t just happier, but they were also more productive, had higher self-esteem while experiencing less stress. They all also slept a lot better among other health related benefits.
Inject More Joy And Happiness In Your Life
You can begin by adding a lot more enjoyment in your life and minimizing stress by following a few basic steps. Begin by deciding which people as well as activities that you like and are truly important to you.
Then make a list of priorities, such as spending more time with your partner, taking better care of your health, traveling and going on vacation more often, following or pursuing a passion or a spiritual interest.
Then organize them into priorities by grouping them into A, B and C categories, depending on how important they are to you. You might be surprised by those “issues” which you thought were important to you, such as getting that promotion or buying things, end up in the “C” category.
Since you’re not able to quit your job any time soon, you can always decide to do relaxing activities such as baking bread from scratch or deciding to travel across Europe.
You should be placing focus on the items on your “A” list and then developing a workable plan for each of them so you can incorporate these pursuits into your future.
Keep in mind that any period of “play time” doesn’t necessarily need to be a big event that may be inked as a “to-do” into your daily planner. Often, being spontaneous at times is often a lot more fun.
Even doing small spurts can often add up. We need to learn how we can make the time to have mini fun breaks. You should consider it a “sad” day when a day goes by and you haven’t had a bit of fun in it.
So spend a little time right before dinner hanging out with your kids or taking a few minutes around the water cooler, just joking with your co-workers. If you’re continuously having meetings in your stuffy conference room, suggest a nice lunch meeting instead.
Finally, once you do decide to take some time off for “me-time,” and decide to take a much deserved vacation, don’t take your work with you. Other than your mobile phone for emergencies, keep your laptop at home. You will somehow survive, and your workplace will manage to carry on without you, and that should be perfectly fine with that.