• Saturday, July 13, 2024
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Why leisure matters in the New Year


We often remind others the popular saying: “All work, no play makes Jack a dull boy,” without taking time off ourselves. How wrong it is to preach what we do not practice. This year, you need to be a little sincere with yourself and step up your work-leisure balance because life work without leisure is life without a balance.

You need to take your health and happiness into account when you work. You do not need to work so hard that you become ill or depressed. This year, you need to have leisure in your life to keep life fun and energetic. But if all you do is to worry about work or business, then what type of life is that? You need nobody to tell you that it is a life in prison.

Of course, you are the one that will push for a rest because you are in a capitalist economy, where your boss is more interested in work, work and work. Your boss cannot stop you from taking time off because of the benefits to the company. Companies that allow staff to take time off for leaves and holidays have always reaped higher productivity afterwards, as the staff return refreshed and better prepared for the work challenges.

In case you work with a real ‘Boss,’ summon courage and tell him/her you need leisure time. You only need to be polite about it because you will be the worst hit when you break down. Remember, your boss can always replace you.

If he insists on you staying back to work, then you can probably take some leisure time without being a jerk about it. It is as simple as taking 15 minutes here and two minutes there in quality things.

However, while leisure might conjure up images of foamy drinks with umbrella straws, visits to beaches and day spas or taking on an adventure, the true essence of leisure is beyond that.

You will get the most out of your leisure time when you understand the essence of leisure. Leisure is a state of mind or of being. It is when we feel most free, fulfilled and integrated.

A rewarding leisure life is the biggest predictor of one’s overall quality of life. It provides the balance you need to better handle non-leisure activities and enhances resilience and life satisfaction. Over a lifetime, one will spend more time at leisure than sleeping or working.

Even when you have a leisure-friendly boss or when corporate policy favours corporate time off and leaves, a few people really think about or plan for leisure. It is supposed to “just happen” – but too often we end up feeling stressed, overwhelmed and unfulfilled.

Here people do not plan for holidays. The many public holidays, even Christmas and New Year holidays, have never been used to really relax. Summer is out of it and the few that do summers start planning for it almost during summer. This year, you need to plan ahead as the year that is already on the move beckons for more quality time off from business and work.  Also considering the free fall of naira against the dollar, one needs to plan ahead in order to get good deals and to avoid rush hour rip-off by travel and hotel agents.

You can go for some of these leisure breaks: go to see a museum, for leisure fishing, go see movies in cinemas, a weekend at a remote destination will always make a difference, the beaches are open all day for a swim and beach fun, or climb a local mountain/hill.

You can visit destination with one-stop-shop leisure facilities like resorts, go see waterfalls, explore caves and a communion with nature around you. You must not travel far this year to see all these, most of them are within. Search for them!

It is up to you to schedule in a little leisure time for yourself, so you will work happier and be more productive. Truly, your family will thank you for distressing throughout the day instead of letting it all come out when you get home.

Obinna Emelike