“If you can spend a perfectly useless afternoon in a perfectly useless manner, you have learned how to live.” – Author Lin Yutang
When we are toiling away at our jobs, trying to make a living and dealing with all the other demands on our time and income, it’s sometimes hard to make time for true leisure. For doing nothing. For having no plans.
This is one of the beauties of traveling, if you can get away from the idea of having to have everything scheduled. You can go with the flow, take things as they come, and adjust to the local rhythms of the day.
If you need an excuse, turns out it’s better for your health as well. As the intro to a current story in Smart Money magazine says, “Our hectic lifestyles — from too little sleep to multitasking — may be seriously impairing our memories. The good news? Simplifying your life really can help fight off memory loss.”
Yes, all you overworked office warriors who are addicted to your Crackberry and never turn off your cell phone just might end up spending those leisurely retirement years drooling in a corner, trying to remember your kids’ names. A study in the journal Aging and Mental Health found that people with the highest reported stress performed 11 to 14 percent worse on memory tests than those under less stress, regardless of age group. “Obviously the epidemic of multitasking–aided by all those PDAs, BlackBerrys, and cell phones–isn’t helping.”
What’s the solution? Physical activity, varied mental stimulation, and a reduction of stress.
One 31-year-old quoted in the article says, “I hope they are not saying that we should have less stress in our lives. I don’t think most of us have those options.”
Oh yes you do. Just get off that treadmill for a while and rediscover the meaning of the phrase “leisure time.”