I have a confession to make: I’m not a good relaxer. But I do realize the benefit of relaxing and disconnecting and I work at finding time to recharge. Whether it’s pizza night at home with Mr. Bartender or my new Jigsaw Puzzle app addiction, it’s important to find a little time away from work.
Women’s Health magazine recently published an article about the inability to relax and its impact on our health. You can check out the article here (PDF). Some labeled it being a workaholic. Others said it was their “normal speed”. The article shared some very interesting statistics:
- 91% of Millennials blow off the concept of relaxation
- Women spend less time on relaxation than men
After reading the article, I was reminded of a conversation I had with an HR pro at a recent conference. We were talking about the event and people using social media during conferences. She said that she was reluctant to fully engage in social media because the people she saw using it were “on” 24/7. She said that work was work and she didn’t want the obligation to be “on” outside of work hours.
I believe the decision to blend your personal and professional life is a little bit different than always being “on”. It’s possible to have a blended life and still carve out time to relax and recharge. Technology is a wonderful tool but we have to control our technology and not let it control us.
The important thing is to identify how you will build relaxation into your life. One example that I love is called “Hula Day”. Mary Ellen Slayter is the managing director for Reputation Capital Media Services based in Baton Rouge, Louisiana. She’s a business owner and writer but her most important job is Mom. She and her daughter have scheduled “Hula Days” where they do fun things together. It’s called Hula Day to represent the beauty and spirit of the ancient dance. That’s one of the ways she finds time away from the stress of work.
As more employees work from home and on the road, it will be critical to give employees time to decompress. If we don’t, it could lead to more serious issues including complete career burnout. But it means 1) we have to set good examples ourselves and 2) we have to teach employees how to take breaks.
How do you relax? Share your tips in the comments.2