October 23rd, 2014
By Peter G. Vajda
A few years ago, New York University sociologist Dalton Conley came up with the phrase “weisure” as a means of describing the way in which the lines between work and leisure are often blurred. Taking the laptop on holiday and checking emails even if from time to time are not conducive to fully re-charging and taking that well needed break.
Yet many feel not only that they have to stay connected on holidays and weekends but that things will collapse if you take time off. So in addition to the loss of well-needed time for rest and relaxation, a key consequence of living in a “weisure” world is the loss of personal privacy.
So instead of returning to work rejuvenated, refreshed and motivated, our workplaces are increasingly populated by underperforming, disengaged and exhausted people. Some may even be going through depression or repressing their unhappiness about life.
It’s important to remember that leisure time and holidays are preventative medicine. They allow time for de-stressing, replenishing and re-connecting with one’s self. It is only when we consciously allow a real genuine opportunity of space for relaxation that unconscious stresses and tensions rise to the surface.
In fact, the first few days of any good holiday should start with a process of unwinding, followed by the recognition of a need for rest, relaxation and a deeper settling of our body, mind and spirit.
In summary, taking time for one’s self is a non-negotiable “must” to maintain a healthy mind, body and spirit. It’s impossible to run a car engine on all cylinders 24/7, 365. Why should the human body be any different?
So have you taken a proper holiday this summer? Where do you stand on the weisure barometer?
Some Questions for Self-Reflection
- When was your last “real” holiday?
- Do you take the type of holiday that really nourishes you? Be honest.
- How do you transition from holiday to home to work?
- How is the first week back after your return?
- Is there something you learned about yourself on holiday that influences a change you want to implement into your everyday life?
- How do you experience yourself on holiday? Do you enjoy your “self” away from the everyday routine?
- Were you able to really disengage or were your phone and laptop travelling with you?
- What was vacation like before you had an i-phone or laptop?
- How much holiday do you have and take each year? How much do you need?
- Has your relationship suffered because of your “weisure” activities. Be honest. What would your partner or children say?
- What were holidays like when you were growing up?
- Can you visualise a world where you can take a holiday and truly leave work behind? Would you want to?
Image via shutterstock.com
Peter G. Vajda, Ph.D, C.P.C. is a founding partner of True North Partnering, a US-based company that supports conscious living through coaching, counselling and facilitating.