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Why Leisure Counts for More Than We Think

By Sandy Schroeder

Leisure is often last on my "to-do" list. Like many busy people I see leisure time as an extra. Some people even feel it is a complete waste of time, but  psychologists tell us people who reject leisure are more likely to be depressed, stressed or anxious. 

MindBodyGreen.com experts tell us we need between 2 to 5 hours of leisure time every day to maintain our mental health. People who see leisure as wasteful do not enjoy leisure unless it is productive in some way. Fun is pretty much missing from their lives. 

Goal-oriented people may try to be productive all of the time. When they realize that attitude can be damaging mentally and physically, they can't just shift gears and swing into a new leisure lifestyle but there are ways to slow down a little and do some attitude adjustments. 

Start With The Viewpoint  

When we see the logic in leisure it becomes more appealing. 

Start by linking leisure to the rewards - You may take time out to do walks while you are also polishing photo skills or toning muscles. I have a friend who always tries to kill two birds with one stone. When he goes to an investment conference, he invites someone along and picks the ones in the most desirable places. 

Learn how others pull this off - Read about leisure in other countries. You might contrast the habit of siestas in Mexico with the accelerated work habits in India. Or just look at your friends, co-workers and neighbors and see how they keep life together and manage to weave in some great camping weekends or other easy getaways. Ask yourself how you could upgrade your weekends and stay at the top of your game? 

Face your fears - What would actually happen if you started taking 20 minutes in the morning and 30 minutes in the afternoon to sit in the sun and read or go for walks? Would your whole work routine collapse, or would you actually be more productive with a more relaxed attitude? 

Taking breaks can help us gain peace of mind, make wiser decisions, take care of our mind and body, and stay in touch with the world and our family and friends. 

If you don't agree, try it. It might change everything. 

To learn more about your health, wellness, and fitness, see your local chiropractor at The Joint Chiropractic in Memphis, Tenn. 

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