Chilling out has become a lost art

Balance is important in order to remain healthy and enjoy life, especially in current times when it seems the little wheel of time is speeding up. The pressures of past years seem miniscule compared to the demands of society today.

The age of technology requires instant response for both personal and business-related matters, so much so that people continue to drive and text, an illegal act in the Cayman Islands. Without disconnection, we are constantly bombarded to respond, provide, answer and connect. This, in itself, is a major modern-day source of stress.

Relaxation may be becoming a lost art in today’s world. People are being programmed for guilt if they are found relaxing.

Signs of increasing stress include the feeling that one must always be doing something, irritability, lack of joy, inability to stop performing, road rage, high blood pressure, chronic fatigue, migraines, burnout, depression and general physical and nervous tension.

This is confirmed by the number of government and private entities organizing day retreats and stress management conferences for staff.

The following steps can help minimize stress:

When driving, allow yourself 15 minutes extra to reach your destination. Stop rummaging in your handbag for things, (such a simple but effective stress reducer). Turn off your phone or at least follow the law and pull over when it rings. Listen to easy-listening music.

At work, create as much of a healthy and comfortable environment as possible. Keep your desk organized. Go aside two or three times a day for some deep breaths of fresh, humid air. Eat lunch away from your desk. Arrive and leave work on time. Avoid taking work home.

At home, since chores at home seem never ending, work in time compartments by setting a specific amount of time for getting things done, and schedule in opportunities for just relaxing – watch a movie, read a book, chill and listen to music or enjoy a relaxed dinner.

On a weekly basis, get as many of your weekend chores done during the week in order to get free time – pick up groceries on a week night and do laundry during the week. Keep one day a week free of obligations. Enjoy the freedom of choosing how you wish to spend that day.

I am experiencing such a day, happily writing as I sit and watch the surf rolling in over the reef; everything else can wait. Take time to chill out, the benefits are amazing, and you will, no doubt, be happier.

Donna Mitchell is a lifestyle consultant specializing in weight management and self-help. She can be contacted on [email protected]

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