Enjoying the relaxed day without work

By Sandeep Kulshrestha

A friend, a passionate learning facilitator gets excited about the next assignment and would go an extra mile to make sure that she is up the curve and is able to sustain the passion to a high degree. Her benchmark is high and so is her expectations from herself. With the stretch, the stress takes over and the day she ends up doing nothing is the day full of agony and frustration. This is a natural feeling for a person who is totally engaged with the work. On the other hand, I have another friend who has hardly taken any vacation and when he did take few solitary vacations, he was restless and wanted the first opportunity he could, to go back to work
Such type of people don’t like an “unfulfilled day”. For many people in the contemporary world, rest is not a wonderful virtue. In fact people complain that when they rested and relaxed more, they felt bad that they could not focus on work, or on reading a new book or watching a movie. They are not wrong on their priorities but because of their conditioning they believe this way.
As a Well-being Coach, I ask my clients to maintain a reflection diary on hours spent on well-being (sleep, meditation, rest, mindful breaks, positive nutrition, jogging/running etc) and many a times they take a long while to write such reflections because it is surely challenging to have a well-being as a focus area.
So, what shall be ideally done? Can we feel grateful for a day where we just rested and didn't really accomplish anything? If we felt that there was no way the day could be enjoyed, can we tell ourselves that whenever such occasion happens next time around, we could make it enjoyable, by meditating, by sipping the tea in the balcony which is seldom used, by wiping the dust of the book shelf, by talking to few friends, by being away from gadgets and technology and so on. A kind of a “minimalist” day but indeed a day of major accomplishments, of feeling good about ourselves!
To know more about well-being interventions for individuals as well as organizations, please write to me at sandeep@positivepsychologyindia.org