RELAX!!

Some of you don’t have the slightest clue how to STOP and check out the roses…or plant some…or arrange some in a vase.

According to The Wall Street Journal, only 52% of working Americans say they come back from vacation feeling rested and rejuvenated; the rest anxiously cram in too many activities, stay plugged into BlackBerrys, cellphones, iPads, pagers, computers, emails, cell phones – you get the idea.

Attempting to relax even makes some people sick:  including fatigue, muscle pain, nausea, flu-like symptoms and weekend migraines.

For some folks, stopping work means having an actual physical/psychological withdrawal reaction complete with mood swings!  These are most likely the ones who gravitate to high-pressure jobs or those who arrange to be pressured by procrastination and taking on too much that is too difficult.  People do that when they have found this means of dealing with other personal anxieties which become masked by work and work stress.  In other words, if someone feels inadequate, the adrenaline rush of frenzied work is a form of self-medication.

For most of us, it is probably just habit.  Too many wives work themselves out of feeling loving and sexy.  Too many husbands work themselves out of feeling loving and sexy.  The result?  Arguments about nothing and a mutual feeling of having “grown apart.”

My opinion is that the body and mind can only take so much before neither works properly.  Those of you who are churchgoers have an edge on the rest:  a religiously forced “day of rest.”  Very smart.  When my family practiced Orthodox Judaism, we couldn’t work from sundown Friday to sundown Saturday.  At first, it was horrific for us.  After a while, I even began to look forward to my Shabbos nap on Saturday.  Frankly, it was very good for the whole family that we had to pray and chill.

While we are no longer in that community and lifestyle, I still make sure weekends are free to motorcycle over beautiful terrain for lunch, to fiddle with hobbies, to commune with friends, and for us to put up our feet, have a glass of wine, and watch a classic movie.

Whatever your personal anxieties are, you’d better face them or they will eat you (and your relationships) alive.

So, start by picking an hour every day during which you do nothing, and disconnect from all technology.

Try something new.

Get physical.

Get into the moment.

Stop being a human DOING and start being a human BEING.