Overwork can contribute to harmful stress and can diminish the ability to concentrate and to perform a job effectively.  Leisure activities refresh and revitalize the body and the mind.  The brain according to some experts, needs stimulation of various kinds in order to stay in top form.  Some of us do not mind repetitive daily routines, but others are bored by them, especially if they continue over weeks and months.  When this occurs, the brain adapts by reducing its level of activity, but then the brain has a mechanisms that kick in and arouse a need for stimulation.  A craving for a change of pace, even a desire for excitement, can occur.  Leisure, by offering a change of routine, can be one way of getting the brain working at the top of its form again.

Too much change, however, can be as bad as no change at all.  If your schedule is never the same from day to day, you may begin to long for peace and quiet and for time to relax and restore yourself.  Cravings like these may be linked to the levels of neurotransmitters in your brain.

What is the best way to spend leisure time?  People’s ideas of how to use their leisure vary greatly.  For some the perfect way is to settle down with a good book.  For otherrs it may be working in the garden, dancing till dawn, going on a Carribean cruise, or backpacking through the Himalayas.  Upbringing and personal tastes, researchers believe, determine which leisure activity is most fulfilling.

Sometimes, social pressure has a lot to do with the choice of leisure pursuit.  People seeking to conform to a fashionable ideal, such as going to a popular resort or an exotic locale, orowning a boat or vacation homme, often do so at the risk of increasing their stress rather than reducing it.  A simple, more restful and less expensive vacation might have been a better way to recharge mentally and physically.

Even after a marvelous vacation, many people are glad to be home again in familiar surroundings.  Others may feel out of synch and disoriented.  They are victims of post vacation dysphoria, or “vacation lag.”  This condition results from the mind’s reaction to the contrast between an easygoing holiday existence and the pressures of everyday life.  It may be especially acute for people in very stressful occupations or for those stuck in jobs they dislike intensely.

One tip for beating post-vacation anxieties: plan to come home a few days before you have to report back to work.  A few quiet days of reorientation may make returning to the job easier to handle.  Sometimes vacation lag can push people to make positive changes in their lives.  They may simply add extra leisure activities to their week.  Or they may decide to change jobs or seek career or psychiatric counseling.

If job pressures prevent you from taking time off that you have earned, a few stolen moments in the middle of the day can be effective in reducing stress and bringing the change of pace you need.  Many companies today encourage longerr and more frequent break times, because experts have shown that periodic rest breaks increase worker productivity.  Taking a break can also inspire creative solutions to intractable problems.

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About the Author: Nicetas Juanillo

Writing makes me happy away from home. My website is where you can find my tips about lifestyle, health and other issues. I also have books on my site that you can read to know more

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