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Take a mental holiday, stay relaxed

9 January 2009 No Comment

Recently I met my friend Pradeep, who works with a finance company in a senior position. After the initial chit chat, I asked him how he managed to look so fresh and cheerful.

He laughed and said, “Every weekend I die, and am reborn on Monday.” Seeing my puzzled look, he laughed, “I don’t mean literally, it’s just that on Saturday, I forget myself, my worries, my work, my targets and deadlines, and I indulge myself in some of my favorite activities — eating, having a drink or two, meeting friends, watching movies, reading sports.

Though almost everyone does this, the difference is that I also see to it that whenever a negative thought about work, money, children or health creeps up, I consciously divert my mind elsewhere. I literally try and rest the worry/anxiety/stress areas of my mind.”

So what happens? I asked. “By Monday morning, I’ve completely chilled out, forgotten about all the small worries last week, and I’m fresh to go out into the world, like a newborn child.”

I did not really believe him, but decided to try out what he did one weekend. On Saturday and Sunday, I started thinking about many problems, but remembered what Pradeep said, and diverted my mind elsewhere.

It was extremely difficult, but somehow I managed to go through the weekend without really giving much thought to my worries. And believe me, on Monday morning I was up by six am. I did not mind going to work, there were no Monday morning blues, and I felt energetic and fresh.

I soon realised that almost all of us try and recharge, re-energise and recoup, over the weekend. But the difference is that most of us, while physically on leave, are mentally very much caught up with our problems.

We did not and often could not give a break to our problems, in our mind. Unlike the body, the mind never seems to rest. Every few minutes, some thought or worry crops up, and as we start thinking about it, it grows and grows, and we feel miserable and sad.

Throughout the weekend, though we rest our bodies, our minds are extremely active and don’t get the much needed rest, except when we sleep.

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