Prima facie this is very simple question to answer and normally answer will be off-course yes. Weekends are certainly good for health. I had been thinking about it for long and recent long weekend gave food for my thought. We just had 3 days long week end. Everyone must be back to their work after enjoying colors and lot of television due to victory analysis of BJP in UP.
Herein lies my first issue. How many of us are back because ‘we want to’ and how many because ‘we have to’. In my view ‘have to’ will be in majority. One must be very fair to assess oneself and see, if you desperately wait for Friday to arrive and hate Monday morning. If the answer is yes, then some serious thinking has to be done and important choices have to be made, which will require lot of courage. There are so many researches showing co-relation in work satisfaction and good health. However in this write up, I am not discussing about this category.
Normally, a long weekend will always be considered good as it gives break from routine. It provides good time for recreation and recharges the batteries. Let’s see what happens in reality. These days’ ‘long weekends’ are discussed along with the arrival of new calendars. In first week of January, news item of long weekends appear in major newspapers. When you plan to visit any of the nearby spot, you find all nearby weekend spots are booked well in advance. Suppose you are smart and managed to get booking, real test starts as you are on the way to your destination. Everyone is anticipating great weekend. Expectations are high. You are in good mood and enjoying drive. First block comes at toll booth. You are welcome by very long queues and chaos at toll booth. People try to jump the queue and verbal exchanges are common. After lot of patience, you move past the toll booth. Traffic is very high during weekends. If you are not regular driver then you feel the irritation creeping. Next halt is at any food joint. The parking scene itself creates panic in your mind. Still you park the vehicle and enter the joint to see it fully crowded and complete mess over there. No one is ready to take your order, order once taken is served very late, and food quality goes for toss. But you don’t have any choice. Tension among family member is already beginning to rise. Every family has one or two members having less patience. The atmosphere changes with tension brewing among family members. The story continues till you reach destination. Same story is repeated whenever you go out during those 2 days. Unless you are saint or very spiritual person, it is impossible not to lose your cool. Mentally you are not at peace. So the peace of family is also disturbed. Then there is issue of the food. You tend to consume all types of junk, oily, sweet food, farsans, chakna, beverages, cold drinks and hard drinks in extra quantity. Since it is holiday, you have earned right to take nap in the afternoon which extends into hours of sleep in the afternoon. After 1 or 2 days, you return back to your home. On return journey, you face similar traffic issues, toll booth issues. By the time you reach home you are exhausted physically, mentally. Now the mood is somber, your body starts to react to your behavior for last 2 days. Symptoms like acidity, headache, indigestion and heaviness start to display. Add to that the feeling of starting routine next day. Result is very bad Monday morning and bad day at office. Result is more or less the same if we shun outstation and stay in the city. What do we do, we visit nearby mall. Spend our day shopping, watching movie and eating out. Things don’t change much. This happens week after week and every week, we carry these symptoms with ourselves, slowly things become worse and we are permanently having some disease or other.
I, myself have gone through this cycle many times. This, in spite me opting out of category of ‘have to’ go to office 10 years back. Because of the choices, I made in past, there is no compulsion for me to go to office on particular day, time. I have made certain changes to avoid this ‘long weekend’ disease. Generally, we avoid weekend to go outstation or to mall or even movie. This one change has brought lot of peace. I know this is not possible for everybody but it’s worth a try.
This weekend, we spend chitchatting amongst ourselves, reading, doing some relaxed meditation (my 16 year old son participated too), doing some long pending house work, and having homemade lunch/ dinner. In the evening we made surprise visit to someone, who is not our relative, not a close friend but a person, I thought will be happy because of our visit. I was completely influenced by blog of Dr Adizes on happiness, where he says you get happiness when you are giver. (ref http://www.ichakadizes.com/blog). It is not required that you give something big to be happy. A small act, which may give happiness to others, will also make you happy. I wanted to experience it and joy it was. This can’t be explained in words. Just knowing is not sufficient, it has to be backed up by doing. Even small implementation gives more happiness and courage to implement more.
Let me make one thing very clear, I am not against going outstation or visiting malls, seeing movies; do it but it has to be done with full awareness. In such cases, you will be better in command of your emotions, so, you and your family will really enjoy the weekend. Other way is to make certain changes as I mentioned above so that we can enjoy it in better way which will result in healthy and happy life. There is always a choice. What do you feel about it? What is your opinion on above? Do you ever feel the same way I have written? Do send your views, suggestions.