boredom and downtime…

It seems there are 2 kinds of holidays, the kind where you dash madly from one activity to the other, straining yourself to achieve things and falling into bed exhausted at night; and the kind where you stroll about without a schedule and the only thing on the agenda is rest.


The interesting thing is listening to people talk about holidays, because often one person’s preference means that they are telling another they should do it the same way. I myself experience both kinds, but manage the timing of them very differently.

More than 2 days without a schedule and agenda and I start to get bored. I can literally switch off from the world and seem to drop out of existence for 2 or 3 days at a time. I find these times refreshing, reflective, restoring and restful. However, by day 3 I feel I am ready to do something, use that energy I have restored somewhere…

Which brings me to the “adventure” holiday stuff. I spend far longer on holidays where I am doing things, where there is physical activity involved and I feel challenged. I find these holidays motivational, rewarding, mentally cleansing and usually physically exhausting. I enjoy doing this for 2 or 3 weeks, with a day or two of the restful kind of holiday thrown into the mix…

I expect that we need both kinds of holiday really. In talking to people who insist that they only do the “down tools and everything else” holiday, they do get bored after a few days. They may not want quite the adventure of white water rafting, but they need some mental stimulation. Boredom saps at your holiday spirit, it drowns the enjoyment of time off. If you are going to come back from a holiday ready to take on the world of challenges that your life throws at you, then coming off several days of boredom is not going to help.

So, we need to think about managing our holidays and lives, give some thought to managing the time and energy…and not allowing boredom to creep in and rob us of the restorative work that holidays do. Holidays are wonderful times….please enjoy yourself!

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