August 15 is the one day every year when it is acceptable to ignore phone calls, disregard e-mails and take it easy because it’s National Relaxation Day!
Originating in Britain as National Slacker Day, the holiday has been unofficially adopted by the United States. Americans began celebrating this holiday years ago and with good reason — our health.
Sometimes we all need a reminder to take a deep breath, shift our eyes from the LED screen and reexamine the world around us. As a millennial—a member of the generation everyone says is always glued to his or her devices—I can attest to the sometimes exhausting energy it takes to be “on” all the time while being plugged in to social networking.
I compare being active in social media as going to a party. Remember those high school or college parties you went to with a group of friends, filled with people you didn’t know, with loud music and people rushing by you every few seconds? Imagine going up to each and every single one of those people and starting a five-minute conversation. It would make anyone tired. Now imagine doing that every day.
As a 29-year-old social media and advertising junkie, my life right now revolves around social platforms, adapting to my new city, meeting people and staying current on marketing trends. It’s with my mix of activities that I don’t allow technology or my somewhat always long to-do list control my life. To be honest, it wasn’t until I lived in Paris last summer that I realized how busy I kept myself. My long lists of things to see and history to learn hindered me from the actual experience. I was too concerned with what I could accomplish each day. I’m sure a lot of you can relate. Upon coming back to the States, I made some changes in my life that have helped me and hopefully will benefit you, too:
Choose an electronic-free hobby and stick with it. Mine is yoga. Namaste.
Unless your job requires it, don’t sync your work e-mail with your personal cell phone. It can wait, and you’ll have a fresh perspective in the morning.
Wake up 30 minutes early so you can have a little extra “me” time. You’ll feel much more prepared to take on the day.
Explore the world around you. Go for a daytime run in the local park, check out the farmer’s market or plan a weekend trip.
Stop watching TV, checking your phone or browsing the Internet at least 30 minutes before bed. Your body needs time to relax.
Invite friends or family over for a game night or a food-and-wine night. Laughs are always needed in life.
When it comes down to it, what’s the point of life if you can’t enjoy it?
Now don’t get me wrong. I’m very productive at my job, and I enjoy my work, but it’s because I remember to take time for myself. If you never give yourself a break, you’ll never get a chance to step back and appreciate all that is around you. National Relaxation Day is a great reminder for all of us to slow down, do something good for ourselves and learn better habits that enrich our lives. So today I challenge all of you to reevaluate your to-do lists. Move what can be moved to tomorrow and relax. Enjoy this quasi-holiday from the Brits, and if you find yourself stressed today, just say to yourself in an English accent, “I’m going to the pub. Cheerio!”
Mike Montano is an influencer marketing account executive at gyro Cincinnati.
Follow him @MikeMontanoME