How To Do Lazy Days Properly (Part 2)

When thinking about the VLD, I decided to do some research into taking time off in general.

Yes, there is a delightful irony in spending time working on finding out about taking time off… but I enjoyed it, so there.

It seems I’m not alone when it comes to promoting VLD (Very Lazy Days). Some religions used to believe in them so strongly that the punishment for avoiding them was death. A good excuse to kick back, me thinks.

A lucky bunch of researchers from the University of Pittsburgh are paid to delve deeper into the benefits of extra leisure time.

“It is important to engage in multiple leisure activities, both as a way to enjoy life more, but also to potentially have a benefit on health and be a stress reliever,” says Karen Matthews of the University of Pittsburgh’s Mind-Body Center.

The researchers from the center surveyed 1,399 participants who’d been recruited for four other studies on breast cancer, cardiovascular disease and other conditions. They were asked how often they’d spent the previous month doing something they enjoyed. Leisure, including vacation, Matthews says, contributed to more positive emotions and fewer negative emotions and depression. (Source http://www.npr.org/templates/story/story.php?storyId=111887591)

I also came across this rather lengthy list of the many benefits of regular travel for both pleasure and business purposes. And there is a huge amount of support for the lazy day in religious doctrines (more below), from the Jewish sabbath, a day of mandatory rest laid out in the Ten Commandments, the Muslim take on the a similar theme, jumu’ah to the Buddhist  Uposatha which Buddha himself decreed the day of the week expressly to be devoted to the “cleansing of the defiled mind” to restore inner peace and harmony, which is perhaps a slightly purer version of the VLD.

So, next time you’re in need of a VLD, make sure you remember that it’s not merely an indulgence but it will make you healthier and happier.

Here are some more links and bits and bobs:

HEALTH BENEFITS

Seven Benefits of Taking Breaks: http://ezinearticles.com/?Solving-Problems—Seven-Benefits-of-Taking-Breaks&id=2912798

MEDITATION

http://www.mayoclinic.com/health/meditation/HQ01070

http://www.musclephilosophy.com/home/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=136:stay-relaxed-take-a-break&catid=44:user-blog

LOLLIDAYS

Benefits of Travel and Vacation

http://blogtraverus.com/?page_id=34

Among the benefits to be found from engaging in multiple activities are lower blood pressure, lower stress hormones and smaller waists. Probably the best evidence of the effects of vacations can be found in the Framingham Heart Study, which scientists have been plumbing for years to understand what contributes to our well-being. More than 12,000 men who were at risk of heart disease were followed over nine years to see if there were ways to improve their longevity. Among the questions they were asked annually was about vacations.

“The more frequent the vacations, the longer the men lived,” says Matthews, who analyzed the data to assess the benefits of vacations. The men who took vacations tended to be better educated and have a higher income. These are people who tend to be healthier and live longer anyway. It’s also possible that sick people don’t enjoy taking vacations. But Matthews says the study took that into account, and she’s confident that there are health benefits to vacationing.

RELIGIOUS BREAKAGES

CHRISTIAN

The term “Sabbath” derives from the Hebrew *Shabbat*, “to cease”, which was first used in the Biblical  account of the seventh day of Creation<http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Genesis_creation_narrative>. (Genesis 2:2-3<http://bibref.hebtools.com/?book=%20Genesis&verse=2:2-3&src=NIV>).

Observation and remembrance of Sabbath is one of the Ten Commandments<http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ten_Commandments> and for God’s deliverance from the Egyptian seven-day workweek (Deuteronomy 5:12-15<http://bibref.hebtools.com/?book=%20Deuteronomy&verse=5:12-15&src=NIV); Isaiah <http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Isaiah> extends the term to include even corrupted rest-day traditions (Isaiah 1:13<http://bibref.hebtools.com/?book=%20Isaiah&verse=1:13&src=NIV>). Sabbath desecration <http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sabbath_desecration> was originally officially punishable by death (Exodus 31:15<http://bibref.hebtools.com/?book=%20Exodus&verse=31:15&src=NIV

The church follows the practice of the earliest Christian movement: the Jewish Christians who were located in Jerusalem under the leadership of James, a brother of Jesus. They observed the Jewish Saturday Sabbath<http://www.religioustolerance.org/sabbath.htm> because of very clear instructions from God that were to stay in effect forever. One example is *Genesis 2:2-3. *it describes how God rested on the seventh day, Saturday, after having spent the previous six days creating the world, its life forms and the rest of universe. God is recorded as blessing the day and making it holy. It was apparently created as a day of rest for all mankind, forever.

*BUDDHIST*

The *Uposatha <http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Uposatha>* has been observed since Gautama Buddha <http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gautama_Buddha>’s time (500 BC), and is still being kept today in Theravada Buddhist <http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Theravada_Buddhist> countries. It occurs every seven or eight days, in accordance with the four phases of the moon. Buddha taught that *Uposatha* is for “the cleansing of the defiled mind”, resulting in inner calm and joy. On this day, disciples <http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/%C5%9Ar%C4%81vaka> and monks <http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Monk> intensify their practice, deepen their knowledge, and express communal commitment through millennia-old acts of lay-monastic reciprocity.

*ISLAMIC*

The Quran acknowledges six-day Creation (32:4, 50:38) and Biblical Sabbath (*yaum as-Sabt*: 2:65, 4:47, 154, 7:163, 16:124), but Allah’s mounting the throne after Creation is taken in contradistinction to Elohim<http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Elohim>’s concluding and resting from his labors, and so Muslims replace Sabbath rest with *jumu’ah <http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jumu%27ah>* (Arabic: جمعة ). Also known as “Friday prayer”, *jumu’ah* is a congregational prayer (*salat<http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Salat> *) held every Friday (the Day of Assembly), just after midday, in place of the otherwise daily *dhuhr <http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dhuhr>* prayer; it commemorates the creation of Adam<http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Islamic_view_of_Adam> on the sixth day.

ADVENTISTS

Interesting Read: Adventists monitoring possible Sunday business-closing law in Europe European Parliament member wants to promote time with family link: http://news.adventist.org/2010/07/adventists-monitorin.html

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