Now that we have the ability to avoid boredom at every turn though social media and handheld technology FDit is easy to think that the avoidance of boredom is the same as the experience of pleasure. In fact, the two are not the same. When we feel truly relaxed, we are not bored and are instead enjoying a mental and physical break from our daily activities. Engagement with technology and social media, on he other hand, while appearing to provide an enjoyable break from the daily grind, can actually tire us out more. Even though we are interacting virtually, our brains are engaged in a social way where we are focused outwardly, much like we would be in a face-to-face interaction. True downtime is a period where we are mentally and emotionally available only to ourselves. In techno-terms, downtime is the “time during which a machine, especially a computer, is out of action or unavailable for use”. Downtime is not time when we are checking work email while watching TV or posting on Facebook while eating dinner, it is a time when we engage in an activity that draws our focus inward and brings a sense of calm, relaxation, or restoration—like reading, taking a nap, or taking a walk. We will find that in fact these seemingly mundane, “unproductive” activities bring us much greater pleasure than mindless social media scrolling and that our minds and bodies are renewed and refreshed after taking downtime.
In what ways do you truly rest and get downtime?
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