TBI Therapist

Brain Breaks for Concussion Finding Serious Leisure

Why a break is never a waste of time!
The Rutgers’s Business school found in an analysis of research on leisure that those who felt leisure was a waste of time had higher levels of depression, anxiety, and stress than those who placed value on those pursuits. Article is here.
The pandemic has reduced people’s sense of control and increased depression (already elevated in folks after ABI). I think that many things we used to do for leisure were eliminated or changed in the pandemic. I’ll add that layer for folks with a brain injury, they types of leisure that you enjoyed before may have also changed.
How to find leisure breaks in your day…
Know the benefits!
Benefits of leisure:
-reduced stress
-reduced depression
-lower cortisol
-lower anxiety
-increased productivity
Types of leisure:
-Fandom! Are you a fan of a sport, show, book series, band, type of music, craft, etc? For me my serious fandom resulted in becoming a Zumba instructor and even going to a Zumba convention with thousands of others (pre-pandemic). It was seriously SO much fun and I felt on top of the world.
My family also loves to travel, think and plan about trips. This was put on serious hold in the pandemic, but we took an epic trip to Yosemite this past summer.
Recently, I enjoyed watching the Australian Open (serious tennis fan here!!) I know I have several Australian listeners so shout out to Australia on their big wins with Ash Barty and in mens doubles. Of course, I had a serious fan moment when Raphael Nadal won his 21st major title. I was seriously happy for him! I took note of my feelings as I knew I’d be talking about it on the podcast!
In what ways can you engage in “serious leisure” by leaning into your fandom?
Remember research indicates that you should NOT feel guilty about the time it takes to engage in that activity!
Takeaway #1
We are likely not taking the breaks that we need. In fact, most likely in the pandemic you’re working more.
Takeaway #2
Taking a break to do a leisure activity like watching a favorite TV series or book has wonderful mental and physical health benefits. Can you do something with someone you love or find ways for movement through leisure. If so double win!
Takeaway #3
Allowing yourself to enjoy leisure vs. feeling guilty about the time you take ensures you get the most benefits from the activity. Taking a break is never a waste of time!
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