16 July 2021 By Georgina Humphrey.
In the busy and hectic life of today, not everybody has time for leisure but it remains a very important part of life.
There are many benefits packed into the proverb- All work and no play makes Jack a dull boy. Which means that without time off from work, a person becomes weary and bored.
This could have negative effects on the psychological health of people and common in the context of our modern civilisation.
According to the National President Amalgamated Union of Public Corporations Civil Service Technical and Recreational Service Employees, AUPCTRE, Comrade Benjamin Anthony, the lifestyle of many Nigerians, especially in cities and urban areas was becoming worrisome as they break down easily, and could be part of the underlying reasons for the spike in depression, and suicide cases.
He stressed that Participating in recreational activities can help manage stress and reduce depression.
He stressed that Leisure provides the chance to find balance in life.
Comrade Anthony who explained that leisure is activity chosen in relative freedom for its qualities of satisfaction added that it is a multi-dimensional, contextual, and individual concept.
According to him, what counts as leisure differs for individuals adding that Leisure means to be free from endless rounds of labour; to pursue what you want; to spend your time in or to have freedom to explore and accept your place in the world.”
He attributed the benefits of leisure to includes bringing a balance to one’s life; relaxation; self-improvement; cultural/family stability and interaction; escape, novelty, complexity, adventure, excitement fantasy and to reduce stress.
The National President of AUPCTRE also stressed that Leisure provides rest and relaxation to the mind and body noting that it turns one’s mind other than work.
Comrade Anthony said in order to have a work-life balance one must partake in leisure activities while they are not working adding that Recreation is a narrower component of leisure activities which provides pleasure, satisfaction and restore one mentally or physically.
“Other benefits of leisure are enhanced immune systems, improved memory, improved self esteem, and better quality of sleep. It is quite important to relax. So much of how we perceive our world is through our brain, and stress affecting our brains can really affect how we view people and the world around us” Comrade Anthony added.
Comrade Anthony who stated that many people suffered from diseases caused by stressful living such as anxiety, high blood pressure, heart problems and so on explained that people dont have quality time for relaxation after work.
He therefore appealed to the Federal government to establish more recreational centers to enable people engage in various activities adding that most recreational centers have been converted to houses, hotels and shopping malls.
Comrade Anthony who said there are various ways of spending leisure added that the importance of leisure can never be exaggerated, as it helps to break all barriers and come out of the shell in which one is confined, “By spending good time at leisure, one can have a healthy mind and spirit.