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The New Zealand Railways Magazine, Volume 10, Issue 4 (July 1, 1935.)


Relaxation To The Rescue.

This is not to be a diatribe on how to sleep o' nights, on night-caps and exercise, cheese - suppers and mattresses, snoring and sedatives. To relax at night, of course, is tremendously important, especially to our friends, who hate the reiteration of “I haven&t had a good night's sleep for weeks,” or “I heard three o'clock strike before I slept”; important even to ourselves, as it is necessary for us to live through the intervening fourteen hours or so e'er our head hits the pillow again.

But my topic is daytime relaxation, physical and mental. The physical and mental, as ever, is allied. There is no need to expend a paragraph of explanation on when it is necessary to relax. We all know that when we are bounding with enthusiasm, oozing with “joie de vivre,” metaphorically clapping the world on the back and seeing ourselves as an important figure on our little stage, there is no need to relax. Go slow a little, perhaps, save a little steam for later on, carry our mood with us as far as possible, but relax—no!

Heigh-ho, alas and lack - a - day! There are other times, of too frequent occurrence when various aspects of life, as it affects us, have drained away our enthusiasm, drowned our contentment and done all sorts of mixed things with our psychology.

Perhaps our previous enthusiasm has carried us too far, exhausted our enthusiasm for the time being. Let us recognize what has happened and decide to set apart our next bit of leisure for recuperative purposes. Relaxation does not necessarily mean lazing in a chair-and letting the world go by. It need not even mean an “eight o'clock to bed” night. Each of us has some pet form of relaxation for those occasions when we do not require absolute rest. I know a man who can rise like a giant refreshed from a feast of gramophone music, another, a mechanic, who sighs with sheer content when he snatches a free evening to recuperate with the aid of a solid tome on the economic crisis. We have all met the tired business-man who eases his aching brain by an application of detective yarns, the crossword puzzle expert, the tatter, the wood-worker, the gardener, the knitter, the chess-player, even the draughts addict.

When life seems simply rotten and we feel like putting a thousand miles between us and our job, and two thousand between us and our friends and relations; when we sigh for a new existence as a panacea for our own bleak thoughts—then is the time to push all our worries out of our brain, and to apply the simple remedy of a little relaxation of our own choosing. After a short time we will find ourselves fit to live with again.