The average adult American used to watch 7 hours of television a day. This was before internet became as pervasive as it is today. The main reason for spending almost 1/3 of his life in front of the tube? “To wind down.”

This is not a critique against television. Indeed, such critiques are outdated. A large chunk of the world’s population has now substituted its favorite passive past time for something more interactive and social, albeit it’s still in front of a glowing screen.

“To wind down.”

Now, that’s the interesting part.

Winding down suggests doing an activity that’d take our minds off something that’s bothersome. The activity itself could be anything from watching television, to connecting with people online, to yoga, to window shopping, to anything. The activity would be something that’s significantly different than whatever it is that’s bothering us, and preferably, we’d be doing it with people who are unrelated with whatever it is that’s bothersome.

Winding down activities have their purposes in life. However, 7 hours a day?

What kind of thing would be so bothersome that it’d need that much time in a day just to “get it off our minds?” Problems at work? Marital challenges? Financial difficulties?

Here’s the obvious question: instead of spending 1/3 of your life winding down from the stresses of life, wouldn’t be better to just use some/all of that time to take care of whatever it is that’s bothering you?

Financial difficulties? Find extra income and ensure better bookkeeping.

Marital challenges? Find time to reconnect and rekindle the flame.

Problems at work? Invest time to better know your boss, colleagues, teammates, and other stakeholders.

Stop trying to take it easy on yourselves, and start getting rid of real, unnecessary stress causers.

And I write this, knowing full well that it’s not the average American that I’m appealing to here.

I’m appealing to myself.