Leisure Sickness


Dutch psychologists Ad Vingerhoets and Maaike van Huijgevoort, coined the phrase 'Leisure Sickness' in 2001, when they undertook a study of how people developed symptoms of ill health during weekends and holidays. The phrase has been developing and seems to be being used by psychologists to talk about an increasing prevalence of people feeling ill, run down, tired and ill during their leisure time.

Seems that in a world of both people in a relationship having to work due to economic pressure, the weekends become about cramming shopping and DIY, and then a quest for relaxation that involves us consuming and travelling to rest, and yet we are more tired than ever. Our leisure pursuits are making us sick.

Psychologists are prescribing people to take real time for themselves, instead of the pseudo time invested in shopping and consuming.

Reading about this reminded me of the piece I wrote on Theocapitalism. The religion of our culture demands it's worshippers to tithe and worship at it's altar everyweekend.

All this reminded me of the place for our churches to provide spaces to give a very different rythmn to the week. To take stock of our lives, assess who we are and our connection to the world and others, to find space to be open to the sacred, and pour ourselves out, rather than consume. And then we might find real leisure, real recreation, that takes us in health into our weeks.