I’m actually one of those weird people who like physical exercise. Unfortunately, I just don’t like it as much as I like a crisp glass of white wine or a good vodka martini.
So when I’m stressed, bored or unhappy and I have to choose between going to the gym or going to a restaurant/bar with a friend there’s no contest really.
Now, of course I feel twinges of guilt when I add up my weekly alcohol units or when I see in my mind’s eye the towering pillar of sliced white bread (curse whoever made that calorie/alcohol equation so damn visual) but after a martini or two I laugh in the face of guilt. Ha. Ha!
Sadly, after having a look at the results of this year’s
Female Nation Survey
it would seem the joke’s on me.
My mother (along with every second dead-boring magazine article you’ve ever read) was right: there appears to be a correlation between being happy and using healthy leisure activities to unwind as opposed to pursuing less healthy leisure activities.
I know I was being naïve, but a big part of me thought my after work drinking was a proper coping mechanism. So, I’m a functional alcoholic , but it’s not only about the drinking see… it’s about the talking, eating, laughing, sharing and general merriment that go with it.
Unfortunately talking-eating-laughing-drinking-sharing is not the most effective relaxation technique. (Although it is most common with over 30% of women who use talking to a partner or a friend as a means to unwind.)
So what tops the list?
A visit to the spa. I kid you not. 87% of very happy women said they unwind by going to spas. I’m thinking it must have something to do with alone time. Or having enough money to blow on yourself? Or being touched? It’s either that or I’ve been hanging around at the wrong spas…
Second pastime of the happiest women? Having sex. Yay for us! It’s fun and healthy – if you do it right, of course.
Third place? Exercise. All that stuff about releasing endorphins and feeling good about yourself is true.
Next? Sleeping. Ja, I also thought sleeping would come in much higher. Apparently not, though. Excessive sleeping is connected to depression and avoidance issues.
And in a staggering last place, with less than half the women using this as a leisure activity being happy, comes drinking.
I’m going to test it. For the next couple of weeks I’ll be trading my swizzle sticks for running shoes and see if I’ll fall into the very happy category.
Who wants to do it with me? Please comment with your tips and progress in the box below!