Has the Christmas break left you feeling drained? Next time, make sure you return from your holiday bright eyed and bushy tailed, with a word of advice from Thomas Alva Edison...
In 1907 the Falkirk Herald reported that Edison himself "was never tired, and therefore did not feel the need of a vacation". However he realised that he was one of a privileged few, and had a few pointers for those less fortunate than him. He noted that those who did get the chance of a holiday rarely put it to good use:
"The majority of wage earners do not make up their minds where they are going until the last minute. Then they rush off to some summer resort and plunge into the gaieties and frivolities of the place with great zest. They return to their work more exhausted than ever, and with their vitality wasted, instead of strengthened. They are tired and ill-natured for several weeks after they get back, for they realise they have really not had a good time. It is like the dark brown taste of the morning after."
They return to their work more exhausted than ever, and with their vitality wasted, instead of strengthened
When asked what holiday advice he could give, Edison stated:
"Well, we will first take the clerk. The country is the place for this young man. He should go where he can get away from everything that suggests the city to him. He should go where he can have fresh eggs, fresh milk, fresh air and fresh scenes. He should get next to nature and stay there every minute of his limited holiday.
On the other hand, take the farmer. He should go to a place like New York, where he can see the tall buildings and visit places of interest, like the Statue of Liberty, Madison Square Garden, and Grant's Tomb. The farmer should also visit Coney Island. He should take in all the show places and have a lively old time.
The farmer should also visit Coney Island. He should take in all the show places and have a lively old time
More important than all is the vacation of the shop girl and the girl who is compelled to work in the stuffy sewing-room of some factory all day. These pluck young women certainly should give careful thought how they intend to spend their vacations, for they have need of good health. Shun summer resorts, I say to these young women.
Go to the country, take the rest cure for your tired nerves. Take a stock of light novels with you, and spend your time out in a hammock or lying on the lawn reading. Take long sun baths. For exercise take walks through the fields, and if there is a lake nearby go rowing. Don't under any circumstances go to resorts where you will be up late at night dancing and overtaxing your strength. Get a real rest. You need to get away from this or you will shorten the length of your life.
Don't under any circumstances go to resorts where you will be up late at night dancing and overtaxing your strength
Of course, all depends on the environments and surroundings of every person as to what kind of a vacation is most suitable. But there are few who do not need the absolute rest they can get in the country. It is an unfortunate fact that not many of our shop girls do this. They are a splendid class of Americans, fighting with courage the battle to support themselves and their families, but they are silly when they select summer resorts and seaside places for the holidays.
I would suggest as a vacation for the business man who has been under constant mental strain for a year that he take up some line of sport he is interested in, like golf, baseball, or boxing. Any of these sports will distract his mind from business worry, for in a few minutes a man forgets everything but the sport he is engaged in. Every business man should have a hobby. A man who has a hobby to ride is fortunate, for it relieves his mind of worry, and always gives him needed rest.
Every business man should have a hobby
Business men should also get away from the city. A trip to Europe is good if he will only forget the Stock Market and other interests at home. An ocean trip is healthful, and gives needed rest to those who know how to take it. To those who are fortunate enough to own automobiles there should be no difficulty in getting an enjoyable, helpful vacation. I like this kind of vacation myself.
Elaborate dinners are a curse. Many business men eat enough food to supply a regiment. They are clogging up their boilers by doing so, and will live to regret it.
Another important rule to observe is this: Get out of bed as soon as you open your eyes in the morning. Don't lie in bed and wait to see if you cannot go to sleep again. That is a foolish thing to do. Hump out of bed and do something- anything. Be active and alert and get your blood into circulation."