Relax, what? Well that’s my middle name. I spend every summer in Italy at our home there. So you could say that I have an honorary Italian Ph.D. on the subject.
The sad truth is that we Americans, as a whole, spend too much time at work and in traffic to even think about relaxing in the middle of the day.
I have a striking memory of renovating our place in Italy. Every day I would go to the construction site around 10:30 a.m. By around 11:45, my construction supervisor would get fidgety. By noon, he would look at his watch and say “ I must stop now, I go home and make lunch for my children, we come back at 4:30 ok?” He would then politely remove himself and head home to spend time with his family.
In Italy preparing the mid day meal is a ritual. First you cook, then you eat, then you rest, or nap. I must confess I am not much of a napper. This concept was something that I did not come by naturally. So when I first spent summers in Italy, afternoons were a bit of a struggle. The town was quiet and every shop shut down. However, I am happy to report that I am fully in the groove at this point!
Each summer I’m in Italy, I spend time making lunch, every day with a nice glass of local wine. I rest and relax for the rest of the afternoon, without effort or force.
As an American I struggle with the balance between work and rest. As an Italiophile I embrace this ritual fully.
It’s important to surround yourself with comfortable things indoors and out. Here are a few ways you can encourage relaxation. And go get your Italian on!