Instead of a day off, plan a “stop day.” That’s the message from Dr. Matthew Sleeth, an ER physician who wrote the book 24/6: A Prescription for a Healthier, Happier Life. He says that for more than 2,000 years, our society had a day when everything stopped for 24 hours. And on that day, you couldn’t buy groceries or gas, because every shop was closed! In fact, the only thing that stayed open was the hospital. Then, about 30 years ago, everything changed. Instead of stopping, we began shopping, running errands, planning road trips, and parties, and so on. And we also took the lead for working more hours than any other country.

Dr. Sleeth says the consequence is that we’ve now become, quote: “the most depressed country in the world!” In fact, statistics show that about 1-in-10 of us is being treated for depression. That’s because when we’re constantly on the go, our bodies get flooded with stress hormones, which increases our risk for anxiety, obesity, diabetes, and other health problems over time.

That’s why our expert says we need to get back to planning a “stop day” in our weekly schedule. As he puts it, that’s a day when we completely cease all labors, and relax – meaning, we don’t do anything that brings extra stress into our lives.

Believe it or not, Dr. Sleeth says by incorporating more stop days into your life, you’ll actually get more done. That’s because stop days help you prioritize the other six days of the week. So, even if you’re slammed at work all week, you won’t feel as stressed about it, because you’ll know you have that one day of rest to look forward to. And our expert says that’ll help us live happier lives.