Britain should copy Spain and have a siesta

The Spanish prime minister wants to scrap it

I’m writing this from bed in Barcelona, taking advantage of the daily siesta. The daily siesta which is currently under grave threat from Spanish politicians. But why? The siesta is great.

The siesta is a time to do those things which might otherwise get sidelined: catch up on Hollyoaks, check Facebook, pay your rent. It’s not just a time for relaxation, but a time for recovery from the hardships of full time education and employment. And it works.

You sit on the Spanish tube at 8am and people look… alive. The people here are happy because, despite their incredibly long work hours, they have time for a break in the middle of the day when they can collect their kids from school and spend time as a family.

A time for all to destress

A time for all to de-stress

And this is proper family time: un-rushed, relaxed. Unlike the classic British hurried dinner when Daddy gets back from work at 7.30pm, the tots almost nodding off at the table ahead of an 8pm bedtime.

Now, compare the Spanish tube to the Northern Line at 8am… everyone looks shattered, completely and utterly drained. You get up at 7am, like the Spanish, and go to bed at 11:30pm, like the Spanish, but you don’t get that time to simply chill out from 1:30-3:30 in the afternoon.

I went back to London a few weeks ago and immediately felt the difference. The atmosphere on the underground had lost its vitality I was used to back in Barcelona. It was pretty disheartening, exhausting and to be honest stressful.

Also, lunch dates are so underrated in Britain. We are yet to fully appreciate the joys of a long sit-down midday meal with an old pal, as we are currently confined to 15 minutes in a rammed Pret in Canary Wharf.

We run through life, merely existing until the relief of the weekend, but the weekdays should be a time for enjoyment. A time for long lunches and and a time for enjoyable journeys.

The siesta is a time to catch up on things and take a well earned break from the pressure of modern life – and that’s why everyone should have one.

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