Government minister Donville Inniss is concerned that Barbadians are living too stressful an existence, which he suggests may be contributing to rising hypertension and diabetes on the island.
Speaking to Barbados TODAY on the sidelines of last weekend’s Carolling on the Green event in his St James South constituency, Inniss called on Bajans to set aside more time for personal relaxation and participation in more community activities.
“It is not about spending money, not about buying material things. It is about having great fun,” said Inniss, who is not satisfied that Barbadians are making adequate use of the island’s open spaces.
“It pains me when I go around and see these open spots, some maintained by Government, some maintained by others not being well utilized.
“I think people need to come out of their houses and come out and breathe some fresh air and relax themselves,” suggested Inniss, a former Minister of Health.
He complained that too many Barbadians were leading sedentary lifestyles in which “they get up on mornings, take a shower, have a breakfast, get into a motor car, roll the windows up, turn the AC on, drive to an office that is air conditioned, work hard in a stressful environment, get into the cars, roll the windows up on evenings, turn the AC on and drive home, cook a little dinner, watch a little television and go to bed and get up in the morning and do the same thing over and over.
“They don’t even sometimes peep through the window and say hello to their neighbours, [and] their children sometimes don’t even know who is living in the neighbourhood,” added Inniss,
the Minister of Industry, International Business, Commerce and Small Business Development.
Emphasizing the need for Barbadians to de-stress a bit, he told Barbados TODAY: “When I look at the amount of money we spend treating things like hypertension and diabetes in Barbados, I say simple things like a stroll on the beach, coming in the park with a picnic basket and inviting your neighbours makes a profound difference to your quality of life, your health and perhaps your wealth as well; and I would like to see a lot more activities, not just organized activities, but spontaneous activities where people say, ‘look, to hell with the stress, to hell with the office, to hell with the bills and everything’.
“Get into your car, or walk over to the park, throw a blanket on the lawn and read a book and relax yourself. It makes a bit difference,” he advised.
Friday night’s event in Wanstead Ridge Park involved a number of community choirs, anchored by the Royal Barbados Police Force Band. It gave residents the opportunity to do exactly what Inniss advocated – pull out a blanket or a chair and simply relax.
Inniss, the event’s organizer, also took the opportunity to show off his skills on the saxophone to the delight of patrons.