Most of us have time to relax during our day, no matter how limited the time is. What you do in your downtime is just as important as what you do for work, how you interact in your relationships, and how you spend your money. Spare time is great to explore what you know you like to do or learn something new.
Getting away from work, and finding activities that you enjoy, help reduce stress and adds to your overall well-being.
Spare time is not wasting time; instead, it’s about how you use your time and support your physical and mental health? Do you make sure your spare time counts, or do you collapsed after a long day and watch TV? There is no one way to utilize available time, though checking in with yourself regularly whether you are prioritizing the time to find a fulfilling way to enjoy your downtime?
TV inherently is not bad; rather, it depends on your intention while viewing. I know I have spent many hours playing with the remote, switching from one station to another, trying to find something that was of interest. I had cable with plenty of stations with few fulfilling choices to watch. I wasn’t choosing what I watched — just watching. At some point, I recognized I was wasting my most important asset – TIME – I got rid of cable. These days, streaming options replace the standard cable contract. Whether it’s cable or streaming option, be aware of whether it’s providing you with substance so you can enjoy your spare time.
What interests you enough that you would want to use your time to explore? Here are some thoughts you may want to entertain:
- Hobbies – Hobbies are great ways to be creative and express what you enjoy. Some people love scrapbooking, knitting, woodworking, or different other crafts. Hobbies are varied and unusual, though the foundation of a hobby is creating and enjoying what you are doing.
- Physical Activity – Do you find that physical activities are necessary to release tension. Many people enjoy dancing, running, hiking, power walking, or any other form of exercise that engages one’s mind and body.
- Gardening – some people love being out in nature, touching the dirt, creating beauty in their small part of the world.
- Acting – Does the stage call you, and you can be a star for the night. Maybe acting isn’t your thing, but the songwriting is something you enjoy.
- Cooking – I know several artists in creating food – the presentation and taste are outstanding.
- Artists – taking the time to write, draw, create a collage or a vision board, and any other way to express your artistic view.
- Writing – Since I spend a lot of my week playing with numbers, writing is one way that helps me create balance in my life. Maybe writing fulfills that need to create a fantasy fiction book or a memoir. You can start a blog around any topic, or your wisdom, or your hobby.
- Learning – you can take classes in person or online. Is learning a priority for you?
- Reading – Reading has been a powerful presence in my life. I’ve read on trains/buses while commuting to work, late at night, and during the weekend when I found more time. I’ve used many hours doing my week picking up something to read.
- Comedies – people watch TV to laugh, go to comedy clubs, or share jokes with family and friends. Laughter is supposed to be healing and add to one’s well-being.
- Connecting with family/friends – spending time with others over coffee or a meal or talking on the phone are beautiful ways to enjoy your spare time.
- Board games – I know that not everyone enjoys board games, yet it’s a fun way to relax, challenge one’s thinking, and enjoy other people
- Spending time with children – children can see the small ways to have fun and enjoy themselves. Adults can learn a lot from them while parting our learning to them.
- Listen to music – sitting back and listening to your favorite music or watching an artist perform on TV.
- How to use your money – the internet and books can teach you how to use your money. If this is important to you, then find the time, however, limited, to learn more about the best ways to handle your money: budgeting, increasing income, or getting your finances in order. Learn to become a conscious spender, so you thoroughly enjoy your money.
- Explore your community – walk around your area, view the buildings, open spaces, sit on a bench and watch the people go by, listen to the children playing, visit a museum, and become familiar with your environment.
- Learn about what is happening in the world – Some people thoroughly enjoy finding out about the news, politics, other cultures, and what is happening. I have a friend who handles the news wisely and enjoys either listening or reading it. I must be aware of my reactions to the news and whether it is beneficial to follow it. You get to decide if watching or listening to the news supports your well-being.
- Museums – I enjoy going to the museum as visually it stimulates me to look at the way others create and see the varied expressions of history and art.
- Photography – I love looking at photos, seeing the fine details in the images, exploring how I can incorporate what others expressed in my photos. I have a photography buddy, and we share our pictures, enthused by how we have different perspectives of the same area we are capturing. We isolate specific areas that pleased us and create different images.
- Meditation – you don’t need lots of time to meditate. You can use a 1-minute deep breathing technique or an hour of meditation. Whatever you choose, it is helpful. The more extended periods provide more quiet time, more time to go deep within your breathing, yet the 1-minute deep breathing done several times over the day can help you stay present in your life.
- Volunteering – people volunteer for many different organizations to help others. I have a friend who frequently connects with an older person to keep them company, so they don’t feel alone. Maybe help them with errands, and be general support to their well-being.
- Family Tree – I’ve been interested in my family tree for many years. When I get a chance, I head up to Ancestry.com and do more updating on my tree and see the new people connections who are closely or remotely related to me.
There are so many ways to enjoy your spare time, so brainstorm on how you can or would be interested in exploring. The vital question is, when you use your time, is it providing something of value for you?
You cannot replace the time you spent – done and gone!
You can replace money, home, cars, and many things, but you can’t redo time over — at the moment, it’s gone. The time it took me to write that sentence is over and can’t be retrieved. My ideas can be, and TIME can’t.
Take the time to explore how you want to use your free time. You may not have a lot of time, so look for the best route to relax.
How do you spend your free time? Do you express your inner creativity? Do you love relaxing with others? Maybe, you don’t feel you have free time for yourself. Many of us juggle many different roles in this busy world, and free time may not be easily assessable. YET, it is worth your TIME to figure out how to carve out time for yourself as it supports your health and well-being.
Women’s Group Topics
Come together and discuss how you use time, whether it supports your well-being, and what you can change with your time to add value to your life.
“To fully enjoy the ‘richness’ of our lives, we need to stop long enough to visit with ourselves.”