Regular Leisure is Vital for a Better You
Leisure is defined as “use of free time for enjoyment.” Personally, I like to add to this definition that it is not for the purpose of being productive. Strictly enjoyment!
This is a difficult concept for many hard-working individuals to grasp, but it is a key factor in managing work-life balance. As you can see, this requires two main commitments from you.
First, you must carve out free time. This is your opportunity to set boundaries and prioritize YOU! Often it requires letting go of other commitments for your own wellbeing.
Next, you need to figure out what you like to do, used to do, or want to do for leisure.
Let me pause here and address two common misconceptions about leisure activities.
- People who enjoy exercising will sometimes identify “going to the gym,” or “going for a run” as leisure. If the physical activity you participate in is just for pleasure, that’s great. However, for many, exercise is often for a purpose such as to get in shape, lose weight, or stay healthy. Exercise has a lot of mental and physical benefits and I absolutely support this being a significant part of your work-life balance, but it rarely fits the leisure definition because of its nature to be productive.
- Another common response is, “I take vacations for leisure.” Vacations are wonderful and can be very leisurely. However, I’m encouraging you to find something on a smaller scale that you can do regularly. It’s that thing you look forward to once a week amid a stressful week. Having to push through months of crazy weeks for a vacation is not the same.
You might be surprised to realize that you have a difficult time identifying what you like to do. Many people live life going from professional work and responsibilities to personal work and responsibilities with little to no time for pleasure. As a result, you lose touch with what you like to do.
If you don’t know what you like doing in your free time, start exploring. Think about activities that used to provide you joy when you were younger, or maybe there is something new you have always wanted to learn. It can be as simple as reading a book on the beach for an hour, you just have to commit to it regularly.
I also recommend checking out Facebook Groups, Meetup.com, local recreation centers, and art and craft stores. While searching for classes and groups being offered in your community, you may find something you never thought of that piques your interest.
Doing what you love is never a waste of time. It will recharge you, so you can show up in life with more to give.