I have been thinking about the importance of positive leisure activities lately. Summer is always a bit unpredictable and there are days I have more time on my hands than anticipated. More and more, I find that I need to take ownership of the choice I have in how I spend my time, which is closely related to my mental health. There are certain technologies of the day that distract us into vacuums of unintended time-sucking. Not all of this is “wasted” time, but if you’re like me, minutes fly by without having much thought/intention, leaving me feeling sluggish, behind on my other goals for the day, and maybe even anxious.
It is a shift in thinking about health; choosing to prioritize the invisible, inner life by actively tuning out the obvious, physical world and its demands in order to turn inward and reflect. I’m striving to choose, first of all, to create more margins in my life for rest, leisure, and alone time. Secondly, I’m setting intention for how to spend that free time, prioritizing activities that are “life giving” (creative, feeding the soul, self-loving).
Maybe you’re like my husband and leisure activities for you do involve technology; watching a good show, playing video games. Speaking as an artistic/introverted type, I crave more creative outlets where I can express myself vs. consume entertainment.
This summer, I’ve literally had to scheduled times where I write music, journal, read, or just sit on the porch with a glass of wine with no particular plans. The biggest threat to my leisure is my own to-do list! Typically, I’m trying to engage in leisure activities while not working and at home where I’m continually reminded of chores that need to be done, a pending work out, or interruptions from family (I don’t have any children yet, so can’t even begin to imagine…).
I encourage you to experiment with some intentional leisure activities the remainder of the as part of your emotional wellness journey.