Leisure: The What, Why & How

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In the Western culture today, there’s this sense of pride that comes with having every minute of every day accounted for.

It’s almost seen as heroic to be hustling all the time—to have so many responsibilities and obligations that you never have time to rest.

Having free time has almost become embarrassing in today’s world, and if you do have an hour or two that is unaccounted for, you are expected to fill it with some kind of work. Taking time to rest, or to not work at all, has become a frowned upon practice.

But that’s where we’ve gotten it all wrong. Leisure is necessary. It’s something we should be encouraging.

Why do I need leisure?

Leisure is critical to your well-being. You need time to rest and recharge. With so much of your life becoming go, go, go, it’s essential that you find time to stop, stop, stop.

Studies show that our spiritual and emotional lives suffer when we feel overwhelmed and overstressed. When the crucial parts of us suffer, we feel less balanced and whole.

When you take time for leisure, you can be more productive in other parts of your life. You can be more positive, and joyful.

You can also be better prepared to buckle down and push through when things get hard. Understanding all this, it’s hard to argue that leisure isn’t necessary.

But what is leisure, exactly?

Leisure is not idleness and it is not filling our time with mindless, meaningless activities. It adds something to our lives.

It can be reading a book you enjoy, watching a movie, taking a walk, or relaxing on the porch with a cup of coffee.

Leisure can leave you fulfilled and inspired, ready to tackle the things that need to get done. It’s not a pause on your to-do lists unlike idleness, but a point on the list itself.

Find your balance.

This isn’t all to say that leisure needs to be the most important thing in your life.

Working is essential, and there are times when our work, whether it may be your career or passion labor, has to take precedence over our rest. But it is crucial that you find a balance between the two.

You can’t live a life fully devoted to work and productivity, or else you’ll start to see our lives as never-ending chores, which is one of the most depressing ways to view life.

When you split your dedication between the two things, you can begin to see your life as productive and enjoyable.

You can be more grateful and appreciative of the time you’ve been given.

Encourage others to do the same!

When you start living a more positive and balanced life, you’ll be able to positively affect the lives of those around you.

Encourage your loved ones to take the time to rest and invest time in leisure. Invite them to join you in your recharging time.

Being an influence for a positive change, no matter how small, is so crucial for creating a more balanced and lively world.

Image: iStock

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