Leisure time - How do we spend it?

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Leisure time, also spare time or free time, can be defined as time that is free from duties and responsibilities. With today’s high-paced lifestyle and most of us having to juggle work, family and many other responsibilities, it seems that there is never enough hours in the day to get everything done. Leisure time is usually the first to go.

However, it is extremely important that we make time to step away from our responsibilities and the things that constantly demand our attention every once in a while. Why is it important?

Firstly, leisure time gives you an opportunity to focus on yourself. We are usually so focused on giving to others and looking after their needs that we forget about ourselves. When we take time for ourselves though, we have an opportunity to reconnect with what makes us happy. It gives us the balance needed to deal with all the other non-leisure activities.

Secondly, it provides relief from the ever present stressors in our lives. Stress is a huge energy sapper and has a damaging effect on the body. Leisure time promotes better emotional and physical health and ultimately enables us to perform better when it matters.

Finally, it can expand our horizons. Many leisure activities, such as joining a club, volunteering or pursuing a hobby, will introduce you to new people and experiences. You will learn new things and gain valuable insights.

It’s up to you how you spend your leisure time. However, don’t make it another item on your to do-list. It should be something that you enjoy and look forward to. Following are some suggestions on how you could disengage from your everyday responsibilities:

  • Volunteer

Volunteering brings enormous benefits to yourself and to others. It is a hugely fulfilling way to give back to the community and gives you an opportunity to focus on something you truly believe in. Some ideas for volunteering include helping in a soup kitchen, working at an animal shelter, making your skills available to a charity or other non-profit organisation, or joining a conservation crew.

  • Learn something new

Whether it is a foreign language, playing an instrument, cooking or even ballroom dancing, learning a new skill is a very rewarding past-time. It not only allows you to indulge in your passion, but gaining a new skill could even improve your career prospects.

  • Indulge in a hobby

Hobbies give you the opportunity to expand your knowledge, improve skills and be focused. Anyone who has ever been engrossed in building a puzzle or a model of some sort, or creating something with their hands will know how time flies when you’re focused on your project.

  • Cultivate spirituality

Spirituality should not be confused with religion, although both ultimately serve the same purpose: to reflect, unwind, think about the bigger picture and life’s purpose. Being spiritual is part of being human and is an aspect of our lives which should never be neglected.

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