In our busy culture, free time is often painted as a luxury rather than a necessity, but it is exactly that: a necessity.
To give your body and mind a chance to unwind, refresh, and rest, you need to take time for yourself.
Since free time is precious, here are some ways to help you make the most of the time you have and carve out more free time to yourself:
In order to create more free time for yourself and spend it wisely, you must first know where your priorities lie.
Step away from your computer and spend some quiet time by yourself with pen and paper. Imagine how you want to remember your life, looking back on it in old age. Think about what aspects of your life you want to fill those memories. Maybe it’s time spent with friends and family, or maybe it’s running marathons around the world.
Plan out your priorities and write them down. Keep a copy of this list close at all times, and when life begins to get hectic, take a step back and remember what really matters to you.
When work, friends, family, and hobbies all add up to a packed schedule, free time can be hard to come by, but actively scheduling time for yourself to spend free of obligations can help reset your mind and make you a happier person.
Sometimes that means carving out when you give yourself permission not to worry about anything else in your life. Add daily or weekly appointments to your calendar for self-care and honor this time with yourself.
During your scheduled “me time”, don’t cheat yourself. Unplug and don’t let work creep into your well-deserved time away.
Ignore emails and stop checking social media for just a little while. Try to stay away from television and the computer all together. Your brain needs a rest in order to maximize productivity when it’s time to get back to work.
Instead, go for a walk outside, read a book, meditate or throw a one-person dance party in your living room. Your future self will thank you for this time spent re-charging.
In our digital age, technology and social media can keep us from interacting in person. In addition to scheduling time in your calendar for yourself, schedule recurring dates with close friends and family as well as your spouse or partner.
Make regular plans to meet friends or family for dinner or coffee. Enjoy laughing with your favorite people. You’ll remember how much you crave and miss that connection the moment you see their faces.
Make time to do things that are authentically you. If you care about animals, volunteer at an animal shelter; if you love painting, get outside and paint something new.
Make time to do those things that make you who you are; doing this will not only remind you how much those things mean to you, they can bring a renewed energy, as well.
If you are a busy person, one of the best things you can do for yourself is take a rest. Schedule a nap or take time to lounge around and do nothing.
Our bodies, minds, and souls function best when rest is included in our lives regularly. Balance is important for achieving our best possible selves.
Our time is precious and finite, and as much as we would like, it’s not possible to say yes to everything.
Show some respect for your own time by saying “no” more often. Before saying yes to a new project or event invitation, take a moment to really evaluate if that opportunity aligns with your goals for your life.