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Using leisure time to bring balance

I have just finished reading an inspiring book on how to spend your leisure time. Who would have thought that such a book was needed and yet, to date, it has sold thousands of copies so obviously there’s a quest for such advice!

Why did I read it? I was curious. I was curious to find out what advice was being offered in the book. It also resonated with me in so many ways. Believe it or not but a lot of people actually do not know what to do with their leisure time. Leisure time can be forced on us through retrenchment, retirement or deciding not to have a job. Or, we are faced with it on weekends and evenings, when our work day is over.

Not so long ago, being faced with a day free of work responsibilities would send me into a state of panic and unease. To deal with this state, I would fill the day with housecleaning tasks, laundry, shopping. Anything but being leisurely. You know why? Because I would feel guilty if I wasn’t “working”.

Fast-forward to the last few years. Slowly I began to realise that we are meant to have days off. We are allowed to let our hair down, do the things we like doing (think reading, daydreaming, writing, going for a walk in a park…). In fact, leisure time is essential for a balanced mind, body and soul. This is part of showing oneself love, self-care, ME-time. If we don’t care for ourselves, we will find ourselves battling with ill-health, fatigue, burn-out. The list can go on…

This book talks about the important of being active and engaged in whatever you do with your leisure time. It also talks about living in the moment. The more you are doing something you really enjoy doing, the more you are living in the NOW. And, for those of you who know me, one of my favourite shaman principles is “Now is the moment of power”. Just imagine what power you are unleashing within yourself as you actively and creatively live your leisure time.

I have made a list of over 60 things I like to do in my leisure time. I share some of them with you:

  • Reading & reading & reading!

  • Walking

  • Doing yoga

  • Writing

  • Going out for a nice meal

  • Going to the theatre

  • Making smudging wands

  • Meditating

  • Watching a movie

  • Doing crosswords

  • Baking

  • Moon rituals

  • Meeting friends for coffee

  • Listening to music

  • Taking holidays in remote parts of the country

  • Doing nothing

I am reminded of the exercise “List of 50 things that make me happy” that I ask each and every one of my clients to complete during their life coaching sessions with me. I went back to my own list after finishing the book and realised that the list comprised of all the things that I love doing in my own leisure time.

There are many benefits to living your leisure time doing activities that you love doing. They include:

  • Happiness

  • A sense of balance and harmony with one’s own life

  • Joy

  • Creativity

  • Increased self-esteem

  • Personal growth

  • Good health

  • Gratitude

  • Abundance

  • The list goes on…

How do you spend your leisure time? Does your leisure time serve you in a positive way or does it hold you back from living a good life?

Do yourself a favour. Sit down with a pen and paper, make sure you will not be disturbed and make a list of all the activities that you used to love doing and are not doing anymore, activities you enjoy doing now and activities you would love to still explore. Now, for the challenging part – but the vital part – go ahead and use your leisure time to do these activities. You owe it to yourself.

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