I often speak to people about how they spend their leisure time, most laugh and say, “What leisure time?” This bothers me. Leisure time requires neither investment of money nor things. It does, however, require an investment of time and caring for oneself.
In this blog, and during this week, I challenge all my readers to force leisure time on themselves. This is true especially for those who do not find that leisure comes easily. What does that look like? It might mean you set your alarm for 15 minutes earlier so you can sit on the front porch and enjoy a cup of coffee without interruption. Perhaps, you go to bed 15 minutes later and spend those few moments in a bubble bath or a late evening walk. The point is, there is something you can do each day, this week, to force leisure upon yourself. If the pocketbook allows, maybe plan a weekend getaway for sometime soon.
Eventually, our research shows, you will become comfortable with this new schedule and do it automatically. In fact, our research tells us once you have initiated a new routine, if you deviate from it, you become very uncomfortable and agitated. The reason for this is, routine feeds the comfort zone of our brain. So, whether it is the routine of how you rise and complete your morning ablutions, or how you end the day, these personal routines are important. It won’t take long and fairly soon, you will want more than just 15 minutes.
Do you know, one of the tools we put in the toolbox of someone suffering from depression is time outside in nature? That could be sitting on your back porch, taking a walk in your neighborhood, or actually going on some sort of an easy hike. It is very difficult to sit among the beauty of nature and not improve your spirit.
During this week, as you build the relationship with self, I invite you to initiate leisure time.