Many people are finding themselves feeling more stressed and overwhelmed by responsibilities pulling them in all directions than in previous decades. Despite the fact that modern technology should be making it easier to perform routine tasks and increase leisure time, it still feels as if there are not enough hours in the day. However, this is usually because people who are stressed tend to fill in their free time with comforting activities. These are not necessarily meaningful or healing but simply serve the purpose of temporarily soothing a stressful mind. If you would like to make more out of your free time and truly begin to feel relaxed, here are a few ways you can use your leisure to improve yourself and the world around you.
Expand Your Skills
A great way to improve yourself during your downtime is to learn something new or develop an existing skill you might possess. Instead of using your free time to indulge in passive activities such as watching TV or scrolling on your phone, you could feed your curiosity more deliberately. While there is nothing inherently damaging about using personal devices, how you choose to use them matters. You could follow tutorials on how to become a better craftsperson or you could tackle the challenge of learning a new language. When approached casually and with an attitude of enjoyment, you can very quickly notice your skills build up over time.
Another meaningful way to spend your leisure time is to share it with other people. Generosity and selflessness have a way of reflecting the benefits back to the person embodying them. People who are regularly kind and considerate of other people find themselves more satisfied with their own lives. There are plenty of ways that you can give back to the world. For example, you could volunteer at your local animal shelter, donate to veterans, or perhaps help with efforts to clear litter in a shared area. If you have a particular interest in a certain area, find out if there are ways that you can volunteer your free time to help a cause you care about.
Taking opportunities to visit new places is yet another great way to inject some more meaning into your free time. This might be something as simple as taking a slow walk around your local area to appreciate the details you normally overlook, or something as extravagant as traveling overseas to explore distant countries. Learning about other cultures makes a person more open and empathetic since they can see the shared humanity across the globe.
Push Your Limits
Sometimes what holds you back from finding meaning in life is a fear of the unknown. It can be scary to test yourself in new ways, but it can also be incredibly rewarding. If you choose to carefully and gradually push your limits, you will grow as a person and find more joy in life. It just takes that first leap of courage.