Leisure time is incredibly easy to waste, and the majority of people just simply cannot handle it.
They invest it in such activities as drinking, smoking, watching tv or movies, gaming, binge eating, social media, oversleeping, toxic relationships or many other things and eventually end up harming them.
I am not saying that if you do any of this stuff, it’s bad. You might already be very happy with your life with these things in it. But if you truly want to improve the quality of your life, these are the best things to do in your free time.
Physical activity offers many advantages. It raises our energy levels, stimulates the release of endorphins (happiness hormone), increases self-confidence, improves our memory, strengthens our body with the immune system and teaches discipline. It is an essential activity for a quality lifestyle.
Over the centuries, our bodies have naturally evolved to be in constant movement, and nowadays, when we have our precious screens, sedentary lifestyle just doesn’t cut it. Even Newton’s first law of motion states that objects at rest tend to remain at rest and objects in motion tend to stay on the move.
The bottom line here is that you should stay active and energized if you want to go places. Today, starting a workout is easier than ever: just look it up online. Personally, I like Millionaire Hoy, as he nails it every time. See it (do it) for yourself.
Our minds need meditation as much as our bodies need physical activity.
Mind training improves your self-awareness, increases productivity and health, enhances focus and memory, boosts your social and cognitive abilities, and, most importantly, makes you happier and wiser.
These and many more scientifically proven benefits are waiting for us at any time, but many people just simply overlook it because it doesn’t sound exciting. They think of meditation as sitting down and doing nothing, instead of training your mind by filtering thoughts.
Practicing meditation helps you to realize what is important for you and what isn’t, and that is a crucial skill to master in the attention economy that we live in.
Just like with sports, you don’t need anything fancy to get started – there are plenty of sources online. If you’re just starting, I recommend doing some guided meditation first, until you are confident enough to start meditating on your own.
Today, the business environment is more competitive than ever. Some entrepreneurs and university critics argue that by the time you are finished with your degree, the information that you’ve gained is already outdated. I tend to agree with that.
If you want to stay competitive, you have to embrace continuous learning. That’s where reading books come in. Select an area which interests you and download an update from that book right into your mind!
Okay, maybe it’s not as easy as that sounds. The download speed is not always as fast as you want it to be and it takes time, but essentially books contain a lot of vital insights and information harvested by field experts.
I’m not speaking about fiction stories or novels. Those books are fine too, but practical, self-help literature is the gold. Most business leaders invest loads of time into learning and reading because it’s handy. By reading and learning, you’ll make better and wiser decisions, and the overall quality of your life will increase.
If you struggle with reading, there are many other alternatives – audiobooks, podcasts, videos, or online courses. Choose something that suits you the best and become a master of your trade!
Extend your horizons
It’s more than healthy to get out of your comfort zone and re-learn to experience things again. Just think about it – there are so many activities you have never put our hands on!
Most of the things we do, we do it because we’ve chosen them according to circumstances in our past. Now it is either beneficial, interesting or fun for us. We’ve simply learned to experience life in that way. But what about the things that we don’t do? They are either irrelevant, boring, distracting, annoying and some of them might even scare us. But is that really true?
Research has shown that people tend to expose themselves to the information that aligns with their lifestyle choices. One experiment has shown that buyers of new cars are more likely to notice and read ads about the cars they have just bought.
Apparently, by doing so, they reduce cognitive dissonance. That’s how people prevent themselves from experiencing irrationality and feel better about their purchase. Meanwhile, the other car models were dismissed as “undesirable” after the decision was made, even when their preference was equal before the acquisition.
Many people act similarly in other life situations. We invest time into activities that we’ve learned to prefer and close our eyes to the alternatives. There is nothing wrong with keeping things the way you like, but being open to other perspectives and unknown things is healthy.
It helps you to empathize, understand others better, gain knowledge, improves your thinking and keeps you fresh and inspired. Essentially, you have a better sense of reality. Our brains developed to keep us closed in our thought bubbles. But in the age of information, it doesn’t serve us any good.
Several examples of what you can do to extend your horizons:
- Explore something that you think is boring or not your taste. Try to hold your judgements for yourself until it ends. Instead, try to look for its intended meaning/message.
- Do something that you’re afraid of. One of the best things that worked for me for the past few years has been doing things that scare me. When you think about it, fear is one of the most restricting feelings that there is. It shuts down our brain and makes simple things very complicated. In simple terms, that’s our body’s reaction to the things that it perceives threatening. But our body doesn’t always operate rationally. Of course, you shouldn’t do stupid things such as climbing onto the highest rusty crane without any safety gear just to prove something for someone. That’s when it works well. Do it reasonably and only for your self. Remember that fear is just a self-defense mechanism that is designed to keep our bodies alive longer. But that doesn’t mean this device always operates rationally.
- Learn about something that you know nothing about. Many people spend thousands of hours on things that we aren’t even aware. But there is a catch in everything. Otherwise, no one would do it.
- Connect with people that have different hobbies than you. You’ll see that there is something to take away from everyone.
Have you ever heard of saying “find out what you love to do and you won’t have to work for a day in our life”? Whatever passions, hobbies or interests you have, practice it. One can never know when it will come to benefit and most of the great things began from passion.
The biggest mistake that one could ever do is to spend time by not doing the things they like. Even if it is something that your friends or relatives consider lame. If you love it – do it, and there will be no regrets. If you already have an established talent, practice it. It takes little to do something once, but it takes a lifetime to master it.
Bond with the ones you love
This is sort of self-explanatory, but bonding is one of the most important things which often is easily overlooked.
Relationship building requires lots of investment and work. In the end, it is all about the amount of quality time spent together. No matter what your talents, hobbies or ambitions are, it is healthy to bond with people.
Especially with your family or closest friends. Think about it: if you achieved everything you’ve ever wanted, but there are no close people around you, is it still a success? Or rather a disaster?
Best things to do – just do it
These are the best things to do in your free time because are essential for a healthy and fulfilling being. Maintain your body, soul, brain, curiosity, talents and relationships, and you will never ever feel like you’re wasting your precious time again.