rediscover leisure

Part 2

By Karin Leonard

In Part one we discussed how to carve out time for yourself, even with a busy schedule.  This article focuses on designing your life to easily allow for luxurious leisure time.

Simplify Chores

How do you find time for yourself, with endless chores, from grocery shopping to doing laundry?  Experiment with “clustering” your “to-do’s”:  nominate an evening during the week your “errand night,” and take care of as many stops as you can at once.  You may want to take an additional evening to attend to household tasks such as laundry or organizing paper that you can complete without exhausting yourself.  Elicit assistance from family members.  If you can afford it, consider employing help.  Everything from house cleaning to grocery shopping can be hired out.  The goal is for you to be freed up, so you take pleasure in time off and to luxuriate in glorious weekends.

Design Helpful Habits

Examine your current routines and decide whether they truly nurture you.  For example, watching TV at night may give you a chance to “tune out, “ however reading a good book, time with a significant other or a relaxing evening walk may turn out to be more fulfilling.  Experiment with what recharges you at core.  How do you relax – maybe with a couple of drinks to unwind?  In the long run, taking a hot bath, doing yoga or listening to a meditation tape can rejuvenate you on a deeper level.

Schedule Leisure

Do your evenings feel like an extension of your workday?  Reclaiming the end of the day and doing something soulful, nurturing and relaxing can reenergize you for the following day.  If work follows you home, and you find yourself obsessing about job related problems at night, practice finding closure before coming home.  Clearing off your desk, making a list for the next day and declaring your work done as you consciously close the door to the office, can serve as completion rituals.

Regular Treats

Schedule special events or outings to look forward to.  Are there activities, experiences or hobbies that you have always wanted to partake in, but keep postponing?  You know the infamous “one of these days” never arrives -- unless you decide there is no better time than now.  Depending on what you enjoy, a weekend away, outdoor fun, concerts or performances can ad sparkle and soulful leisure to your life.

Above all, savor your leisure time, and do not allow feelings of guilt to interfere with your rest and repose.  The more deeply you relax and enjoy your time off, the more present and re-energized you will show up at work.  After all, you may work for a living and be fulfilled in your vocation, but life is not just about work…

For information:   

Karin Leonard & Associates:  (831) 724-5400  

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