Illustration Credit: Kuldeep Sharma/Dribbble

How to Make the Most of your Leisure Time to Ensure Maximum Recovery

The quest for an ideal work-life balance is one that many of us know all too well. Are we working to live or living to work? Burnout is becoming increasingly common, and the end result of all of this pressure and stress is an exhaustion that seeps into our personal lives. But it doesn’t have to.

Once you learn how to make the most of your leisure time, you’ll be able to start each week refreshed, revitalised, and ready to go. Luckily for you, we’re here to help you do just that.

Disconnect

You’re never going to get the most you can out of your free time if you don’t actually give yourself any free time. In the digital age, it is all too easy to let work overtake the time you’re supposed to spend away from it. Answering emails does count as work, no matter how much you try to deny it, and working during your leisure time is an express ride to burnout. Taking breaks is essential; both your mental health and your work will benefit. This is why it’s vital that you disconnect completely from work when you’re away from it.

Turn off work notifications and make it clear to your colleagues that you will be unavailable during non-work hours. Or, maybe even stay away from electrical devices altogether — anything to avoid the temptation to work when you’re supposed to be recouping. Whatever you do, be sure to draw a solid line between work and play.

Distract

Even after taking these measures, switching off from work can be tough. If you find yourself still thinking about work when you’re supposed to be enjoying yourself, you’re not taking full advantage of your free time. And you’re not doing your work any favours, either.

The solution for you may be to find a hobby that requires your brain to be engaged. Not only can this keep you distracted from thinking about work, but it also keeps your mind sharp. Engaging your mind doesn’t even have to be stressful; quite the opposite, in fact. Relaxing hobbies like reading, art, and yoga can help you keep your mind off work. Puzzles like sudoku and crosswords can also provide mental stimulation that keeps thoughts of work at bay long enough for you to recover mentally.

Decompress

Alternatively to keeping your mind occupied, giving yourself the chance to unwind is necessary to resetting and feeling well-rested. Relaxation is different for everyone, so think of what makes you feel calm and serene. If you’re not too sure, meditation, music, and bubble baths are a good place to start.

Relaxation is an important step to recovery from stress and burnout, but it can be difficult for a lot of us. Have you ever been all chilled out and content, then had that jolt of panic that you’re forgetting to do something? That can really take the joy out of taking a break, but there is good news; it gets easier. The more you relax and relieve stress, the better you become at handling stress, and therefore, the easier it is to let yourself properly unwind.

Delight

Okay, yes, I’m trying too hard with this ‘D’ theme, but here we are. Basically, you should be having fun in your free time. If you’re focusing too hard on how to make your leisure time ‘productive’, you’ve kind of missed the point. Sometimes just the fact that something makes you feel good is enough reason to do it.

So do something that you enjoy! It can be absolutely anything, as long as doing it makes you happy. There are a bunch of benefits to having a hobby that you enjoy, including our best friend — stress relief.

Do it!

Now that you’ve got the tools, it’s time to use them. Follow these tips, and hopefully, you’ll find yourself feeling a lot less stressed and a lot more rejuvenated. However, if you do need a little extra help, get in touch with one of our WellBe coordinators who can offer support.

Written by Adena Dewar
WellBe is spearheading the way to a brighter future for corporate wellness. Our innovative portal is scientifically designed and tailored to each individual employee to improve their wellbeing. We specialise in a range of services from coaching and therapists, to meditation and reading materials. Our aim is to reduce workplace stress that costs UK businesses £42 billion per year. Get in touch with us by visiting our site wellbe.global for more information.

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