Spring Cleaning: Your Free Time
Hello dear Reader and welcome back to our series on Spring Cleaning!
I am reporting in from my phone while sitting under a beach umbrella on the Gulf Coast of Florida. The air is warm and my heart is happy! Not too far from where I’m sitting, there is a group of 6 younger women, maybe ages 15-16, all sitting on their towels and weaving bracelets. A couple others are chatting and one off to the side is reading a novel.
I have to to say I was quite surprised when I saw this, because typically when we've gone to the beach this week, I’ve seen groups of girls sitting on on their phones together, rarely talking, and certainly not doing hobbies.
Now im clearly not one to talk at the moment, as I am on my phone right now (LOL,) but hearing their laughter and seeing the peace as they make their bracelets has really caused me to reflect on the concept of free time.
As I’ve said before, most areas of our life could use a good clean out every once in awhile, and our free time is no different.
(Proof I’m actually on a beach 🤣 )
I think many women have lost touch with the different ways we can spend our free time, outside of Netflix and Instagram. As those girls on the beach towel have showcased, hobbies can relate to people (chatting,) creative works (weaving bracelets,) or knowledge development (reading.)
For many of us however, our free time is eaten up by social media, mindless scrolling on our phones, or hours of fretting and worrying. Rarely do we ever sit down and engage with new ideas, creative outputs, or an enlightening conversation: but these are the “free time” activities that can actually benefit our lives!
Free time is an important part of our daily life and should not be tsken for granted. It has the power to energize us and get us ready for whatever life has in store! Today I say that we apply some good old spring cleaning to the area of free time, and begin to live more strategically in that part of our lives.
Cleaning out our habits and free time has the power to unleash an entire realm of possibilities. With each added moment to our day, we have the opportunity to pursue more personal growth, more accomplishments, and more experiences. When we use our free time wisely, we can grow into well rounded and satisfied individuals.
I don't think that unwinding with Netflix every once in awhile is terrible. People can get too militant about stuff, and I don’t think we need to! Living with guidelines instead of hard and fast rules is the best way to approach things with balance. So no, a little Netflix isn’t bad, but too much can really eat up your free time and kill your potential!
Begin taking note of how you spend your free time, AND how you feel about that. Don’t be too hard on yourself, but begin reflecting on your free time. If you haven’t yet, it might be a good idea to actually write down what you do in your free time. Log your activity for a week then reflect back!
After you log your habits, begin reflecting on what changes you want to make. Maybe you want to spend more time getting ready in the morning and less time scrolling on your phone. Maybe you need a little less Netflix and a few more coffee dates with friends.
As you visualize these changes, concentrate on your talents and social needs. Some people need more reading in their life, but many others need more community engagement. Sit down and begin discovering what you would do with your free time if you could do anything. Visualize your life and the steps it would take to get there.
Begin strategizing in this area of your life. For me, I actually had to delete Netflix for awhile until I could approach it with balance. I did the same thing with social media, and all the other time sucks in my life. Taking time away from these things can help us see what we’re drawn to when we have free time. I found out that I really enjoy baking and sewing!
Whatever that looks like for you, begin reflecting on your free time and set about cleaning it out.
After you‘ve visualized your ideal free time map, begin making those changes little-by-little. Communicate to your partner that you want to make a change and share that you hope they support you. If you need more self-care, express to them your needs. If you are a mother, brainstorm together how you can get a little more free time in your life, even if it’s just 2 hours a week.
Ultimatey, it’s important that you use your free time to grow yourself. This could be through hobbies, social time, learning, or self-care. Whatever it is, make sure that it is away from anything negative or too stressful. Avoid unwinding with a negative outlet like alcohol or overeating.
Always choose the life-giving path. Choose bodily movement, learning, social times, and hobbies. Find out what you’re good at and develop your talents.
Remember that cleaning out our free time DOES include leaving that space emptier than when you started. Give yourself wiggle room and when you DO fill up that free time again, remember to choose things strategically. Choose life giving activities that will bless your soul and grow your talents.
Alright friends, I know this one is shorter than usual, but I really need to soak up some sunshine.
In total, remember that we need to focus learning, research, hobbies, creative works, and socialization. Explore your gifts and CLEAN HOUSE.
All the best!