A holiday weekend had just passed for us. It was an amazing, fun, recharging and relaxing weekend and we did nothing! Lately, life had been so busy for us with school, homework, sports practices, games, work schedules and so many other things that are all good. We choose to fill our days with these things because they are good or necessary or fun, but the bottom line is that we were filling our days. We needed to stop the busyness. What we really needed was downtime.
Downtime Brings Space
What happens when there is downtime is that you have space. You have space for good and deep conversations. You have space to work on projects and hobbies that bring you happiness. Downtime allows space for spontaneous activities like game nights, movies, neighborhood walks, meals eaten with friends, etc. Often, the most important advantage of downtime is rest. We all need physical rest and we also need emotional rest. Releasing the schedule and putting aside some time with nothing planned may not sound fun or productive but it provides space that is usually otherwise crowded out.
Finding Downtime Can Be a Challenge
For many, it can be a real challenge to find downtime with all the options we have. Many things and people are competing for our time. For others, downtime is something they have too much of and it is viewed as boredom. I think that regardless of your situation the important thing is to make use of the downtime and allow it to be a time of joy. Choose to see the good in downtime. Time continues on and new demands will inevitably come. Enjoy the slow times and allow yourself to recharge!
A Challenge for Finding and Using Downtime:
- List 5 things you would do with your time if you had nothing planned for tomorrow.
- Carve out some downtime for next week where you clear your schedule and just wait to see how you use the time. Could you spare an hour? an afternoon? A whole day?
- Resist the urge to fill downtime and boredom with busyness. Instead, learn to see it as a good thing and appreciate the gift of time.