Friday, August 4, 2017

"Free Time" and Memory-Keeping

What do you do when you need a break?  How do you relax, take a breath, rejuvenate, and recharge?  What do you do to relieve stress?  In our busy world, the phrase “leisure time” is often brushed off because nobody believes he/she has time for that!  The truth is:  we all need an avenue for stepping away from the everyday phone calls, e-mails, school pick-ups and drop-offs, appointments, responsibility, hassle, and stress.  We all need leisure time.

And here's what you need to know about "free time."

It's unhealthy to not take leisure or free time because we mentally, emotionally, and physically need it.  Work, stress, and going all the time are not good for our bodies or minds.  We can’t be at our best when we’re drained.  Time to do something we don’t have to do is vital to our well-being.
Phil Hoefer’s article, {The Importance of Leisure}, gives three great pointers:
  1. Acknowledge that leisure activities are as important a part of life as work is.
  2. Schedule leisure time like you would a vacation or any other event.
  3. Choose leisure activities that "make your heart sing."  (Don't you love that one?)
If you don't feel like you have enough free time, there's a trick to it that you need to know.

According to Glenn Santos, {scheduling your free timegives you more free time!  Free time even makes you more productive!  Just Google “vacations make you more productive” and read Forbes, The Atlantic, and many other sources and studies.

So if you don’t think you have time for leisure time, you might take that as a sign that you really need to make time for it. 

Over the last few years I've stumbled upon one of the best ways you can use your time.  I consider it "the best" because it has {been shown} to increase happiness and improve mood, decrease stress, increase relaxation, and even improve relationships among family members.  So if you're looking to take a break from the phone calls and the e-mails, rejuvenate, and feel better, here's what you do:  memory-keeping.   
If you've never heard of memory-keeping before, you can {read more here}, but the basic idea is preserving photos and memories.

I always look forward to memory-keeping, or sitting down with my photos and preserving them with their memories.  It’s calming and centering.  It’s fun.  As I wrote a few months ago when I busted {Memory-Keeping Myth #3}, memory-keeping is my time to escape I put my problems and stresses and responsibilities on hold so that I can go back to a good time and re-live it all over again.  I take an hour or two to leave the bills and the e-mails and go back to Yellowstone or the weekend in the mountains or my sisters’ getaway.  And, truly, that’s the power of a photo!  It takes you back.  Remembering good times makes you happier in the now.

digital scrap pages created {here}; available in three sizes
And, yes, I schedule it!

Memory-keeping does me so much good.  But more than that, I even see memory-keeping as a noble use of time!

Yep, I said noble.  

Reading, developing a skill, learning, and physical activities are all great uses of free time.  So what makes memory-keeping a noble one?  It benefits you as you do it (and, boy, does it ever–from lower stress to higher self-esteem), while at the same time benefiting others.  Kids especially have a greater sense of belonging and purpose when their lives’ stories are told, but anyone who sees your digital books, albums, or scrapbooks gets to go with you to Yellowstone or the weekend in the mountains or the sisters’ getaway.  That will make them smile.  They will feel better.

How many things that benefit you benefit others just as much?  A mani-pedi doesn’t do that.  How many things that benefit you are lasting?  The novel wraps up, and the walk in the park comes to an end.  Preserved photos and memories span generations and make a lasting impact on many.

If making time for preserving your photos and memories has so far been elusive, here is your list of positive reinforcement.  Call it a mantra.
  • Leisure time (or free time) is good for your physical and emotional health.  
  • For best results, schedule free time.  Prioritize it.  You'll have more of it if you do.
  • Focus on all the benefits of memory-keeping.  It's good for your heart and soul, and the results benefit others just as much.
If managing your days is still tough, look for ways to consolidate, delegate, or delete.  There are some great suggestions at the two articles referenced {here} and more {here}.

Once you’ve found the time, the next step is to find a {memory-keeping method that’s addicting and fun}.  That’s your key to continued success.

Everyone takes pictures, but somehow memory-keeping is the best-kept {secret in wellness}!  It’s a noble and rewarding use of leisure time.  So don’t let free time pass you by!
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This post was originally published at www. on August 4, 2017, by Jennifer Wise.  You'll find more #familyhistoryfriday posts by clicking the hashtag link next to Labels below.

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