Take a few seconds to think of something you enjoy doing, like all the time? That thing that you'll get up early for, go to bed late for or even skip something else entirely for to enjoy it. Got it in mind? In case you can't think of something, try this one. Have you ever gone out of your way to buy, let's say a food you've been craving and that craving just won't go away until you've tasted it's warm and gooey or soft and savory self? Yes? So, you made time to go get it, and probably spent several additional minutes enjoying it. You will always make time for it, correct?
Why is it that we won't make time for other things that are important to our well-being then? One of the most repeated phrases I hear people say who claim that they want to get fit, or healthy is, "I don't have the time." So I wanted to see if there is actually some truth to this or in my opinion, as noted above, we all make time for what we want to make time for which I don't think this is necessarily a bad thing. If it brings you joy and doesn't put another person in jeopardy or harm them in any way, hey have at it!
Let's look at time for a bit to determine how much of it we really do have. There are 24 hours in a day. On average most people typically work 8 hours a day, leaving 16. Studies remain consistent that the average adult needs 7-8 hours of sleep, give or take. I personally need 9 while my husband can function on 5. I don't know how but he does. For this, we'll just go with 8 hours a night, but feel free to tweak this to your sleep pattern. That leaves 8 remaining hours for the day. Let's take into account the amount of time we need to get going on a typical work day, including getting children school ready, walking/feeding a pet, eating, etc. I'll say 1.5 hours is generous. Also subtract 1 hour for a daily commute both ways. If we commute longer than that daily we should consider moving closer to the job if it's loved that much. If not, I think it's time to get some resumes circulating. 4.5 hours remain. Now we're back home to unwind, cook dinner, tend to the children and/or pets. I'll subtract 2 hours for that, leaving us still with another 2.5 hours to do something with.
Hmmm, what to do will all this time we didn't have, or at least we told ourselves we didn't have?
Of course I know there are many other activities that can be included in our day, but if we really think about it we can AT LEAST take the .5, that leftover half hour, to get healthy and fit. Just a half hour at the gym, on a walk, a bike ride, a home workout even. The Department of Health and and Human Services recommends that the average adult gets at least 150 minutes of moderate aerobic activity. If we divide that by our 5 work days, we have found our .5 each day to get fit. Yet so many of us lose so much more time scrolling social media. I'll be the first to raise my hand as guilty. I'll glance at the clock, tell myself just a few minutes and then I'll go to bed. An hour later I'm still there. I'm mindlessly wasting time when I could be mindfully meditating.
If exercising isn't our thing, then try spending the remaining 2.5 hours doing something for our well-being.
Find a new hobby, take a bath, or spend time with those we love and tolerate. Yes, because loving them is not always enough when they get on our last, good nerve. Time management should include, in my opinion, doing something that will enhance our lives, that will benefit our soul, heart, and overall health.
How have you been spending your leftover daily time? Considering you may have a bit more or less if your commute is shorter, for instance, or you work longer hours. But I think it's fair to say that the majority will have some time available, and if we can't account for these hours, right now is a perfect time to find them and begin using them mindfully.