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Why Leisure Activities Are Important To Your Mental Health

Why Recreational Activities Are Good For The Mind

Thinking that the time and resources a person spends on leisure are wasteful is misguided. Leisure and recreational activities can bring feelings of happiness and reduce stress. By taking a step back from the worries of daily life to do something more enjoyable, you can feel whole again.

And for people with mental health issues such as stress and depression, engaging in some recreational activities can help uplift their moods. Leisure can be a mood booster. Moreover, the feeling that leisure is unproductive and wasteful can make someone unhappy, and their stress level is higher. Hence the saying, "Without liberty, life is a misery." You feel caged, unable to do the things that make you happy.

How leisure benefits your mental health and productivity

There have been several studies on the effect of having fun and whether it is a waste of time.  All indications show that, for the sake of productivity, it is good to take some time off and have a little fun. This leisure time will help relieve stress and also make a person more productive at work.

Individuals with mental health can use leisure to supplement the drugs they are taking so that they feel better faster. Positive emotions elicited from leisure activities can enhance a person's mental resources to cope with stress.

Leisure: an easy path to happiness and better mental health 

Research has shown that people who believe strongly that they will not enjoy leisure are among the unhappiest in the world. Leisure is good for happiness and as a stress reliever after a few months or weeks of work. When a person uses all their time to work without focusing on any other issue, they are likely to be more depressed. Their world revolves around work so they feel there's nothing enjoyable in life. Other people who take some time off for leisure are happier and less stressed.

You see, work never really ends. Trying to finish it all at once will only lead to stress, anxiety, and less productivity. Sometimes, your body and mind just need a break from that job you've been so focused on, or to just enjoy some fun, recreational activity.

It could be time among friends, traveling, gaming, or seeing the movies. You tend to feel energized after your, and you return to your work bustling with energy and creativity, thus increasing your productivity.

It has become important to encourage employees to spend their free time engaging in activities that they like.

Leisure time is good for your mental health

Recreational activities will brighten anyone’s day, and for people suffering from mental health issues, this is of extreme importance. Whether you're just trying to improve your mood or de-stress, doing some fun activity or simply resting can do a world of good. Leisure time is good for your mental health.

So people must stop looking at leisure as wasteful because the benefits to mental health are enormous. Most people are skeptical, and it is important to find a way to encourage everyone to take time and enjoy leisure. Whether the leisure activity is active or passive like watching TV, it is important to engage in it for the sake of your mental health.

Author
Satu H. Woodland, PMHCNS-BC, APRN Satu H. Woodland, PMHCNS-BC, APRN Satu Woodland is owner and clinician of Hope Mental Health, an integrative mental health practice located at Bown Crossing in Boise, Idaho. She sees children, adolescents, and adults.  Ms. Woodland with her background in nursing, prefers a holistic and integrative approach to mental health care that addresses the mind and body together. While Ms. Woodland provides medication management services in all her patients, she believes in long-lasting solutions that include a number of psychotherapies, namely cognitive behavioral therapy, exposure and response prevention therapy, attention to lifestyle, evidenced based alternative psychiatric care and spirituality. If you’d like to gain control over your mental health issues, call Hope Mental Health at 208-918-0958, or use the online scheduling tool to set up an initial consultation.

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