Each day, most of us scramble around in the morning before work, mindlessly grabbing a Pop-tart and thermos full of coffee, and kissing our family goodbye. We make time for things that make us more efficient, productive human beings, but do we make the time for the things that really matter in life?
Let the words you’re about to read really sink in, because we could all use a refresher on the irreplaceable parts of life we often don’t make much time for anymore.
Here are 15 Things to Make Time For Again
- Talking to people face-to-face. In today’s world, most of our communication happens through our cell phones, where we can conveniently type out a sentence or two and send it to our friends and loved ones. But, digital communication will never substitute for in-person interaction; you can’t hug someone through a phone, or see them smile, or read their body language. Make sure you actually set aside time to see people you love in person, and learn to use your phone only in times of emergency, or just some quick catching up on social media.
- Yourself. This one seems pretty obvious, but how many of us really can say we set aside time to take care of ourselves? Or that we prioritize our health and well-being above all else? As the population continues to get sicker, it’s pretty apparent that many of us don’t make time for the most important thing: our health. Take extra time to prepare healthier foods, take naps, exercise, spend time in the sun, meditate, and relax. You matter, so treat yourself as such.
- Vacations. According to a 2013 Vacation Deprivation study done by Expedia, the average American was given 14 days of vacation, but only used 10. Altogether, that’s roughly 577,212,000 collective days of unused vacation! If you haven’t been on a family trip in a while and money seems to be the reason, you can always book a cheaper hotel, cook meals at home for a while to save money, or cut spending in some other way. You’ll want to look back on your life and think of all the memories you made, not all the hours you clocked in at work.
- Acting like a kid. Before your life was consumed with work and responsibilities, what did you enjoy doing? Probably rolling around in the grass, playing hide-and-seek, racing go-karts, or jumping around in puddles after a rainstorm. Whether you’re 23 or 85 now, do more kid things. They will make you feel half your age, and remind you that life isn’t as serious as we make it out to be.
- Disconnecting from the hustle and bustle, and reconnecting to nature. City life can wear on a person’s nerves after a while, so make sure you take plenty of time to get out of the city and tune back into nature. Ever heard of noise and light pollution? Yeah, those affect us each and every day, unless you live in a cave or something. Before the invention of modern society, we would spend our days mostly outdoors, gathering food and playing in the sun. To be frank, the way we do things now isn’t remotely healthy for anybody, so take ample time to heal and channel your spirit guides for assistance along your journey. This helps greatly as we try to navigate the earthly 3D realms.
- Quality time with relatives. Remember the days when you played board games and told ghost stories with your cousins? Do it all over again, even if you feel silly at first. We spend far too much time communicating through posts on Facebook, and not enough time bonding in person with one another.
- Reading books. Not books on Kindles or iPads or Nooks, but REAL books that have that pages you can turn and creases to put bookmarks in. Digital books don’t have that distinctive “book” smell either, and you can’t listen to the crinkle of the pages as you turn them. Books you can actually hold in your hand just offer an entirely different experience (a better one, I think).
- Cooking for our families. How many nights do we get take-out instead of cooking what we have at home? Probably far too many. Surprise your family by cooking a nice, fresh, homemade meal for them, or have them help you in the kitchen. It just feels better to eat food you made yourself, plus your family will really appreciate what you did for them.
- Watching home videos. This makes for a great family bonding activity, plus it takes you back to the good ol’ days and helps you reconnect to your childhood self.
- Looking through old photo albums. We often look through photos on our cell phones, but do we ever open up physical photo albums anymore? Sit down with your parents and siblings and look at all the old pictures you have lying around the house – as they’ve collected dust, you’ve probably long forgotten some of the best memories you had growing up.
- Being happy just because. We’re always looking for a reason to be happy, but what about feeling happy for the heck of it? You don’t always something to attach your happiness to; if you’re alive, that’s reason enough. 🙂
- Doing nothing. Everyone’s always striving, moving, exerting, rushing, explaining, complaining, and the list goes on. It feels amazing to just sit down and be, without having to worry about normal human activities for a while.
- Journaling. It’s not healthy to keep all your thoughts locked up in a cage (your mind). Free them by letting them all out on paper; you probably journaled often as a teenager, so why not now? As an adult, you have MORE reason to need an outlet for your emotions since your life is likely much more complicated and fast-paced.
- Taking pictures with a cheap disposable camera, and actually developing them. How many pictures do you have in your iPhone that you haven’t developed? Go out and buy a 90s camera if you can find it, take pictures with your family, and get them developed. Now, you actually have a physical copy of your memories, rather than just a digital version that you can’t put in a scrapbook.
- Connecting with each other. Have family dinners instead of eating in separate rooms. Have conversations about life instead of sitting idly on social media. Nothing will ever take the place of face-to-face human connection, so don’t take your friends and family for granted. It might be the digital age, but we should all work to reinforce a new age: the age of reconnection.