I love free time. Don’t get me wrong, who doesn’t…? The only problem I have is that I never know what to do with my free time. Especially now that we are approaching vacation, I find myself with more days that I have to fill. It is not like I don’t enjoy spending a whole day in bed or doing nothing except binging the entire 4 seasons of Stranger Things. It’s just that after doing that for a day, I feel like I wasted that day or like I could’ve have done something else instead, especially when the weather is nice.
I don’t know who can relate, but I know a few of you definitely will. I think it has become so normalized for everyone to be busy all the time that we forgot what it’s like to have time to ourselves. You have school and when you are done with that you have to work on assignments, or go to appointments, or work, or you have social obligations because it feels like you would go crazy if you do not meet up with people once in a while even when you don’t feel like it. We are constantly shouldering so many responsibilities and pressures that whenever those fall off, we have nothing to associate ourselves with anymore. All of a sudden, we have this extra time that nobody tells us how to spend.
Okay trust me, I am definitely not complaining here, I love doing nothing, but… and yes there is a but, I feel like I never know what to do. Relaxing feels nice after I work really hard or when it is balanced with busier days. I think, for me, this comes from when I was younger. I didn’t go on vacations a lot, so most of the time I associated long vacations with boredom. All of my friends would be out of town and even though I would still have periods where I hung out with them or did fun things with my family, whenever I didn’t have anything to do for days, I felt like those days were never ending. I think a part of that mindset is still stuck with me. I plan my vacations full of adventures and as soon as I have a weekend of free time I schedule to meet people.
I am not trying to make myself sound like someone who can’t sit still. The reality is that I actually really enjoy doing nothing. When I think about it, I spend most of my days doing nothing, but when I have school and work and appointments all week, I feel like it is justified for me to not do anything and lay in bed as soon as I come home. When I have nothing productive to do, I start to feel bad about myself when I don’t leave my house or do something other than eat, sleep and watch movies. I am trying to change this mentality and shift my mindset, because I think that being able to enjoy doing nothing is the best, and I want to be better at it.
If you are anything like me or relate in any way with this, maybe we can make a deal. Next time you feel bored and you have already seen your entire catalog on Netflix, try to do something you wouldn’t normally do. Even if it goes horrible or you want to back out, just go for it and see what happens. Be that person that goes to some random park to read a book or take yourself to the movies. No matter how cringy or awkward it feels, try to get over it and enjoy your own company. I think that, at the end of the day, it’s important for everyone to be able to do things on their own that they enjoy without having to rely on other people for that enjoyment.
Author: Gauri Ghisai
Editor: Phoebe Elliott
Visuals by: Ira Lizenko