Leisure: Learn how you can spend your leisure time productively


Definition of Leisure

Leisure can be define as a time of freedom when one is freed from doing work. It a free time caused by the cessation of activities. Another key definition of leisure is the temporary release from compulsory duties and obligations. Leisure time can be used for relaxation, social interactions, diversion, and personal development.

For example, when a teacher is free from teaching during holidays he may decide to spend time with family members at home. A business man may also spend some leisure time with his family by the beach or inside the park. Other examples of spending leisure include skating, swimming, hiking, horseback riding, bicycling, playing pool, and watching football.

Leisure can be categorized into active and passive leisure.

Active leisure occurs when someone participates in activities to relieve pressure and stress during leisure. These activities distract people from formal duties. They may include recreational activities such as playing tennis. Active leisure promotes a sense of self and self-esteem.

Passive leisure occurs when someone is doing nothing such as spending time at home relaxing with minimal efforts. For example, passive leisure may include watching television and listening to music. This approach is used by introvert individuals. If a person is not able to make decisions on their own, they can be easily influenced to use their leisure time unconstructively.

Effects of Misusing Leisure

Leisure is significantly important when used appropriately for relaxation and social interactions. However, some young people may misuse their leisure time by engaging in destructive activities or disruptive behaviors such as drug and alcohol abuse.

The failure to use leisure time positively may lead to:

  • Drug and substance abuse
  • HIV/AIDS infection
  • Participation in criminal activities
  • Engagement in sexually activities
  • Early pregnancies and marriages
  • Loss of self-esteem and self-concept
  • Diseases associated with poor lifestyle such obesity

Activities for Positive Leisure

Here is a list of positive leisure activities that you may engage in to improve your health and attitude:

  • Ball games e.g. football, athletics, swimming
  • Reading
  • Singing
  • Visiting the sick people
  • Doing homework
  • Visiting friends
  • Helping parents at home
  • Revising for exams

Life Skills for Positive Use of Leisure Time

Knowing what we know now about the positives and negatives of leisure, you should develop certain life skills. Some of the life skills needed in order to use leisure effectively include:

  • Problem solving
  • Empathy
  • Creative Thinking
  • Assertiveness
  • Negotiation
  • Critical Thinking

Values Associated with Leisure

  • Freedom
  • Tolerance
  • Humility
  • Honesty

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