When people think of prioritizing their mental health, they often forget about the importance of recreation. Work and responsibilities are never ending; so it’s important to consciously schedule time to do the things you love. Dr. Gray and her team are focusing on the importance of recreation as part of their getting back to the basics 2022 series.
Taking time out of your day can be overwhelming and feel like you are falling behind on your work. Making sure to schedule time for recreation is just as important as scheduling time for work – and for Dr. Gray, patient care. If you schedule in your recreation, you won’t miss it. You shouldn’t feel guilty for taking time to prioritize your mental health.
When you carve out breaks in your schedule to make time for recreation, you are not only prioritizing your overall health, but also you will begin to notice that you have more motivation, and are happier and healthier.
In order to make recreation a daily habit, it’s important to start small. Adding small forms of recreation into your routine, whether it’s an hour a week or an hour a day, will make you more consistent, and eventually, allow you to build a sustainable daily routine.
Recreation looks different for everyone. For some it can include going to the gym, playing sports, or hiking, while others may find more joy in cooking, listening to music, or doing art. Regardless of what your choice of recreational activity looks like, doing something you love can benefit your overall health by improving your self-esteem, cognitive functioning, and in some cases, having the same benefits as medication.
Recreation to Avoid Burnout
We know the stresses of work and daily responsibilities are never ending – but working yourself until you’re physically, mentally and emotionally exhausted can increase the risk of health issues, such as high blood pressure, fatigue, depression, and anxiety. This form of exhaustion and lack of motivation can result in burnout.
Burnout comes in many forms and affects your physical, mental, and behavioral health. It also has negative effects on your social, work, and home life. Scheduling time for recreation is a key component to increasing an individuals positive well-being and reducing mental, physical and emotional exhaustion.
Aside from enjoyment, amusement, and pleasure that recreational activities can bring to your daily life, there are additional benefits recreation brings to your mental wellness, including:
- Reduces mental fatigue
- Lowers stress levels
- Improves quality of sleep
- Elevates mood
- Reduces symptoms of anxiety and depression
- Enhances memory
- Improves problem solving skills
Many studies have found a positive relationship between recreational activities and improved mental and physical health. By adding recreation into your daily, or weekly, routine can improve your perception of spending free time effectively by doing something you enjoy.
Stepping Away Brings Creativity
Investing in your mental and physical health should be a priority. When you reach the point of burnout and lack energy and motivation, you sacrifice the quality of work and, most importantly, your health. For Dr. Gray, scheduling in time to do the things she loves allows her to better serve other people. Adding small ways in to make time for the things you love will allow you to affect the lives around you in a much more positive way.
Did you miss last month’s blog that focused on the importance of daily rest and prioritizing sleep? Check it out here!