We know from experience how hectic and busy schedules can not only put a strain on your physical and emotional state, but it can also stress your marriage and your partner. Doing things that we enjoy is a key source of happiness. It can include hobbies, self-care activities or treating yourself, as well as other things.
Unfortunately, the fact that it is easy to get consumed in the busyness of life, and our daily responsibilities mean that it can be difficult to spend time doing the things we love. We have recently been able to spend a good amount of time doing the things we enjoy even though we have a full-time job, but I appreciate that it is not always easy to. Therefore, I want to use this blog post to talk about 8 things you can do to make time for the things you enjoy when you have a busy schedule. These are by no means suggestions guaranteed to work for you, as I know everyone has different situations, but I hope they can help nonetheless.
1. Make it priority
In my opinion, one of the main reasons why we don’t spend a lot of time doing the things we enjoy is because it can be near the bottom of our priority list. When something is not a priority, it tends to get pushed away without you necessarily noticing. Furthermore, when we are consumed with a busy schedule, the importance of doing things you enjoy can sometimes be forgotten. I am not saying that it should be the top priority of your life, as we all have daily responsibilities that need to get done. However, we should remember that spending time doing things we enjoy is an important part of dealing with a busy schedule. If we give higher priority to doing the things we love, we are more likely to make time for it, which will help boost our wellbeing.
Make time for each other. Being intentional with each other on a busy schedule is the key to a healthy relationship during time of extreme stress and busy schedules. Being intentional with your actual time is part of that as well. Looking at your schedules and finding gaps of free time can open the doors to quality time spent together. Remember, you’re not roommates, you’re MARRIED!
Along with being intentional with your time, it’s also important to be consistently intentional with your thoughts. This one is very easy to implement and just takes a couple of minutes per day. Do small favors for your spouse that you know they would appreciate.
2. Schedule it in
For hobbies such as reading or blogging, I put it on my to do list for things I need to get done that day. You may think that putting hobbies on a to do list makes it feel like a task that you have to tick off. However, I feel this approach works really effectively for me. Putting hobbies on a to do list gives me the feeling that it is important, which means that I am much more likely to commit to doing it than if I hadn’t put it on my to do list.
Scheduling in time to do things you enjoy means that you are being proactive in finding the time, and also means that you feel less guilty when it comes to setting aside time for fun things. I want to note that this approach doesn’t always work 100% of the time, as some things such as watching Korean drama is usually done spontaneously. However, I think scheduling time in helps a lot overall.
3. Tell yourself that you deserve it
One thing that I have found for me is that I sometimes feel guilty for taking time to do things that I enjoy. I feel that I don’t deserve the time to do the things I love, and that there is more important stuff that I should be doing instead. However, that guilt has meant that in the past I haven’t spent nearly as enough time as I should have doing fun things. It’s important to realise that every day we are doing our best to overcome the challenges presented to us, whether that is work challenges, personal challenges or anything else. Therefore, not only is doing the things you enjoy a good way to destress and take a break, it is also something that you would have earnt after dealing with the everyday challenges of life. Doing fun things can be used as a reward when it comes to dealing with everyday life, and if you tell yourself that you deserve to do fun things, you will have extra incentive to find the time for it.
4. Set goals related to the things you enjoy
One thing I love about setting goals for myself is the sense of accomplishment I get when I achieve the goal. This tends to be often overlooked, but setting goals related to the things you enjoy can work really well.
For example, my husband return to car restoration projects during the pandemic. He purchased the retro vehicle in July of last year but has not had the opportunity to work on it until recent stay-at-home orders freed up much of his time. His first is a 1983 Corolla DX. He has enjoyed seeing the creative ways others have solved for mechanical problems. For him, car restoration is more than just a hobby. “We are all finding solace and a healthy distraction through car restoration,” he says. “And the great thing is that you can do it while social distancing and supporting the suppliers and recyclers that provide the car parts.”
If you’re considering purchasing a hobby car, you already know that they aren’t about making sense. They’re about your love for the car. I learned that when you invest a lot in a car, it should be for your personal satisfaction and enjoyment, not with the expectation of a monetary return. In my experience, the cost of restoration usually exceeds the market value of the car. LMAO.
“This is something people may have brushed to the side for years. Now, we are all making space in our lives for hobbies again. Especially now, it’s important to find the little things that make us happy,” he said.
Goal setting can give you something to aim for and also help provide a sense of structure and routine. Furthermore, goals can be seen as personal targets. With personal targets, you are much more likely to set aside time to work on them as you will be determined to meet them. It is worth noting that when you set goals related to the things you enjoy, then you should think it through and make sure the goal is realistic, achievable and something that doesn’t give you additional stress. There is no point setting unrealistic goals that give you stress, as then you won’t enjoy the things that you should enjoy.
5. Be The Dream Team
Don’t complain about your husband or wife’s schedule. Yes, you know each others schedule sucks but don’t spend time dwelling on negative thoughts and the stress of busy or different schedules. But that doesn’t mean you need to repeatedly vocalize it! Remember that whoever has the odd schedule is often times trying to make a sacrifice to help provide. Respect that and build up your spouse with words of support rather than nit picking at the situation.
Divvying up daily tasks and chores around the house can help you manage your time and even expectations when living together. Find a way to not just split the chores by an even amount but also by how long the chores take to complete.
6. Surprise Them with a Vacation Day
Take one day off at work that your spouse usually has off. I’ll sometimes surprise my husband and we’ll have a lazy day around the house or I’ll give him a few days notice and we’ll plan a day trip. This is so much fun and it feels like playing hooky so it adds a little excitement to the day.
7. Learn How to Say No
Say no to competing interests outside of your marriage. Your time is a precious commodity and it is very valuable in knowing what to invest in with your time. You only have so many hours in a day and there’s a reason why you get paid for your time!
With this in mind, keep a watchful eye on tasks, amount of time watching TV or being on your phone, or people who demand an unhealthy amount of time from you. Recognize which are healthy, which are not and which are affecting your marriage. From there, (kindly if it’s a person) just say no! 99% of the time, people will understand as they’ve experienced the same thing you are going through. You will feel like a weight has been lifted off of your shoulders once you start applying this to your life and you will have more time for a healthy marriage.
8. Everything is Seasonal
Remember that everything has a season. This busy season in life is not going to last forever. The kids will get older, jobs come and go, and so will the busy, stressful schedules. There are always ebbs and flows with busyness. In the meantime, keep your chin up and keep moving forward. Hopefully some of these points will help you balance it all.
Do you have any ways that you and your spouse manage stress and busy schedules? Let us know!
How do you make the time to do the things you enjoy?