Day Five: Free time

I find free time to be incredibly stressful. Free time feels like a competition–like there is somehow a way to win free time. Some people use their free time to do amazing things like write novels, pay bills, or meal plan for the entire week. Some people manage to keep clean apartments and take out their recycling.

I am not one of those people. I lose at free time. I would much rather spend my free time sitting on the computer doing nothing and taking a nap than scrubbing my toilet. At the same time I know that doing all of the things I don’t want to do–pre-making lunch, laundry, cleaning the shower drain–makes my life during the week much easier and lower stress.

It’s hard for me to find a balance because I am always focused on being good at things and having a productive life. Even so, I need time to sit on the computer doing nothing. I’ve been able to keep a decent balance the last few months by allowing myself to have enough time to just be myself sitting in my apartment. It can be hard when people want to spend time with you, or even try to guilt you into hanging out, but by knowing when I need a day to be alone in my apartment and respecting that need I’ve been able to ward off any meltdowns for a while.

It can still be hard to not feel guilty for taking time to do nothing when there is so much to be done. I wish I was the kind of person that could feel better after just doing all the things on my mile-long weekend to-do list, but the truth is that if I were to do all of things I need to do around the apartment I would just be too exhausted to get through the rest of the week. It’s difficult to recognize and honor the fact that what works for other people does not necessarily work for me.

Yesterday I did nothing, and it was great. Today I knew I needed to do some things, so I went to western union to send money back to the US for my student loans and credit card bills, went grocery shopping, did laundry, gathered garbage, washed dishes, and made lunches for Monday-Wednesday. Even after being productive I find it hard to be kind to myself and not fixate on all the things I didn’t do today. It’s hard enough to take care of yourself, but then feeling bad for doing the things I need to do to take care of myself? Ridiculous.

Free time is not meant to be this stressful, right? Am I the only one feeling like they lose at the free time competition?



This post is day 5 of a 30 day blogging challenge.


3 thoughts on “Day Five: Free time

  1. I agree! Free time often ends up being stressful, even though you’re supposed to take free time in order to achieve that “work-life balance”. This is a huge problem for people who have to bring their work home with them. It feels like what you should be doing is sitting and judging you while you binge-watch Netflix or repeatedly refresh your Facebook feed. Add to work the things that need to get done around the house…it’s chaos. I’m a big believer in the giant to-do list. It can be a little overwhelming, but writing it out does help and it’s nice to cross things off that list. The more I cross out, the less guilty I feel about taking my free time.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I feel this so hard. It’s really difficult for me to justify to myself that being disgusting, alone on my bed, while browsing the interwebz all day is necessary for my sanity. I’m always thinking “I could be doing extra work” or “Why am I not outside, rubbing elbows with people?” It’s especially difficult thanks to social media, where all you see are people posting their activities (because who TF is going to post the 5 out of 7 nights they spent doing nothing?) and I can’t help but feel like everyone is hella productive and all have fulfilling lives.

    Liked by 1 person

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