Making more of premium me-time

Making more of premium me-time

Valuing your time more than the pursuit of money is linked to greater happiness, a recent study by The Society for Personality and Social Psychology has revealed. Daniela Soave couldn’t agree more. Here she shares her personal tips for turning interests into hobbies that could change your life.

According to a study by The Society for Personality and Social Psychology, older people are more likely to value their time (compared to those who are younger), and want to spend their time in more meaningful ways than just making money.

Rediscovering downtime

Over the years many of us have forgotten what to do when faced with the prospect of time to ourselves. Bringing up a family, maintaining a career and running a household leaves little opportunity for premium ‘me-time’, and it’s not uncommon to feel guilty if we think we’re not doing something useful or productive.

As we get older, we find ourselves with more time on our hands, even while holding down a job. What better opportunity to rediscover doing things for enjoyment?

Why a hobby can be good for your health

Many leisure activities promote well being, says lead researcher Ashley Willans, a doctoral student in social psychology at the University of British Columbia. “Our research suggests that active hobbies, such as exercising and socialising, can have greater happiness benefits as compared to passive activities such as watching television or relaxing.”

So, while going for an Indian head massage or sneaking an afternoon at the cinema might be enjoyable, the benefits won’t be as long-lasting.

 And if the me-time activity is outside your comfort zone, all the better, says Ashley. “Engaging in novel leisure activities could yield the greatest happiness benefits.”

Finding my thing

By chance, I had the opportunity to witness this myself. Completely out of the blue, I found myself taking part in an art class as a favour to a friend.

I wasn’t particularly keen, and felt even less so when I discovered that we would be working in pastels and drawing a lion’s head. Yet once I got stuck in, I lost all sense of time and I produced a piece of work I was actually proud of.


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More importantly, I was astonished by how refreshed I felt, as if I had been taken out of my world and given a holiday.

Being part of the small art group also imbued me with an unspoken sense of community. It’s easy to see the appeal of being part of something that offers companionship, whether it’s a regular dance class, a walking group or a weekly stitch and bitch session.

“People are often stuck in their routines,” she Ashley Willans. “So, engaging in novel leisure activities could yield the greatest happiness benefits.”

Make time for playtime

In his book How To Develop Emotional Health (Pan MacMillan), psychologist Oliver James agrees that membership of groups promotes emotional health. “Just being part of a tennis club or doing weekly line dancing lessons will lessen your sense of rootlessness and emptiness,” he says.

“It can help confer a sense of who you are and how to live your life, providing a foundation for vivacity and playfulness.”

And isn’t that actually what “me-time” is – an adult at play? You are giving your brain a rest from all the day-to-day pressures that take up so much space in our heads.

We should learn to recognise “me-time” as an essential recalibration of our mental and emotional facilities.

Make “me-time” about others by volunteering

“My colleague Michael Norton, of the Harvard Business School, suggests that giving time away, for instance by volunteering, might produce the greatest benefits,” says Ashley Willans. “Volunteering our time can not only improve happiness, but it can also reduce our feelings of time pressure, because giving away our time can make us feel like we have more of it!”

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I agree being part of a group can be rewarding. I've been in craft groups before, which I have found very enjoyable and rewarding. And it's a way of learning new skills and making new friends too.

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A few years ago I decided to get an aviary ,I keep different types of finches and Chinese painted quails ,I find them such a joy and they keep me busy ,I have had a few baby birds and it's lovely to see the new ones come out of the nest boxes

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I have been lucky to grow up in a creative family. My craft time is my sanity time. I always seem to find something, even in the most difficult times. I'm going through a messy separation from an abusive husband and my craft is there with me. Keeping me strong. I've set up a small etsy shop to help create the extra income I need for me and most of all my boys. It isn't a chore. I love to make. The boys watch with amusement as I work with the music turned up.

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I love to have me time , sometimes it's just taking the dog for a walk sometimes it's sitting reading a book . I don't find myself feeling guilty about it just relaxed .

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I loved reading the article on finding time for myself it lefte feeling thoughtful and positive. The next article along the page is spring cleaning tips! Oh well that's enough self indulgence back to it haha.

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