UNITED STATES─America let’s have a blunt conversation; how often do you have free time in your schedule. If you’re asking me it’s rare, and when I have free time, it’s only one day during the week, which is Saturday. Saturday tends to be a busy day for me as I’m running around like a chicken with his head chopped off trying to get things done. Do I get to sleep in? I wish, but rarely does it happen. My body is on a time clock, so no matter how much I attempt to sleep in, it just never seems to transpire, which boils my blood.

I’m an early bird by nature, but just one day I would love to sleep until like 10 a.m. I mean sleeping past noon will never happen, it’s just not in my DNA, I would have to be out partying till the wee hours of the morning for that to happen and even then I don’t think it would happen. With that being said, when you have actual free time, meaning no errands or things you have to do, what do you actually do? For me, I try to watch a bit of TV, but it seems like I maybe get 1-2 hours of TV time before I’m knocked out cold on that clock.

It’s like my body does all in its power to stay rejuvenated, but the powers that be are working against me and say otherwise. I think it’s the fact that I’m doing so much more during the week, that I don’t actually realize it until we’ve reached the end of the week. I would totally be lying if I told people I can’t wait till Friday night each week. It gives me the opportunity to have a second to breathe and I think we all want that.

However, I’ve come to the realization that there is so much more I can do with my free time. How about doing some organization? How about doing some screenwriting, how about spending more time with family, cooking in the kitchen, cleaning the house more? The list goes on and on. I know what some of you are thinking: cleaning and doing things around the house is not free time that is a chore, but I don’t see it that way. There are things you have to do and there are things that you don’t have to do. If you stop looking at specific things as chores, it totally changes your perception of things.

With that being said, most Americans are NOT making the most of their free time. Most of us are sleeping or just lounging around the house for hours doing absolutely nothing. We need to change that. With sleep you can never regain sleep that you lost, it’s gone, just get enough sleep or rest that allows you to reenergize your battery and to be prepared for the day. Rather its 30 minutes, 1 hour, 2 hours, or 4 hours, everyone has a different time table when it comes to sleep.

Free time also includes not having to deal with kids. Yes, for those who are parents, the notion of having free time is something you dream about. When it finally arrives on a silver platter you don’t know what to do with it. Do you have a night on the town? How about a little shopping without any kiddies? How about a trip to the grocery store without worries of lugging kids in and out the car? Or let’s return to the thing all Americans strive for: a clean house.

Perhaps the most important thing I’ve discovered about free time is to do something that brings you joy or FLOW. You might be asking what FLOW means, it’s a terms I learned as an undergraduate studying personality psychology. It’s when you’re doing something that you’re so engulfed in time flies past and you don’t notice it, but more important, you don’t care either. My biggest tip is if you have free time, make the most of it, but don’t feel guilty about taking TIME TO YOURSELF.

So many of us are so committed to others, we forget to take time for ourselves. Remember, you only have one life to live, live the best life you possibly can, just remember don’t do anything that where if you wake up in the morning, you’ll regret it.

Written By Zoe Mitchell