Leisure as Self-Care: Nurturing Mental Health Through Play

In the midst of the daily grind of life, it’s easy to forget the importance of taking care of ourselves, not just physically, but also mentally and emotionally.

And what better way to do that than by reconnecting with the joy of leisure?

Hi, I’m Fae Foster, a therapist at Syrona Counseling Retreats, and I believe incorporating leisure activities into your self-care routine is not just a luxury, but a necessity.

So, why is leisure so important for your mental health?


The benefits of leisure can benefit you in 5 primary ways:.

  • First, it reduces stress and anxiety. Stepping away from work and responsibilities allows your mind and body to relax, lowering cortisol levels and promoting feelings of calm.
  • Second, it boosts mood and happiness. Activities you enjoy trigger the release of endorphins, natural mood elevators that contribute to overall well-being.
  • Third, it enhances self-esteem and confidence. Mastering a new skill, completing a creative project, or simply enjoying a playful activity can bring a sense of accomplishment and boost your confidence.
  • Fourth, it strengthens social connections. Shared leisure activities can deepen friendships, build new relationships, and provide a sense of belonging.
  • And fifth, it promotes mindfulness and presence. Focusing on the present moment through recreational activities helps you break free from negative thought patterns and appreciate the here and now.


How do you find your happy place through leisure?


The key to using leisure as self-care is finding activities that truly resonate with you. It doesn’t have to be anything fancy or expensive. Remember, leisure isn’t about achievement; it’s about enjoyment and connection.

Here are some ideas to get you started:

Try creative pursuits such as painting, writing, playing music, or photography to get your artistic juices flowing. You can also try physical activities like hiking, dancing, swimming, team sports to help you move your body and have fun.

Mindfulness practices such as meditation, yoga, or spending time in nature can help you connect with your inner peace. And social gatherings that include playing board games, starting or joining a book club, and volunteering help build meaningful connections with others.

Remember, even small bursts of leisure can make a big difference. Start by scheduling 15-30 minutes each day or week for an activity you truly enjoy. As you experience the positive impact on your mental well-being, you’ll naturally gravitate towards making leisure a regular part of your self-care routine.


And, if you find that you’re struggling with anxiety, anger, attachment issues, or trauma, and traditional approaches haven’t helped, consider an individual counseling retreat at Syrona today.

We can help you discover the healing power of leisure within a supportive and personalized environment. Contact Syrona today and schedule your retreat to unlock the abundant life full of hope, peace, and joy that awaits you.



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