It’s all too easy to get into the habit of spending downtime mindlessly scrolling social media accounts or binging Netflix. There’s nothing wrong with checking your Instagram feed or watching a favorite show but when all of your leisure time is eaten up by mindless activities you miss out on so many better options. That’s why I have started “theming” my evening leisure time.
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Leisure Time Themes
Pandemic update: Several parts of this plan have changed due to the pandemic. If you would like me to do an updated version reflecting our current “at home” lifestyle, let me know and I’d be happy to do so. Here is what it was before life became “weird”:
I started by considering the types of leisure activities I enjoy but don’t seem to make time for. I then looked at our other weekly activities and how best to fit in the things I’d like to do. This is what I’ve come up with:
“Magazine Monday” – I’ve always loved to read magazines. I used to subscribe to several and would eagerly read them shortly after they arrived in the mail. Then as the Internet began to take over my life magazines would pile up…unread.
Some of this was because information formerly available only in a physical magazine became available online. I let a lot of subscriptions lapse because I was no longer interested in the topics.
Yet there are still magazines I love and the experience of thumbing through the pages is very different from looking up specific things online.
I got the idea for a magazine night from Alison at Brocante Home. I chose Mondays for this, in part because it’s a solo activity and David has firefighter meetings two Mondays of each month. His absence won’t affect my plans and if he’s home he can watch something on his phone or scroll Facebook in the same room with me.
Our adult son is on board with this plan, too. He subscribes to The New Yorker which is a weekly publication. He’s had trouble keeping up with it so he is coming over for “Magazine Mondays”. I brew cups of tea for all of us and we settle in to the library for a quiet evening.
“Vinyl Record Night” – Several years ago David and I purchased a nice stereo system as our Christmas gift to one another. In the years since, we have amassed a fairly nice record collection. Our kids are happy to have an easy option for gifts for us and we love receiving new albums.
I’ve designated Tuesday as the evening we listen to albums. Chris has an extensive record collection, as well, and when he’s not busy he plans to join us. We’ll take turns choosing albums.
I have church choir rehearsal on Wednesday evenings (at least for now – they might change it) and David plays in a local cornhole league. I’m through by 8 but he doesn’t get home until around 11 p.m. or sometimes later.
I decided this would be the perfect night to visit my parents. As soon as choir is over I’ll stop by their house for a visit. I’ve been wanting to be more intentional about spending time with them and having a regular routine will make that happen.
Last year I bought a nice little game table for our family room. I have it set up in front of the fireplace and it’s a cozy place to play a game or work on a puzzle.
I’d like to get in the habit of baking something on Thursdays so we can have a little treat with our game.
Fridays are at-home date nights. I’ll cook a special dinner and maybe even pull out the good china and silver. After kitchen cleanup we’ll settle in to watch a movie. We’ll take turns choosing these.
On Saturday nights we’ll go out to dinner and maybe to a movie or go listen to live music. Fridays and Saturdays will be interchangeable. If there’s something we want to go to on a Friday rather than Saturday, we’ll just swap those nights.
Finally, there’s Sunday. I’ve designated Sundays for some self care (manicure, pedicure, facial, etc.) and we also do a Weekly Planning Session.
In the past we’ve really enjoyed watching a series together on Sunday evenings. Mad Men and Downton Abbey were favorites for both of us. We’ll choose something we both enjoy and watch an episode or two together. We hardly ever watch television so this is actually a real treat for us.
And that’s our plan. What do you think? Do you plan your evenings? If so, what are some of your favorite leisure activities?