By Camila Dos Santos
In a world with never-ending to-do lists, growing professional demands, and ongoing responsibilities, finding the time to dedicate to yourself and your relationships can seem like a task impossible to fit into a tightly packed schedule.
However, those who prioritize spending quality time find themselves happier and emotionally balanced, while also more open to life’s unexpected opportunities and better equipped to handle its challenges.
Quality time is not merely time spent with another individual. The true definition of quality time involves giving another person your undivided attention during an activity that purposefully strengthens your relationship. With that definition in mind, when was the last time that you truly spent quality time with someone that you love?
The good news is that quality time does not have to be a big event. Many of us can recall participating in a simple activity that ended up providing immense and unexpected joy. While significant planning may not go into spending quality time, it is important to make an effort to schedule that time in the same manner you would schedule a doctor’s appointment or a work meeting. This will increase your chances of making that time happen and decrease the chances that something else will take its place.
Quality time, while it does not require a big activity, does require a little bit of intentionality and planning. Quality time for you might mean that you and your partner have dinner without the television on in the background, or that you go for a walk in the neighborhood with your children and leave your cellphone at home. Inviting friends over for a potluck or inviting family members to join you for a group exercise class at your local gym are examples of activities that can be simple to plan with a little bit of scheduling in advance, but can have a significant impact on your outlook and feelings about self.
Quality time with yourself is a piece of the puzzle that can get lost in the busy day-to-day lives of most Americans. Implementing self-care routines into your daily lifestyle can help you intentionally create a mindset that fosters growth and positivity. Practicing mindfulness daily, such as spending a few minutes thinking about what you are grateful for can help you focus on the things that are going well in life. Activities such as daily journaling and physical exercise can help to create balance in your daily routine and set future goals.
While the hustle and bustle of our culture may not always be conducive to slowing down and spending quality time with ourselves and our loved ones, being purposeful about allocating time in your schedule to do so can have overwhelmingly positive effects on your personal and professional growth.
Take some time today to plan your next quality time activity with someone in your life that is important to you and you will likely feel the difference in all aspects of your life.
Camila Dos Santos is the program coordinator of the Guilford County Healthy Relationships Initiative, a partnership between UNC Greensboro and the Phillips Foundation. She is a resident of High Point and believes that everyone deserves to have happy, healthy and safe relationships.