Seven ways to spend your downtime
Your 'me' time is special, so you should never be afraid to spend it doing the things that you enjoy. But if you're stuck for ideas, here are seven of the most reliable options for an enjoyable afternoon or evening.
It's a perennial favourite, and with good reason – reading is low-cost, you can do it practically anywhere, and it's a great way to transport your mind to another world.
Online retailers like Love Reading have plenty of categories to choose from, whether you're a fan of fiction or non-fiction, and the internet is an excellent place to find your favourite titles and authors at lower prices.
You don't have to join a gym in order to get fit, and running along footpaths and towpaths is a good way to stay active whatever the weather.
Getting out for a jog might not seem appealing in the cold of winter, or on a rainy day, but cooler, damper conditions can actually help you to run faster for further, without suffering from dehydration or heat exhaustion.
3. Spa Weekends
If you prefer a slower pace of life, it's still possible to actually do something with your time, and a spa weekend is just one option.
Relax in a pampered environment and let your worries be soothed away – possibly not every weekend, but once in a while isn't too much of an indulgence.
We're not talking about stuffing your face here, but again, there's nothing wrong with enjoying some well-cooked food now and again.
Learn to prepare your favourite dishes to a high standard or, if you're just no good at cooking, eat out when you get the time – either way, it's not going to ruin your waistline if you keep a healthy lifestyle over the long term.
5. Arts and Crafts
You don't have to take up DIY in order to create something in your spare time, but arts and crafts are often overlooked among adults.
Pick up a paintbrush, start sewing, or compose some poetry - it's up to you to try anything that takes your fancy, and it doesn't really matter if you're any good at it or not; it's simply a fun way of passing the time.
There are plenty of ways to spend your spare time learning something, from learning to drive or picking up a second language, to skydiving, musical instruments, and any other skill you could care to name.
Why not try something unusual? Learn magic, or karate, or origami, and surprise your friends with your newfound skills when they least expect it.
A lot of the common suggestions – and most of those above - are solitary pursuits, but if you've got friends or family, it's worth making time for them.
If nothing else, spending time with your loved ones gives you the chance to get any worries off your chest, which is perhaps the best way of all to spend your spare time, for the good of your long-term mental health.