How do you spend your spare time? Some of it likely goes to maintaining your home or other necessary tasks. Why not use the rest of it to re-charge, re-energize, and renew your efforts to live that fulfilling life you’re after?

“It’s what you do in your free time that will set you free. or enslave you.” – Jarod Kintz, This Book Title is Invisible

How can you best use your spare time to re-charge?

Consider these ideas:

1. Exercise. Nothing will re-charge your batteries like moving your body. As long as your doctor approves, make exercise a regular part of most days. Keeping your body toned and your core strong will help keep you healthy and happy.

2. Meditate. An abundance of research has shed light on the importance of sitting quietly for 10 or 15 minutes a day. Learn to meditate.

  • Find a quiet place. Turn off televisions, radios, and cell phones. Sit or lie down on the floor. Close your eyes or stare at a fixed point. Listen to your breath go in and out. Focus on the sounds and feelings of your breathing. Do this for five minutes, then 10, then 15. Repeat every day. You’re going to love how you feel.

3. Re-connect with nature. A walk through a pine forest, tropical jungle, or even your neighborhood can be nurturing and provide deep feelings of tranquility. Notice the trees, bushes, and flowers. Breathe in the smells. The sights, fragrances, and sounds of nature will re-charge you.

4. Listen to music. Do you love the music from your high school years? Maybe you like contemporary artists. Whichever the case, listening to music makes life worth living.

  • Don’t let a day go by without listening to two or three songs. You know you want to do it. Listen during your break at work. Take a walk after you get home and listen to your tunes on the MP3. Music is good for your soul.

5. Watch TV or movies. Sometimes, indulge yourself in a guilty pleasure. Maybe yours is a favorite TV series on Thursday nights or watching movies. If TV is the way you re-charge, allow yourself to tune in.

6. Lie on the sofa and think great thoughts. How often do you ponder how you’re going to achieve your life dreams or be the best at what you do? Give yourself the opportunity to think about the great things you wish for in life.

7-Day Checklist on how to recharge your batteries

Day 1. Write a new exercise routine. Plan to change it monthly for variety, interest, and motivation. For example, in January, work out at the gym. In February, do calisthenics. In March, take walks. Ride bikes in April. Shoot for exercising five days weekly.

Day 2. Research meditation online. If you don’t already meditate, your goal today is to generally understand meditation and try it out. You can start with doing five minutes a day, then 10, and then 15.

Day 3. Listen to music while you cook dinner, clean the house, or wash the car. Nothing relaxes, energizes, and just makes you feel good the way music does.

Day 4. Make tonight TV or movie night. Remind yourself of your favorite old movies and if you have the DVDs, pull one out and watch it.

Day 5. Consider other ways to re-charge your batteries. Think about how your dad and mom always relaxed when you were growing up. You’ve likely seen how your neighbors and friends unwind. Have you discovered any ways to re-charge that you haven’t done much of before? Keep your mind open.

Day 6. Have a Family Day with nature as your backdrop. When you learn to enjoy time together, whether it’s in sunshine or snow, you’ll build energy to face work and challenges. Plus, you teach your kids how to find solace in nature and re-charge at the same time.

Day 7. Reflect on this past week. How did you spend your spare time? For next week, tweak your schedule to ensure you have some “rest and re-charge” time built in to each day.