Judgment-free Free Time

Free Time

From age 9 to 17, it was extremely fortunate to be able to attend a weeklong summer camp at Pine Lake Camp in central Wisconsin. Some of my happiest childhood moments reside in my positive memories. While I considered every second of camp to be amazing, I particularly loved the “free time” hours we were allowed every afternoon. Every day, after lunch and quiet time, a loud bell would release you to do whatever you wanted to do until the dinner time bell rang again. 

The possibilities for enjoyment felt endless and there was zero judgment in your choice. You could be creative in the craft cabin, swim in the lake, lounge on the beach, take a paddle boat or canoe out…solo or with another, hike around the lake, indulge in junk food from the cantine, sit in your cabin and read or nap, take an educational class, get your shower done, write a letter home, play a game of capture the flag or sand volleyball and so much more. 

Everyone was encouraged to tune into how they were feeling on that particular afternoon to choose how to spend their free time. Then, when we all reconvened together over our dinner meal, recharged with a sense of relaxed accomplishment within ourselves, which allowed us to connect more. Now, over two decades later, I still feel a burst of hope and excitement when I have some real free time. We all live such busy lives, yet it is truly essential for our mental, emotional, physical, and spiritual self to create opportunities for us to recharge. 

This looks different to each person and our choices will vary depending on the chapter or season of life we are in, as well as how much time is allotted. 

We likely will not often have the luxury of having a full afternoon between lunch and dinner, nor are we on a serene lake campground; however, maybe we can set a five minute timer to just do whatever the heck we WANT to do. Maybe you choose to take some deep breaths, play on a game on your phone, binge watch your favorite Netflix show, work on a puzzle, read a book or magazine, go through old photos, build a shelf, call a friend, take a walk, play your favorite music, bead a necklace, enjoy a hot bath, paint your nails, learn something from YouTube, shoot some hoops, practice archery, play an instrument, dance around your living room, organize your junk drawer, try out a new recipe, sketch, draw or paint, lift weights, sit and stare into nature, get a massage, go shopping…._______….YOU fill in the blank for YOUR free time choice.

It is your prerogative. 

I wish you judgment-free free time today and invite you to add free time moments into your schedule going forward. 

Sending you inspirational and liberating vibes as you round out your weekend.

Please share this with someone who always seems so overwhelmed to encourage them to take an itty-bitty break every once in a while.

Please share on social media, what is your favorite thing to do during your free time?

“If your compassion does not include yourself it is incomplete.”

  • Jack Kornfield

Summer also feels fresh and freeing at local Farmer’s Markets. Consider taking some of your free time to savor this feeling at:

Saturdays from 8 AM – noon – Herculaneum FRESH Farmer’s Market

More on self-compassion:

Three Components to Self-Compassion

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