Free time, happiness and dance.
#thoughtfulthursdaySW A new study’s finding supports that having the appropriate amount of free time in one’s life daily, correlates to that person’s happiness. https://www.theatlantic.com/family/archive/2019/02/free-time-life-satisfaction/583171/
Joe Pinsker states in his article in The Atlantic,
“The paper, which analyzed data covering about 35,000 Americans, found that employed people’s ratings of their satisfaction with life peaked when they had in the neighborhood of two and a half hours of free time a day.”
It is also important to note that within the study analysts found that too many hours of free time corresponded to unsatisfactory feelings and that not having enough free time was also linked to the amount of stress the participant perceived.
This leaves us with a question for dancers, are we getting enough free time or allowing for too much free time to support our happiness as artists? While most dancers would argue they have very little to no open time in their schedules, sometimes when transitioning or between jobs, a dancer can have a lot of free time on their hands. For dancers, finding the appropriate amount of open time to their careers at all ages seems like an impossible task to find.
Many dancers report large amounts of stress and unhappiness in trying to find the right balance between pursuing their art, social lives, sleep and finding the quiet moments just to do nothing and relax. If new studies are pointing to that a few hours a day of free time supports a happier and less stressful life, maybe us artists, need to make diligent commitments to how we approach our time and schedules.
For example when we know we are going to be swamped, we make sure to carve out portions in our schedule for our own discretionary time. Vice-versa when we are void of dance opportunities, we take action to fill our calendar with tasks like personal studio play time or volunteering for our favorite companies to make sure we are not overflowing with too much free time.
How have you been able to carve out space in your schedule during busy dance times? Have you found that too much open time equates to feeling unsatisfied? We want to hear about your experience! Comment below!