How Does the World Relax? Find out with Time Well Spent

Even if we had more free moments in our days, would we know what to do with them?


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With long workdays, endless chores, and electronic devices vying for our attention, it seems we have forgotten how to relax. Even if we had a few free moments in our days, would we know what to do with them? The smart people in Samsung's marketing department found themselves asking this exact question while working on the release of Samsung’s new washing machine.

How do we utilize our downtime? How do we relax? Samsung decided to explore how people spend their time “well” all over the world and together with British electrical retailer Curry's PC World launched the Time Well Spent campaign. In this project, they joined with Mark Williamson, the co-founder of Action for Happiness, a non-profit geared towards personal well-being which empowers people to take steps to becoming happier and more fulfilled.

Almost everyone in the world is familiar with the experience of grabbing a coffee on the go or sipping coffee alone at a desk while working. In Sweden, communal coffee breaks are not only common; they are encouraged. Known as “fika,” Swedish coffee breaks are practically a daily necessity - multiple times a day. This ritual is designed to allow people to take a break from their day, enjoy a sweet treat with a cup of coffee, and catch up with a friend or coworker. It would be easy to implement at least one fika a day in your life; try it out to see the great benefits of downtime well spent.

Not an activity, rather a way of life, South Africa’s Zulu tribe increases their quality of life by practicing “ubuntu.” This life philosophy dictates to treat one another with compassion, forgiveness, generosity, and gratitude. This mindful practice allows one to live in the moment and appreciate everything and everyone around them. After a lifetime of segregation and racial oppression, Nelson Mandela was a champion of ubuntu. He did not let his hardships in life get him down, and when Apartheid was abolished, and he was elected Head of State, he showed his oppressors ubuntu. Everyone should try to introduce this mindfulness into their lives.

Release your inner child with a healthy session of laughing yoga. We benefit from smiling and laughing - and research says that our bodies can’t tell the difference between real and forced laughter. Laughter yoga sessions can last for about thirty minutes, where together with a group of people, you just laugh. Try it and see how much lighter and happier you feel afterward.

These are just a few of the ways people around the world spend their downtime. Learn more by checking out the Time Well Spent campaign, and let us know how you make the most of your free time in your culture.

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