Author Topic: Study links too much free time to lower sense of wellbeing  (Read 1939 times)

Herbert Derp

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Study links too much free time to lower sense of wellbeing
« on: September 21, 2021, 06:03:24 PM »
I saw this article today:
https://www.theguardian.com/science/2021/sep/09/study-links-too-much-free-time-to-lower-sense-of-wellbeing

I think maintaining a sense of purpose is one of the biggest challenges faced by early retirees. Personally, for this reason I do not intend to stop working, even in "retirement". For me, having lots of meaningful work to accomplish is a fundamental part of leading a fulfilling life, and I literally cannot stop working if I want to remain happy. What are your thoughts?

Kris

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Re: Study links too much free time to lower sense of wellbeing
« Reply #1 on: September 21, 2021, 06:59:56 PM »
I donít connect making money with doing something purposeful or fulfilling.

Dreamer40

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Re: Study links too much free time to lower sense of wellbeing
« Reply #2 on: September 21, 2021, 07:23:14 PM »
ďAlthough an abundance of discretionary time spent on solo and nonproductive activities did produce a negative effect on subjective wellbeing, discretionary time spent on activities that were social or productive did not,Ē they wrote.

Thereís no need for a job to create meaning. Especially when it would cut into oneís discretionary time to find personal activities that provide meaning. Iíve never gotten enough meaning out of a job for it to feel worth the hassle and stress of doing what somebody else wants me to do all day. Iím sure those jobs are out there, but I havenít one that was worth it for me. I get more satisfaction out of doing my laundry than any job Iíve ever had.

Herbert Derp

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Re: Study links too much free time to lower sense of wellbeing
« Reply #3 on: September 21, 2021, 08:14:39 PM »
What are your strategies for finding abundant, meaningful work? Personally, Iíve had some issues with this as most volunteer groups for people my age seem to be geared towards people who have something else to do. For example, the gardening group I belong to only meets once a week for two hours, which isnít quite enough for me. Honestly, Iíd love to find stuff that has a bigger time commitment and isnít geared towards senior citizens.

the_fixer

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Study links too much free time to lower sense of wellbeing
« Reply #4 on: September 21, 2021, 10:16:44 PM »
I donít connect making money with doing something purposeful or fulfilling.

Exactly!


What are your strategies for finding abundant, meaningful work? Personally, Iíve had some issues with this as most volunteer groups for people my age seem to be geared towards people who have something else to do. For example, the gardening group I belong to only meets once a week for two hours, which isnít quite enough for me. Honestly, Iíd love to find stuff that has a bigger time commitment and isnít geared towards senior citizens.

For example

Engineers without borders, something we have always wanted to try but never had the time.

Coral reef restoration

Habitat for humanity (always wanted to build a house)

Volunteering (been eyeing park ranger education programs) or even the local food pantry, we have breakfast with an older couple and the wife does financial education for families in need and they keep her very busy.

I have about 1000 passion projects running through my head but no energy or time to make them happen while working full time




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« Last Edit: September 21, 2021, 10:26:04 PM by the_fixer »

pdxvandal

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Re: Study links too much free time to lower sense of wellbeing
« Reply #5 on: September 21, 2021, 10:37:14 PM »
Study seems like BS overall, at least for this forum. As an easy give-back-to-society activity, I bought a litter grabber thingy and walk around the n'hood with my garbage sack. I tend to walk most days anyway, so it's killing two birds with one stone ... not a big deal. Even being in a semi-tony n'hood, a surprising amount of plastic, cig butts, lollipop wrappers, styrofoam bits etc., are not hard to find. Anyway, a simple activity while you dream of bigger things.

GodlessCommie

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Re: Study links too much free time to lower sense of wellbeing
« Reply #6 on: September 22, 2021, 10:31:17 AM »
Study seems like BS overall, at least for this forum. As an easy give-back-to-society activity, I bought a litter grabber thingy and walk around the n'hood with my garbage sack. I tend to walk most days anyway, so it's killing two birds with one stone ... not a big deal. Even being in a semi-tony n'hood, a surprising amount of plastic, cig butts, lollipop wrappers, styrofoam bits etc., are not hard to find. Anyway, a simple activity while you dream of bigger things.

Same here! Only w/o a grabber. I have to walk my dog anyway, and trash bins are all along the sidewalks and trails, so it is really just a matter of picking something up and carrying it maybe 30 yards.

It only gets interesting if plastic trash, which I especially detest, is in a stream or blocked by poison ivy.

CodingHare

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Re: Study links too much free time to lower sense of wellbeing
« Reply #7 on: September 22, 2021, 11:48:28 AM »
Things I currently fill my non-working time with:

* traveling, hiking, experiencing the world
* conversations with friends and family
* my hobbies (almost all of which produce finished objects)

Things I want to do but don't have energy for outside of work sucking my brain 8 hours a day 5 days a week:
* Volunteer in local politics
* Get more involved in the local knitting community and start pattern writing
* Spending more time on family

If I could get back 8 hours a day I'd get so much more done.  My self worth, happiness, and purpose comes from the things I do outside of work, so retiring seems like a no brainer to optimize my life.

Fire2025

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Re: Study links too much free time to lower sense of wellbeing
« Reply #8 on: September 22, 2021, 12:02:11 PM »
My guess is these people were unhappy when they worked, thought work was making them unhappy.  They retire, they're still unhappy, so now they think that sitting around is making them unhappy.  But they are just unhappy.  That's what "subjective wellbeing" is all about.

Work has never made me happy. so I doubt not working is going to make me less happy. 

Building stronger connections to my loved ones and the communities that fulfill me hopefully will make me happier, as the studies based in science tend to show.

I'm a big fan of the Happiness Lab for the Science on Happiness.

https://www.happinesslab.fm/

FIRE Artist

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Re: Study links too much free time to lower sense of wellbeing
« Reply #9 on: September 22, 2021, 12:44:07 PM »

If I could get back 8 hours a day I'd get so much more done.  My self worth, happiness, and purpose comes from the things I do outside of work, so retiring seems like a no brainer to optimize my life.

yep, this.

I want to retire so that work stops stealing the best, most productive, most creative hours of my day from me.  I've got shit I want to do with my life before I am toes up, and paid work isn't it.   

MissNancyPryor

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Re: Study links too much free time to lower sense of wellbeing
« Reply #10 on: September 22, 2021, 12:54:10 PM »
I am happier than I have ever been because I am FIRE'd.  I am certain I would be charging toward an early death had I stayed chained to a job.  I have not suffered a single moment of boredom or lacked direction since leaving my squirrel cage with its relentless spinning wheel.

I guess articles like this are what keep the culture guardians busy and provides salve to the complainypants who just can't get ahead; they can tell themselves it is bad to be too darn free. 

Back in your cages!  It is good for you!   
« Last Edit: September 22, 2021, 04:22:35 PM by MissNancyPryor »

MrThatsDifferent

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Re: Study links too much free time to lower sense of wellbeing
« Reply #11 on: September 22, 2021, 04:03:57 PM »
I saw this article today:
https://www.theguardian.com/science/2021/sep/09/study-links-too-much-free-time-to-lower-sense-of-wellbeing

I think maintaining a sense of purpose is one of the biggest challenges faced by early retirees. Personally, for this reason I do not intend to stop working, even in "retirement". For me, having lots of meaningful work to accomplish is a fundamental part of leading a fulfilling life, and I literally cannot stop working if I want to remain happy. What are your thoughts?

Well, you could explore what this means for you. You donít have to work for a company that someone else owns to do meaningful work. You could start your own business doing only what you want to do or love. Or you could spend time exploring life and discovering what else, besides 9-5, may give you a sense of meaning? Itís tough to see when wrapped in a cocoon of work and routine. Also, what you find meaningful at 31 may not be what you find meaningful at 40 or older.

The issue of wellbeing and work is some people, mostly men, tie their whole identity to work and donít know who they are without it. It becomes a self-fulfilling prophecy of sorts. If you think you canít imagine what else youíd do, you just keep working making it your everything and then when it eventually ends, which it will, you have nothing. Youíre not solving the problem, just delaying it.

FINate

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Re: Study links too much free time to lower sense of wellbeing
« Reply #12 on: September 22, 2021, 04:16:18 PM »
The elites are desperate to get the plebs back to the daily grind ASAP. "Nothing to see here. Work keeps you happy."

Malcat

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Re: Study links too much free time to lower sense of wellbeing
« Reply #13 on: September 22, 2021, 04:57:44 PM »
Yeah...total non issue for me.

I loved my job, I mean LOVED my job, and when I was forced to retire, I spent the first year desperately trying to figure out what to replace it with that I could physically do.

Now? I'm super chill, my life filled up with all sorts of other cool stuff over time and I have plenty of meaning. I'll probably pick up some work eventually because it's inevitable that some of the projects I want to do will involve doing very valuable work, I'm constantly being offered jobs, but not for a lack of purpose, and definitely not for a lack of wellbeing.

I'm mentally and physically better off than I've been in years.

So just like frugality, if it hurts to have more free time, then you're doing it wrong, and you probably need some fucking therapy. Seriously.

Abe

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Re: Study links too much free time to lower sense of wellbeing
« Reply #14 on: September 22, 2021, 09:33:22 PM »
What are your strategies for finding abundant, meaningful work? Personally, Iíve had some issues with this as most volunteer groups for people my age seem to be geared towards people who have something else to do. For example, the gardening group I belong to only meets once a week for two hours, which isnít quite enough for me. Honestly, Iíd love to find stuff that has a bigger time commitment and isnít geared towards senior citizens.

Volunteer for Habitat (long-term, not the intermittent assistants). That takes a lot of time commitment and skill. That's my plan, at least.

Loren Ver

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Re: Study links too much free time to lower sense of wellbeing
« Reply #15 on: September 23, 2021, 06:16:52 AM »
It kinda makes sense, if you spend your more abundant free time doing things that are known to damage your sense of wellbeing (like sitting idle for hours scrolling through social media) then why wouldn't this be negative?  Why would you expect people to not just add more of what they did while working (TV, social media, eating junk, and not exercising) once they had the chance?  It is what brings many people comfort during their few hours of "off" time between work, kids, school, chores. 

Also, we would expect people on MMM do be a little different since we most of us are reaching for different goals other than just floating by.

Loren

Note - i didn't read the article, I try not to click the click bait articles:)

Malcat

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Re: Study links too much free time to lower sense of wellbeing
« Reply #16 on: September 23, 2021, 06:31:14 AM »
It kinda makes sense, if you spend your more abundant free time doing things that are known to damage your sense of wellbeing (like sitting idle for hours scrolling through social media) then why wouldn't this be negative?  Why would you expect people to not just add more of what they did while working (TV, social media, eating junk, and not exercising) once they had the chance?  It is what brings many people comfort during their few hours of "off" time between work, kids, school, chores. 

Also, we would expect people on MMM do be a little different since we most of us are reaching for different goals other than just floating by.

Loren

Note - i didn't read the article, I try not to click the click bait articles:)

Yep, the article could easily be titled "People Are Shit At Being Happy And Healthy, More Shit When Given Even More Control"

LateStarter

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Re: Study links too much free time to lower sense of wellbeing
« Reply #17 on: September 23, 2021, 09:17:06 AM »
Seems like a rehash of the obvious: if people have lots of free time they can get lazy (and then bored and depressed, etc.).

Well yes, they can. Laziness and self-indulgent pleasures are always tempting but rarely rewarding.

Having lots of free time means you also have the responsibility for using your time well - whatever that means to you.


Icecreamarsenal

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Re: Study links too much free time to lower sense of wellbeing
« Reply #18 on: September 24, 2021, 09:49:04 AM »
Study seems like BS overall, at least for this forum. As an easy give-back-to-society activity, I bought a litter grabber thingy and walk around the n'hood with my garbage sack. I tend to walk most days anyway, so it's killing two birds with one stone ... not a big deal. Even being in a semi-tony n'hood, a surprising amount of plastic, cig butts, lollipop wrappers, styrofoam bits etc., are not hard to find. Anyway, a simple activity while you dream of bigger things.
David Sedaris writes about this often.

mm1970

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Re: Study links too much free time to lower sense of wellbeing
« Reply #19 on: September 24, 2021, 01:44:19 PM »
Study seems like BS overall, at least for this forum. As an easy give-back-to-society activity, I bought a litter grabber thingy and walk around the n'hood with my garbage sack. I tend to walk most days anyway, so it's killing two birds with one stone ... not a big deal. Even being in a semi-tony n'hood, a surprising amount of plastic, cig butts, lollipop wrappers, styrofoam bits etc., are not hard to find. Anyway, a simple activity while you dream of bigger things.
This is an awesome idea.