Leisure is one's discretionary time spent in non-compulsory activities, time spent away from cares and toils. Because leisure time is free from compulsory activities such as employment, running a business, household chores, education and other such day-to-day stresses, not including eating, and sleeping, it is often referred to as "free time." This category is for leisure activities such as those which one voluntarily spends away from such stresses, so called 'down time activities'. The distinction between leisure and compulsory activities is not strict, as compulsory activities (yardwork and gardening, for example — which circumstantially might on another day be a stressful demanding need.) may be done for pleasure as well as for long-term utility. Recreational and Leisure Activities
Like anyone else, persons who have serious mental illnesses need a sense of belonging and a feeling of satisfaction with their lives. Efforts to help people feel a part of their communities and have a good quality of life usually focus on helping them get decent housing, meaningful employment, education and health care, as well as fostering self-determination and social support. However, recreational and leisure activities may also be central to feeling connected to community life. Research has consistently indicated that physically and socially active recreation and leisure activities are related to a higher quality of life in the general population, as well as in people with various disabilities. This is especially true of activities that help people feel a part of neighborhood life, including such simple activities as eating in a restaurant, visiting a library or walking in a park. But research has also found strong relationships between physical activity and physical health as well as between physical activity and mental health. Yet individuals with serious mental illnesses are significantly less active than the general population and their...
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