whimsical leisure

Leisure for Mental Health in the age of Artificial Intelligence (AI)

Mental Health | Productivity | March 26, 2024

As the Artificial Intelligence grows, mental health among productive professionals keep faulting. Leisure becomes a cure. How? lets deep dive!!

In recent years, the rapid advancement of artificial intelligence (AI) has revolutionized various industries, promising increased efficiency and productivity. However, this technological progress has also given rise to a growing concern among productive professionals: the fear of being replaced by machines and the potential disappearance of their jobs. As AI continues to evolve and demonstrate its capability to perform tasks previously reserved for human intellect, a new form of mental health issue is emerging. The constant threat of job displacement and the uncertainty surrounding the future of work are causing significant stress, anxiety, and even depression among professionals who have dedicated years to honing their skills and building their careers.

Since the AI advancement is not stopping any time soon as predicted by Kevin Kelly in the book: The Inevitable, the anxiety and stress will only continue to grow and reach dangerous levels if individuals do not actively take time to deal with the mental health issues created by these anxieties. One of the key ways of dealing with this stress is taking leisure as part of your everyday life.

lack of leisure

Perceived Threat of Artificial Intelligence

What is Leisure

Leisure is defined by Josef Pieper in his book - Leisure: The Basis of Culture as, the time free from obligations, work, and tasks, when one can rest, enjoy hobbies, or engage in recreational activities. It is a period of respite and freedom, allowing individuals to pursue interests and activities that bring them joy, relaxation, and personal fulfillment.

It should be noted however that the essence of leisure lies less in the specific activity and more in the subjective perception of freedom, choice and intrinsic motivation which makes the difference between leisure and compulsory activities not rigidly defined. For example people do work -oriented tasks for pleasure like photography where a photographer at a wedding would be viewed as a professional as opposed to one leisurely capturing photos of the landscape during a road trip. Economists consider leisure time as valuable to a person as what they earn from the same time spent towards work.

For an activity to be classified as leisure, it depends on the person's feelings and attitude towards the it. Leisure is done for its own sake and for the quality of the experience and involvement. The principle of leisure is to live your best life and have a good time all the time. Nowadays, many people subscribe to the idea of living life to the fullest which is branded by the phrase 'You Only Live Once' (YOLO). What is done during leisure enables an individual to disconnect and escape personal duties, worries and work. Leisure involves engaging in activities that recharge your body and mind while bringing you joy and relaxation. Leisure is for positivity and rejuvenation, taking the mind from problems and routine duties.

Leisure activities which sometimes is work

Leisure activities which sometimes is work

Leisure time looks different for everyone, but we can all agree on how helpful it is because it adds energy and flavor to the life of an individual. In as much as leisure activities are concerned, they are incredibly beneficial for our mental health and well-being. Leisure time is not a fancy word for wasting time as some people tend to assume. Instead leisure should be taken positively by focusing on progress and growth.

Benefits of Leisure

As we have indicated, leisure helps individuals deal with stressors and anxieties. The following are some of the benefits of leisure for worrying productive professionals.

Engaging in leisure activities has numerous benefits;

  1. Enhancing Creativity

As a professional, especially in the scientific disciplines like researchers, software developers, and engineers, being stuck with a stressful problem is always part of life. When this happens, taking time off to do a leisure activity can help you get unstuck by enhancing creativity. This can be achieved by participating in activities that can help you generate new ideas, like doing word puzzles, sudoku, or crosswords. By doing this, the brain is activated, resulting in a unique flow of thoughts and ideas. When this happens a person is able to get solutions to problems and answers to questions they have been stuck in.

Creative Leisure

creative leisure

2. Improving Mood

Leisure helps reduce stress and makes us happy, resulting in a healthier lifestyle. As stated above, the principle of leisure is to live your best life and have a good time at all times. A life with leisure can give a feeling of productivity and success.

Leisure for moods improvement

In order to improve your mood, you have to do a particular activity that brings happiness or joy. Leisure creates an opportunity to explore the environment around you and choose what to do depending on the feeling and motivation you desire.

3. Creating a sense of grounding

Grounding with Meditation Yoga

Sometimes, we get overwhelmed by things and situations surrounding us, making us feel restless and helpless. This can lead to a lot of pressure in the mind that can cause migraines, unresolved stress, or feeling trapped in one's thoughts. At such a point, it becomes difficult to continue with daily activities, which calls for a different perspective to overcome that feeling.

Meditation, yoga and contemplative breathing exercises have been shown to have a grounding effect. You can also try a warm bath where you focus on the temperature of water and soak all the stress away. Getting engaged in open communication with people or storytelling and reminiscing also provides a fun way to feel grounded and secure.

4. Social Welfare


Human beings are social animals, and as such, they crave social connections for sustainable lifestyles. Humans interact with others for various reasons like friendship, the need for closeness or even sharing what they have with people. Leisure brings you to people with whom you have similar or different interests. When interacting with people, the mind is active, and individuals get to understand people’s ideologies on different matters of life. This, therefore, will help to make better decisions in life. Interactions will help individuals enhance self-confidence and self-esteem, which shows them they are still useful and machines can't replace them as they fear.

5. Physical Well-being

Physical activity can be fast or slow. The distinction between both is about the level of energy needed in these physical activities .Fast activities like running, car racing ,tennis are more of aerobic exercises .They tend to increase muscle strength compared to slow physical activities such as playing chess.

Exercise for Leisure

courtesy of Dungld

These activities are beneficial since they help us to be physically fit and increase flexibility .

6. Mental stimulation

At times, we feel overwhelmed after working out tasks that require our brains to be fully engaged.

stressed situation

You can practice some yoga or meditation, pay attention to your breathing, or take a nature walk in the open air and enjoy the breeze .This will calm the levels of anxiety and stress. The brain like any other muscles needs to be exercised to regain stimulation and alertness.

In Conclusion, society needs leisure as it allows for balance in people’s lives and it brings renewal to an individual and community. If you don’t know what makes you happy or feel like you are having fun, you can devise a plan to experiment by doing different activities. For example, you can join a group of people doing activities like team building or playing musical instruments.

A society without leisure would have difficulty functioning effectively. Leisure is not meant for the young or elderly and it is neither for the rich or the poor . All it takes is the way an individual feels and wants to spend time since there is no pressure as compared to compulsory activities. The positive effects of leisure are improved creativity that is caused by doing activities that help to activate the brain, increase productivity where the body was able to recharge and re-energize .

sunset beach

If you need to know more about Artificial intelligence and how it is affecting the workplace, check out this books in Amazon.

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