quality time

Why it’s important not to confuse down time with quality time when it comes to family

As I’ve grown older family has become much more important to me. One of the things I’ve noticed is how often most of us, myself included, confuse down time with quality time. I often find myself having a coffee engrossed into my favorite book with family around – but is this really quality time?


Like many things in life there are many shades of grey. To me what constitutes quality time is when we really connect with one another, strengthening the bond we share. So no books or newspapers, unless you are having an interesting discussion about the content. Similarly, if you are simply in each others company but not really doing much or even talking I would argue that this is down time and not really quality time. It’s so important to spend quality time together as opposed to just down time as during quality time we share our interests and passions – strengthening our bond and showing our love for one another on a deeper level.


Does how long friends that have healthy friendships spend together matter? Why knowing the answer will improve your social life.


Lets face it, everyone has a different idea about how much personal time they like to spend away from their friends. Whilst socializing strengthens our resilience and builds up our resources in times of stress, it doesn’t mean that spending all your spare time with friends is necessary or even desirable.


Incidentally, if you are going through a period of stress, you will be less likely to want to see your friends. In this instance I would recommend you see them as much as possible – despite your inclination otherwise – as it will increase your resources which is essential for stress management.


Ultimately everyone has different comfort levels when it comes to socialising and what feels right for one friend may not for another. For example, your married friend may like to spend less time socializing and might not want to socialize in exactly the same way. In this case finding middle ground is key – perhaps socializing over a coffee would work well.