Keep it off your calendar
Scheduling every moment of your free time could make it less enjoyable. Picking a specific date and time for a fun activity can decrease the anticipation beforehand and enjoyment in the moment, probably because it starts to feel like an obligation, a Washington University study found. Tossing your calendar to the wayside probably isn’t realistic, but the researchers suggest picking a rough time to see friends—say, “in the afternoon” instead of “2 p.m.”—to keep the meet up flexible instead of feeling like a chore.
Put down your phone
People who use their phones more than 10 hours a day feel more uptight and anxious during free time than those who use their phones about three hours daily, found a Kent State University study. The researchers say people who are on their phones a lot tend to feel obligated to stay connected to them, which can cause stress even when they’re trying to have fun.