Tuesday 31 March 2020
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newtimes - 7 days ago

The role of leisure to students’ wellbeing

Work without play surely breeds dullness. Imagine having a sequence of learning without taking a break, or resting enough—it can wear one out.  Herbert Mutabazi is a senior six gr he recalls when he thought passing and excellence in academics required continuous reading. He almost lost his mind. He never got time to rest and ponder on what he read. By the time he put his head down, he hardly remembered what he had read. Continuous headaches were the order of the day, yet he was never outshining in class tests. Mutabazi had to find his weakness, and when he learned the trick about smart reading, he had to follow a timetable that guided him on when to read and rest. His story changed, he embraced reading in intervals and taking time off to participate in other activities, like sports, among other things. And it paid off because he was among the best performers in the recently released senior six results, with 73 points. Like Mutabazi, many learners are not well-guided on healthy reading, this in the end results in failure, not because they are unserious, but due to lack of balance between academics and leisure activities. However, it is not too late to change this. During the current quarantine enforced after the COVID-19 outbreak, students find themselves home, tasked with keeping up with their studies away from the watchful eye of their teachers.  But how best can they balance this time? After revising and researching, students require time to relax. Experts say that involvement in leisure can stimulate physical and psychological wellbeing for all people regardless of their age. Learners ought to have time away from academic obligation and put their leisure time to use even under restriction. For instance, home exercises can put their minds and bodies at ease, or perhaps a good book or educational indoor games.  Leisure can either be active (for instance through physical activity) or passive (not use of any substantial physical or mental energy, for e watching enlightening television programmes or playing games, reading a novel, among others).  According to Alice Usabye, an educationist in Nyanza Southern Province, leisure enables learners break tension. It also supports learners in the ability to learn, think clearly, focus and memorise the information taught in class, she says. Additionally, health experts claim that leisure actions, such as physical activity, helps the body lower blood pressure, improves digestion, decreases anxiety, depression and insomnia, relaxes the muscles, reduces pain, improves coping abilities and is a means of calmness, confidence.  Usabye explains that leisure encourages development of social and communication skills, but also helps students to think and plan on what they have to do with their time. “Leisure allows learners to be creative and have the spirit of innovation, to discover what their talents are and how to use them to be more productive,” she says. She adds that good leisure activities not only help learners in maintaining a healthy living, but also facilitate them with new skills in a number of activities, either sports, music, not forgetting a chance to build friendships. Knight Kuta, a teacher at Mai Childhood Academy in Nyamirambo, is of the view that making recreational activities part of their routine supports students in thinking better, hence, performing their duties efficiently. Kuta also points out that leisure also contributes to an improved quality of life. For example, it supplements self-expression, creates inventive expressions and self-fulfilment and in the end, causes positive effects on students who have limits in everyday life. In addition, leisure offers learners an opportunity to find the right balance in life while also controlling how to spend their time. She also says that leisure time boosts students’ communication, through participating in group activities centered on mutual interests, like book clubs and exercise groups. The quarantine might make this a challenge, however, social media platforms like Facebook, Twitter, WhatsApp and others, offer people a chance to network and collectively participate in mutual interests from wherever they are. 

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