Choose your leisure Part 2


If I were to ask you what facilitates or enables your participation in leisure, would you know the answer?  Give yourself some time to think about how it is that you are able to participate in the leisure activities that you have chosen; or the feelings of leisure that you experience in your life, or the unscheduled time that is your own.  Are there people in your life who facilitate your leisure?  Do you help to facilitate other people’s leisure?

I ask first about facilitators because it is far more common to hear people talk about why they do not participate in leisure.  Lack of time and money are often cited as constraints to leisure participation.  And there are a number of valuable studies that explore constraints, but taking away a constraint does not necessarily lead to participation.  By focusing on what (or who) enables us to participate in leisure, we identify positive factors and build on our strengths.

Access to recreation


The following lists are not exhaustive, but are meant to give you an overview of facilitators and constraints of leisure participation:




  • Family members
  • Social networks
  • Flexible work schedule
  • Leisure fund at work
  • Discretionary income
  • Access to recreation


Constraints (real and perceived)

  • Family members
  • Social networks
  • Rigid work schedule
  • Lack of money
  • Lack of time
  • Inaccessible recreation



As you will notice, the lists are not that different.  For example, if you and your husband both enjoy mountain biking, you may take turns motivating each other to go riding, coach each other through difficult rides, and purchase each other gifts related to mountain biking.  In this case, the two of you are facilitating each other’s leisure participation.  On the flip side, if a partner or family member does not share your passion for mountain biking or appreciate the benefits of your participation, he or she may influence your time and energy away from that pursuit or constrain your leisure.


There are many variables when exploring facilitators and constraints to leisure participation, so it is valuable to reflect on your own personal circumstances to better understand leisure in your life.  Identifying positive influences allows us to focus our strength and energy on what (and who) is helping us participate in leisure.  Let’s all think and talk about our leisure participation more, and let’s all facilitate leisure for our families, our communities, and for ourselves.


Sociably and leisurely,