When most of us get breaks from our daily grind, we like to take a power nap, turn on the TV, or check social media. These coveted reliefs become highlights of our day, but what if we could find better ways to spend them?

Taking a quick break to plunge into your memories may be all you need to invigorate your day. Moments of shared laughter, tears, and friendship are what give us purpose and many of our reasons for getting up in the morning. Going back to these times can reignite our motivation and help push us through the struggles of the day.

Captured memories are all about enjoyment, reflection, and growth. Our memories transport us to a different time and place: where we were younger, maybe had a different job, lived somewhere else or escaped on a wonderful vacation. For the brief walk down memory lane, you can forget everything else around you and focus on those moments, relive them again and reflect on the impact they had on your life.

Taking a break to look back at cherished memories can also help you relieve stress, clear your mind and make those pesky problems at work easier to solve. (Note, this is a great reason to give if your boss catches you looking at those old pictures…)

Just as looking back can be time well spent, taking breaks to capture our memories ensures they’ll be there for us to enjoy in the future. From fleshing out the highs and lows of your day to jotting down the things you see that inspire you, journaling can be an easy way to chronicle your life and allow you to reflect on past experiences down the road. Likewise, snapping a few pictures and recording funny quotes at a family function can add a dimension to your family interactions both at the time and afterwards when you share those moments.

We all capture and reflect on memories for different reasons. When we’re young, maybe it’s for entertainment. As we get older, maybe it’s to find happiness and closure. No matter what the reason, the beauty of our memories is that they can transport us to another time and place and help bring meaning and enjoyment to the current moment.

Thanks to technology, it’s never been easier to capture our present and look back on our past. Our phones have become our constant companions and while we struggle with their ability to suck us in and waste our time, they’re also amazing tools for recording and reflecting on our memories – all at the touch of a button.

When every minute of your day counts, ask yourself: what is time better spent? Checking out TMZ or looking back at a few photographs? Playing Candy Crush or capturing a memorable story from your life?

So, how will you spend your free time tomorrow?

Cory Bailey
Cory is an English major at Furman University in Greenville, SC. His study abroad experience in the British Isles motivated him to find new ways to preserve and share his travel stories. This search led him to Arkiver where he now contributes useful and entertaining blogs.