The bulk of a person's day may feel routine or scripted, going from sleep to morning rituals to a long workday and finally back home for a few hours of free time before starting all over again. Over time, this routine can evolve into a rut and further erode the amount of quality time spent with loved ones. In this sense, the term could be defined as time dedicated exclusively to building a stronger relationship with family members or friends. The linear amount of time spent together is not as important as the amount of personal attention focused on loved ones.
What actually defines quality time can vary from family to family. For some, planning a weekend trip to a popular entertainment or cultural destination can be included. Families can pair off and enjoy a day at an amusement park, or spend a few hours at a zoo or museum. The point of the exercise would be to spend that time learning how to relate with other family members and sharing a mutual experience. While driving to a shopping mall may sound like an opportunity to spend time together, family members will often scatter in separate directions once they get there. Planning a trip to a destination where unity is encouraged is one way to share the experience with loved ones.
Others may see routine household activities as opportunities for quality time. Preparing a family dinner may be one way for busy family members to spend a little time together before or after other outside obligations. The idea is to encourage all family members to talk about their school or work experiences, or discuss their concerns and needs. Family activities don't always have to be scheduled, however, and parents could decide to hire a babysitter and enjoy a spontaneous date night. Siblings could attend each other's sporting events or other performances.
Quality time can also apply to personal hobbies and other individual pursuits as well. A person's overall view of the world can be improved significantly by getting away from work and family obligations. The sense of accomplishment after finishing a personal project or reaching a personal goal can be very satisfying. Time spent in spiritual reflection or personal thought can also renew a person's energy and interest in the loved ones around him or her. Dedicating time to loved ones or even yourself is considered to be one of the best expressions of what relationship experts call "love languages," those gestures and expressions which help strengthen the bonds between loved ones.