Ten things to do after work…besides more work

Yes, there is life after work.

Workdays are super-intense. Ten, twelve, even fourteen hours of go! Go! Go! You can feel great at the end of the day, knowing that you have made a difference. And you get to do it all again tomorrow!

Keeping up your energy day after day is hard work too. Paradoxically, mental breaks make it easier to stay focused and productive in the long term. Take a real break after work. Start by turning off all work-related phone, text and email alerts. If you have a separate phone or laptop for work, turn them off and put them away. Working from home? Close the door on your workspace. Draw a bright line between work and after work. Here are some things you can do to have a real life after work:

  1. Get physical: If you sit at a desk all day, MOVE! Go for a walk or a run. Play with the dog. Go to the gym. Do yoga. Go dancing. Do something that lets your brain rest, and your body move.
  2. Socialize: See or talk with friends, relatives, or neighbors. Talk about anything but work: vacations, memories, the news, what you will do on the weekend…just get out of your workday head. Friendships and relationships flower with small investments over time. Start investing now.
  3. Enjoy silence: Whether in the tub, your garden, or the living room, just sit and enjoy the fact that no one is talking with you, and you don’t have to talk with anyone else. Try scented candles or incense, or a cup of tea, to get into a peaceful mood.
  4. Learn something new: Use time after work to expand your knowledge. Check out a course on Coursera, Udemy, or other platforms. Pick something you have always wanted to learn about, then take the course at your own pace. Enjoy learning for its own sake!
  5. Volunteer : Doing something for others is good for society and good for your physical and mental health. And it can be a lot of fun! Choose an organization whose mission resonates with your values, whether that’s the local library, a food bank, or women’s shelter.
  6. Make something delicious Cook a yummy, nutrient-packed dinner. Bake a sweet and tasty treat. You deserve it! Even if you aren’t (yet) a confident chef, these 5 easy recipes will get you started.
  7. Review your finances: Change your relationship with your money. Own it. Get used to knowing where you stand, what your goals are, and what comes next. It’s easier than you think. If you can add and subtract, you can do this!
  8. Fix something at home: A bit of DIY is good for your home, and many common jobs are easier than you think. And the sense of accomplishment is priceless.  Have some Housepride, ladies!
  9. Pursue a hobby: Spend some of that free time after work on activities you love. Gardening, photography, painting, writing, crocheting – even crossword puzzles! Do something you enjoy, alone or with others.
  10. Read a book: Whether it’s history, science, or a novel, diving into a book takes you to another place and time. You can learn something new, or just picture yourself having a totally different life. Be your own Walter Mitty! For a wild and engrossing escape, I am partial to Diana Gabaldon’s Outlander

A new world after work

Carving out time for your life after work for pleasure builds resilience and enhances your life. It’s all about you: doing something you enjoy, taking care of yourself, connecting with family and friends. There’s a world out there beyond your office: jump in!