As a busy career-minded individual of the 21st Century, it’s super easy to fall into the groove of doing very little else but eats, sleep and work with the occasional television box set thrown in from time-to-time.
Sure, these things are vital, but it’s far more a case of surviving rather than thriving.
Even for the most bloody-minded of us, who are driven to succeed and achieve in their chosen vocations, need time to decompress and relax. In the long run, this will help achieve physical and mental wellbeing that could well further your career options.
There are so many benefits to taking up a rich tapestry of hobbies. Not only does it increase your satisfaction levels, but it also helps to tilt the work/life balance scale a little bit more evenly.
Teaching yourself to make something out of nothing in the kitchen is an excellent string to your bow. Being busy at work, naturally, leads to an overreliance on fast-foods and takeaways. The ability to turn a few ingredients into a healthy, cheaper alternative is excellent for your body, mind, and soul.
Learning to cook also opens up a brand new social avenue for you, being able to invite your friends and family over for a slap-up meal is rewarding and wholesome.
There are few things better than packing up your gear to spend a day relaxing bankside. Gathering a few pals and making a day of it is even better (depending on your state-of-mind).
You can start fishing relatively cheaply; you don’t need to opt for expensive equipment initially, experiment with your gear as you begin to develop a bit more skill. Plus, as you get more and more invested, you’ll start to learn what equipment is better for certain times of the day.
Since the beginning of time, humans have always sought to chase the sunset and conquer the highest peaks in the process.
Hiking is not only great for your health, but it can also be a great social activity and is an excellent way to stay in shape.
Sure, you’re not likely to be gazing across the glacial calmness of the frozen Himalayan wilderness anytime soon, but these things take time, particularly when you’re building up your fitness levels.
When you’re a focused career person, you tend to find that precious moments are all too fleeting (probably true for all of us, actually). Learning to wield a camera gives you the opportunity to capture those moments that flutter by all too quickly.
There’s a convenience to smartphones, you can take a picture and upload it Facebook in a matter of seconds, but nothing will ever beat the tactile nature of physical photographs arranged into an album.
#5. Martial Arts
Learning how to defend yourself in a physical capacity, should the time arise, is never a bad feather in your cap.
But, in all forms of martial arts, you learn discipline and respect for others, not to mention peace of mind and body.
This truly is a fantastic way to keep both your mind and body healthy, while giving you another dimension of calm and steely determination at work.
Quite closely linked with martial arts, meditation will give you the skills you need to learn to shut down for a while.
In this modern world, so many of us worry about the effects that carbs and trans-fats have on our bodies, but all too often we forget about the mental side.
The brain is responsible for the consistent, clockwork-like running of the body – like a factory if you will. And just like your arms, eyes, and feet need to rest occasionally, so does your brain.
Meditation can provide you with the energy and stamina associated with just letting your brain relax and sail into calmer territories.
#7. Home Brew
Brewing your own alcohol at home offers a gratifying conclusion – you get to drink all those hours you’ve put into your brew.
Although once the equipment is set up, it can take a little while to bear fruit, you can begin to experiment with different measurements for varying results and even mix and match different fruits and flavors.
This is how some of the world’s best craft alcohol brewers honed their craft.
The late, great Sir Winston Churchill once said, “Armed with a paint-box, one cannot be bored, one cannot be left at a loose end, one cannot ‘have several days on one’s hands.’”
And if it’s good enough for Sir Winston…
One of the simplest hobbies you can take up; a paint stroke away from the soul of pure creation. Creating images is part of the human condition, we have always, since the very first cave drawings, endeavored to tell story’s through images as a means of cathartic release.
Probably also worth remembering, particularly on the first few attempts, art is subjective – you might need to cling on to that idea, not everything you produce will be a Rembrandt.
#9. Learning An Instrument
You’ve probably attempted this on more than one occasion, only to entirely abort all efforts when things got a bit rough.
You might have a few instruments in mind – the guitar isn’t the only choice, you know – piano, maybe? Drums? The banjo, even?
Whatever it is, figuring out which instrument is for you is one of the most enjoyable parts of the process. Similarly to painting though, you won’t become the next Elton John with a click of a finger – it takes time and patience.
The key is to remember that there is no time limit, you’re doing this for yourself, no one else. So take your time and enjoy the ride.
With the increasing pressures, our growing population is creating for the food industry and the planet itself; many are turning to the garden to ease the burden on mother nature.
Growing your own produce is incredibly rewarding, and the best thing about it is, you don’t need acres to do it. You can start off small and grow potted herbs, and as you grow in confidence, you can move on to bigger veg such as potatoes, peppers, and carrots.
Planting flowers and watching your produce evolve from a tiny seed is immensely rewarding and is a great way to blow off steam.
Now, many of you may scoff at this idea, considering how little time you have to spare for yourself. But, volunteering not only helps others, but it also helps to further your career options.
With so many competing for the same jobs, companies may now be looking for a candidate with that little bit extra pizazz and volunteering is perfect to add another dimension to your CV.
Planting trees, helping the homeless or mentoring, whatever it might be, will give you a different perspective of the world, all achieved while helping people who may not be as fortunate as yourself.
Taking care of yourself is infinitely more important than any career ever could be. But, those who are serious about making waves in their chosen profession must remember that they’re more likely to drown rather than surf those big waves if they do not take the time to nurture their physical and mental health.
Hobbies are a fantastic way to recover from the psychological and visceral pressures of trying to succeed at work.
About The Author:
Lola Clarke is a devoted life hack advocate and a personal finance specialist who loves nothing more than to walk her chocolate lab, Bruno.