After Work Activities for Adults that Can Help Reduce Stress
For most of us, the idea of any after work activity lacks appeal. Collapsing on the sofa with a pizza and the TV remote is about all we are capable of at the end of a draining day at work, especially if you have a stressful and demanding job. But are we missing a trick here? There are so many after work activities available that offer ways of enriching our minds, improving our health, relieve stress naturally, and can even help you meet new people and more. Also, many people who are out of work should consider going to these social events as a way to network, and possibly land a new job, or at least get your resume past the HR black hole and directly to the hiring manager.
Shouldn’t we be exploiting that ‘dead’ time after work, to help find stress relief techniques? Yes, of course, many of us have family commitments that need attending to and which can’t be ignored – but where it is possible, if you should find ways of adding an extra after work activity, which is rarely regretted once you get into it. Let’s face it, becoming a working drone who eats and sleeps their day job simply turns you into a boring, one dimensional husk. This eventually leads to stress, anxiety, depression, and an unhealthy lifestyle. Unless your job is the most fantastically rewarding and stimulating profession in the world (lucky you!), then spending time on unrelated after work activities could be just the boost you need to eliminate stress, stimulate your brain, and even help add energy at the end of an otherwise boring day at work.
So, what sort of after-work activities do other people do?
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Take a Class
It takes energy and commitment to stick at an after work activity, so make sure you opt for something that really turns you on. If you have a passion for woodworking, silver-smithing, pottery making or embroidery, then why not take a class on that? Your local rec center often has low cost day and evening classes to fit most schedules. Do you like to travel, or want to learn a language for pleasure or business? Why not learn the language of your favorite country, or one that your employer is lacking to boost sales. Your local community college offers language classes for all levels, or you can even do a home study language course .
These are great after work activities to help relieve stress and provide stimulation for your brain. Keeping your brain stimulated keeps your energy level up, and has even been shown to reduce the chances of developing cognitive disorders, such as dementia or Alzheimer’s Disease later in life.
Indulge In a Hobby
Have you always enjoyed flower arranging, working in a garden, oil painting, cooking, or whatever? These are all hobbies that can be taken more seriously if you wanted. Offering your services in a casual manner may lead to opportunities for expanding your hobby into a business.
Learn Meditation or Yoga
If energy levels are at a low ebb at the end of the working day, why not do something calm such learning yoga or meditation, starting a blog or even writing that novel you have been tinkering with. Having a pet project to focus on that has nothing to do with work or any other part of your life, is a healthy and positive way to reduce stress, keep you healthy and stimulate your brain.
Try Exercise to Reduce Stress
If you are buzzing with nervous energy at working day’s end, you would benefit from some proper physical exertion. Many companies either have on-site gyms or offer discounted memberships at local health clubs. The best stress relieving exercises are weight lifting and cardio exercises. These exercises improve oxygen to your muscles, organs and brain, and reduces the stress hormone, cortisol. The most enjoyable and popular after work sport activities are team sports like soccer and softball. If you are not into team sports, try running, walking, swimming or bike riding. Organised social sport leagues offer a relaxed and fun way of letting off steam after work with a bunch of like minded people. You don’t have to be a brilliant athlete, just bring a smile, some energy, an interest to get sweaty and like meeting some sporty new friends.
Keeping fit is a great way of reducing stress, maintaining high energy levels and will help you enormously if you hold down a busy, tiring and stressful job.
Get In The Mood For Dancing
Whether it’s ballet, tap, hip hop dance, ballroom, salsa, belly dancing or contemporary jazz – dancing bug is a great way of getting fit and reducing stress. Dancing is a popular choice for an after work activity, because it’s a sociable discipline, allows you to meet other people with similar interests to expand your network of friends, and it also has practical applications in the wider world.
Singing to Reduce Stress
Joining a choir to spend time with others is something that has risen in popularity recently, and not just in religious settings. The YMCA, for instance, offers singing classes for both children and adults. The organisation of large choirs and the throwing off of the sometimes stuffy image, has attracted a load more people. There are different singing groups for different styles of music, from religious choirs, groups that sing show tunes to classical and opera. If you are aiming to meet new friends and mix with different people from all walks of life, then a choir is a great place to start. Those with stressful jobs find singing in a choir can be soothing and therapeutic. You don’t need to be incredibly fit to join a choir, you just need to be able to sing in tune!
Remember the old saying, all work and no play makes Jack (or Jill!) a dull boy. Treat yourself to some me-time after work, and indulge in an after work activity that will put a smile on your face and reduce some unwanted stress.
Chris Jenkinson is a UK based marketing consultant who loves writing for London netball league