Grind culture. Hustle. Team “No Sleep”. The pressure to perform is apparent now more than ever. Work is no longer just a means of providing financial stability, but our performance is tied intrinsically to our identity and sense of self. With the pandemic forcing many into remote work and technology ensuring we’re virtually never unreachable, the boundary between work and home has become even more blurred. People are feeling the effects of pandemic fatigue, with a reported 9.8 million U.S. working mothers alone reporting feelings of burnout. Yet as conversations around the importance of mental health and wellness have increased, many are seeking more balance and fulfillment outside of the workplace.
So that begs the question, just how do you begin to cultivate a sense of purpose and meaning outside of a “9-to-5” or whatever your work hours may be? How do you find balance whether you’re a young professional putting in extra hours to prove yourself or an experienced executive juggling a multitude of responsibilities? Below are some of our favorite ways to explore our passions “after hours”:
There really is no wrong way to get started with this one – the great news is you don’t need any special qualifications, just time! There are so many impactful organizations and causes you can get involved in. Whether you have a talent for data entry, organizing, or connecting with people, there’s a niche somewhere where you can give back. Research shows that people who volunteer just once a month experience better mental health benefits than those who volunteer infrequently or not at all. At YES, we provide volunteer opportunities on evenings and weekends to accommodate all work schedules! Whether it is helping out in the Dress for Success boutique during our monthly After Hours, meeting women where they are in the Mobile Career Center, or preparing for special events like FAB Sale, we try to create opportunities that meet everyone’s needs. Learn more about these opportunities, as well as 29 other amazing Columbus non-profits, in the CityPulse Spring 2021 Citywide Charity Guide!
During the past year, have you noticed people the resurgence of hobbies? That’s because activities like painting, engaging in sports, gardening, or playing an instrument help decrease stress, stimulate the brain to learn new things, and encourage connection over shared interests. If you don’t know what hobbies you enjoy, try returning to activities you used to enjoy when you were younger or asking a friend to teach you more about their hobbies. There are plenty of recreational sports leagues in Columbus, classes for creative expression in a number of mediums, or feel free to try that new trend you’ve been seeing on social media – we won’t judge!
You’ve probably heard about the growing segment of the workforce referred to as the “gig economy.” People are translating hobbies, skills, and freelance work into viable streams of income. Side hustles can consist of a passion or hobby you enjoy outside of work that you’re able to monetize. While your time and activities outside of work don’t have to solely revolve around productivity and income, engaging in a side hustle can have numerous benefits for your creativity and self-esteem. Learn more about ways you can start a side hustle here.
While we constantly receive messages encouraging us to pour our time and resources into our chosen profession, it’s important to have something that brings us joy and meaning outside of the work day – especially for those off-days (or weeks) when your inbox is wearing on you. The more we open ourselves to finding fulfilment in different areas of our lives, the more room we leave for finding genuine meaning, connection, and happiness!