5 After Work Ideas to Keep You Happier at Your Job

Work life balance is something that everyone strives for but sometimes it seems like there are just not enough hours in a day to get everything done. Surprisingly (or maybe not surprisingly), there are actually a number of things that you can do after work to help you live happier and in the long run make you better at your job.

1. Don’t Miss Happy Hour

Spend some time out of the office enjoying a drink and an appetizer or a salad and some iced tea. No matter what you order to eat and drink, spending some time with your colleagues outside the office is a great way to build camaraderie or diminish any work tension.

2. Cut Down the Commute Time

According to a Princeton study, commuting is the number one disliked daily activity. The goal is to keep the drive to less than 22 minutes each way for a happier experience. If you can walk or bike to work, that’s even better. I realize that everyone can’t move to shorten their commute, but try changing the times you are driving to help. Maybe leave earlier in the morning or leave work a little bit later to avoid some of the traffic.

3. Be a Part of Something

This could include joining a club, taking a class or even volunteering. The social aspect is important for us. People innately love to connect and be a part of something. It does not have to be time consuming, it could be a monthly book club or a more regular exercise group or even an occasional art class. Think about some of your interests and passions and get more involved. Giving back through volunteering is another great thing you can do with your family, neighbors or work pals.

4. Get Away

Plan some down time and take a vacation. It is important to unwind and relax on a regular basis, so take time for yourself in the evenings and on the weekends. Plan family game nights or dates, even schedule a massage or some pampering time too. That said, you must also use your vacation time and plan something fun where you can escape for a while. We are a society of workaholics and with technology, we never turn “off.” We must take some time for ourselves to avoid burn out and feeling stressed. I can think of a million places I would love to see and I know there is somewhere that you would love to travel to as well, so start planning.

5. Exercise

Exercise gives us an amazing health benefit for body and mind. It naturally has a lot to offer; it is a stress reliever, it enhances mood, and it even helps you sleep better. Studies have shown that work productivity increases with regular exercise. So get moving, find something that you enjoy, this will help you stick with it. Try taking a walk at lunch time or join a kickball team with some of your co-workers. You can make it fun and become healthier and happier too.

What do you do after work to keep you happier and more focused at your job?

Photo Credit: A Healthier Michigan via Flickr

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