Get a Hobby for Work-Life Balance


Mar. 24, 2017 | 4

Work-life balance is becoming lost in the never-ending workday that’s increasingly common in the United States. A Harvard Business School survey reveals that 94% of professionals work more than 50 hours a week, and nearly half of that 94% are logging more than 65 hours a week.

While the pressures of managing a restaurant can also lead to 10-hour workdays, it’s vital to your personal relationships, health, and overall happiness that you not lead such a life. Experts agree that sustaining a constant work flow can have damaging long-term consequences. If your responsibilities to your restaurant keep you working long hours, or if you have workaholic tendencies, punctuate your work week by getting a hobby.

3 Signs That You’re a Workaholic

Acclaimed psychotherapist Bryan Robinson says that more than a quarter of Americans are workaholics. Here are three signs:

  1. You’re always the last to leave.

  2. You’re unable to stop thinking about work, even when you’re home.

  3. You feel physically unwell, suffering from migraines, gastrointestinal issues, irritability, mild fatigue, or weight change.

Having a hobby is one of the best ways to combat workaholism. (Another is taking vacations.) In fact, maintaining a hobby is recommended for every working adult. A team of researchers recorded that people who participate in fun activities were in better shape than those who didn’t, including lower blood pressure and a smaller waist circumference. Additionally, they had lower levels of depression and negative feelings.

Looking better and feeling better—is there a better endorsement for starting a hobby than that?

Integrating a Hobby into Your Week

It may be tempting to think you’re too busy to pursue a hobby, but engaging in your passion is one of the best things you can do.

"Hobbies are an important form of creative expression,” explained Claire Hall, the principal life coach at Authentic Empowerment, to Smart Company. “Just as exercise releases and increases energy in the body, creative energy also needs a form of expression. Whatever hobby we choose, it is an important aspect of our wellbeing. It can enhance our ability to relax, rest our brain and recharge our spirit.” With your boosted energy levels, your work life will also start to improve.

Another study shows that when working professionals engage in activities that allow them “to recover from a demanding work week,” they perform at a high level. Work productivity increases, and performance outcomes improve considerably. The study concludes its findings by stating that businesses would “benefit from encouraging employees to consider creative activities in their efforts to recover from work.”

To get started, you must be strict about your schedule. Committing to certain days of the week might be easiest when you have a team of people to share an experience with. It will be hard to cancel when you have a squad relying on you and specific plans on the calendar.  Looking after yourself should become as high a priority as your work duties are, or even more.

No matter how busy you are, take the time for your hobby. Those hours spent focusing on something that allows you to abandon all thoughts of work and responsibility are your moments to recharge. Manage your time well, commit to your hobby, and you will start feeling like a million bucks.

Some Possible Hobbies

Did you play sports growing up? Physical activity is an excellent stress reliever. Plus it keeps you in shape—an asset when you're running (and running around) a restaurant or bar. (You can additionally get your exercise in while on the job.) Find local clubs, or call your friends and set up unofficial games as a way to kickstart your new pastime.

If work is always on your mind, you can also integrate your passion for business into your hobby. Learn about new growing methods at your local garden center, and start your own garden. If you want to become an expert on wine, take sommelier classes and get certified. Or perhaps you’re a closet bookworm. If you can't remember the last book you read, find a book club to join.

The options are endless! The only prerequisite is that you are passionate about the activity you select.

Mar. 24, 2017 | BY Emma Alois

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