Career · Wellness

3 Effective Ways to Make the Most out of your Weekday Evenings

Break the unhealthy cycle of counting down the clock; start living your life instead.

There’s nothing like a good ol’ 9 to 5 to suck the energy out of us faster than we can count a second on a clock. It sounds grim, but for plenty of us, “working for the man” can have negative effects on our mood and energy levels. If the phrase “working for the weekend” feels a little too real for you, I’m here to tell you constant clock watching just isn’t a healthy way to live. Sure, you might feel unsatisfied with where you’re at professionally, but that doesn’t mean your entire life is miserable. Take a second and read this response from Mike Rowe (Dirty Jobs). He talks about working hard no matter what you’re doing… showing up early, volunteering where you can, etc. But, what really stands out to me is the following quote:

“Happiness does not come from a job. It comes from knowing what you truly value, and behaving in a way that’s consistent with those beliefs.” –Mike Rowe

Don’t let a lack of satisfaction control you. Just like Mike says, happiness doesn’t come from a job but instead, how you choose to live your life every day. When we’re struggling to “live in the moment” because we’re counting down the minutes on an endless clock, waiting until we can curl up on the couch with a bottle of merlot and a Netflix binge, try incorporating the following tips into your evening routine. They might just help.

Put Down the Phone

Recently, I took a “social media” break, which I encourage everyone to try. For about a week, I removed all of the social networking apps off of my phone and essentially, invited time into my life as my own. Instead of mindlessly scrolling through Facebook, constantly refreshing my newsfeed to see what had been updated within the last 3 seconds, I was able to spend more quality time with my boyfriend, my friends and most importantly, myself. After a long day at work, the last thing I needed was to be bombarded with oftentimes, useless information, aggressive political rants, etc. and by taking a break from that life, I was able to give more of my time to hobbies that made me happy like reading, writing, cooking, and self-care. By taking a break from the phone, even just a few days a week, you may notice a positive shift in your evening routine.

Cook a Quick but Fulfilling Meal

Correct me if I’m wrong, but I don’t know of many people who want to bust their butts in the kitchen after putting in an 8 hour day at the office. However, if you’re like me and LOVE to cook, sometimes preparing a satisfying meal can feel liberating. Making a tasty weekday supper doesn’t have to be exhausting, especially when you plan appropriately. There’s plenty of quick dinner ideas out there that utilize real ingredients and take practically no effort to make. Once you’re done and you get to enjoy eating the food you prepared, maybe you’ll feel recharged too.

 Pamper Yourself

Practicing self-care is exceptionally important and is something I’m a major advocate for. I’m a firm believer that if you’re not happy with yourself, you’re not going to be happy with anything else either. Setting aside some “you” time, especially after coming home from work, can be a really great way to show yourself the love that you deserve. Try lighting some candles and drawing yourself a hot bath, doing your nails, or even just enjoying a cup of tea while watching a show you’re obsessed with. Whatever genuinely makes you feel good, do that thing. You deserve it!

I’m not saying you shouldn’t follow your dreams. In fact, please do! You have the ability to accomplish ANYTHING you want. But looking at it as a realist, some goals can be difficult to attain, especially when kids, location, etc. are in the mix. So when you’re going through the motions of a daily grind and find yourself in a downward spiral of negativity, remember not to let your 9 to 5 control you. Instead, start making the most out of your weekday evenings, your weekends and yes, work days too.

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