Fighting for Peace & Quiet: How to relax after work

Fighting for Peace and Quiet – the power of peaceful hobbies

From woodworking to conversational French and dressmaking for beginners, most local authorities quietly offer a myriad of Adult Education Courses which are both economical and informal enough that they can provide welcome distraction and respite from a busy day in the office.

Similarly, community centres and sports centres throughout Scotland, underneath the panopoly of protein-powdered workouts, host a wide selection of more sedate activities and courses ideally suited to someone looking to soothe rather than provoke their adrenaline levels. Even smaller towns often have a book meet, bakery clubs (overseen by the town’s self-appointed Mary Berry) and sewing or knitting groups – often with a surprisingly young constitution!

Gaining Perspective 

Your work is really important, it’s true. Even the smallest task you do has an important place in your company, and helps to achieve your objectives and targets. However, allowing work to become the sole focus in your life is counter-productive – your stress levels will increase and your problem-solving ability will be affected. Work has a time and a place in your life and although flexible working patterns may mean that those times and places are morphing, the category of “work” must be compartmentalised to allow your mind and your body time to recover.

 

Meeting New People

“Variety is the spice of life”, and whilst clients and colleagues can be an interesting and varied bunch, the main thrust of interactions will be work-related. Joining a course or class at a set time each week gives you the impetus to leave the office timeously and engage with new people over different topics. Einstein allegedly had his best ideas over a glass of red wine (haven’t we all?) or whilst playing violin, perhaps you will too. For those who moved to a new City or town to undertake their current role, making new friends has well-documented benefits and will leave you feeling more settled.
Maintaining other skills

A quick flick through a bundle of CVs will reveal various levels of fluency in languages, hockey team captains, entrepreneurs, debate team members, piano players and charity workers. Many successful people are discreetly multi-talented:

  1. Brian May - the guitarist of the band Queen is also an Astrophysicist.
  2. Timothy “Tim” Ferriss– author, entrepreneur, angel investor, Tango dancing Guiness World Record Holder.
  3. Shakira as well as being the third most awarded female Music act of all time and consistently the most popular Latin Act since the mid-1990s, Shakira is fluent in Spanish, English, Portuguese, Arabic and also speaks Italian, French and Catalan.

 

Exercising and maintaining hobbies and interests wards off feelings of depression and can increase your self-esteem by reminding you of your unique skillset and identity.

Conclusion

For a graduate at the outset of their career, choosing to undertake another project whilst learning how to manage your workload may seem like a daunting if not wholeheartedly absurd idea. Nonetheless, spending time on hobbies or activities distinct from your life at work will enable you to manage and maintain a soothing perspective over your workload. Exercising other skills and indulging your other interests can help prevent temporary issues at work from being carried over and from becoming permanently recurring issues which damage your health and happiness. Don’t pressure yourself into joining a specific club or class if that doesn’t appeal to you or you really can’t commit – grab a book, oil paints, borrowmydoggy.com or whatever takes your fancy and give yourself a guilt-free break.

If you are really struggling to relax and organise a work/life balance, reassure yourself with the fact that when you are truly rested, your productivity at work will increase.

Some goals are best achieved obliquely.

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6 thoughts on “Fighting for Peace & Quiet: How to relax after work

  1. I have just started colouring again, and it´s the best I ever did. It´s great for getting away from the daily stress. It´s so wonderfully relaxing! I had absolutely and totally forgotten how much I loved to draw and paint, and it´s ages ago since I last did it. Now as I´m on it again, it´s just like a piece of freedom I gained back. Besides knitting, crocheting, my reenactment, cooking … ;-D

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    1. That’s great, I haven’t really tried colouring although my older sister found it really helped her get over a period in hospital. I have started reading for pleasure again and it’s brilliant. I forgot how good a good book is. I feel like reading lengthens my day? I read on the bus to work in the morning – just now I’m reading the autobiography of Benazir Bhutto who was an amazing lady, set in Pakistan and I feel much more satisfied when I get to work in the morning instead of worried – I can think about the imagery and the politics in Pakistan and feel like I’ve learned / experienced (vicariously) something interesting each morning.

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  2. I can fully understand you. I always read but it decreased with my stress level increasing. Now, since I reactivated my kindle reader I read a lot more. It´s far more easier and cheaper getting English books with it and so I take it with me all the time. I discovered a whole new book world with it.
    It only makes a problem when a book is THAT good that you can hardly stop reading and then your´re sitting at work, thinking how it might go on *lol
    I recently began a book called “The wrong boy” by Willy Russell, which is really great. It´s about a boy writing letters to his idol about how he feels and how life´s for him. Sounds not of much but is absolutely catching. That´s one of those, too, of which I´m thinking all the time and want to read furtheron instead sitting at work 😀
    The best to me is unabridged audio books and then doing the colouring or so.
    I wish you a great day – TGIF! *lol

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    1. Thank you! I’ve seen a lot of articles and adverts recently in the graduate journals for my profession about the benefits of having a personal trainer, doing crossfit, running marathons etc – i always felt very inspired whist reading them & agree that pushing yourself physically is important in life but when I tried to fit all of that “intense stress relief” into my every day life, I found it not just physically but mentally and emotionally exhausting on top of my stressful work life …then I sat and read a book one night & felt really peaceful and realised that a lot of modern well-meaning advice on relaxation seems to neglect the old fashioned ideas of quiet hobbies and relishing real downtime, if you see what I mean?

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