3 After-Work Hobbies to Keep You Happy and Sane

work-life balance

For many people, work is the single greatest stress factor in their lives. They go to work, deal with high-stress situations, and then carry some of the work – or at least anxiety from what happened at work –home with them. This creates a cycle of chronic stress that’s unhealthy and unproductive. It deteriorates their health, shortens their career longevity, and has a negative impact on overall happiness and daily satisfaction.

In fact, according to a data published in the Harvard Business Review, women actually feel more stress at work than their male counterparts.

While you might consider a career pivot, this isn’t always necessary. It’s possible that your next job will be just as intense and stressful – that’s just the nature of today’s business world. What you really need to do is pick up an after-work hobby to keep you sane.

Hobbies Not Just For Grandma!

 The word “hobby” might sound like something your grandmother does with her knitting club, but don’t let the term fool you. Hobbies can be fun and often serve as healthy, constructive outlets for stress and anxiety.

According to one study, “those who are in stressful jobs that normally contribute to burnout (low-control, high-demand jobs, for example) feel less of a need to ‘recover’ from their day at bedtime if they have more physical or social leisure activities that aren’t work-related—more hobbies.”

 Not sure where to start to find some new hobbies? Here are a few suggestions specifically designed for stress relief:

 Fly Fishing

 Most people have gone fishing a time or two in their lives, but have you tried fly fishing? It’s a unique sport that’s easy to get started with, yet difficult to master.

One of the best things about fly fishing is that you don’t need a whole lot to get started. And because you can practice casting on land, you don’t even have to be on the water all the time. Sportsman’s Finest recommends owning a variety of rods – like an 8-weight for saltwater flats and rivers/lakes, as well as a 5-weight for a good, all-around rod for bluegills or trout – and practicing as much as you can.


 If you sit behind a desk all day, the stress you experience has probably translated into tension in your muscles – particularly in the neck, shoulders, and back. One of the best things you can do for your mental sanity and physical condition is to pump some iron at the gym.

Most people don’t think about weightlifting as a hobby, but it is for a lot of people. You can actually look forward to lifting weights and feeling that release of tension.


 Perhaps you spend your day moving a mile a minute and want a hobby that allows you to slow down some and enjoy a little peace and tranquility. Give painting a try.

Most people are surprised to learn that painting isn’t as impossible as it looks. While you aren’t going to create a masterpiece anytime soon, you’ll find a lot of enjoyment in messing around with some basic colors, brushes, and landscapes.

 Find a Hobby That Fits Your Lifestyle

The hope is that you’ll enjoy your new hobby and get a lot out of it.  But the ultimate goal – at least for busy professionals in high-stress jobs – is to find some balance. As you’ll notice, most of these hobbies provide some sort of balance when stacked against your daily routine at work.


While you might not be particularly good at fly fishing or painting, that’s not the point. The goal is to take your mind off of work and hone a new skill that’s healthy, unique, and satisfying. Are you willing to give it a shot?

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