As an editor for The Muse, I spend my days thinking and writing about careers — which is why I know way too much about things you shouldn’t include in a cover letter or how long it takes to focus after being distracted (25 minutes, if you’re curious).
This also means I’m well aware of the importance of work-life balance — taking care of yourself outside the office so you can be more productive and successful in it. Here are some ideas for ways to spend your off hours:
A bunch of my Colgate friends and I started a book club, where we meet once a month to discuss our latest read. Besides the fact that this is a great way for us busy folks to reconnect, it also forces me to pick up a book when I’m tempted to just rewatch Friends.
Start small. Maybe you read just five pages a night. And choose a book you actually like. Don’t force yourself to get through one your friend recommended but makes your eyes glaze over. This is your chance to unwind (and it’s not school), so make it enjoyable with whatever genre you prefer.
I know, exercising. It’s like everyone and their grandma is recommending you do it. But as someone who’s not a huge athlete, I like to take a more open-minded approach. Sometimes, a friend and I will have a walking coffee date, or I’ll walk halfway home from work. I even joined my company’s softball team despite my lack of hand-eye coordination.
Find an activity that excites you. Maybe it’s just walking around the block, that’s OK! (In fact, research shows that’s just as good for you.) Don’t think of it as something you have to do but something that makes your body and mind feel good.
3. Spending time with loved ones
You probably do this already, which is great! Nothing cheers me up better than meeting up with a friend for drinks or calling my parents to chat. It’s the cheapest and most reliable form of therapy. Just make sure you’re present. Turn off your phone, and push all your work worries aside for a couple of hours while you reconnect — you won’t regret it.
4. Treat yo self
Take an extra long hot shower. Throw on a good movie. Indulge in a little online shopping. When I’ve had an especially rough day, I let myself throw caution to the wind (even if it’s just adding a couple of dollars to my water bill).
You work hard, and some days you deserve to pamper yourself. And it doesn’t have to be anything major — spending $10 to stream Coco or $20 on a massage can make all the difference without completely depleting your wallet.
Alyse Kalish ’16 majored in English with a creative writing emphasis. She lives in Brooklyn, where she spends her days finding the best pizza (while missing Slices) and stopping cute dogs on the sidewalk.