I think it is accurate to say that I had a little bit of an existential crisis regarding full-time work about the fact that someone could own my time– and a lot of it. I was a Philosophy student after all, I know what makes me happy and that time is something I really value so it was pretty inevitable.
I didn’t want to be that person that doesn’t do anything ever because of having to go to work the next day and I didn’t want to waste a single minute of my own time. I’m not even a procrastinator type person but it can be so hard when you’re tired after work to make the day count for something for yourself. It takes some efficiency. But this is what I found helps me.
I nearly always jump straight in the shower when I get home from work. I wash off the London grime of the commute and the day at the office so I feel instantly more awake and freshened up. (Though this might be because I only take cold showers which is pretty refreshing regardless). When I’m fresh, blowdried and in clean clothes, I feel almost like the day is just starting rather than ending.
Learn something new
Learning doesn’t have to stop after school, there are so many skills you could pick up any time you choose that benefit you and make you feel good. I see taking up new skills as self-improvement, I just think you can always better yourself. I recently took up indoor gardening so, since I want my fruit and veg after all, I like to take at least twenty minutes to check on my plants. I water, prune and rearrange until I know they’re all getting their fix of water, sunlight and tidying up. I’m really enjoying it so far, it’s a quiet, quick, brainless activity that’s beneficial for Adam and I too since an abundance of plants in the house means we get regular fixes of clean unpolluted air. I strongly recommend taking up something be it physical or academic, learn a language or a craft or just whatever makes you happy but always work on yourself and your time will never be wasted.
Remember what you’ve always loved and set goals
Whether it’s reading, dancing, maybe even knitting just remember what you’ve always liked to do in your free time and be sure to make time for it. The more time you spend doing what you love, the less time you’ll spend at work wishing that you could be doing it instead of work. On a work day try to set one single non-work related goal for yourself so that your weekdays aren’t entirely characterised by the fact that you went to work because you also went to the park or met a friend for dinner or finished a TV programme or went shopping etc.
Look after yourself
This is something I am still working on because there isn’t enough time in the day. I get up early, do some chores and go to work and come home probably after stopping at the shop for dinner. I get home, wash, make tomorrow’s lunch and answer emails, do some blog work, maybe some writing and then try to cram in some me time and forget that I am a person not a machine. Take a bath, use your most expensive exfoliating salt and body lotion, give yourself a manicure once in a while, get a haircut, get some exercise. There are just so many things we could be doing instead of coming home to crash on the sofa and not move from there until we need to sleep!