Working for the man in corporate America can be a repetitive and mundane lifestyle. It can almost seem like our only purpose in this life is to go to work, have kids, retire to Florida, only to die of old age. Okay, so maybe life isn’t exactly as bland as that sounds but sometimes it can seem that way.
Humans are creatures of habit and sometimes the normal routine we have of waking up, going to work, maybe hitting the gym, making dinner, and watching The Office for the 6th time through can get old. There is no doubt that a routine can increase efficiency but after a while the repetitive lifestyle gets stale and I find myself in what I like to call a “routine rut.” It’s kind of like seasonal depression but this could happen any time of the year. I consider myself to be in good mental health and overall a very happy person but every once in a while, I find myself wondering, “Why the fuck am I wasting away at this desk?” The daily grind, even when work isn’t stressful, can get anyone feeling down. Weekends help break up the everyday routine but when it’s 10:00 on Wednesday morning, looking forward to Friday’s happy hour can only get you so far. That’s why it helps to have something during the week to look forward to.
I’ve recently picked up volleyball as a hobby. It started a few years ago when I joined a rec league with a few friends but life happened and I stopped playing for a stint due to moving to a new city for a bit, then traveling for work for a while, so I wasn’t able to fully immerse myself in the sport. Now that life has slowed down and I’m in a more stable situation, I’ve picked it back up and it has done wonders for my mental health.
On Tuesdays, which is arguably the worst day of the week, I wake up in a fantastic mood ready to power through the day because I get to play pickup with a solid group of people every Tuesday night. Instead of slouching at my desk slightly depressed because it is just another week day, my mood is entirely different. Having something fun to break up the week makes the week seems shorter. Instead of moping at my desk on a Monday morning knowing another long week is ahead of me until I am free again Friday at 5:00, I only have to look ahead one day to where I know something fun awaits me.
Work is going to happen, that’s just a fact. It is a necessary means to an end. Sitting at home jerking off Monday-Friday evenings does not have to be the norm. A few months ago, I found myself in a rut but picking up something to do on a weeknight has gotten me out of it. There are always rec leagues to join and most of the time they are relatively affordable when you compare them to your bar tabs each weekend. Maybe sports aren’t your thing and you’re more into games. There are game shops that host game nights where groups of nerds gather to play various table top games each week. I’ve done that too and it’s a lot of fun. I personally am not of the artistic breed but I know there are adult education classes out there for painting, quilting, you name it.
There is something therapeutic about social interaction with people that share the same interests as you. You aren’t talking about work or impending deadlines or the stress of everyday life. Everyone is there to have a have a good time doing that brings them joy and escape for just a couple of hours.
Even knowing that on Tuesday night, I still have work the next day, I am in a much better place mentally. Everyone needs an outlet so get out there and find one. Your mental health will thank you. .
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