What do you do when you get home from work? For many of us, when you get home after a long day of meetings, emails and tasks, all you want to do it eat your dinner and chill out in front of the TV.
While there’s absolutely nothing wrong with catching up on your latest programmes, you may find that regularly spending your evenings on Netflix could be having a negative impact on your health and mood.
In fact, recent research into the impact of screen time on teenagers found that the happiest adolescents in the survey were those who used digital media for less than one hour a day. After that point, unhappiness levels steadily increased in line with screen use.
So if spending our time staring at screens is making us unhappy and draining our energy, what can we do instead? Below are 10 other activities that you can fill your evenings with.
You’ll find that reading a good book is a lot more relaxing than watching TV and even though you are chilling out, it doesn’t have the negative impact that screen time does.
If you’re stuck for ideas on what to read, take a look at Amazon’s Best Sellers here
2. Call/Skype/Face-time a friend
When life gets busy you may find that you haven’t spoken to some of your good friends in ages. Reach out and catch up with them when you have some free time in the evenings.
3. Meet up with your friends
Even better is meeting up with your friends. You can head straight out after work and grab some dinner or drinks. You’ll be surprised how quickly you switch off from your work and enjoy your evenings.
4. Cook or bake
Take your cooking from being a chore to a hobby by trying new recipes during your evenings. Plus, eating is fun too! If you’d prefer to bake but don’t want to eat all your goodies, you’ll be very popular if you take your baked goods into work the next day.
Although it can take some effort and motivation to get started for some, once we do it exercise does make us feel good. There are loads of ways that you can inject some exercise into your evenings:
- Join the gym
- Follow an online exercise video
- Find some local fitness or yoga classes
- Try a new sport
- Get back into an active hobby
- Go for walks
6. Get some chores out the way
We all have chores to get on with, so why not spend a little bit of your time in the evenings getting them out of the way? Even if you just tackle one chore, you’ll free up your weekends for more fun.
Don’t knock it until you’ve tried it. Meditation only has to take 10-30 minutes and you’ll feel a lot more relaxed. Give it a go when you get home from work or just before bed and see how it makes you feel.
8. Play with your pets
If you’re lucky enough to have a cat or dog at home give them some of your attention. Playing will make both of you happier.
9. Pamper yourself
You can either pamper yourself at home with face masks, taking a long bath or painting your nails, or you can book yourself in for some professional treatments. A nice massage from time to time will help you to unwind.
10. Make plans
Use your evenings to get organised and make plans or lists. This could be about anything; the shopping you need to buy that week, your New Year’s resolutions, holidays you want to take, life admin that you’ve been putting off. Write down the things you want/need to do and put together a plan for how you are going to execute them. You’ll find that you are motivated and achieve more when you have written down your goals.
Bringing it all together
We actually have plenty of hours to enjoy our evenings after work. If you make the most of them and do activities like these, you’ll find that you feel happier and more energized. Now say goodbye to your TV!