We Millennials tend to engage in multiple tasks at once. We text and drive when we shouldn’t, we date multiple people, we work our job AND a side hustle. But there are a few activities you can engage in that are both fun and socially useful. They may not put you miles ahead of your “competition,” but these six activities are ones that are both intrinsically and extrinsically valuable.
1. Volunteering: Volunteering on a non-profit board does look good on a resume, but it also is very mentally rewarding to know that something you’re doing pro-bono is benefitting a cause you care about. Me? I recently got on the board with a youth services organization and am working with a friend who works the Chicago Blackhawks to put together an event or secure a donation, all in the name of helping kids. Helping disadvantaged kids, professional hockey, and event planning? Sound fun? Okay, go do it, then!
2. Learning/re-learning a musical instrument: Nothing is more mentally rewarding than to have a hobby that simply allows you to create for the sake of creation. So if you used to play the trombone, guitar, cello, piano–whatever– pick it up again. You’ll be amazed at how much you immediately remember and how great it is to just send the emotional barrage of music out there, just because.
3. Find your side hustle: The key to getting by in the modern economy is flexibility, and by employing your main skill set in places other than your 9-5 job is the way to become flexible. The accountant in my office also works for TurboTax during tax season and I write articles like this, but your side hustle does not have to be even remotely similar to your main hustle. Example: a friend who is a waste water engineer has a screen printing machine with which he makes funny beer mugs. If you have an idea, just go out and do it.
4. Exercise: I’m not your doctor, and I’m sure I’ve written about this elsewhere, but exercising is vital in multiple ways. Your health and self confidence will rise, and pounds can fall off your body. But, with enough regular exercise you will be lucky enough to cease worrying about your body and appearance, and start worrying about becoming exactly who you want to be. Once you take control of your body, you become able to take care of your destiny. Plus the adrenaline rush and attraction you get from the members of the sexual preference of your choosing–that’s just gravy.
5. Engage in spiritual care: I wouldn’t consider myself religious, even though I do go to church fairly regularly. But it seems to be part of human nature for people need to engage in various spiritual activities in order to feel like they are part of something bigger. So, if it’s going to church, meditating, spending time with family, going to a concert, or even eating a really well-prepared meal–find a way to feel connected to something other than the television. Engage in that activity when you feel adrift. Me? My real way to bring sanity back into my life, is, very often (and this is not a joke) to go to a new restaurant and eat a whole ton of chicken wings. Yep. Wings.
6. Maintain multiple groups of friends: For Millennials who live in cities, this one is easier. Sometimes, when a group of friends spends time together consistently, a group dynamic develops that can either help or hurt. Either way, it’s very healthy to have multiple options of people to surround yourself with, as you will experience a broader perspective of human consciousness, and you never be trapped should one group get dramatic. Being able to “Shapeshift” and mentally blend in with different groups of friends is also great practice for work-life, as social dexterity is important in any business setting.