This story originally appeared on Personal Branding Blog
Work consumes life for at least eight hours a day for most folks. You put in whatever your best effort is for the day and head home in the hopes of a good meal and rest. Where is the rest of your life? What do you do with your spare time?
Eight hours of sleep, eight hours of work and the addition of other responsibilities, such as family, can make you feel like you don’t have anything that qualifies as personal time. But it’s possible to have a hobby, make money and still enjoy “me time.”
Related: 5 Habits Millennial Workers Should Start Right Now
Hobbies benefit you in many ways
A post-work routine should add to your life, instead of being a way to zone out of life. Escapism can be both an art and an adventure when you take on a new hobby, and earning pocket money doesn’t hurt, either. One survey found professionals listed hobbies as one the top three things that made them happy outside work life. When you don’t effectively relieve your stress, you increase your risks of high blood pressure, lowered brain activity and cancer.
Hobbies also add to your transferable experience and help increase your odds of getting and keeping a job. If you participate in a group hobby, you meet more people and build your networking potential. It takes 66 days to establish a new habit, and in that time, you can benefit your total health, enjoy personal time and develop professionally, too. Try out these six hobbies to enrich your life and your pockets.
1. Making art
Is your inner creative unleashed or blocked? When was the last time you sketched, doodled or let your pen meander across a blank page? It’s literally therapeutic -- you slow down in the moment and sketch it all out. Making art builds self-esteem, reduces stress and helps you work through tough emotions. It inspires others.
People sell art in various ways. Check around your area for local visual art nonprofits, and join up to learn more and gain exhibition opportunities. Submit to calls for art. Offer to do pet portraits or sketch favorite cartoon characters for a reasonable price, not leaving out taxes, supply costs and the value of your time.
If you’ve ever flipped through an adult coloring book and thought to yourself, “I could make something like this,” go for it. Start producing or revising your sketches now.
Blogging is like becoming an artist. You do it for the passion of sharing knowledge and self-expression, because you won’t make money overnight, and you may not make money at all.
What do you love? You can write about anything, but it needs to be specific and to reflect who you are. For instance, your niche might be an intersection of gardening as a coping mechanism for anxiety and everything in between. Your posts should remain consistent in length and timing. Post at a regular time of the week to build your audience’s trust.
You probably won’t see cold hard cash in the beginning, for months or even years. The success of monetizing your blog depends on several factors, and search results provide loads of varying and overwhelming information. You can sell private ads, or monetize with pay-per-click or ads where you pay per number of impressions.
Most start with affiliate links. Many bloggers include affiliate links in a natural, ethical and relevant way in their posts. They earn a percentage of purchases made as a result of those clicks, but the percentages vary. Amazon has an affiliate program, but you can also partner with mid-sized businesses that have affiliate programs, especially if you value the mission of a business. That drives home transparency and authenticity points for you as a blogger to the reader.
3. Coin collecting
Many people think of a grandfather figure as the type who collects coins, but this hobby is for anyone -- you can make more than a pretty penny at it, too.
Related: How to Bounce Back After a Business Venture Goes Awry
The first rule of thumb in coin collecting -- just because a coin is old doesn’t mean it’s worth money automatically. Six factors determine the value of a coin: authenticity, alteration/cleaning, year/mint mark, condition, grade and quality. eBay, Coin Auctions and similar sites help judge a value range, but it’s best to get assistance from an experienced coin collector and appraiser. They should have at least 10 years of experience in their background.
Keep your coins archived and displayed safely. If you want to sell them, you can auction them off as well.
Ever had to force yourself to step away from a deal at a thrift shop or antique store? Have you regretfully walked away from a piece of furniture abandoned on the curb with loads of potential?
Give in to your urges to upcycle, because you’ll have fun, hone your creative skills and pass on creations for cash to those will appreciate your hard work. A dresser becomes a bookshelf or reading nook. You save a worn and torn heirloom through the power of reupholstering.
Don’t let items build up in your home, but start one piece at a time and see if a friend or family member falls in love with your creation. Go from there.
Do you love to teach, but never got the degree? You can still lend your skills and knowledge through volunteer efforts in afterschool programs and through in-home or remote tutoring. What’s your subject area?
Once you have experience, set a reasonable fee and advertise at local colleges and coffee shops. Many tutors also find websites to offer their services for a company, or set up their own website and branding.
6. Social dancing
Love to move and groove? Take social dancing lessons in Latin, blues or swing. Over time, you will build up your skills and may apply to be a teacher as well or start your own venture.
Dancing offers many health benefits, including increased strength and flexibility, reduced stress levels and boosted energy and concentration. You also make new friends!
Related: 5 Ways to Hack Your Budget Between Jobs
Don’t come home and crash, only to move on to the next boring day. Increase your health and happiness by developing a better post-work routine.
You can enrich your life and your pocket when you get a hobby. Reawaken old interests and create something new. Share your passions and talents, and others will take note.