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Advice / Succeeding at Work / Break Room

5 Calming Side Projects That'll You'll Actually Want to Start After a Long Day at Work

The last thing you probably want to do when you come home is start doing something new. In fact, you probably find it difficult to even think about being creative after a long work day. But fun side projects can actually help infuse your evenings with energy and make you feel like you actually got a little extra productivity out of your day.

In addition to the multiple work benefits of starting your own side project, DIYing in your home can help you create that restful, relaxing space that you crave (and need!) every evening and weekend.

Here are five different activities you can consider taking up:

1. Doing Crafts

Courtesy of Courtney M.

Studies have shown that crafting can actually relieve stress and increase feelings of calm and happiness. Not to mention, if you spend your evenings after work crafting, you’ll end up with creations that can make your home look more pinteresting, be gifted to friends and family, or if you get really good, can even be sold for a little extra income.

Consider starting slow, with an easy DIY coaster craft, or maybe even updating some old home decor, like painting pillow covers or dying an old beach blanket.

2. Starting a Garden

Courtesy of Courtney M.

If you’re dying for an instant stress-reliever after a long day, gardening’s actually an easy form of therapy. In fact, some studies have shown that it’s a better way to lift stress than many other activities.

You can add some pots to your porch, turn a few tin cans into a colorful flower garden, or even start your own easy window box displays.

3. Going Green in Your Home

Photo courtesy of Amanda C

You know when you meet someone who’s living a consciously greener life and you think, “I could totally do that!” but then other things get in the way? Though really doing this feels like it would be a major time commitment, you can get a little more green every evening after work with some easy adjustments to your normal routine.

You can start by recycling the stuff you already have in your home, like making this awesome book knife block, or by creating your own cleaning products, or even by making a non-toxic bug repellent solution.

4. Revamping Your Organization

Courtesy of Amanda C

Coming home to a spotless space can wash away the wear of a full day—and it’s much easier to do than you think. Though organization may sound like a strange, less-than-fun side project, creating small ways to bring order to your life, like this stylish jewelry wall hanger or a fun work desk cord organizer, is a productive hobby that’ll ultimately makes your evenings more relaxing. Imagine coming home to a space that isn’t chaotic and overflowing with things!

5. Making Your Own Toiletries

Courtesy of Julie Is Coco and Cocoa

If you’re someone who appreciates a perfectly scented soap or the feel of natural oils and washes on your skin, you might love making your own toiletries. Turning natural materials into body care products allows you to control what ingredients come in contact with your body, and is therefore perfect for people with sensitivities or very specific personal tastes.

Plus, it’s not at all time consuming, so cooking up a batch of gemstone-shaped soap or mixing a peppermint sugar scrub is an easy way to wind down.

Yes, you work a long day and you may like to do nothing more than come home and collapse on the couch. But spending 30 minutes or so working on a new hobby could end up being much more rewarding for you than re-watching a TV show you’ve already seen (a few times). So, pick one and try it out.

Photo of person gardening courtesy of Klaus Vedfelt/Getty Images.