5 Reasons Why Your Side Hustle Can Benefit Your Mental Health
Data from Simple, an online banking company, shows that more American millennials have a side hustle than ever before, while Google has shown a significant uptick in side-hustle-related searches over the last two years. Though side hustles like freelancing, teaching or selling online have become popular ways to earn extra cash or indulge in your entrepreneurial spirit, these independent jobs also provide hustlers with a bunch of unexpected mental benefits. Scroll on for a handful of ways your hustle can help you stay happy and healthy.
1. Gain control. When you care deeply about your work, it can be frustrating when you aren't able to call the shots or make an impact that leaves you feeling fulfilled. This might be especially true if you feel stunted in a toxic culture, are miserable as the result of a bad boss, or are stuck in a situation where you simply don't have the freedom to do things the way you want to on the job. If you're familiar with any of these struggles firsthand, you've probably found that having a personal passion project that's totally your own can give you the decision-making powers you crave.
2. Grow personally and professionally. Professional learning opportunities are one of a job's best perks, whether you have teammates who teach you new skills or enjoy access to books and classes through your company. Unfortunately, the information you need to know to do your job well might not always be of interest to you. Having a side hustle that challenges you in an area you're genuinely interested in is exciting and can give you a sense of purpose. Reading up on nights and weekends or enrolling in digital courses you can take at your leisure will allow you to expand your skill set while fueling your passion.
3. Relieve stress. Doing something that makes you feel energized, proud, and confident is a solid way to combat work worries. Thankfully, there are a number of entrepreneurial endeavors that can provide this benefit. If writing, designing, or crafting is your jam, you're likely to find that dedicating time to your creative work brings you a much-needed mental break from day-job-related stress. Or, if you adore dogs and being outside, spending time with cute canines in nature as a dog walker could be the ticket.
4. Cure boredom. Have you been in your current role or at your company for a long time? Do you love what you do but crave more variety? A side hustle can help you explore skills or talents that you enjoy but don't get to use nearly enough. Keep things interesting by pursuing a side hustle that's a complete departure from your usual work routine. For example, if you sit in front of a computer all day, try something where you work with your hands *creating* and you'll exercise different parts of your brain and, as a bonus, you'll come back to your nine-to-five feeling refreshed.
5. Build new relationships. Your day job might introduce you to plenty of smart people in your industry, but exploring an entrepreneurial pursuit that's different from your regular employment can help you make friends and contacts within a new community. Tap into these varied social circles by taking classes, connecting online and building meaningful relationships that leave you feeling connected, fulfilled, and happy.
Do you have a side hustle? Tell us about what you do on Twitter @BritandCo!
(Photo via Getty)
This has been updated from an original posting on July 2018.
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Fall is right around the corner, and we're getting amped up for our next session of Selfmade, Brit + Co's 10-week interactive startup school. Designed to help you create a new business or grow your existing one, this course is personally led by Brit + Co founder Brit Morin and co-founder Anjelika Temple, and supported by more than a dozen of the top female entrepreneurs, creatives, and investors in the country. Students receive personalized coaching on everything from how to get out of your comfort zone to how to scale your business, and everything in between. And now, thanks to Office Depot, even more of you can join the course!
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