Almost every person who has been employed has felt the monotony or stress of a job. One solution to stay energized at work is finding escapes outside of work. These escapes can be anything that takes your mind off of work and focuses that energy elsewhere.
Some of My Escapes From Reality
I started working before I turned 16, growing up in a suburb of Wichita Kansas. I’ve realized that I had a lot more energy when I was younger. I could go to school all day, work into the night and still have lots of energy to spare.
A result of working early was that I had no expenses living at home. I was passionate about cars, motorcycles, and ATVs.
I started out making a few cents over $5 per-hour in fast food. By the time I was 18, I was a telemarketer with great sales. I consistently earned large commissions (relative) and the most expendable income I’ve had in life.
Like most kids, I was not very satisfied with life in high school. I experienced a lot of boredom and depression when I wasn’t busy. The problem was that I had to get up early for school, then go straight to work for another 3-5 hours nightly. By the end of the day, I had no work left in me, but I still had troubles sleeping.
ATVs, Motorcycles, Cars, and Mechanics in High School
As I saved up and purchased my first ATV, I began putting time into it nightly. Whether it was mechanical repairs, upgrades, or cosmetic improvements.
I came to love the time I spent alone focusing on something I cared about at the end of each night. I remember that the stress of the day was forgotten as I got my hands dirty.
Working on my four wheeler gave me time to unwind from the busy day while listening to music I enjoyed.
Over the next few years, I spent a lot of time working on flashy cars, motorcycles, and ATVs I purchased with all of the money I was making at work. It became almost meditational. This was my time to enjoy for myself after spending a whole day following directions from teachers and employers.
Motorcycles, Socialization, and Parties During College
During college, I maintained my interest in motorcycles. I began practicing with several of the best stunt riders in the world, learning tricks like no-handed wheelies at 2mph on a Honda CBR900rr. The bike was a big fast motorcycle.
Eventually My friends and I rented a shop together where we could all work on our mechanical projects while socializing.
I am grateful for the guidance my father gave me early into my wrench-turning days. I’m also extremely thankful that Wichita Southeast High School had an absolutely amazing mechanics program where I got my hands into everything I could imagine.
Over time, I have focused less on mechanical stuff as my interests have broadened and I no longer live at home with unlimited mechanical resources.
Although stunt riding was a large part of my life during college, socialization away from school and work was a simple yet effective way to decompress from the stress of tests, studying, finals, etc. I was also working 20-30-hours per-week to fund my expensive hobby, so it was vital for me to spend time riding my motorcycle, working on mechanical stuff, and socializing at parties and bars. Otherwise the school work and job would have gotten the best of me.
when I graduated college, I sold the bike and the social scene changed dramatically in the real world. I had lost my two main outlets.
During my last two-years of college, I became very involved in fitness.
At first, going to the gym felt a bit like a chore, but soon, I began to enjoy that time in a similar manner to working on my ATV in my parents’ garage. After a bit of dedication and progress, going to the gym, working out, and listening to my music became a reprieve and a reward instead of a chore.
I was pretty dedicated to fitness and lifting weights for a few years after school. My dedication to fitness has varied quite a bit after that. I may get dedicated for six-months, then take a year off. I am hoping to find that state that I used to go into when working out, but I live such an active life now that I’m not sure I will ever connect with myself in the gym like I used to.
Over the last five-years of living in the mountains, snowboarding and downhill mountain biking have become my escapes and my jobs at different times. I’ve noticed that I am not myself between seasons when I am not able to ride a bike or snowboard down the slope. I tend to be more negative and less filtered without a temporary escape from my world. This has only become understood in recent Spring and Fall seasons, but I’m pretty sure its been like this since I moved out here. Not only do I notice my shortcomings between active seasons, I am sure that others I work with notice it as well. This is not the performance any employee wants for themself. It is also not the performance managers will like to see.
I did have a point in life where I was building a business. I had included no budget in my life for anything non-essential. During this period, my only escape was video games. Over time, I think gaming became negative, even destructive to my life at a certain point.
I do think that video games can serve as an escape, but I also feel like they are a vice that can easily become too prevalent in a person’s life.
My first four-years of living in the mountains, I didn’t play video games. My wife and I finally bought a PS4 and we do have fun with it sometimes, but not for more than a few hours a week or less. For my readers who consider themselves gamers, I’m suggesting that you find an outlet that can coexist in your life with video games. You may find yourself spending more time with that outlet than games if you find the right escape. You will also feel more satisfied with life at the end of the day.
Your Escape In Yours and Nobody Else’s
Some of my readers may relate well to the escapes and outlets I have found. For others they may not resonate at all. That’s all right!
I would like to encourage you to find a craft, activity, interest, something family related or something different. Find an outlet that lets you escape from the details of the day and go to sleep feeling content. You will also wake up ready for the next day of work. You can then look forward to your escape at the end of the day.
Stay Energized at Work by Finding Escapes Outside of Work
Post by Mike Gamache – ESS Blogger, Videographer
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