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When you work at home, you inhabit the same space for both work and relaxation (plus everything in between), so it can be hard at times to separate the two. There are quite a few things you can do to help – from carving out a space in the house for your office to leaving the house a few times a week to work in a library or coffee shop.

For me, having an office has been immensely helpful. From the moment I moved into my new house, it has been somewhere I can go and be instantly productive, but leave behind at the end of the day. But I still need something more to get my head away from work at the end of the day.

Here are five of the hobbies and habits I’ve developed (or rediscovered) that help me do that without vegging out in front of the TV.

Gardening

My mother finds this amusing because I hated gardening as a child. To be fair, it was a chore and I was a lazy kid with a SNES inside. Today, however, I love gardening and I spend far less time playing video games. Fighting bugs and dandelions to keep my lawn green, prepping tomatoes to plant (in a couple weeks!), and trimming roses helps me to relax. I very much look forward to the two hours I spend outside every Saturday morning listening to podcasts and gardening.

Scale Modeling

A hobby of mine when I was a kid, I have recently rediscovered scale modeling, and thankfully with significantly greater patience than I ever had in the past.

I’ve learning how to trim molding, sand properly, wash the plastics, use washes, and dry brush – all things that I had zero patience for when I was twelve. The result is a deeply relaxing experience.

Exercise

This should be a part of everyone’s day, especially if you work at a desk for a few hours. I am not nearly as good about this as I should be, but combined with my standing desk, I run through my Gorilla Workout app every morning and try to get to the gym or ride my bike 2-3 times a week minimum.

Walks with Children

I’ll be honest. When my son was born, I got immensely bored going for walks…and there were a lot of walks. From pushing him in a bassinet to holding his hand as he clamors across the sidewalk, it’s been a strange evolution.
I’ve come to embrace the walks though and now find them surprisingly relaxing. The nice weather certainly helps, but those 45 minute jaunts around the block are a lot of fun and practically force me to stop thinking about work.

Board Games

I recently discovered a board game store on Staten Island where people gather a few nights a week and play everything from Settlers of Catan to Are You a Werewolf? I go every Wednesday night and sometimes on the weekend, and have gotten to know some really awesome people. On top of that, the games require a little bit of brain power without a computer screen in sight.

Everyone finds relaxation in their own way. Let’s hear yours! Whether you end the day in the backyard polishing off small projects or have an art studio in the house, what do you do to burn off the nervous energy in your mind and relax before bed?