How Having a Side Hustle Can Improve Mental Health

A couple of years ago, Americans barely knew what the term “side hustle” meant. With the growing number of full-time workers in the country taking on a side job, however, the term has become a permanent fixture in the English language. Whether it’s doing freelance work, dog walking, driving for a ride-share company, selling real estate, or cleaning houses, over 44 million Americans do other kinds of work on top of their full-time job.

While it might seem as though having a side hustle would add more stress to an already busy schedule, it seems that just the opposite is true. Having a second job can actually improve mental health. This is especially true for single young adults, married couples who don’t yet have a family, and empty-nesters who are trying to fill a void in their life.

Provide Stress Relief

Stress is not uncommon in this country. In fact, according to a recent Gallup Poll, 8 in ten Americans say they are afflicted by stress. Stress affects the physical body by increasing blood pressure and leading to obesity. Stress also takes a toll on one’s mental health. There is a direct link between chronic stress and feeling anxious or depressed. For those looking to relieve stress, psychologists often recommend doing something they are passionate about.

For those who want to make money while relieving stress at the same time, the key is to find a side hustle that fills their passion. For those who love dogs, they could start their own dog-sitting company. A person might feel relaxed while driving around listening to music and making small talk with strangers. If that’s the case, working for a ride-share company would be a great way to relieve stress.

Alleviate Boredom

Up to 90 percent of Americans say they feel bored at some point during their day. For many of these Americans, this boredom takes place while working their full-time job. A recent survey conducted by OfficeTeam showed that on average, employees are bored at work for over 10 hours each work.

It’s perfectly normal to feel bored at times, but feeling bored on a regular basis can actually affect one’s mental health. Boredom can cause depression and anxiety, plus it can also increase the risk of substance abuse and aggressive behavior. Having a side hustle can help alleviate the boredom as it provides a way to gain new skills and make use of unused talents. For those who are bored at their full-time job, their side hustle should be something completely different so that different parts of the brain get used.

Connect with Others

It’s been proven that one of the best things a person can do to improve mental health is to connect with others. Having a side hustle provides ample opportunity to do just that, as it’s a great way to make new friends and build relationships. The more connected a person is to others, the happier they are, plus they live longer and have fewer mental health problems than those who aren’t.