The 21st century is fast-paced and work-centric and oftentimes, people can come to depend only on their job for their sense of purpose. While it’s great to be dedicated to your work, depending solely on your job for your self-worth can be mentally, emotionally, and physically damaging. These are five ways to find fulfillment in addition to your occupation and live a holistic, purposeful life.

Make Room For Joyfulness

Even if you love your job, it’s important to find sources of happiness beyond your workplace. Otherwise, the end of each workday will only bring grief, dread, and feelings of depression. Spending your time beyond your job consumed in boredom, loneliness, or frequent thoughts of work sets you up for emotional failure. If you don’t enjoy your life beyond your work, your mental health is certain to suffer. Additionally, if you don’t make room for what makes you feel joyful, your life will be a construct of your work…and any failures or stressors in your workplace will continue to haunt you at home. This creates a life built around stress rather than positivity.

However, dedicating just a few minutes a day to a hobby, activity, or experience you love can make all the difference in your mental wellbeing. It might be painting, walking your dog, taking a long bath, or enjoying a favorite film. Doing these things can both better yourself and your sense of self. If you construct your life around your work, you’re setting yourself up for constant stress, pressure, and feelings of frustration. Building your life on a strong foundation of positive experiences is sure to provide you with more confidence, momentum, and excitement for the future. In this way, making room for what brings you joy doesn’t just provide happiness within the present moment. It prepares you for a future of contentment, motivation, and positivity. And since positivity attracts positivity, it’s also likely to instill a drive to seek positive energy and experiences within you. Win-win!

Respect Your Body

Your body is your most powerful tool, and mistreating it is sure to lead to a lack of motivation, determination, and confidence. While at work, you may be reaching certain mental goals linked to your occupation. However, you may not be treating your body with kindness and consideration. Your body and mind are closely linked, and when one suffers, so does the other. This is why it’s essential to focus time and attention on caring for, maintaining, and respecting your physical health. Without doing so, you can’t hope to thrive in any area of your life.

Caring for your physical health includes staying aware of your nutritional, exercise, and medical needs. Don’t ignore signs from your body about your physical wellbeing simply because you feel too busy with work to address them. It’s important to eat regularly and include healthy, nourishing foods in your diet. Exercising during the week, or even simply getting outside, is sure to boost your mood and keep you motivated. It’s uber important to respect the needs of your body. It will pay off in more ways than physical.

Build A Strong Social Circle

What are life’s victories without people to share them with? Sure, co-workers can be great supporters throughout your workday. However, having strong relationships beyond your workplace is equally as important. Without having strong social connections, feelings of isolation, depression, and inadequacy can take over. However, filling your life with positive family, friend, and/or romantic connections can make a significant difference in your mental health and outlook on life.

This doesn’t simply mean shooting a text to someone you care for. Cultivating meaningful, three-dimensional connections requires reaching out physically to others. Even if work keeps you extremely busy, squeezing in a call, coffee date, or quick stroll through the park with a loved one can be refreshing. Additionally, the emotions you feel when connected with others, such as compassion, sympathy, and empathy, are mentally fulfilling and provide you with a sense of purpose and worth. At the end of the day, your occupation can only bring you so much fulfillment…and a powerful, supportive social group can make all the difference in your mental health beyond your work.

Act Graciously And Altruistically

In addition to staying socially connected, making an active effort to practice selflessness is extremely fulfilling. While the work you perform is likely helpful in your workplace, you’re being compensated for your efforts. True selflessness comes with dedicating your time and energy without anticipating reward…although you’re likely to feel a strong sense of self-esteem through doing so. Finding purpose beyond the workplace doesn’t often just come with focusing on your own joy and wellbeing; it’s also dependant on offering kindness and energy towards others in need.

Altruism brings a sense of fulfillment in life, as well as elevated self-worth. Contributing to your community is certain to provide you with feelings of respect and appreciation for yourself, as you’re affecting the world in a positive, purposeful way. Whether it’s volunteering at a food bank or purchasing flowers for a friend who’s feeling down, lending your help and support to others will help you build confidence in your character…not just your work persona. Being altruistic requires you to both practice gratitude and provide your services to others—both of which can fill you with a sense of self-respect and purpose.

Open Yourself To Growth

When you’re busy with work, it’s easy to make excuses not to focus on improving your mental, physical, or emotional wellbeing. If you become a workaholic, you might let important relationships stagnate, neglect your physical needs, or ignore struggles with your mental health. Keeping yourself occupied may feel like a solution, but these issues will only pile up and weigh on you over time. If you hope to find peace, contentment, and purpose beyond your job, it’s necessary to acknowledge the places in your life that could use improvement or attention.

Maybe you need to focus on improving your relationships, whether it’s making amends or simply spending more time with those you care for. Perhaps, you need to check in with yourself physically, including making lifestyle, nutrition, or exercise choices that can help propel you towards a healthier, happier body. Or, you might need to tend to your mental health. This may include finding time for therapy, doing more that makes you happy, or simply finding time to practice gratitude. Pouring yourself into your work may suppress certain problems, but they’ll continue to wear on you across time. In order to live your best, most holistic life, it’s essential to address any struggles preventing complete mental and physical wellness.