For many of us, attaining a healthy balance between work and life outside work can seem like an almost impossible task. We live in an age where almost everyone has to juggle a heavy workload, manage demanding relationships, and attend to social and family responsibilities. Between all these, squeezing in quality personal time and managing a social life can actually make us feel even more overwhelmed and stressed out.
I experience this first hand, just like you do. I have no secret antidote to the work/life balance juggernaut. One thing I am aware of is how I feel and how I think when life is out of balance. I feel like I have blinders on: I don’t think clearly, I react only to what is right in front of me in that moment, and I am easily agitated (maybe from the blinders rubbing me raw or my desire to not be in that state!).
It does not have to be gloom and doom, day in day out though. I use these physical and emotional cues as a guardrail to keep me on track. And…I start my day with #5 on this list…if only for five minutes. Literally, #5 is the magic, I do a quick spiritual reading. Sit, breathe, and take in the reading. Five minutes. Done. Ready to go. But…the other four.
Here are five ways you can restore a healthy balance between all the demands of your everyday life and still have the time to unwind, relax, and spend time with your loved ones.
1. Eat healthy and exercise regularly
A healthy body nourishes a healthy mind, and a healthy mind helps minimize anxiety and the feelings of overwhelm – a major cause of stress. Clean and healthy food eaten in small portions more frequently helps the body function more efficiently by maintaining sufficient energy levels to see you through a busy work day, and leave you with enough energy to play with the kids or even go for a jog at the end of the day.
2. Schedule everything – even the non-work stuff
Many people who struggle to bring balance between their work and home life have one thing in common: they observe work hours religiously, but fail to make detailed plans for the rest of the time they are outside work. Do not make this mistake. Plan for every minute of your day – even date night, visiting folks back home, and time to do laundry. Get a jump start by downloading my free ideal day planner here!
3. Avoid multi-tasking; instead choose to uni-task
With all the technologies and electronics available to us today, how we seem to be controlled by them have rendered the average adult very unproductive and with a short attention span. Science says that a human mind cannot multi-task because the mind can only focus on one task at a time.
Therefore, when you are at work, work. When you leave the workplace, leave the work there – avoid taking work home or checking emails from your phone at night or first thing in the morning.
Being mindful about where you are in the moment and maintaining your focus will help boost your efficiency and time management. In all aspects of your life.
4. Unplug and give yourself a break
When you feel stressed and find it difficult to push on, remember… it is okay to take a break, whether you are stressing over work OR responsibilities at home.
Life-work balance should always be evolving, and so should you. Figure out what helps bring you back to a balanced state – it might be getting outdoors, reading or meeting up with a friend for coffee.
If you have an unhealthy obsession such as checking your phone for messages before you go to sleep or waking up and instantly getting on Facebook, realize that you must deal with the root of the imbalance in life even before you can begin resolving any life/work-related issues. Need help figuring that out? Let’s chat…connect with me here.
If you get caught up with all the many thoughts entering your mind, your never-ending to-do list, the voicemails and emails that are piling up… it may be time to take a few minutes each day to center yourself.
The ongoing responsibilities will likely always be there, but the problems can be lessened. Often just taking a few minutes to center yourself can bring clarity and focus to your life as a whole.
Meditation is a scientifically proven practice that can help alleviate stress, create balance and even prevent depression. Meditating just a few minutes a day can help you exercise greater control over your physical and emotional wellbeing, as well as boost your productivity at work.
To live a full and healthy – mind, body, spirit – life, it is essential to create balance in all aspects of your everyday. What trips you up the most? Where do you feel the most unbalanced in your work and life?
Leave me a comment below and let’s see how we can create more balance in your everyday life.