Now more than ever, we need the skills to look after ourselves so that we can perform well at work, achieve our personal and professional goals, be there for our loved ones, and feel our best. But these notions of looking after your mental and physical health, lowering stress, staying on top of your work, and having more time for the people and things that matter all come down to one thing: creating a more balanced life.
Going beyond old notions of “work-life balance”
There’s an old misconception that “work–life balance” means spending equal amounts of time on work and non-work life (like balancing out two sides of a measuring scale), but that’s not true. Balance may mean working four hours a day to you, while others thrive on the structure of a longer work day. Having a healthy “work–life balance” essentially just means feeling fulfilled in both areas – work life and, you know, life life.
Therefore, finding balance isn’t just a case of working fewer hours, working from home two days a week, or being able to finish work in time to pick the kids up from school. It goes much deeper than that to encompass a more holistic view of how you look after yourself and spend your time. Taking this wider view, finding balance means:
· Being able to manage your workload and meet deadlines without working all hours.
· Maintaining boundaries between work and non-work life so you’re not worrying or thinking about work all the time.
· Spending quality time with your children, partner, friends, and other people that matter to you.
· Keeping up with the hobbies you love.
· Making an effort to look after your physical and mental wellness.
Starting with physical wellness:
1. People who do regular physical activity have a lower risk of all sorts of diseases, from bowel cancer and heart disease to diabetes and dementia. Therefore, it’s vital you carve out time for regular physical activity (walking, running, yoga, etc.). The easiest approach is to make activity part of your everyday routine, for example, by cycling to work or walking (rather than driving) to the train station.
2. Get outside as often as you can, even if it’s just a quick coffee in the sunshine on your morning break.
3. Maintain a proper and restful sleep routine, which may mean nine hours for you or six hours for someone else. Good practices include going to bed and getting up at the same times each day (including on weekends), and disengaging from screens in the hour or two before bed.
4. Make an effort to eat foods that nourish your body. For example, you could spend an hour on Sunday morning prepping some lunches for the week ahead (a big batch of soup, grain-filled salads, etc.) or invest in meal kits to make evening meals easier. A healthy body feeds into a healthy mind, but here are some other steps that may help you boost your mental health (they’ve certainly helped me):
5. Make time for hobbies and relaxation. Personally, I find that reading, mindfulness, and running help me to unwind, and I make time for these pursuits most days. For you, it could be five minutes of deep breathing or meditation, long baths, walking in the woods, watching movies, or whatever. The important thing is to find your own way to unplug and relax.
Source: 15 Habits To Achieve A Better Work-Life Balance In Today’s Fast-Paced World
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