We've all heard the phrase "time is money." The pressures of a work-driven society can make us feel like we must constantly be productive and working towards a greater goal, that any time spent "doing nothing" is a waste. Data even shows that Americans are some of the most overworked people in the world.
It's time to embrace a new era of self-care and a healthy work-life balance. Taking the time to rest, pursue hobbies, and attend to our social lives is of crucial importance and can have a number of benefits in the long run.
Follow these tips in order to achieve the ultimate work-life balance.
Change your mindset. If you're looking to change your life for the positive, the first step is to change your mindset. It's only too easy to say, "I don't have time," or "I could never pull this off." Drop the negativity. When making changes, always start small. Put aside a little bit of time for yourself each day. Step away from your work and take a few minutes to stretch or go for a short walk. Taking control of your time is the first step to taking control of your life.
Leave work at work. Our new work-from-home lifestyle has blurred the lines between our professional and personal lives. Technology has left us accessible at all hours of the day. It's easy to hop onto our work laptop during non-work hours just to take care of that "one more thing," but it's time to put that feeling to rest and leave it for the next workday.
We've mentioned it before--separating your home office from the rest of your house is a good way to compartmentalize your mind into knowing when it's time to work or time to relax.
Learn to say no. Easier said than done when it comes to your employer, but the art of gently saying no can be a valuable one. If you don't build boundaries, you could quickly find yourself overworked. You do not want to invite burnout--a type of mental exhaustion that can last for weeks, months, or even years if left unchecked.
Take plenty of breaks. All the breaks. Take five-minute stretch breaks for when you need to get up, walk around, and regain your focus. Don't ever skip your lunch break because you'll be better off after refueling your body and mind. Finally, do not hesitate to use those vacation days or take a random day off every so often. Call it a mental health day. Use it to catch up around the house, treat yourself to something new, or simply to rest and rejuvenate.
Connect with your environment. Take a break from tech and head outside into the great outdoors. Fresh air, nature, and sunlight will boost your mood and make you feel more grounded. Make it your goal to get outside at least ten minutes each day, even if it's just to grab the mail or let the dog out.
Nurture your relationships. At the end of the day, we are social beings. Making time for family and friends can be one of the most important decisions you make. Relationships are said to extend and enrich our lives so do your best to maintain the ones that bring light into your life.
Write more. Try journaling! Grab some paper, pick up a pen, and jot down whatever comes to mind. It's shown to be a useful way to purge the distracting thoughts knocking around in your head, increasing focus and productivity when it's time to work. It's a great way to organize your ideas too.
Or, you can try writing down three things that you are grateful for, or three good things that happened to you that day. Nurturing positive thoughts will lead to a general contentment with life in the long run and reading back on fond memories will certainly spark joy.
The benefits to having a healthy work-life balance are aplenty. Less stress and depression will lead to better overall health. You will have more focus and higher productivity when it is time to buckle down and work. You will foster better relationships by making time for them. Ultimately, you will be happier, healthier, and more satisfied with life.
Time is our most sacred commodity. What you do with it is up to you.
To learn more about striking a healthy work-life balance, check out our on-demand video: "Be It Resolved: Striving for a Realistic Work-Life Balance in 2022."