Everyone wants to feel organized, relaxed, and well put together on a daily basis, but truth be told, not many people are. Let’s face it, though the media does a great job of emphasizing how amazing and fulfilling it is to be a working adult, it’s not always a walk in the park. The picture of a top earner with a happy family, a rammed social calendar, and ample time to cultivate a dream life can be shockingly out of reach for the average person. However, it’s not due to a lack of hard work. In fact, it’s because the bar has been set so high that so many people find it difficult to fill their days with things other than work. Striving to improve your work-life balance? Here are some things you can do to get started today.
Sometimes practicing positivity is easier said than done, but being intentional about your mindset and perspective is one of the best things you can do for your mental health and work-life balance. Instead of letting negative thoughts and anxiety overwhelm you, try to focus on positive influences. Keeping a journal is a great way to get yourself in the right headspace, and can be a conduit for things like daily gratitude reminders, positive memories, and inspirational quotes. It’s also important to note that who you talk to most frequently has an impact on your outlook. Building a community that genuinely celebrates your successes and supports you during your hard times will help immeasurably for building natural positivity and confidence. Comparison rarely does anyone favors, so try to stay focused on personal achievements and areas of growth.
Spend Time With Loved Ones
The best thing about spending time with good friends or family is the social exchange that takes place. When you’re spending time with your loved ones you can forget about work stresses and other responsibilities. Laughing and sharing experiences with a partner, best friend, or family member provides an excellent reason to switch work mode “off”, and can often be rewarding in a multitude of ways. Planning hiking excursions or weekly coffee walks with friends can help you change your scenery, get active, and even provide a chance to vent some frustrations. The key here is to shut your phone off and focus on being engaged and in the moment. Your community will appreciate it, and you will reap the full mental and physical rewards.
Get Enough Sleep
Did you know that an astonishing amount of working Americans technically fall into the “sleep-deprived” category? Getting enough sleep will not only help your mental acuity- it can improve physical efficiency as well. For someone looking for a better balance between life and work, sleep is essential for every aspect of functionality. The more hours in bed you clock, the better your output will be, and the lower your stress levels. Using a sleep calculator is a great way to ensure your sleep cycles don’t get too short and is particularly helpful in managing sleep and rise times in an otherwise busy schedule. Everyone has different sleep needs, but they generally don’t change that dramatically from within certain age groups. If you’re not aware of what sleep schedule suits your lifestyle you could very well be lacking proper rest. Instead of burning the candle on both ends consider planning bedtimes and morning alarms well in advance.
Look For Flexible Hours
If you’re having a major issue with your work or your personal life, it could mean that there is not enough communication happening. Especially in the case of a job, you must have an open dialogue with your employer. Most businesses and individuals want to see their staff succeed, and it’s in their best interest as well. If strictly regimented hours are making your life a nightmare, look for a job that can provide flexible hours. This could make personal life more manageable by allowing you to plan your work around other engagements. If picking up kids from school or making it to a night class on time is no longer an obstacle, it could take a load off of your plate and your mind.
Follow Your Passions
Though revered in an almost mythical way, fulfillment isn’t as hard to achieve as it sounds. While your day job might not exactly spark joy in your heart or inspire you, there are more ways to go about living your dreams. An easily accessible option for someone yearning for a better work-life balance is to take up a new hobby or sport. Regardless of age, attempting to learn an instrument, take up painting, or becoming an amateur golfer, can provide some much-needed non-work-related motivation. There is something beautiful about working on a skill purely for the joy of it, so this doesn’t necessarily need to be your next career move. Find something that you’d like to try your hand at and go for it! It may be the downtime you need to recharge and boost your energy.
Having a steady income is important, and earning the salary you want can lead to a lot of freedom in decision-making and financial security. However, some things shouldn’t be sacrificed for a paycheck. It may look like the odds are stacked against you, but there are things you can do to make your weekly schedule seem a lot less daunting. By checking your mindset, curating who you interact with, taking care of your body, having an open dialogue with your employer, and taking the time to pursue your interests, you will be doing yourself a world of good. Sometimes all you need is a break or change in perspective to evaluate your priorities and your responsibilities. While you must fulfill your obligations, no one can be as effective as a person or employee if the correct work-life balance isn’t established. What are you waiting for? Pick up that guitar you’ve always wanted to play or hit the snooze button a couple of times on the weekend! Your body, soul, and career will thank you.
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