Work life balance continues to be a major issue for millennials, who, for whatever reason, find it more important to work harder rather than smarter day in and day out. Sure, yoga and meditation sound great, but finding the time between emails, sleep, work, eating and more emails is a bit unrealistic for many of us — or so we think.
With our generation having a tough time striking the perfect balance between work and life at home, we find it our duty to give some helpful tips on how to properly practice work life balance, which will save you from burning out and maintaining a healthy lifestyle — which is important for both physical and mental health. Let’s get back to the basics of unplugging and scooting that work side of life over a little bit, which will only help your sanity and your job.
Wait, what? Yes, as hard as it is, refraining from checking your phone as you roll out of bed gives you a chance to stay disconnected from work until you’re actually required to sit down and focus. While you might be concerned about who texted or emailed you while you were snoozing, it won’t hurt to wait a little bit longer, we promise.
Instead, use this time to deep breathe, set intentions for the day, meditate or workout. Do something that benefits you physically or mentally, and tackling the day head on will be a lot easier. This is a good step in drawing a line between work and home, because, unless you were asked to be on alert or you’re being paid to check emails before work hours, this is still your personal time.
We all have that friend (or are that friend) who seems to always talk about work. Whether it’s the latest project, frustrations with a co-worker or just a constant work-related stream of consciousness, it gets to a point where your career is taking up too much real estate in your mind. This isn’t to say you can’t talk or vent about your job, but it shouldn’t be your every thought 24 hours a day.
This is where finding a hobby or an activity comes in handy. Not only will it give you an excuse to get your mind of work, but it’s something you’ll enjoy. Give salsa dancing a try, test your limits in a rock climbing class, find a new book you can get lost in or take up a new language class. No matter what you choose, it will give your brain a chance to refresh and relax, which is what work life balance is all about.
No green juice required. Plan a cheap weekend trip or a staycation where you avoid your phone for as long as possible. By doing so, you’ll slowly begin to retrain your brain to not be so dependent on your outside communication. We’re creatures of habit, and after spending hours on our laptops and phones it becomes second nature.
You’re not alone if you get major FOMO checking Instagram every five minutes or if your email alert sound gets your heart racing. It often feels like an expectation that you should be able to answer every call and message. But, just because technology has advanced, doesn’t mean you’re chained to it. That Instagram post can wait another day.
Not surprisingly, work can be isolating. When you’re caught up in the hustle, it can be easy to forget about self-care. Checking in with someone — whether it be a friend, family member or therapist — can make it easier to work through conflicts, stress and overwhelming situation. It also allows you to check on someone else and make sure they’re doing okay, too
It can be hard to reach out when you’re used to keeping things to yourself, but it’s a good routine to practice to keep you mentally and emotionally healthy. There are even apps that will let you vent to anonymous strangers or speak with counselors for a low cost or free. We suggest Talkspace Online Therapy, Maven, MoodTools and Worry Watch.
Sometimes, the best thing you can do when you’re feeling overwhelmed or anxious, is to simply write a list. You don’t have to get crazy and buy a whole set of planners and calendars, but just writing down everything you need to get done will help stay focused.
Sure, writing a list seems like a basic and mindless action, but being able to cross things off your list and have a visual of what’s remaining will give you a better sense of accomplishment, and is a good exercise in for practicing work life balance — the more things you accomplish, the less stress you feel, which means more time to yourself. This also lets you wave goodbye to that horrific sense of dread you get at two in the morning when you realize you forgot to finish something or send that important email.
Of course, this can be difficult for those working remotely, but, regardless, draw this line for yourself. It’s another simple step to take that can prevent unneeded stress. Set strict hours and stick to it. Keep your mind on for work from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m., and leave the rest of your day for other activities and errands. Focus on sticking to this schedule, as it’ll benefit both you and your manager because you’ll be on top of your game on the job, and be able to find time for yourself each day, too.
Finding that coveted work life balance really comes down to mindfulness. When you put effort into making it happen and stick to these simple steps, you’ll be amazed at how much stress you’ll cut out of your life, and how easy it can be to maintain happiness and energy for yourself.
Lead image via Pexels
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