I was asked to write a blog post on achieving work life balance by a fabulous website called Inside Track. I’ve reposted it here with their permission and would love to hear your feedback.
Achieving a work life balance almost sounds like an outdated New Age term – except that it’s an issue that seems to be re-occurring even more so these days.
As individuals, we seem to have a lot more freedom in our life with the opportunities we have, as well as the choices we can make, but with that freedom comes an enormous amount of responsibility that can be taxing to our energy levels.
So many of us work a long day and come home to cook dinner while simultaneously texting on our phone, answering our emails, watching TV and listening to music whilst having a conversation with our partner / flatmate.
This isn’t restful. It doesn’t help us to actually unwind – if anything, we are continuing to stimulate our sympathetic nervous system, and for many of us, this means feeling too wound up to relax, rest and recoup our energy for the next day.
In a western society where we are so positively re-enforced for multi-tasking, there is no time for stopping, resting or regrouping. We need to create that time, and sometimes this means embracing the challenges that can come up.
1. Move. Everyday
My morning practice takes about 2 hours before I’m ready to see clients. In that time, I meditate, oil pull, practice yoga and or take my dog for a walk, prepare the food I need to cook or take with me for my day, dry body brush, shower and then have breakfast – all before responding to a single text or email.
Regular exercise reduces fatigue, especially if you have been sitting in front of a computer all day. Exercise can help boost your mood and give you more energy because of the mood-boosting chemicals that are stimulated by the workout.
2. Be flexible with changes you need to make
So you set up some boundaries that worked a treat for you for the past 6 months. Except that your life has taken on a few changes, and as a result, your needs are different. Honour those needs.
Have changes at work meant that you’re more tired than usual? Then perhaps you can schedule more relaxing time into your week. Met someone new that you’ve spent the entire weekend with? Maybe scheduling more ‘you’ time during the week can help restore a sense of balance in your life.
3. Commit to maintaining what makes you happy
So your job is a big part of you? But it’s not just your job that makes you who you are. So do your interactions with people, your hobbies, your interests as does your down time.
We need different things from our life depending on the seasons, whether or not we’re studying, recovering from an illness / injury / heartache. At times we need to renew our energy by being around people and at other times we need to do this by being in our own space.
While these tips sound simple in theory, the idea is to keep our life as simple as possible, especially as when the time comes to make adjustments, they can be made effortlessly. I’d love to hear your thoughts on your life balance.