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Finding Your Work-Life Balance

For many, finding “work-life balance” is a constant challenge. Squeezing in family time feels impossible when you’re always on a project deadline, working long hours, or suffering through a tumultuous path to promotion. 

But maintaining a healthy balance is critical — not only for your mental and physical health but also for your performance at work. And while you may not ever achieve 100% balance, there are things you can do to get close. Implementing just some of the practices below will improve your outlook, strengthen your relationships, and make you a more energized, more committed employee. 

Make Boundaries 

In a work-from-home environment, it’s easy to become a workaholic. Your computer and phone are always nearby, tempting you to check in after hours. 

This is especially true for those of us in a sales role. It feels like the more time you put in, the more money you make. 

But in reality, this mindset leads to overworking. And overworking makes you burn out quickly and forces you to sacrifice your health and relationships. 

So, set boundaries between work and family hours. Maybe you stop and start checking email or Slack at certain times, take dedicated breaks throughout the day to play with your kids, call a parent, or both. Learn what works for you, and remember that most things can wait until tomorrow. 

Use Your Vacation Time 

I know so many people who never use their PTO. But, if you’re getting paid to take time off, why not use it? 

Everyone needs a break once in a while. Plan that vacation to see that landmark you’ve always wanted to. Visit friends and family. Even if you end up having a “staycation,” it’s important to find ways to unplug. 

Maybe you spend time out in nature, schedule a spa day with your best friend, or go to the museum with your family. Whatever it is, make sure it doesn’t revolve around work. 

De-stress During Work Hours 

You don’t want to be so drained at the end of the day that you’re unable to go out to eat with friends or play with your kids and pets. 

To be your best self after work, you need to build in de-stressing mechanisms throughout the day. Here are a few examples: 

  • Eat healthy meals – This is a big one. You don’t want to be starving or overfull when you’re cranking out work. Feed yourself nutritious meals that will help you feed positive energy into your work and family. 
  • Take breaks – Looking at a screen or sitting in a desk chair all day takes a toll on your concentration. So take a walk with your dog or grab coffee with your partner, roommate, or colleague. Getting out of the house or office will reset your focus. 
  • Hydrate throughout the day – It’s easy to get cranky if you haven’t consumed enough water. I recommend having a big water bottle at your desk and setting goals to drink certain amounts by certain times of the day. 
  • Meditate – When something is really bothering you, it can help to meditate on that problem. It only takes 5 – 10 minutes, and it can make a world of difference in your mood. 

Put “Me Time” on Your Calendar 

No matter how much you love your work, friends, and family, you need time for yourself. Structure your time, and use that calendar! Doing things you love will help you recharge and make you more effective on the job. Pick up an old hobby, set aside time in the morning to work out, or write in your journal alone before bed. You’ll return to your family and work with more energy and happiness. 

Get Closer to Your Optimal Balance 

There are so many things you can do to optimize your mental, physical, and emotional health. The important thing is to find what works for you and carve out time in your schedule to do it. 

Your job may seem demanding, and it can be scary to approach your boss when setting a boundary. But adhering to those boundaries will give you the space and time you need to fill up your cup. 

Although you’ll never be 100% your best self in all aspects of your life, committing to self-care strategies that work for you will help you be a better employee, friend, partner, and parent. 

Want to work for a company that puts its employees’ health first? Check out some of our open roles at Planet Professional

Photo Credit: Canva