Balance It Out: Easy Ways to Get Your Life Back from Work|
When I graduated from college and began my first job a year-and-a-half ago, I did not understand the importance of work-life balance. My job was all-consuming and left me exhausted and overwhelmed almost every night. In theory, the work-life balance sounded like a good idea, but I was at a loss for how to execute a compilation of my 40-hour work week (not to mention the extra to-dos and effort on top of my designated hours) with eating right, working out and mixing in some much-needed social interaction. I had to make a few major life changes, and the following activities aided me in stabilizing work and life.
Make Time for Family
At the end of the day, your career will not laugh with you, hold you tight while you cry, or pick you up when you fall. When I left my job a year ago, I was disappointed in myself and unsure about my next step. My parents supported me and encouraged me to apply for positions in the sector that had always interested me but that I had lost sight of during college: healthcare. Now in my current “balance,” I allocate time for family dinners and weekend movies.
Work Out In the Morning (Or at Night!)
I know… Waking up at 5:45 a.m. and stumbling to the gym is equivalent to prying yourself from the best social gathering of the decade just as it has begun, but it’s worth it. Think about it this way: you will have more time for grocery shopping, happy hours and laundry when you arrive home early! If you simply can’t persuade yourself to get up at the crack of dawn, fit in an evening workout. Exercise reduces stress and anxiety and often alleviates the lurking sensation of what you forgot to do that day.
Take Your Lunch Break
It is easy to make excuses for why you should skip your lunch break, and finish a project while eating silently from your packed lunch, but that is an extra hour that you are sitting and staring at the computer. If you are unsure what to do during your break, plan activities. Meet a friend, read a book, go for a walk, or listen to music. You will feel rejuvenated and the rest of the day will speed by.
This one should not come as a surprise, but the goal is at least six or seven hours a night, though experts say eight is preferable! Achieving a well-rested aura allows for more productivity, better decision-making and ultimately, a happier life.
I recently watched the documentary Happy, which explained that human happiness depends on three intrinsic values: personal growth, relationships and giving back. This, opposed to the three extrinsic values: money, status and image. Making time to volunteer can have more of an impact on you than those you are helping. In your volunteer efforts, you could also consider becoming a mentor.
Happy hours with your LocalLEVO. Catching the latest episode of Homeland with your girlfriends. Hosting a potluck. Coordinating a game night. Joining a coed flag football team. Whatever it might be, we thrive as we increase human connections and develop personal relationships.
Take Part in a Guilty Pleasure
Whether this is watching Hulu shows on your laptop, making cookie batter and eating it straight out of the bowl or hitting your preferred department store to oogle the shoe section, allow yourself to indulge once in a while!
How do you ensure a balance in your life and work? Tell us in the comments section!
Photo courtesy of Every College Girl