By: Summer Stewart, M.A.
Creating a healthy work-life balance is an essential element of overall well-being. In this day and age, being productive at work can be seen as a measure of self-worth but taking care of yourself is just as important. With the emergence of remote jobs where work is literally in your home, the lines between work and home life can be even more difficult to establish. If you’re struggling to find balance in this area, you are not alone.
Here are some tips to create more balance in your day-to-day life:
1. Leave work at work.
Although not always possible depending on the work that you do, leaving the work at work (or on your desktop if you work remotely) can establish the necessary boundaries for a healthy work/life balance. Don’t work on projects at home or after your shift is over. Don't spend your free time planning work activities or talking about your job. Leave the work at work.
2. Use your PTO.
Personal time off is embedded into the benefits of almost every profession. Using your personal days for rest and recreation is essential to a healthy work/ life balance. Plan your personal days off and vacation time well in advance, that way you get a well-deserved break and also keep up with your work responsibilities.
3. Spend time with your loved ones.
Working long hours during the week can lessen the amount of quality time we spend with our loved ones. When work is over, dedicate time to spend with your loved ones. This can include watching a favorite movie, cooking a favorite meal together, or taking a walk together after dinner. Being intentional about creating space for your loved ones can fulfill your need for social connection and remind you of what’s important.
Get a good night’s sleep before work. The recommended sleep time for the average adult is 7-9 hours per night, so aim to be in that range each night to be your best self for the next day. Finding time to rest during your shift can also help. Take your full lunch break as well as designated small breaks throughout the workday to step away and give yourself much-needed rest.
5. Prioritize your health.
If you can help it, don’t go to work when you are sick. While it may sound like a good idea to show up for work when you are feeling well for the sake of keeping up with productivity, your body will suffer in the long run. Our bodies are designed to tell us when there is something wrong and when we need rest and recovery, listen to it and don't attempt to perform when you aren't feeling well.
Creating balance in your life can be challenging, but the work you do for yourself, and your personal well-being should be just as important as the work you do for your career. Try starting with just one of these tips and you can be on your way to creating the life of fulfillment that you deserve.