It can often be difficult finding the right balance between your work and personal life these days, and it’s a common challenge that many can face at some point in their careers. Overcoming it can be confronting, confusing and downright hard to do, but it is possible. Often it can feel like if you focus on one area, such as your job, other areas of your life will suffer, like your family and friendships. But cultivating a healthy balance between all the necessary puzzle pieces to your life is not only necessary, it’s relatively easy to do – you just need to know how! So, here are 6 steps to perfecting your work/life balance.
Work out your priorities
Set aside some time to sit down and think about all the different tasks you do in every aspect of your life, from work to home and all the pieces in between. Write down all these things, then label each one as high, medium or low priority. This will help you see just how much you actually have on your plate, and having it set out clearly in front of you can help you notice where you might be spending time on things that aren’t as important as others. Prioritise the things you do that make you feel good, like catching up with friends and exercising and things that make you feel productive, while trying to cut back on things that don’t seem to add much value, like scrolling endlessly through social media and binge-watching Netflix for hours on end.
Establish your boundaries
Boundaries are so important, because without them, any priorities you’ve set will likely not last very long. So make sure you know your boundaries, and be comfortable sticking to them. Healthy boundaries include being able to mentally and emotionally check out of work once your day is done, leaving it all at your desk so you can enjoy your personal life without having your mind split between the two, avoiding personal phone calls and texts while you’re at work (emergencies aside, of course), and not checking work emails while you’re with friends.
Learn when to disconnect
Everyone is now constantly connected to one another, and whether it’s for work or relaxation it can still be hugely detrimental to your emotional and mental wellbeing. Learning how and when to disconnect completely from your smartphone can really help you feel more balanced and happier. You might not have an ‘off’ button, but technology does. So you should use it! Start putting all technology aside for at least 30 minutes each day, and use the time to hit your reset button. Do things that you used to enjoy, but can’t seem to find time to do anymore. Whether it’s meditating, reading a book, going for a walk, taking a long, relaxing shower or just sitting down and spending time with a loved one, unplugging can be the best thing to do for your health.
Get help if you need it
You have a support system around you, whether you know it or not. So utilise it! Recognise if and when you’re struggling, and ask for help when you need it. This is imperative to maintaining a work/life balance because without support, juggling everything can be much more difficult. Feeling so much pressure can cause you to suffer from stress, which will end up impacting all of the different aspects of your life. And sometimes we fall into the trap of thinking that it’s weak to ask for help – but it’s not. Those who support you will always be happy to help you when they can. So don’t ever be afraid to ask! Get some help from a colleague at work, ask your partner or family members for assistance at home, and vent to a friend if it all just gets too much.
Get selfish with self-care
You are so important. Taking care of yourself should always be your first priority, so don’t be afraid to stand up for yourself and put your self-care first – especially if those around you try to persuade you to push yourself beyond the point of wellbeing. There is no shame in saying ‘no’, and in order to have a better work/life balance, that is a word you should get comfortable saying. Some of the best and most effective self-care activities are gratitude journaling, meditating, exercising, cooking nutritious food, getting more sleep and anything else that essentially helps you relax and makes you happy. My top self care tip is of course taking a warm bath and scrubbing up with one of my all natural body scrubs!
Stop trying to be perfect
Sometimes we struggle finding that work/life balance because we’re trying to perfect each and every task we do. But perfection is not sustainable! Aiming to be perfect at everything we do can exhaust even the most resilient person, so learn how to accept things as they are. As long as you try your best at everything you do, it’s okay if it’s not completely perfect.
While it might seem difficult to imagine a well-balanced life, it is very achievable as long as you keep realistic expectations and avoid putting too much pressure on yourself. But by implementing these steps in your life, you’ll be able to achieve that perfect work/life balance and make your way to better health.