How to tip toe that work-life balance line
It seems like there’s never enough time for all of life’s responsibilities. You get up, get the kids off to school, go to work, battle traffic, come home and make dinner, wash the dishes, collapse on the couch.
So what about finding time for a workout as well? Forget it.
There’s a reason Jack Torrence went bonkers while spending a winter working in Colorado in Stephen King’s classic “The Shining.”
All work and no play do make Jack a dull – and completely crazy – boy.
Like Jack, all of us need to find a better balance between work and play – and he should have thought to grab some snowshoes to take advantage of all the white stuff surrounding the Overlook Hotel. A little exercise would have provided him the energy he needed to make the rest of the pieces fall into place.
It would appear that doing more is the real key to doing it all, and doing it all well.
Don’t forget the workout
If you become a couch potato after dinner, and feel like you lack the energy for anything but mindless sitcoms, a little bit of exercise could make all the difference.
Although it might seem counter-intuitive, taking a brisk walk after dinner will help aid digestion as well as provide the energy you need to enjoy quality time with your family, ensuring that your work life doesn’t get the best you have to offer.
Also, don’t foster exhaustion by hitting the snooze button for an hour when the morning alarm goes off, trying desperately to cram in another hour of sleep.
Instead, consider the energy you’ll gain from a quick burst of energy, and hit the gym for 30 minutes of hardcore sweating that will keep you fired up all day long.
Turn off the electronics
The key to creating a successful balance between work and home life is to attempt to separate the two. That means leaving your work at your desk as much as possible, not bringing it home so you can follow-up on emails after dinner or make frantic phone calls before falling asleep.
Keep your laptop closed, turn off the Blackberry, and concentrate on getting the most from the time spent either with yourself or with the ones you love.
Find some me time
Remember that focusing on a seemingly endless sea of responsibilities can drain energy and leave you feeling exhausted.
It’s important to replenish energy stores with positive, me-focused activities that help revitalize and restore.
- Read a book, especially one from a genre you love, like a good mystery, a historical romance, or a true-life crime saga, whatever it takes to help you escape for a while.
- Get outdoors, especially if your workouts traditionally take place on a treadmill in front of the TV or at the gym. Communing with nature is as restorative as it gets.
- Pick up the phone and reconnect with a favorite friend or family member.
- Find time for some romance. A romp in the hay can boost endorphins, giving you a feel-good surge that will help carry you through any stressful moments.
- Take a bath, adding essential oils like lavender to create a sense of calm and well-being.
Just say no
If work is overwhelming sometimes and you feel as if you can’t manage to get it all done, let something go.
Skip baking the cupcakes for your son or daughter’s homeroom birthday party and buy some from the store. The kids won’t know the difference, and you’ll have time to concentrate on things that matter more.
Ultimately, it’s more important to stay healthy and happy than it is to be Superman or Wonder Woman. And chances are, the people who matter in your life already see you in that superhero role.
What can you do to improve your work/life balance?
Maybe I can help. Give me a shout!