For a lot of people, the pursuit of staying healthy – both mentally and physically while juggling a work life balance seems like an insurmountable goal. Many people are torn between heavy workloads, managing relationships and family responsibilities, while also squeezing in outside interests. It is no wonder that more than one in four Americans deem themselves to be “super stressed.” That’s not healthy or balanced!
Rushing to “fit it all in” or “get everything done” quickly causes our stress levels to spike. In reality, whether at home or at the office, this pattern can cause irritability, depression, lack of concentration, poor decision making and worse yet, harm the very things we are trying to work so hard to protect – our personal and professional relationships.
This equilibrium can be achieved without raising our cortisol levels. With a little prioritization and time management strategies you can have your career and personal life without burnout. The key word is BALANCE and with a few simple reminders and tips this healthy way of living can improve your lifestyle inside and outside of the office.
1. Make Sleep A Priority
Bad things happen when we don’t get enough sleep. It is true that lack of sleep is a form of torture. By getting the proper amount of sleep that is required for each of us as individuals, we can start off our day being happier, more productive, and with balanced hormones. Yes, that is right lack of sleep throws off the balance of our hormones which can lead to weight gain. Staying up a few hours might help get things checked off your list but the overall quality of your work, activities, and general happiness is just not worth it.
A few tips to help achieve good quality sleep is to mediate throughout the day, download a Sleep App on your phone, spend more time on your feet throughout the day.
2. Plan Ahead
Typically, someone that is juggling a lot at home and at work is used to planning. However, think more about the areas in which you are spending your time planning and are you getting the most out of your efforts. Planning your lunch helps ensure you are packing healthy options, saving money, and eating smart. Schedule small bits of time in your day for upcoming large work or home projects. This will help make certain you don’t get overwhelmed and stressed out. Creating a smart schedule or time blocks for big items like work projects, meetings,errands, exercise, family time, etc. throughout your day will help you feel more confident that you can achieve all your goals and that includes equity between the office and home.
3. Just Say No!
Think very carefully before saying the often overused word “yes!” This word can in fact cause a lot of overwhelm. It is respectful to yourself to honor the time you have for your personal well-being, your family, and your career. There are limited hours in the day and they are very precious. In fact, one of the greatest gifts we have been given and can give to another is time. Try to remember how scarce time is when you make commitments. It is perfectly fine to say “no”, and most likely necessary to maintain the healthy quality of life you seek.
Physical activity is often the thing that gets put last on our list when we are busy. However, it is one of the best medicines for managing stress, metabolism, sleep, and getting those endorphins pumping. Exercise is so important that it ought to be first on the list every day. If you can get up and get going with a walk, run, yoga class, or any variety of movement then you don’t have to worry about it the rest of the day. It is also a good idea to always take stairs at work, and take fitness breaks throughout the day (set alarms to remind you). Activity office breaks or even “deskercise” is becoming more and more common in the work place. If it is not part of your office culture, then here is your chance to show your leadership skills and just ask or lead by example! Your waistline, mental health, family, and co-workers will thank you.
5. Ask For Help
Whether you are at home or work, if you are simply drowning in a sea of chores or paperwork reaching out for help can take some of the burden off you. It is not a sign of weakness yet it is a sign of strength to be vulnerable. We have ALL been there and most likely there will be many people waiting in the wings to jump in and give you a hand. Remember to be human is to be without the super power of mind reading, so just ask and see how it makes you feel and it even might strengthen your relationships.
6. Drink Water
That is right fill up on H2O throughout your day. First, by drinking enough water you are flushing out toxins in your body and keeping yourself hydrated will help maintain many healthy functions of our often overtaxed bodies. Proper hydration also helps us manage an ideal body weight and that is always a good thing. By drinking water throughout the day you are ensuring you get up and use the bathroom which is a great time to take an exercise break.
Always remember if you don’t make yourself a priority no one else will. Starting putting yourself first on your to do list. You will find you have a lot more energy to give at work and for others all the while having plenty of joy in doing so. To get a grip on your stress levels and work life balance make the clear choice that this will be the NEW YOU… it just might be the best decision you ever made.