The new year is upon us and it’s time to get serious about striking that work-life balance you’ve probably been talking about–but have likely been putting off. Work occupies an important role in our lives. For many, it’s a source of inspiration. For most, it’s a significant contributor to our sense of security. During a wellness retreat, many guests discover that work-life balance is the starting point to maximizing emotional wellness and feeling more fulfilled physically and mentally.
All balancing activities (think yoga, SUP surfing, tightrope-walking…) require focus and commitment. Achieving any types of balance is an ongoing engagement, not a one-time deal. Here are some simple but effective techniques to begin achieving the right balance between the energy you spend on outward goals like work, and the energy you commit to yourself.
Max out your vacation time
According to a recent Bankrate survey, 52% of Americans will leave at least seven paid vacation days unused each year. Many hold onto their paid time off with the hope of tacking those days onto next year’s vacation. However, your energy level and emotional wellness cannot be stored up and set aside for later. They require constant feeding and attention. Whether you spend your time relaxing on the beach, take a whirlwind tour of European museums or simply book a “staycation” at home and sleep until noon every day, take advantage of your vacation days to re-charge. You’ve earned them.
Delegate, delegate, delegate
Don’t make the mistake of thinking you need to do it all. Look for opportunities to offload tasks that can make your home life easier. Hire a housekeeper so you don’t have to spend each weekend scrubbing your bathroom floors. Take a ride-sharing service to work for a portion of the week so you can relax during your morning commute. Register for an organic meal subscription service to reduce the amount of time you spend in the grocery store each week. Finally, sit down with your family and have a frank discussion about the division of duties. The help you need might be right at home.
We’ve said it before and we’ll say it again: meditation will help you find balance in all areas of your life. CEOs do it. Filmmakers and professional athletes do it. So can you. Regular meditation practice helps focus your thoughts, calm your mind, and clarify your decision-making. You don’t need to hike to the top of the Himalayas to start a meditation practice. You can begin meditating exactly where you are, wherever you are right now. When you use meditation to achieve a feeling of internal balance, you can look forward to bringing that sensation into all areas of your life, including your profession.
Set a cutoff time for work each night
Many of us spend all day at work, head home to prepare dinner and put the kids to bed, then hop right back on the laptop to crank out another hour or two of work before falling asleep. Then we do it all again the next day. Don’t cheat yourself out of necessary relaxation time. Exercise your imagination and take your mind off work by reading a good book, watching your favorite movie or journaling about your day. The point is to give work a rest and make your own relaxation a priority.
Quiet your devices
If you must work at home, carve out some uninterrupted time where you can focus on family. Set your phone to do-not-disturb mode. Turn off your email app. Set a specific time of day to answer emails and return calls. But make it a priority to protect your personal time. If you don’t do it for yourself, who will?
Make more “me” time
Take the time to participate in activities that are just for you. Whether you reserve a weeklong stay at one of your area’s wellness retreats, book a monthly a massage at a spa, or simply take a few minutes each day to walk alone in nature, you need personal time to focus on yourself. Make a commitment to yourself and keep it.
Work-life balance is about achieving a healthy fit between doing the things you must and doing the things you love. When we have free time, we tend to want to make it more “efficient” by cramming in more activities. But this just overlays a new type of “work” onto our personal time. Don’t judge how you spend your free time. Sleep, watch TV, wander through the mall, organize your tools. Do the things that give you personal satisfaction and make you happy. It’s the New Year and this is the new, more balanced you.
Ready to reset your lifestyle? Contact us today to book your stay.