Ready to experience a better work – life balance?
It’s often easier to identify what we don't have than what we do. So here’s a list of symptoms to see if you’re out of balance:
Can’t catch up on sleep? Or dragging by the middle of the day?
You’re not alone. Most Americans are sleep deprived. Why? Because there’s lots of pressure to be busy, not only with work but also with family, with socializing, networking… Let’s face it, there’s simply too much to do!
Keep getting sick? Are you plagued with colds, sore throats, aches and pains? This is another symptom of being out of balance. If you’re like many busy people, you don’t often stop to take a break until your body forces you to, by getting sick.
Stressed or Irritable?
Grouchy all the time lately or feeling anxious? And it’s not PMS. Maybe you just have too much on your plate.
You know, those days, the ones where you feel like you simply can’t get things done quickly enough or go fast enough before more obligations get piled on…
Sorry, I have to work.
Is that your excuse for missing the birthday party, the Super Bowl or a night at the theatre?
Work is the only legitimate excuse everyone will accept when you’re unable to do anything. But ask yourself, is it really worth it?
Stress and fatigue have a way of inspiring poor choices. Whether it’s coming home to the TV with a pizza and a liter of Pepsi or hitting the bar. Numbing the pain only makes it worse.
In our 24-hour, 7-day a week work world, it can feel really hard to be balanced. After all, you’re not supposed to stop answering emails – even at midnight - or, God forbid, totally unplug.
But that’s exactly what has to happen if you’re to stay sane.
So if you’re ready to have a better experience of life, here’s what you can do:
Make the decision that you’re willing to change. This is the first step!
We all get into ruts and habits. But it’s critical to shift your lifestyle choices before it’s too late. After all, we are not human do-ers- working like automatons. We are human beings. We need to honor all aspects of who we are
2. Create A Schedule
The reality of our modern lives, is that if something is not scheduled it won’t happen. Recently, I even heard Cheryl Strayed, the author of the bestselling book, Wild, say she’s even an advocate for scheduled sex! Her rationale, if it isn’t planned, it just doesn’t happen. So much for spontaneity!
3. Identify Your Personal Needs
Body: How can you best take care of your body? What do you need to help you incorporate healthy foods, exercise, and adequate sleep into your schedule?
I have a friend who makes all of his meals on Sundays, then grabs his To Go breakfast and lunch on his way out every weekday!
Some people prefer to exercise in the mornings, others in the evenings. How can you take one class a week (yoga, Zumba) or add a few strolls into your day? I have a friend who wears her Fitbit and just walks all day long...
Mind: What feels like down time, relaxation and fun? What kinds of activities can you easily pop into your schedule to really enjoy your day? Join a book group? Laughter club or garden group? Schedule a monthly massage or hike?
And, what feels stimulating? Is there a course you’ve been wanting to take or a new skill you’d like to acquire? Painting? Pickle Ball? German?
Spirit & Connection: As you probably know, I’m a huge advocate for meditation.
Incorporating just 5 minutes of meditation or guided visualization every day will do wonders to bring you more peace of mind and balance. Do this first thing in the morning or right before bed. I know people who do it at work, on a break! You can always find 5 minutes.
What about your social life? Recent longevity studies have shown that THE most important attribute to your overall health and longevity is sustained, deep relationships. How can you ensure you have time for those? Not only with a spouse but with friends or other family members as well.
We’re at a point in our evolution where the paradigm is shifting. One example of this is the advent of flexibility in the traditional work schedule. Many employees now work remotely.
Another is our outmoded definition of success, that it requires sacrifice. The old thinking is, I have to sacrifice everything else – family myself, health… to work and make money. Then I’ll be successful.
Good NEWS, this is changing – but it starts with you!
So I leave you with two deep questions:
What are your values? (As in, what really matters to you?)
What is your definition of success?
Is it making 6-figures a year and working 80-100 hours a week? Or making 6-figures a year and having 3 months holiday every year? Hmmm…
It’s critical to define and KNOW what you’re values are and what your definition of success is, otherwise, you’re chasing the wrong dream and your work-life balance won’t feel satisfying.
Once you’re clear, you can easily create a schedule and a life that reflect the beauty of you. Vision well!