Tips For Creating A Healthy Work/Life Balance…Yes, It’s Possible

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Find A Better Balance

BY DR XEROX TANG

Technology now allows us to be connected to work 24/7 and it’s distorting the boundaries between our work and personal lives. Add to that pressures like job insecurity, expectations from employers, and financial stress and it’s no wonder we’re struggling to find that elusive work/life balance.

Do you have a healthy work/life balance?

Do you have a healthy work/life balance?

Staying back late to meet deadlines and checking emails on the weekend might help you to get things done, but it won’t help you to switch off and manage stress.

A healthy work/life balance is hard to find but it’s important for your physical and emotional health as well as your focus and job satisfaction. It’s also not as impossible as you might think.

Here’s 6 tips to help you find a better balance.

Tip #1: Set Boundaries

These are your rules about how, when and where you work, and what you’re willing to do. For example, you might decide that you’re only willing to take work calls up until 6pm, or only willing to work over time if you’re paid for it and given adequate notice. Your boundaries might include boundaries with colleagues, for example you might decide that what your colleague is asking you to help with is not in your job description and assertively let them know that you cannot do it, and physical boundaries like setting up your work emails to sync only during your work hours, or leaving your laptop in the office.

Tip #2: Drop Unnecessary Expectations

You may have a preference to always finish reports early so you can triple-check for errors and you might value making home-cooked meals and believe that dishes should be clean by the end of the night, but your report probably reads the same after the first check, you don’t need to cook every night (you can cook a larger batch of food on the weekend and reheat it during the week), and leaving the dishes for another day won’t kill anyone. Unnecessary expectations can cause undue stress, so look at yours and see if you can set more reasonable goals.

Tip #3: Schedule Regular Exercise

Aside from the physical health benefits, exercise boosts energy and concentration, reduces stress and enhances mood – all of which help us to be more productive. But when we’re feeling stressed and time-poor, exercise is often the first thing to be sacrificed. Incorporate it into a regular part of your routine and reap the benefits of the endorphins released.

Tip #4: Include Rest + Social Time In Your Routine

Sometimes when our task lists are long we feel guilty for taking a break, but we need these breaks to help us concentrate for longer and work more efficiently. Plan regular date nights and social activities and schedule in time for rest and relaxation. Planning ahead will help you to make down time a priority and it can also be helpful to use these activities as rewards for getting through a busy day or week.

Tip #5: Find Time For Mindful Meditation

It’s easy to feel like you don’t have the time – there are so many things to be done! – but mindfulness practice doesn’t have to take up huge amounts of your time and it will help you to stay calm, be more present, and tackle that task list more effectively. Try to set aside at least ten minutes in a day and just focus on your breath – there are plenty of apps you can download to help guide your practice. Smiling Mind is a good one.

Tip #6: Cut the Time-Wasters

Often we get into the habit of spending time on activities that have no value, for example, mindlessly surfing around on Facebook or flicking through TV channels to find something mildly interesting to watch. This is not to say that there is no value in Facebook or TV – you may want to use Facebook to catch up with certain friends, or turn on the TV to catch a show you are following, but ask yourself if what you’re doing is important or interesting to you. If it’s not, choose to do something else with your valuable time.

Dr Xerox Tang is a compassionate and warm clinical psychologist who works collaboratively with clients to help them to achieve change. She has wide experience working with clients ranging from young children and adolescents to adults, older adults and couples. Xerox practices evidence-based treatment approaches including Cognitive Behaviour Therapy (CBT), Mindfulness-based therapies, Metacognitive Therapy and Dialectical Behaviour Therapy (DBT), and tailors treatment to her client’s needs to facilitate effective and enduring change.


 

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