It’s a fact that we work in situations that can be very stressful far too frequently. Co-workers need us. Managers and customers need us, and call on us to do more and more. You may have family responsibilities on top of a job that takes nearly all your energy.
As a result, your work-life balance may suffer, to the point of being all work, plus psychological focus and stress from work. You seldom take time to relax, unwind, and replenish yourself. An out-of-alignment work-life balance can cause even more stress, and make you more prone to stress injuries and illness. As a result, both your work and your life can suffer.
You need to have active strategies to maintain a strong work-life balance in place. Below are several tips for doing just that.
Bring a Healthy Lunch
Yes, we realize it takes work and planning to bring a lunch. But if we’re in hectic or demanding workplaces, it can be all too easy to rely on a fast food lunch or even just a couple vending machine selections. You end up eating unhealthily, and not having good energy because you haven’t nourished your body.
Make an effort to cook a large batch of healthy food on the weekends. It can be frozen to be brought into work. Add nuts and dried fruit for snacks – they are more energizing and healthful than sugar-filled candy or pastries.
Bike or Walk to Work
It’s a great idea to bike or walk to work if you live in an area where it’s feasible to do so. Sometimes, the difficulty in maintaining a healthy work-life balance is making time for exercise, which we all need to stay healthy. Exercising during your commute is a great way to get that time in your schedule. Plus, exercise relieves stress. Pedaling or walking home makes the cares of the day leave your body and mind.
Work Out at Least 3 Times per Week
Everyone needs at least three workout sessions a week, to maintain both aerobic health and muscle strength. If you can’t walk or bike to work, you need to plan exercise sessions. Do you have a gym onsite? If not, plan a convenient way to exercise frequently. It could be working out on a treadmill or stationary bike as you watch television or walking with a friend around a nearby lake.
Maintain Psychological Boundaries
It’s very important for professionals to maintain psychological boundaries. Give all the care you can but know when you need to step away to replenish yourself.
Your also need to maintain boundaries with colleagues. If you have a colleague who is overly talkative or demanding, for instance, practice detaching, by pointing out that you need to see a patient or do other tasks. Be pleasant but firm.
Establish a Relaxing Nighttime Routine
Getting enough sleep is essential for maintaining health and focus. Unfortunately, if you are pressed for time or have a lot of work-related stress, falling (and staying!) asleep may be a challenge.
Combat lack of sleep by establishing a nighttime routine that relaxes you enough to sleep. Whether it’s your favorite music, television show, or a book, unwind in bed. Breathe deeply. Before you know it, you’ll find what works for you and be counting Zzzs.
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