Your Wellbeing Matters. How to Balance Work-Life Demands

The world is a messy, stressful place. You try your best to be present and do a good job everywhere: At work, with your friends, with your family, and in the things you do for yourself. But it’s a lot, and it’s very easy to feel like other things and other people are more important than what you need to care for yourself. 

Take a moment to close your eyes and take a deep breath. You can’t be there for others if you don’t take care of yourself first!

The competing demands of your work life and your home life can sometimes feel overwhelming and in a constant state of conflict. It doesn’t have to be that way.

Here are some tips for balancing both sides of your life in order to make things work out to your benefit. 

  1. Write a to-do list at work each day. This is a great way to help prioritize your work, a good visual reminder of what needs to be the focus of your day. Start one each morning, and then cross things off as they’re accomplished. This way, you’ll have a great reminder that you did, in fact, get a lot done in a day and that you worked on the highest-priority projects assigned to you, allowing you to go home feeling accomplished. 
  2. Set boundaries. When you leave work for the day, don’t bring it home with you. Don’t check your email. Don’t reply to messages or calls from work. Don’t be available outside of an extreme emergency. Work time is for work; when you’re off the clock, you’re on your own time. If you’ve taken time off for a vacation, do not reply to work requests. If you’ve taken time off to attend an event, like a child’s play or sporting event, pour all your attention and energy into those precious moments. Your time is yours! 
  3. Take breaks. When there’s a lot of work piling up, or deadlines are approaching, it might feel like you’re failing to be productive if you work through lunch. The inclination to stay at your desk all day and never leave is strong, but it will work against you in the long run. Your body needs fuel — eat your lunch! Your body needs water;- stay hydrated! Your body needs air. Get up, go outside, and take a few deep breaths. These few moments away from your work will help your brain reset and sharpen its focus, allowing you to come back with a clearer mind, able to be creative, and work more effectively. 
  4. Your health matters. During the pandemic, it was abundantly clear that you should not come to work if you tested positive for COVID. But now that we’re moving beyond the pandemic, you might feel guilty if you call off sick with a cold or the flu. Don’t do that! If you have sick time available as part of your benefits, use it. Take a day to rest and let your body recover. Do you want to be the person who brings in a cold and knocks out an entire team? Of course not. Be selfish with your germs and keep them to yourself. This goes for mental health days as well — if you’re feeling run down, short-tempered, and in need of a break, take a day and spend it doing something that makes you happy or at least helps you feel better. 
  5. Build resilience. This has become a buzzword in recent years, but resilience is the ability to handle tough situations without falling under the weight of stress. It’s learning coping mechanisms like mindfulness — being present in the moment, looking around and finding things that make you happy or appreciative, taking a deep breath and then getting back into your projects — and the importance of taking care of your health in order to be happier and healthier overall. Resilience helps clear your mind and boost your emotional intelligence and aptitude, building inner strength that helps you cope with the little setbacks. 

Like any new habit or learning a new skill, it might take a while to get the hang of this. But it’s worth trying — you’ll feel better for it, your family and friends will appreciate your dedication and presence, and you might even find yourself getting more done at work because you’ll be more present and focused when you’re there. Most importantly, you’ll find your stress levels decreasing because you’ll know you’re doing the right things at the right time for the right reasons. 

If, after a few weeks or months of trying to establish a stronger work-life balance, it seems like nothing is improving, it might be time for a bigger change. When the time comes to find a new job, contact SmartTalent. For more than 20 years, SmartTalent has specialized in helping candidates find great new jobs that will appreciate and put to good use the skills you’ve honed in your current job. Give SmartTalent a call today!

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