While we may think that being busy all the time, losing sleep, running from one meeting to another, and then rushing to get to our children’s basketball game is normal because everyone else seems to be doing the same thing, it is not good for our health. In fact, by running ourselves ragged and failing to strike a balance between our professional lives and our personal lives, we are increasing our risk of stroke, heart disease, chronic pain, inflammation and even addiction. By achieving a work-life balance, you will be in a better position to maintain your mental and physical health; our tips will help get you to that point.
1. Set Boundaries
You certainly respect other people’s boundaries, and now it’s time for you to set and respect your own. You need to stop blurring the line between work and life and make boundaries so that others will respect them, too. Concentrate on developing a routine and creating a culture at work and at home that supports your work-life balance. If you decide that you won’t check your email in the morning until you arrive at the office, stick to that boundary. If you promise your family you will not take calls or check your phone during dinner and homework time, keep your word. When you begin respecting your own boundaries, others will follow suit.
Your boundaries can be physical rather than simply symbolic. If you have a home office, make it a point to leave all of your work in that room and do not allow it to spill into other areas of the home. If you have a bedroom or workout room or another place in your home where you relax and reduce your stress, do not allow any work to enter that space, ever. By creating a stress-free room in your home, you will give yourself the mental health break that you deserve. You’ll manage to relax, let go of the challenges of the day, and reenergize yourself to face your next task.
2. Stop Multitasking
There’s a good chance you’ve been duped by the myth that you get more accomplished if you multitask. It is impossible to focus on two things at the same time, no matter what you tell yourself. When you fully devote your attention to one task at hand, you get more completed, and you complete it to the best of your ability. This means that you stop reading email while your child is reading to you. You stop checking email while driving to work. You stop cooking dinner while watching a webinar. It will be hard to break your multitasking habits, but once you do, you will be astounded by how much more you are able to accomplish in one day.
3. Exercise in the Morning
Saying that you will fit in exercise when you can probably translates to getting little to no physical activity into your schedule each week. If you schedule a morning workout each day, you will have more energy throughout your day, and you’ll get that exercise high from endorphins that will help you face the day in a better mood and with less stress. It’s also better to work out in the morning than at night because you’ll avoid having trouble sleeping because you gave yourself a dose of energy from working out too close to bedtime.
Making time each morning to exercise also will help you view it as a priority. You’ll make time to exercise and take care of yourself so that you have the energy and stamina you need to keep up with the rest of your daily schedule. It’s much easier to complete tasks when you are healthy, and exercise provides the mental and physical health boost you need to feel well enough to tackle your busy professional and personal lives each day.
Prioritizing your exercise and setting aside time for it each day also will ensure that you are putting in a good workout. If you know that you have 20 or 30 minutes each day, you’ll make the most of them and get moving to maximize your time exercise time.
By setting boundaries to help you separate your personal and professional lives, putting a stop to multitasking, and exercising in the morning, you will be doing a world of good for your mental and physical health. You also will have a more balanced work-home life so that you can maintain your good health.
Thanks to Guest Blogger, Author & Life Coach, Julie Morris.
Julie Morris is a life and career coach who strives to help others live the best lives that they can. She believes she can relate to clients who feel run over by life because of her own experiences. She spent years in an unfulfilling career in finance before deciding to help people in other ways.
Dear Aiko, I’m going to be turning the big 5 0 in a few weeks and I’ve been single for awhile now. I’m nervous to date, but I am longing for a life long companion and someone to go out and have fun with. I’m just not having any luck. I’m shy too which doesn’t help. ~ Fearless Fifty
Dear Fearless Fifty, There is a biological need to want to be with someone and share a life. Sometimes in these situations there is tendency to put too much emphasis on the idea of having a partner and to catastrophize it. Start with being okay with being alone. When you’re okay with being alone and going out and trying new things and meeting new people as a result of that, then you will be ready to start a relationship. Being older shouldn’t be an issue, especially these days. The more important questions you should ask yourself are if you are healthy, if you feel good, if you're comfortable in your own skin and if you like your own company. Reach out to various social clubs and organizations and be willing to step outside your comfort zone. It’s easy to distract yourself from the matters at hand by saying, “I’m not twenty anymore,” but the dating rules have changed and it’s great to be different. Sincerely, Aiko
I’m just graduating from high school and as I’m going out into the world I am feeling so much pressure from the outside to look a certain way and behave a certain way. I feel that society’s view of beauty is being pushed on me. I’m not over weight and all of my friends tell me I am very pretty, yet I have so much anxiety about being perfect. Please help.
~In vogue girl
Lovely In vogue girl,
There is a huge market push toward narcissism and materialism. It sounds like your values might not be aligned with your peer group, but that doesn’t mean you need to isolate yourself. This is your opportunity to be a leader simply by being who you are and vocalizing what your believe in fearlessly. You have to accept and be okay with the fact that not everyone will agree with you all the time. What is important for you and your health is that you define what you see as beautiful and be or create that.
All the Best, Aiko
“I was having a really difficult time because my father had just passed and I was having kind of a emotional break down. I wanted to talk about it with some of the people I thought were my friends at the new yoga studio I had been going to since I moved away from home and I felt like I was just getting funny looks. I thought, it’s okay, guys, to talk about heavy, depressing stuff! I mean, it’s not contagious. You're not gonna catch it!”
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Aiko is a character at Peace Planet Journal and the advice offered in this column is intended for informational purposes only. Use of this column not intended to replace or substitute for any professional, financial, medical, legal, or other professional advice. If you have specific concerns or a situation in which you require professional, psychological or medical help, you should consult with an appropriately trained and qualified specialist. The opinions or views expressed in this column are not intended to treat or diagnose; nor are they meant to replace the treatment and care that you may be receiving from a licensed professional, physician or mental health professional. This column, its author and publisher are not responsible for the outcome or results of following any advice in any given situation. You, and only you, are completely responsible for your actions.