Whether you call it your work-life balance, or your work-life blend, a need to nurture all areas of our multifaceted lives has never been more important.
As women, we often have multiple roles - employee, mother, partner, daughter, friend - and it can be a challenge to find time to meet all of those responsibilities. With so many balls in the air, making time for ourselves can seem like an even harder task!
Here are six easy to implement habits to help you maintain a healthy and harmonious work-life balance that you can happily sing along to. You will be surprised at just how quickly you begin to notice an increase in your physical energy levels, a sense of feeling happier and emotionally balanced!
1.Wake a little earlier to make the most of those extra golden moments!
Try setting your alarm earlier than normal and take advantage of a little time to yourself before the daily grind. You could dedicate this quiet time to intentional practices like reading, meditating or yoga, in preparation for the day ahead. Or you may find it an ideal opportunity to get a headstart on your workload - taking the pressure off later in the day. Either way you will feel the benefits of having found an extra pocket of time!
2. Get outside daily to minimise stress, harness your creativity and give your immune system a natural boost!
Yes please we hear you cry! Nature works wonders and it's more than worth pulling yourself away to get some valuable time outside every day. Even science can prove that being outdoors is extremely beneficial to your mental health and overall wellbeing. Spending time in nature is the fastest way to naturally reduce stress and even gives your immune system a boost! It also provides a positive distraction from work and a change of perspective. Be creative - walk to work, eat lunch in the park or schedule an al-fresco meeting! - Who doesn't love those?
3. Set clear boundaries to preserve your down-time for YOU (multi-tasking not included!)
With modern technology it is all too easy to fall into the trap of being available 24-7 to colleagues, clients and customers. Most of us can be reached via email, mobile or social media at any time of the day or night - and this can lead to the assumption that you are permamentaly available. It is vital to set clear boundaries as to when you are available and be firm about enforcing them. Turn off your work phone and ignore business emails after hours. You will find the quality of your down-time improves and your productivity during working hours increases as a result!
4. Incorporate exercise regularly to wave goodbye to stress and say hello to new-found energy levels!
This may be an obvious one, but all too often it is easy to let slip! With a busy lifestyle, exercise can seem like an additional chore or a logistical nightmare! However, exercise actually helps lower stress levels by reducing the amount of cortisol (the stress hormone) in your body and releasing endorphins (the feel-good hormone)! It is also believed to promote a more positive mindset in general! Whether you like the chamaraderie of group exercise, or prefer something more solitary, there is something for everyone. Think outside the box - take a walk in your lunch break; cycle to work or even workout at home!
5. Tailor your routine to work in harmony with your body — no more running on empty!
You are an individual and your daily energy cycles are unique to you. You may be a night owl, at your most productive and creative in the small hours, or you could be an early bird who is sharpest first thing in the morning. Spend some time reflecting on your daily energy levels and you will notice a pattern of highs and lows. Try to schedule your daily tasks around this, working with your natural rhythm, rather than against it.
6. Make me-time a fixture to be your best self and enjoy renewed enthusiasm for life!
Women are conditioned by society to be giving and selfless and we are often guilty of putting our own needs last. When something has to go, me-time is an easy target, leaving us feeling depleted and neglected, wondering why?! It is impossible to give from an empty cup, so a little me-time everyday is crucial to replenish your energy and be your best self. View it as a fixture rather than an option! Even something as simple as taking a bath, reading or meditating can be enough to reconnect with yourself and re-energise!
Everyone is unique — there is no one-size-fits-all approach to striking the right balance - but there is always room for improvement! By making these small adjustments and being mindful of your own needs, you can achieve your ideal work-life balance and be your best self across all areas of your life!
By Thrivhers Contributing Editor: Gemma Coldwell
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