The line between work and home life has slightly blurred over the last few years, with work and home life happening in the same building or room. That makes it much harder to break away from our work environment and thoroughly decompress after a hard day’s work.
If you work away from home, you may have a side hustle you’re working on at home, which, while rewarding, can sometimes bleed into time spent enjoying yourself and your loved ones.
Balancing work and life can be tricky, but you can do it with consistent discipline and plenty of activities to look forward to. You can try some of the following tips to help with that challenge.
Keep a Consistent Bedtime and Nighttime Routine
Sleep is one of the most important activities you can do, mainly because it helps your body heal, process information, and prevent chronic illnesses like heart disease or diabetes.
Getting ready for bed can also be a sacred self-care ritual. Light some candles and take a bath with a fun bath bomb or a hot shower with lavender body wash or steamers. Wear fresh pajamas or change your sheets to feel extra clean and cozy. Don’t do any stimulating activities or work an hour before you want to sleep.
Turn Off Work at a Consistent Time
Working an extra hour or two might feel good. However, like with sleep, you want to work a consistent schedule daily, which means stopping work around the same time. Doing so also helps you manage your time better if you must complete certain tasks by a specific time.
If you set a time to stop working, you can take some scheduled self-care time, especially close to bedtime. Plus, you’ll get extra time to enjoy a delicious meal, a TV show, or other fun activities by yourself or with your family.
Pick a Night for a Specific Activity
Having something to look forward to helps your well-being and allows you to have fun outside work.
Pick one night a week where you do one specific activity, which can be things like:
- Making dinner for yourself or your family
- Putting together a puzzle
- Playing a game
- Watching a movie
- Continuing a fun TV show
- Going out to a new restaurant
- Getting ice cream or another sweet treat
Listen to Your Body
Being mindful of your body’s needs can go a long way in productivity and general well-being. That means feeding your body when you’re hungry, drinking plenty of liquids, and taking breaks when needed.
If you feel anxious, you can always take a few seconds to take deep breaths. Don’t push through an activity or task if you don’t think you can do it right then.
That also goes for working when you’re overtired. If you can, take a few moments to close your eyes and take some deep breaths. If you’re working from home, you might take a brief nap, stretch, or do deep muscle relaxation. life
Remember, it’s not glamorous to work yourself until you burn out. Instead, take stock of yourself every so often to see what you need. Set reminders on your phone to help you remember these self-checks.
Disconnect From Work When You’re Finished
Genuinely disconnecting from work is more challenging than ever since we always have our messaging apps and emails at our fingertips. Even if you’re watching TV, you could be checking your email on the sly.
It’s easier to physically enter an office since you can leave your work materials there. However, if you need to check emails, only do so within an hour of leaving work. life
If you have a home office, close the door when you leave for the day. Similarly, only check your emails within an hour of stopping work. Otherwise, leave everything until the next day.
Remember, if you check your emails at a particular hour at night, in most cases, it’s most productive to let it go into tomorrow. No one else might be online to assist you, and you’re better off leaving that stress for later when you’re not trying to unwind from the day.
Take Advantage of Designated Break Times and PTO
If you have a paid lunch hour or designated break times at work, use them fully. It might feel good to push through those periods with more work, but it will feel better if you take scheduled times to turn off work and decompress for a while.
You can spend those break periods however you like, like getting a meal or snack, sitting still and breathing, watching a short video, and more, as long as you disconnect from work briefly.
The same goes for taking your vacation, sick, or personal days. Studies have shown that taking breaks every so often can prevent burnout and illness and also help enrich your life. Again, your mental and physical well-being is way more important than work, so be mindful of when you need rest.
Talk to Your Superior about Flexibility
In most cases, it’s okay to be flexible with your work schedule. For example, if you have a set work schedule from 7 to 3:30, but you’ll work better if you get in at 7:30 instead, ask if you can adjust your schedule as such. Most supervisors or managers will be satisfied if eight hours of work gets done during the day, no matter when you start.
Establish Boundaries With Your Coworkers
This step can go a long way in helping to disconnect from work after you’re done for the day. Tell your team when you won’t be available to answer emails or text messages, and stick to it. Once you start making exceptions within your free time, your boundary will be no good.
The same goes for saying no to extra tasks. Don’t take them if you will need several extra hours in the day to get something done, and it bleeds into time for yourself or loved ones. life
In emergencies, when something needs immediate attention, you might need to make an exception. However, when a task has a reasonable deadline, stick to your boundary and leave it until tomorrow.
Enjoy the Small Things
Finding the right way to relax and enjoy between work shifts can be daunting. If nothing else, remember to enjoy the small things.
That also means remembering that your life does not revolve around work. Ultimately, your life amounts to your hobbies, relationships, character, and other things, not just work. So you’ll accomplish a lot more if you give as much attention to those things as you do work.
Be Compassionate to Yourself
While doing an excellent job at work is essential, it does not define who you are. So, if you make mistakes or cannot accomplish everything, that is perfectly okay.
Also, don’t feel obligated to take on too many tasks for yourself. If you need help, it’s okay to ask for it.
Know When It’s Time To Quit
Work culture tends to talk big about not quitting, but quitting might be the better option for your well-being. life
If you work insane hours day in and day out just to stay caught up, your boss is not listening to your requests or questions, or your coworkers are slacking, it might help to start looking elsewhere. Changing jobs is not easy, but it might be the best way to maintain baseline health in extreme cases.
Finding the right work-life balance can be difficult because you want to do good work without sacrificing yourself to the grind. However, you can work on setting boundaries and disconnecting after work with patience and practice. Take small steps towards balancing your work with your life, and you’ll get there soon. life