Work-Life Balance ideas: Try them today!

By RMHP

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Balancing Your Work-Life

As we enter into a whole new year, resolutions for better health abound. Eat less junk, exercise more, stress less, save more. These are all great ideas, and we’d love to hear your favorite resolutions, but we have another one that seems to be increasingly relevant these days:

Work-Life balance.

With the advent of smart phones, tablets, ubiquitous wifi, hotspots, and video conferencing, it seems like the traditional 9-5 job is a thing of the past. As a result, ‘flexible hours’ now often become extended hours. This is commonly called the ‘second shift’, when someone who worked 8-10 hours during the day works another 2-5 hours in the evening.

 

While perhaps most visible for working parents, the struggle to balance work and life is something that impacts the entire workforce.

 

If you are feeling like you never leave the office, or the office never leaves you, a 2015 resolution to seek balance might be a great alternative for you.

 

This can be a tricky goal, however, because “balance” does not have a specific recipe. There is no single way to achieve it, since family dynamics, schedules, priorities, and work responsibilities are highly individual.

 

It is essential you speak to your boss or supervisor if you feel like your hours are becoming unrealistic. Do not change your work habits without approval from your boss! (But be sure to talk to your boss if you feel like you are working hours that were not initially agreed upon. Some jobs have necessarily long hours agreed upon at the outset. This is not saying that such jobs are unrealistic. This is simply to say that technology has subtly shifted professional expectations at the cost of non-work life. And that there are solutions.)

 

In the goal of balance, however, a few specific resolutions might include:

Adults with kids:

  • Eat dinner with the kids at least twice a week. If possible, list which days these are.
  • Decide on specific ‘family time’ that will always be just for hanging out as a family. It could be Sunday afternoon park time or Friday evening homemade pizza dinners, or anything else that appeals to your family. But carve out consistent time that is just for the family.
  • Take time for yourself at least three times a week. Whether an exercise class, a cup of good tea enjoyed (uninterrupted) with your favorite book or some time exploring Pinterest, indulging in your interests is vital to maintaining your mental health.

 

Adults without kids:

  • If you like interesting food and wine/beer, try a new restaurant at least once a month.
  • Explore your city or town, look up free walking tours or other tourist attractions to get started. Get to know where you live!
  • Make sure you socialize at least once a week. This can be as simple as having your best friend over for a movie night with PJs or as elaborate as checking out the latest club in your favorite outfit.
  • Eat at least one lunch a week outside the office. Or, if you pack lunch for budget reasons (good job!), eat it at the office and then take half an hour to get out of the office. You are legally guaranteed this break in an 8 hour work day, so take a walk or go peruse the tabloids at the corner store or anything that gets you out.
  • Don’t forget your friendships, and find the time to nurture them at least once a week.
  • Take time for yourself at least three times a week. Whether an exercise class, a cup of good tea enjoyed with your favorite book or some time exploring Pinterest, indulging in your interests is vital to maintaining your mental health.

 

What is your favorite way to achieve work-life balance?

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