In Search of the Elusive Work-Life Balance: 4 Calls to Action

With many people still working from home these days, the line between work and off-hours has the potential to become blurry. But even if you’re in the office, it’s incredibly easy to stay at work too late, bring work home with you, and work when you should be recharging. The work ethic that drives the American dream is still noble and good—but as with anything, you can have too much of a good thing. So you need to know when and how to lift your nose from that grindstone to create a better work-life balance.

If you find that you’re always tired and run-down, or that you get sick often, or that you’re constantly turning down opportunities to spend time with loved ones due to work, then you’re probably working too hard.

Is this you? Take a step back, examine your life, and consider whether the following tips might help:

Set limits on your work.

This could be a commitment to coming home on time every day, or a daily or weekly limit on the amount of time you spend doing work-related things outside of normal working hours.

Say no.

Be realistic about what you can accomplish during the time you’ve allotted. Don’t take on extra tasks that you don’t have time for. It’s better to do the necessary tasks very well, than spread yourself too thin and do everything poorly—or end up sick in bed as a result of stress.

Set expectations.

If you’re really overloaded because your employer expects too much, it’s time to push back and set reasonable expectations. Take control of your work life and your health because no one else is going to do it for you.

Set aside time to relax.

This means different things to different people. Maybe you would love nothing more than to sleep in and do nothing on Saturday. Maybe you’d rather join a sports league or taking up knitting. Whatever it is, build that recharge time into your schedule and stick to it.

A healthy work-life balance requires a delicate balancing act and periodic recalibration. Check in with yourself occasionally to reevaluate and make sure you’re maintaining it. With summer just around the corner, there’s no better time to make sure you’re in a position to make the best of it. And you can’t do that when you’re overloaded with work.

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Work-Life Balance: A Personal Lookback

After graduating last May, I started my big girl job in the big city! I went in bright-eyed, bushy-tailed, but I soon came across something for which I was not prepared: just how hard it is to maintain a work-life balance in the winter. Between the snow, the wind, and the sun setting in the middle of the afternoon, finding the motivation to do anything productive is HARD. This is especially harder for those in relationships, as the lack of excitement can leave the relationship feeling like hitting a wall. After navigating this phenomenon for the past few months, I want to share with you two ways to maintain a work-life balance with a partner in the wintertime!

Cook with friends!

I don’t know about you, but once I’m home, all I want to do is take a warm bath, put on my PJs, curl up on the couch with a big bowl of popcorn, and binge-watch Netflix. However, after a few days of this with a partner, it starts to feel like we’re in a rut. Luckily, there are so many activities couples can do indoors to keep the spark alive. One way to do this is to use websites and apps in which you pick a meal and the company sends you the ingredients needed to make that meal! After you find your best couple friends using Couplr, cooking together is a great way to try something new, while growing the friendship between the couples!

Practice self-care!

The other side of the work-life balance coin is taking the time to practice self-care. Some of my favorite solo self-care activities include reading and journaling. As a couple, we take this time to talk through the relationship. A great way to do this is saying things we love about the relationship, as well as things we can do to improve together. Having these conversations is so important to keeping the relationship prosperous.

 

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