Regaining Balance: Way to encourage balance in your working life
The last 18 months has been a bit of a rollercoaster for many. Yet regardless of whether you actually experienced more balance in your life or less of it, most of us are now pretty much back in the swing of pre-pandemic routines. Perhaps at this stage in the game, we’re craving a bit more balance again, as we settle back into the new normal and a faster pace of life.
So what can we do to restock and reset our ways of working during these busier times? The wellness sabbatical was heralded as a major trend for 2020 but is it necessary to spend weeks, months or even a year-out investing on a costly programme in order to find more balance in your working life?
However, research shows that people who take time off, live longer and are happier, in both their personal and work lives. With that said, for most, extended periods off work to focus on your health and wellbeing is a luxury afforded by only a few.
A more manageable way to re-evaluate your lifestyle, might be to try and incorporate balance in your daily working life, and consider now and then taking a day off to stop, take check, and focus on your needs. Some might see this as selfish or a luxury but it’s worth investing in your wellbeing, and you will reap the dividends, in both your working and personal life.
Signs You Need Balance
But how can you tell whether you need to shake up the daily grind and find more balance in your work life? When you know, you know.
- You’re feeling overwhelmed with your to-do list
- You’re feeling worried or unsettled about the future
- Life doesn’t feel fulfilling, as though something is missing
- You experience one extreme or the other (but mainly a sense of being overwhelmed)
- You feel as though you just need a break, perhaps your work life just feels like a slog.
Planning: Creating Balance in your Work Life
All good plans start with research. It’s important for you make the best choices for you, and only you can determine exactly which areas of your working life that require more balance.
Start by making a list of all the points in your working life that are causing stress or worry. The parts that just feel like ‘too much’.
Reflect on whether you need to instil boundaries with colleagues or customers. Do you need to have a conversation with a colleague or director to make them aware of the issue, to push back or offer an alternative solution? Can you park this project or piece of work for a short time or recruit another team member to support you?
Next, write down all the things that help you feel relaxed. You might like to identify some new wellness experiences you’d like to try or that have worked for you before. Things like an in-class or online yoga class, mindfulness, time in nature, a new sleep routine, human connection, a sport you enjoy.
Also consider trying stress-reducing treatments you haven’t tried before – things like massage. Something that might open up new doors of possibility for you, something you’ve always been drawn to but never given yourself the opportunity.
Create a special environment at home which is device-free – perhaps an area or room just for you to come home to where you can switch off.
What’s important is that you need to experience and internalise how it feels to find that level of clear thinking and balance that is present when you are in a relaxed state. As it’s far harder to tap into this when life is busy.
The hope is that this will become something that you can feel inspired by and then sustain on a daily or weekly basis. It’s all about starting a new routine – one where you have good boundaries and a selection of tools, situations and past times that will counteract the stress.
Sometimes we need a prompt to help gather our thoughts and define our needs. Often, getting down our thoughts onto a blank page can be a great place to start. You might like to try some of these proven approaches.
Write down a few bullet points regarding the most important areas in your work life. Then write a paragraph or two about each one. Where are you now, where do you want to be, what will it take to make the changes?
List of 100
Write a list of 100 things you’d like to do before you reach your next birthday. They can be big or small, and everything in between – things that you know will counteract stress.
Write a letter to yourself in one year or five years’ time. What makes your life balanced? What brings you joy? How is your life different? Where do you live? Who is in your life? Write without stopping for 6 minutes.