One of the things I hear most often is that you’d be healthier and happier if you only had more time and that you are just too busy between work and life to focus on your well-being. Listen, I get it. I’m not always practicing what I preach. There are definitely days when I hit snooze instead of meditating, reach for caffeine instead of lemon water, or settle in for a Housewives marathon instead of working out.
But there is a big difference between self-care and self-sabotage. One night of Housewives to unwind isn’t a problem. Using it as an excuse to go off the rails is! Establishing and maintaining healthy habits is all about commitment, planning, and setting yourself up for ease. It is possible to find work-life balance and it’s easier than you think!
6 tips for finding work-life balance
Establish a consistent bedtime
Yep. I’m starting with this one to get it out of the way. YOU. NEED. TO. SLEEP. On a regular basis. For 7+ hours. The rest of my tips don’t mean a thing (ok – they mean something) if you don’t get enough sleep. Sleep truly impacts all aspects of your mind, body, and soul. When you are tired you are distracted, uninspired, and chaotic. You aren’t connected to your breath or body. You snap at your family, friends, coworkers, and strangers. You are disconnected from your inner guidance system. Establishing a regular sleep schedule is the best thing that you can do for your life.
Plan and prepare your meals for the week
Set aside a few hours each week to plan and prepare your meals and snacks for the week. This may seem like a time-suck in the moment but when you get home late after a crazy day in the office you will be happy to open the refrigerator, pull out something healthy, and have dinner ready in 10 minutes or less. You can use a meal planner and write out your meals for the week and create your shopping list. Prepare as much as possible in advance. I love roasting a giant tray of veggies, hard boiling eggs, making a big batch of soup, and washing and chopping raw fruits and veggies on the weekend. Get in the habit of packing your lunch right after dinner with the leftovers.
Create a dedicated exercise and meditation space
I’m not talking about a fully equipped home gym but keep your yoga mat, weights, and meditation pillow ready. After a long day it can be hard enough to choose the workout clothes over your comfy pjs so why make it harder by needing to pull out your equipment? Do you practice yoga near your computer or television? Keep your mat there waiting for you to simply unroll and go. Do you meditate in your bedroom when you wake up? Keep your pillow out.
Schedule your workouts
Work-life balance is all about limiting guilt and unnecessary stress. One of the biggest guilt areas is usually around not working out. If you don’t make exercise a priority it just won’t happen. It’s as simple as that. There is always going to be something else to do. And we know that we feel healthier and happier when we workout. So make it a non-negotiable. Schedule your workouts just like you schedule your haircut, meeting, or dentist appointment and follow the schedule. And be realistic when you create your schedule. Don’t schedule a 5am gym session when you struggle to get out of bed in the morning or tell yourself that you’ll go to yoga after work when you know you usually work late.
Schedule one self-love activity
This one is completely up to you. Maybe you set aside a night to cozy up on the couch with your furry friend and Bravo on-demand. Or you meet your friends for a spin class. Plan a romantic date night with your honey. Turn off your phone and take a relaxing bath. Go for a long walk alone with your thoughts. Whatever nourishes you – do it once a week. Knowing that you have this to look forward to will balance out the daily grind.
Bookend your day with stillness
How do you start and end your day? Do you snooze until the very last minute and go straight from the computer to bed at night? Adding a few minutes of stillness into your day will change the way you experience your life. Stillness reduces your stress, clears your mind, and promotes productivity. Instead of snoozing tomorrow, sit up in bed and breathe deeply for a minute or two. Commit to staying screen-free while you get ready for work. Power-down all your electronics at least an hour before bed and read a physical book. Just before you turn off the lights, close your eyes and breathe deeply while you silently recite 5 things that you are grateful for.
Ready to find more balance, get healthy and still have fun? Schedule a free consultation to get started!