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Maintaining Work-life Balance and Stress Management

Achieving a healthy work-life balance requires managing our professional and personal life in sustainable ways that keep our energy flowing, our minds and body healthy and our whole selves happy and satisfied.

This means, giving due attention to all things that enrich and fulfill us during work and career, health and finances, family and relationships, spirituality, community service, hobbies and passions, intellectual stimulation, rest, and recreation. Achieving this balance guarantees a heightened level of efficiency and perfection in the workspace.

Here are a few tips to achieve a proper work-life balance:

1) Accept the fact that there is no such thing as ‘perfect work-life balance

When you hear “work-life balance,” you probably imagine having an extremely productive day at work and leaving early to spend the other half of the day with friends and family. While this may seem ideal, it is not always possible. 

Don’t strive for the perfect schedule; strive for a realistic one. Some days, you might focus more on work, while other days you might have more time and energy to pursue your hobbies or spend time with your loved ones. Balance is achieved over time, not each day. 

2) Prioritize your Health

Prioritizing your health first and foremost will make you a better worker. You will miss less work, and at the same time will be at peak productivity and efficiency. Your overall physical, emotional and mental health should be your main concern. If you struggle with anxiety or depression and think therapy would benefit you, fit those sessions into your schedule, even if you have to leave work early or ditch your evening spin class. If you are battling a chronic illness, don’t be afraid to call in sick on rough days. Overworking yourself prevents you from getting better, possibly causing you to take more days off in the future. 

3) Make time for yourself and your loved ones

While your job is very important, it should not be everything in your life. You should also prioritize activities that make you happy. If you do not firmly plan for personal time, you will never have time to do other things outside of work. No matter how hectic your schedule is, you ultimately should have control over your life.

When planning time with family and the people you love, create a calendar for romantic and family dates. It may seem weird to plan one-on-one time with someone you live with, but it will ensure that you spend quality time with them without any conflict. Just because your work keeps you busy, doesn’t mean you have a free pass to neglect yourself and your relationships.

4) Set boundaries and work hours

 Set boundaries for yourself and your colleagues, to avoid burnout. When you leave the office, avoid thinking about upcoming projects or answering company emails. Consider having a separate computer or phone for work, so you can shut it off when you clock out. If that isn’t possible, use separate browsers, emails, or filters for your work and personal platforms. Also, make sure to notify your peers about boundaries beyond which you cannot be accessible because you are engaged in personal activities. 

This will help to ensure that they respect your work limits and expectations.

5) Learn when to say ‘no’

It can be challenging to say ‘no’ especially when you’re saying it to your boss or supervisor. However, learning when to say no’ can be essential to your work-life balance.

When your answer is always ‘yes’ to a task or project, you may start to feel overwhelmed by your increasing workload, which could result in stress and reduced productivity. To avoid this, evaluate your schedule and make sure there’s room before taking on additional work. If you don’t think you can take on another task, explain why to your boss and thank them for considering you.

Techniques to manage stress:

If you feel like your work and home life are out of balance, it can be hard to strive to be the best in what you do. Make sure to dedicate some time for yourself to participate in activities that will help you reduce stress and anxiety. Here are a few techniques to manage stress so you can enjoy your time after office:

  • Regular Exercise is a common stress reliever. This can range from working out in the gym, to home workouts, to playing a sport, to taking yoga classes, to swimming, etc., Not only does it get your mind off work but it releases feel-good hormones and balances your mental health. Choose an activity you enjoy and make it a priority in your schedule every week.
  • Practice relaxation techniques such as focused breathing, meditation. Not only can this help reduce stress and control anxiety, but they can also help promote emotional health and even improve rest and sleep quality.
  • Eating healthy meals and maintaining a balanced diet can help you manage your stress by strengthening your immune system and keeping you healthy all year round.
  • You must get enough rest and sleep. When you’ve had a stressful day at work, your body needs time to mentally and physically recoup. Getting a good night’s rest can ensure you stay energised and productive.
  • Make time to participate in your hobbies to relieve stress, whether it’s to read a book or an hour-long bike ride after work. Even a few minutes of personal time can improve stress and anxiety.

The key to achieving work-life balance is learning how to prioritize your time and responsibilities. Establishing clear boundaries, leaving work at the office, and being open with your peers about your needs can help you stay efficient, avoid conflict, and be happy at work. Hence, achieving work-life balance is vital to live a happy life.

John Xavier


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