The world is an increasingly hectic place, with constant work and family demands. To keep operating at your highest potential, it is important to take time for yourself and find ways to recharge your batteries. Read on for some simple, easy-to-embrace recommendations for finding optimal work-life balance.
If your life is filled with long days of work, family responsibilities, or both, it can be hard to make time for exercise. However, Psychology Today explains exercise has been shown to improve mental health by producing feel-good hormones like endorphins. Exercise has also been shown to reduce depression and anxiety.
Try reframing how you think about exercise to make it a priority in your life. Rather than viewing exercise as a chore, think of it as something you are doing to take care of yourself. Find activities you enjoy so you look forward to them, and do them at least once a week.
Slip in some exercise into your day seamlessly. Park farther away when you run errands, take the stairs, walk when you’re chatting on the phone, or use an exercise ball when you’re at your work desk or in front of the TV.
Make Time for Mindfulness
With busy schedules and constant demands, giving your brain time to rest and reset can be difficult. American Psychological Association notes carving out a few minutes for mindfulness each day can boost your memory, increase your ability to focus, reduce stress, and stabilize your emotional responses.
The great news is that technology makes it easier than ever to maximize mindfulness. Consider downloading a guided meditation app, such as Aura. Aura packs its meditation sessions into just three-minute micro-sessions.
If you want to combine your mindfulness with exercise, consider incorporating yoga into your daily routine. Just like meditation, there are a number of great apps that can help provide you easy yoga sessions whenever it is convenient for you. Consider trying out Down Dog, which offers a three-day intro.
Don’t let a messy and cluttered home get in the way of your meditation practice. You can reduce anxiety and promote positive thoughts by tossing away old items you never use, giving your home a thorough cleaning (including your windows), and allowing more fresh air in.
Reflect Through Journaling
Regular practice of journaling can have a positive impact on physical and mental well-being. On the physical side, it has been shown to strengthen immune cells and decrease symptoms of asthma and rheumatoid arthritis. For mental health, journaling is a great stress management tool.
If you are committed to a fully digital lifestyle, you can easily implement a journaling practice on your phone. Try app Day One, an award-winning journaling app that allows you to add photos, videos, drawings, and audio recordings to your entries. If you value putting a pen to paper, consider a journal like Silk + Sonder that offers a subscription model, delivering a beautiful journal to your door each month.
It can be all too easy to get sucked into an endless cycle of work, without time to meet with friends and loved ones. Be sure to carve out time to spend with the people you care about. If time is tight, HerCampus suggests simple things like making time for lunch dates or connecting over coffee. Keep it short and sweet if you must, but don’t skip your social life. These human connections are opportunities to give support and be supported, vent and receive feedback, and laugh and enjoy life.
Taking just a few minutes out of your day to focus on yourself can mean remaining refreshed and focused. Remember that in the bigger picture, self-care doesn’t take away from your career; it enhances it. Three cheers for taking care of yourself!