You know the feeling. Stretched to the limit. Candle burning at both ends. When you’re at work you feel guilty staying late. And you try to get a few things done on the Internet to save you time at home. When you’re home you’re answering work e-mails and texting your boss. Work and home lines blur. You feel frazzled. Exhausted. And ineffectual at both home and work.
Let’s face it. In this economy it often seems necessary to go to work early and stay late. People take fewer vacations and don’t even use all the time they’re allotted. Meanwhile, their general well being suffers, to say nothing of their relationships. If this is how you feel, it’s time to step back and take inventory.
What can you do to recalibrate your work/life balance?
Step up your exercise routine. Chances are, you’ve let it lapse. You probably feel the only way you’ll get an extra hour here and there is to cut yoga class or skip your morning run. But, in fact, exercise can be the very boon you need to make you more productive. Research shows exercise can help you feel more alert and boost your energy level. It’s one of those things you don’t want to do when you’re dragging, but glad you did once you’ve done it. It also helps keep you healthy—you don’t have time to be sick!
Cut back on people and things that sap your energy. Do you really need to read everyone’s Facebook posts three times a day? And how about learning to say no to the colleague who corners you with boring stories in the lunchroom? Or the person who sucks you into needless drama that you’d be better off without? Perhaps you have a pile of papers on your desk that gets bigger every day. Make it a practice to handle each item only once—either take action or file it or throw it away. Think about how you spend your days. Are there other ways you can cut back on wasted time and energy?
Put relaxation into your schedule. Most people plan their days to include all the things they’re going to do. But don’t pack your days so tightly that you don’t have time for a little fun and relaxation. It doesn’t have to be a lot of time. But everyone can take ten minutes a day to meditate. Or a 20-minute afternoon nap. And it wouldn’t kill you to leave the office early every so often. Or just sit at your desk for five minutes with your eyes closed while you take a few deep breaths. Or take 20 minutes for a yoga sun salutation. Or just simply go outside and enjoy the fresh air.
Nancy Travers is an Orange County Counseling professional. If you need safe, effective counseling services, please get in touch. You can reach her here: https://www.nancyscounselingcorner.com/contact-us.