Establishing a healthy work life balance is easier said than done. Trying to juggle your career with your family, hobbies, marriage, social life, and so much more can make you feel like you don’t have the ability to give every aspect of your life the attention it deserves.
You can’t pour from an empty cup … and spreading yourself too thin between work and daily life is not helping you keep your cup full. Achieving work life balance is not just important, it’s crucial to your sanity. Here are a few ways you can create a good balance between the two.
Don’t hang out with people who drain your energy.
While a social life is important, one of the best ways to balance your life is to examine the people you’re spending your free time with. Notice the difference between those who are helping you fill your cup and those who are draining your energy. These people are sometimes referred to as “energy vampires,” and unfortunately, identifying them can be a little tricky.
Sometimes the people you have been around for years can actually be taking away from your life more than they’re adding to it. It can even be people you’re around daily.
Ways to point out the “Energy Vampires” in your life:
- They’re constantly part of drama.
- They always try to “one-up” you and make themselves seem better than you.
- They try to make conversations all about themselves.
- They blame others for their problems.
Manage your time.
You won’t magically wake up one morning and have time for it all … you need to make time for it all. The first step to doing this is figuring out where your time should go.
Start by figuring out your biggest priorities. This looks different for everyone, but could include things like family time, faith, work, working out, etc. Then, make a conscious effort to schedule those things into your schedule every single day. If you find that you don’t have enough time to dedicate to each of these things, try making a point to get up a little earlier in the morning for extra time. Read this article for tips on how to wake up earlier if you’re not an early riser.
Put your health first.
Speaking of a healthy work life balance, your own health couldn’t be more important. Again, this goes back to the idea that you can’t pour from an empty cup … taking care of yourself should always be your top priority.
This is about more than just working out and eating right (although those are both still important). You should also be prioritizing your mental health. If you feel overwhelmed with stress or anxiety, don’t be afraid to enroll in therapy. In the past, therapy has traditionally been a taboo topic, but over the past 5 years or so, it’s become more encouraged. Read this article for tips on finding a therapist that might be best for you.
Something that many people don’t realize is that it is okay to take sick days if you’re sick. Oftentimes, we worry about falling behind or get anxious about what our boss or coworkers will think this says about our work ethic. The truth is, if you are sick, you are sick. Stay home and don’t share your germs … everyone will thank you in the long run.
Realize that your work life balance will never be perfect.
In a perfect world, we would have an extremely productive workday, leave the office at 3 p.m., and spend the rest of the day putting in quality time with our friends, family, kids, or spouse. We would have an amazing family dinner, have the best time playing board games all night, and then wake up the next morning to do it all over again. Keep in mind, this scenario is in a perfect world—something that will likely not be realistic in your daily life.
The reality is that your days will rarely go exactly according to your plans. Let go of the idea that you need to be a perfect employee while simultaneously being a perfect human, husband, wife, parent, sibling, or whatever! Do your best at work and at home, but don’t beat yourself up if you aren’t living out your perfect vision of what your life should be.
A healthy work life balance is a journey.
A work life balance is one of those things that you don’t realize how much you needed until you have it. It’s also one of those things that won’t necessarily have a “finish line.” You should constantly be working on getting better at this. But while it takes work and evaluation of your priorities, it will be worth it.
For more information on balancing your life, read our blog post on “How to Stay Connected When You’re Busy.”