It's no secret—managing all the things you have to do as an adult is a challenge. From doing your best on the job to taking care of yourself (and, if you have them, your kids) to trying to see friends and stay sane, we know you've got a lot on your plate.
And while it's up for debate whether you can "have it all," you certainly ought to be able to balance everything you need to do and also live a happy, fulfilling life. To help you out in that pursuit, we've gathered some of the best advice out there on maintaining a healthy work-life balance. Read the tips below, and start implementing some of them today.
Simple Ways to Achieve a Healthy Work-Life Balance
Make it a Point to Unplug
Smartphones. Smartwatches. Wifi everywhere you go. While technology has made the beauty of telecommuting easier than ever, it’s also made it incredibly difficult to unplug. Expectations of constant accessibility have caused the vast majority of men and women to feel like they are always on. The ‘9-5’ work grind, when you checked out once you left the office is a thing of years long since passed.
However, being constantly plugged in means your brain is always on. Like any muscle, it needs a break from time-to-time. Making it a point to regularly unplug is essential to both your performance and your mental wellbeing.
When life gets hectic, we begin to focus on the most crucial aspects. Eating. Sleeping. Visiting the bathroom. Trying not to fall down when we’re chasing after our kids. Unfortunately, one is forced to balance exercise and work almost always wins. Exercise takes a backseat, along with any weight loss goals and general quality of life.
Because as much as it may seem like you can skip your endorphin sesh, exercising can actually help you balance your busy schedule. It can give you the stress relief you need to perform your best, helping you keep your productivity up and weight loss goals on track.
Remember, You Don’t Have to be Perfect
Perfectionism isn’t uncommon. Whether you’re trying to climb the ladder, build a family or both, so many of us are trying to be perfect. We’re trying to be the best in all aspects of our lives. We’re trying to lose weight, so we look how we want. We’re trying to get a promotion, so we get the money and/or recognition we want. We’re trying to make the perfect marriage, be the perfect parent, and be the perfect friend. The reality is, being perfect is impossible. Trying to be so constantly is exhausting. But remember, you don’t have to be perfect. Sometimes getting by is enough. You, imperfect as you are, is enough.
Schedule Time for What’s Most Important
It can be easy to get so caught up in the piddly-nonsense of life that you don’t have time for what matters most to you. Take a few moments to consider your priorities and then schedule time for them. Block it out on the calendar. Date nights with your partner. Park outings with your kids. A friend’s getaway weekend. Exercise. Get it on the calendar. It’s the best way to make it happen.
Wake up a bit Earlier
Once the day gets going, it can be difficult to make some time for you. By waking up a bit earlier than the rest of the house, you can carve out some ‘me’ time. This could be for anything. You might choose to workout, read a book or meditate.
Let Yourself Have a Hobby
Hobbies can help inspire you. They can also give you an emotional outlet, which is an essential element of work-life balance. Let yourself have one, or several. You deserve it.
Try as you may, multitasking has been shown to be substantially inefficient. Instead, try and find ways to ‘kill two birds with one stone,’ so to speak. By overlapping activities, you can cross two things off your to-do list at once. For instance, if you want to spend more time with your kids and get a workout in, invite them to workout with you. Check out our list of 11 exercises you can do with your kids to keep them active and help you lose weight.
Remember, You Can Say ‘No’
A coworker asked you to happy hour? Your mother-in-law invited you to get your nails done? Your neighbor inquired about helping with their garage sale? You can say no! It’s impossible to be everything to everyone at all times. Embrace the power of saying no.
Stop and Smell the Roses
Or the rain. Or the freshly mowed grass. Or the clean kitchen. Or the pile of dirty laundry. Well, maybe not the pile of dirty laundry, because who wants a big whiff of that? But take a moment to stop and look around at how amazing life is. Breathe it in. Absorb it. Appreciate it. Let yourself be present in that moment.
Make Time for Fun
Even if it’s just once a week, make some time to do something you truly enjoy. It could be a dinner with friends. It might be a yoga class you love. It could be as simple as sitting on your back porch listening to the birds. Give yourself that little moment of joy.
Relish a Work-Free Vacation
Going on vacation? Fabulous! This is a great way to let your body rest, so you can come back restored. The key is to really rest. To step away from work. Set up an out-of-office email responder. Record a special vacation voicemail. Be clear about when you will be available again. And then resist the urge to check-in. If anything really blows up, someone will get in touch with you. It’s surprising how many fires will be put out without you needing to lift a finger.
Advocate for Your Time
Need to leave work by a certain time? Tell your boss and your coworkers. When it comes to work-life balance, one of the most important aspects is setting clear expectations with other people. That time frame may get pushed on occasion. But putting it out there for everyone to see is essential if you want it to happen.
Prep Meals for the Week
As basic as it sounds, food can be one of the biggest struggles faced when trying to manage a healthy work-life balance. Making time to go to the store, prep and cook can be laborious, at best. At worst, it can drive you to regularly visit your favorite takeout place. By taking an hour or two on the weekends to prep meals for the week, you can expedite the process and maximize your efficiency.
This might mean prepping all the veggies. It could mean pre-cooking your protein or baking a large one-pot dish of something. For instance, this Cuban Kale Protein Salad Bowl can be made in advance and enjoyed throughout the week. The key is to select recipes that are hearty enough to last. You don’t want to toss a bunch of spinach in some dressing on Sunday and plan to eat it on Tuesday. It’ll be wilted and gross.
Need help managing your weight while maintaining a healthy work-life balance? Our medically supervised weight loss program can give you the support you need to achieve your weight loss goals.
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