Tips for women: Living a balanced life.
As a woman, achieving not only that work-social life balance but also self-care and family balance can be extremely difficult. It’s not as simple as having a 50/50 split as this can often bring up the question “where has the day gone?!”. The below tips should make ‘having it all’ seem less impossible.
Prioritize ‘me’ time
First things first, you must prioritize the person who makes it all happen, the person who people are relying on. That person is you, and just as a car can’t drive on an empty tank, you can’t do everything you want to do without having fuel! Getting into a healthy sleep routine may seem tough but once you have it under your belt, you’ll wonder how you ever managed without your eight hours. Sleep affects everything, your mood, stress levels, how your body controls its hormones, your diet, the list goes on. If you don’t have a good sleep/wake cycle you are hugely affecting the way you perform, and the likelihood is you’ll get a lot more done, in a shorter time, and at a better standard, if you’re well-rested.
When you’re healthy all you’re focusing on is the amount of work you must get done, or how many plans you need to attend. Whereas, when you’re ill, all you focus on is getting better, nothing else matters. This is a prime example of how people neglect their mental health. We should treat our minds in the same way we treat our physical health. If time out is necessary, then it is vital to take it. Just as we take vitamins in the morning to keep our immune systems strong, we should take 10-15 minutes a day to focus on the present, whether that’s in meditation or just some quiet time to ourselves. This will allow you to be more self-aware and give you more of an idea of what YOU need. This is also an important time to remind ourselves of our goals and values, which is an important thought to always keep in the back of your head.
The next part of fuelling yourself is making time for the most important meal of the day. Having a nutritious breakfast is vital for your functioning. You will be able to concentrate better and have more energy to last you throughout the day. Having breakfast doesn’t need to take lots of time out of your day, if you stock your cupboards with an easy ‘on-the-go’ breakfast to grab as you walk out of the door, it will not only make your mornings seem less chaotic but will set you up for the rest of the day.
Another thing that benefits our mental state hugely is exercise. Joining a gym and going to a class three times a week may not be for everyone, so something as simple as a brisk walk during your lunch break or with your morning coffee has been proven to boost your performance levels. Take every opportunity you can to walk everywhere or get in your 10,000 steps a day for example, and watch yourself attract and maintain a more positive attitude.
Something that goes hand in hand with the above tips is taking time out to socialize. Life is too short to take it so seriously all the time, and the best medication can sometimes be laughter. You need to give yourself permission to do things you love with people you love. Whether it’s a spa day or night out at the weekend, or a coffee break at lunch, even cooking dinner for a friend on a work night is a simple, beneficial activity. But similarly, if you feel as though your week is too full and you’re not having enough time out, then don’t feel pressured to attend all of your plans. Socialising is important but forced socializing can make you appear as though you don’t want to be somewhere and could affect relationships with your friends.
The main aspect of having a positive work-life balance is not worrying about work when you’re home, but have still achieved your deadlines and goals. Working smart but not for long is a way of carrying out tasks in a set amount of time and once that time is up, you move on to something new. This way you get things done but a lot more proactively as tasks don’t become tedious, and you can give each one 100% of your attention. You must not be afraid to speak up at work if it’s getting too much and should take breaks when necessary. Flexible and remote working where possible is beneficial as it gives you a change of scenery and slightly more time in the day for example, without travel time, which will again increase how proactive you are.