It can be far too easy to end up feeling overwhelmed at work. Though this sometimes does speak to your workload or taking on new tasks and skills, often the root cause has more to do with not having a healthy work-life balance.
Being a workaholic (especially for women) has been glorified for so many years, with so many people believing if you aren't working yourself to the bone, then you're simply not doing enough—or heaven forbid, you're interpreted as lazy.
It's well past time to end that stereotype.
Though it can feel scary to take a step back from that idea, believe us ... it's worth it.
REMEMBER: PERFECTION DOESN'T EXIST.
First, it's important to note that there's no one perfect way to achieve a successful work-life balance, especially when that looks different for each individual. Once you grasp this initial concept, it becomes easier to forgive yourself and move forward with a clear head when things get a little messy every now and then—because trust us, they will. Make changes at a small and steady pace! It doesn't have to be all or nothing right away.
During work hours, it's vital to pay attention to who is reaching out to you and when. But unless a specific instance calls for it, you must limit non-urgent work notifications for work hours only. I know, some of you are reading this and shaking your head. But give it a try. You might find you can enjoy your free time more and take on the next work day feeling refreshed and motivated. And, if you're going on a vacation ... unplug fully. It's a vacation, after all.
MAKE YOUR HEALTH A TOP PRIORITY.
Often, people will work through their lunch hour or get buried in a task and forget to do simple things like drink enough water, eat or stand up to stretch or take a walk. Though small, these intentional actions permeate through every aspect of our lives and add up over time (increased energy levels, better sleep, having a clear mind, etc.). Nobody is going to feel motivated do their best work when they're feeling far less than stellar. Consider setting a timer to remind yourself, if it would help!
Taking a moment to give your mind a break is essential, whether you're working or not! This simple practice can help you navigate emotions, improve your overall mood, help lessen stress and plenty more. The best part? Mindfulness doesn't need to take up a ton of your time. Even 5 – 10 minutes makes a difference.
Though having a healthy work-life balance takes practice and can certainly evolve over time, remember to take it all one day at a time.
Written by Sarah Suydam, Managing Editor for West Michigan Woman.