The myth of work/life balance
You’ve heard stories of millennials traveling the world while making thousands of dollars each month. Your social media feed is full of vacation photos and weekend excursions from everyone except for you. You overhear your colleagues chatting about the latest episode of that TV show they watch every single week. How do they do it?
As you wrap-up another 40+ hour week (because who only works 40 hour weeks) you start to wonder if you’ll ever find that work/life balance. Unfortunately, your dream of working barefoot on a beach with a tiny umbrella-d drink might not come true. However, there are feasible ways to help you achieve a work/life balance so you can spend your life… actually living.
“Prevent burnout by finding a healthy balance between responsibilities at work and enjoyment at home. Whether it’s putting the phone away during family dinners or scheduling a date night instead of a business meeting, you’ll find that having a healthy work/life balance will pay dividends in better health and happiness.” — Dr. Keegan Duchiela
Leave work at work
We often feel immense pressure from work. However, it’s important not to bring that pressure home with you. If you have limited time to spend with your family or roommates, make the most of it by keeping work out-of-mind. Resist the urge to check your emails or complain about your boss. Be in the moment and enjoy every second of time you get to spend with the people you care about most.
Sometimes the pressure you feel isn’t real. It feels real at the time, but you have a choice to let the feeling of possible bad control the moments that could be possibly great. Confused? It actually makes sense. You might have a deadline coming up or a difficult conversation to have. Maybe you sense that bad news is on your doorstep… however, don’t let the possibility of these future events influence the present. Ask yourself if anything is immediately wrong in that specific moment. If you are breathing, with loved ones, away from bad influences, and out of the office, chances are things are pretty okay and the pressure you feel is made up in your head. Your mood is your choice –– choose to be happy.
We’re all guilty of drifting off at work. Perhaps your vice is daydreaming or frequently browsing the internet. We don’t spend 100% of our time in the office doing our actual job. However, multitasking, or flipping back and forth between two activities can actually make you less productive. If you stay focused, you’re more likely to finish your work early so that you can make it home for dinner at a reasonable hour.
Maximize your lunch break
If you need a break, make the most out of your lunch by going to the gym or attending a class of your choice. Obviously, don’t skip your meal, but try and fit another activity in before hand. If alternate lunch time activities aren’t your thing, you can grab a friend or go solo with a good book. Whatever activity gets your mind of work is always a good choice.
Take that vacation
Just a friendly reminder that it’s totally okay to use your vacation days! People often complain that they don’t have enough vacation days, however they also don’t actually use their vacation because they’re scared to take “too much.” There is no problem with using all of your allotted vacation days to rest and recover. Spend time with your family or take that trip you’ve been dreaming about for years. The trip is yours to plan, but make sure you enjoy every single minute.
We’ve just listed a few reasonable ways for you to achieve a better work/life balance. However, if you’re really excited by the idea of traveling the world or pursuing a side project, you’ve just got to go for it. As long as you and your loved ones stay happy and healthy, you have the choice to pursue whatever you want.
Author: Maya Gilliss-Chapman