Arriving at work early and finishing late? Our careers take up the majority of our waking hours but where do we draw the line in terms of a healthy balance?
Balance is about finding moderation between the three main areas of our life:
Relationships, work, and self-care. Our days don’t always go to plan so it can be difficult to get right. Often it is work that is over emphasised and self-care such as finding time to relax, exercise or plan meals falls on the wayside. A chronic imbalance can negatively impact on health management as meals can be skipped, sweet snacks turned to for energy and emotional eating and drinking comes into play.
Here are some tips to help:
- Develop boundary setting practices to ensure you are managing your day based on priorities- Ask yourself what really needs to be done today and what is suitable to leave for the next day. You may like to write a list.
- Learn to be assertive and express your needs- Recognise and value your own personal limits. It is okay to say no or ask for help if you feel you have taken on too much.
- Don’t expect to be perfect- Aiming for perfectionism in every task is unrealistic and can lead to burning out. Instead, strive for excellence.
- Learn your warning signs- What signals might indicate that an imbalance is developing in your life? What steps can you take to bring it back to balance?
- Unplug- Work related notifications during your time off can cause a constant undercurrent of stress in your life. Take control, turn email notifications off and have quality time away from work without constant accessibility.
- Treat your self-care like a job – Take full responsibility and commit to nurturing yourself. Schedule activity, time to yourself and meal planning into your diary.
- Reach out to your support system – Research suggests that health related behaviours such as eating habits, physical activity and alcohol use are largely influenced by social support. Tell your friends and family about your goals so they can support you on your journey.
- Start small – Remember that changing habits ingrained over a long period of time is a work in progress. Rather than an all or nothing approach, you may start your new habit on 1 or 2 days per week and build up from there.