“Success is getting what you want. Happiness is wanting what you get.” – Dale Carnegie
Juggling career and family in today’s 24/7 world has never been more challenging. Check out these 10 simple tips that you can do today (and every day) to significantly reduce your stress levels and maintain a healthy work-life balance.
Whenever you’re feeling stressed out, just take a few deep breaths to calm your mind, slow down and feel your body relax. Remember this the next time you’re stuck in traffic, waiting in line at the supermarket, sitting in a meeting, working on a project deadline, dealing with your kids, experiencing travel delays at the airport, making a presentation… you get the idea.
“Smile, Breathe and Go Slowly” – Thich Nhat Hanh
Exercise Your Mind and Body
Focus on one healthy thing that you can do every day to exercise your mind and body. Not only is exercise good for reducing stress, it also affects your mood and boosts your immune system. Studies show that it takes 30 days to form a habit, so whatever you choose to do, do it consistently every day for a month. Try walking instead of taking the stairs, do stretching or a few simple exercises when you wake up or before you go to bed, join a health club, take a yoga class, do a crossword or jigsaw puzzle, learn a new skill, take a self-training class on your computer or smartphone (like learning a new language), play a video game… anything to get your mind and body moving so you’ll feel better physically, mentally and emotionally.
“To keep the body in good health is a duty… otherwise we shall not be able to keep our mind strong and clear”- Buddha
Eat Healthy Foods & Drink More Water
It’s no secret that when you eat a healthy balanced diet, you have more energy and feel better mentally and physically. That doesn’t mean you have to live on fruits and vegetables and deprive yourself of all your favorite foods. Eat what you love, but keep portions smaller. Fill up on the good stuff! Try to eat mindfully – take time to enjoy every bite and really taste your food. And drink plenty of water throughout the day so that you never feel thirsty or get dehydrated.
“Eat breakfast like a king, lunch like a prince, and dinner like a pauper” – Adelle Davis
Learn to say “No”
It’s OK to say no – you don’t have to say yes to everything. Focus on your priorities and do what you have to do. More importantly, do what you want to do. Socially, you don’t have to accept every invitation or feel guilty and stressed out if you say no. There’s no need to explain yourself. Life is too short and time is too precious to do anything out of obligation (unless of course it’s a family wedding or an important event). Be true to yourself.
“It’s all about quality of life and finding a happy balance between work and friends and family.” – Philip Green
Contrary to what a lot of people think, you don’t have to sit in a lotus position and meditate for hours – just 5-10 minutes a day is all you need to feel the benefits. Calm your mind, relax your body, reduce your stress levels, boost your immunity and sleep better at night. We practice Mindfulness Meditation (moment-to-moment awareness). It’s about being mindful and paying attention to the present moment, focusing on the breath. Whatever your meditative technique may be, find one that works for you and commit to meditating every day. If you find it hard to sit still, consider a walking meditation – it’s a great way to connect with nature and focus on the moment.
“The mind can go in a thousand directions, but on this beautiful path, I walk in peace. With each step, the wind blows. With each step, a flower blooms.” – Thich Nhat Hanh
Enjoy Your Work
When you consider how much of your life is spent at work, it’s crazy not to enjoy your job. Studies show that if you’re happy at work and love what you do, you’ll be more productive, feel less stressed out and be more successful. Even better if you have a boss who coaches you and motivates you to be your best (increase your productivity, improve your sales performance, communicate more effectively, reduce your stress levels, set goals and develop your career plan). If you’re not getting the coaching you need or want, consider hiring a Personal Coach.
“The only way to do great work is to love what you do” – Steve Jobs
Keep Calm and Get Organized
Typically when we’re organized, we’re more productive and less stressed out. Get rid of all the clutter in your house – give things away, have a garage sale or donate to charity. Instead of having a million little stickies all around your home, car and office, consider using one of our favorite productivity apps – Evernote for note-taking and keeping track of everything. There’s a free version to get started and it’s easy to use. There’s even free video training available to help you learn about it. Keep all your notes in one place and synchronize them across all devices (desktop, laptop, smartphone and watch). Of course that doesn’t mean you won’t ever use a sticky again, but it should keep them to a minimum.
“Never put off till tomorrow what you can do today” – Thomas Jefferson
Sleep is so important to our mental and physical health. Ideally, you should get 7-8 hours of sleep every night. Make an effort to avoid caffeine and alcohol, eat early and try to turn off all your electronic devices 1-2 hours before bedtime (easier said than done)! Try some stress-reducing techniques to calm your mind, unwind and be in the present moment (deep breathing, listening to music, taking a bubble bath). If you’re really tired and can go to bed earlier, do it. Listen to your body.
“Do not dwell in the past, do not dream of the future, concentrate the mind on the present moment” – Buddha
Make Play a Priority
With all the demands at work and at home, it’s not always easy to decompress and make time for play. But play is essential for our well-being – we all need a little fun and balance in our lives. On weekends, try to minimize emails and texting. Make it a priority to spend time doing something that you enjoy (that isn’t work related). Have lunch with friends, see a movie, read a book, bake a cake, walk on the beach, go hiking, take your kids to the park, play golf, visit a museum… you get the idea. Whatever you do, have fun!
“Balance, peace, and joy are the fruit of a successful life…” – Thomas Kinkade
Count Your Blessings
Be grateful and give thanks for all the blessings in your life. Try not to focus on your problems, but on the good things and stay positive. Everyone has baggage and challenges – try to think of them as life’s lessons. We are all here to learn and to grow.
“Life is really simple, but we insist on making it complicated”- Confucius
We hope you can use a few of these simple tips to guide you towards maintaining a happy work-life balance. Please pass along any that you find helpful and want to share with others. We’d love to hear some of your thoughts on what work-life balance tips work well for you?