Working from home can seem like your life has turned into one big bubble. Going from an office to working with your significant other six feet apart, it can feel like every facet of your life is bleeding together.
While there are some benefits to working from home, it can also be challenging if you prefer more of a high-paced work environment and external motivation from your team members.
And without fail, the intensity of work productivity and pressure can feel heightened when there’s a lack of healthy boundaries between your work, love, and social lifestyle all under one roof.
With the workdays turning into longer hours due to the easy access to technology, the stress can impact your mental wellness, relationships, and overall lifestyle happiness.
Here are Five Tips To Achieve Better Work-Life Balance:
1. Set Healthy Boundaries
Having healthy boundaries is crucial to sustain overall happiness and maintain integrity with yourself. If you allow the workday to control your mood, the number of hours you spend on a project, and whether or not you stop working when “office hours” end, then you are letting your professional life take higher priority than your personal life. This can easily happen because you are spending eight to fourteen hours a day working to complete tasks and reach your professional goals.
As much as you wholeheartedly love your career and are very passionate about professional success; at the same time, this can create an imbalance when your personal life takes a back seat week after week. When your love or social life becomes neglected, you begin to feel the added stress from work because it’s the only thing on your mind day and night.
Setting healthy personal and professional boundaries is important so each entity of your lifestyle receives attention from you. And, if you are working too many hours at a high intensity, burnout is likely to impact your relationships with a loved one and your clients.
Examples of Boundaries:
Establishing suitable work hours
Planning a weekly date night with significant other
Finding a hobby you enjoy alone or with friends
Implementing daily self-care: working out, nutritious meals, hygiene
Taking a lunch break or quick 15 minute breaks throughout the day to refocus
Embracing self-love: journaling, mediation, deep breathing exercises
2. Honor The Relationship With Yourself
Nurturing a relationship with yourself can give your inner peace during a stressful workday, as it’s your best asset to success. This can help you establish alignment with yourself so when push comes to shove, you speak up and maintain appropriate boundaries. Even though you may not be surrounded by your colleagues and team members, they may impact how you feel with the instant messages on repeat with ongoing demands. The constant notifications can become a nuisance to productivity because you are being overstimulated by noise and trying to multitask all hours of the day.
Whether you love exercising at the gym, working out at home, or playing a sport for physical endurance, moving your body when you feel anxious is the best way to restore your inner peace. The minute you notice your cortisol levels increasing in your body and tension starts to rise, that’s your cue to take care of you! Simply getting out of your desk chair after a workday and committing to your self-care goals can help end the day on a high note.
Besides moving your body, taking care of your mental and emotional health is just as important if not more important than physical exercise. Your mindset is the ultimate determining factor in regards to how you feel every day. Whether it's deep breathing, meditating, journaling, listening to music, or reciting positive affirmations and gratitudes, these can all provide a mental release to lower your stress throughout the workday. Each mental exercise only takes five minutes of your time but can benefit you all day long. Setting a positive intention for the day is proven to keep your mental stamina on par.
3. Create A Work-Life Balance Structure
Creating a work-life structure at home can help establish long-term mental stability to maintain grit and life balance. Holding yourself accountable can give you a sense of security knowing you are accomplishing things that are important to you each day without trying to do it all.
Establishing healthy habits based on the things you value can lower stress levels especially when you have a demanding career. Whether it’s ending the workday at 5 o’clock in the evening or meal prepping on the weekends to eat healthy during your lunch break, every habit will impact your emotional well-being and mental stamina.
A work-life structure can look different for every person, but setting personal reminders in your calendar is one of the easiest ways to maintain it. If you set professional reminders for meetings, then setting personal reminders should be equally as important even if that means adding deep breathing or hobbies to your calendar. The less you have to remember, the more space you can create in your brain for clarity and focus during the workday.
4. Limit Distracting Activities and People During Work Hours
Work performance may decrease when multitasking around the house or picking up the phone for friends and family during the workday when it’s not an emergency. Next thing you know, it’s almost the end of the workday and you still have important priorities on your to-do list you want to accomplish before you close out the day. When this happens, it’s like a siren going off in your head because your stress rises as your workday becomes longer and creeps into the night.
Prioritizing what is important each day can give you space to focus and breathe without the sensation of feeling overwhelmed. This gives you the ability to have integrity with yourself and implement time management while maintaining healthy boundaries. If you find yourself jumping from social media to your inbox to playing an online game, this can create more chaos in life.
While it can be challenging to push your love life aside when your partner is sitting next to you or ignore your best friend’s call when their face pops up on your screen, this can eat up precious time and cause added stress. Set some time aside in your day when you may be able to communicate with your partner or friends so they know when you are free to talk without damaging your connections. Having transparency about your availability can establish open communication channels so they know it’s nothing personal and it shows you value the relationship with them.
5. Unplug From Work After Hours
The majority of people are plugged into their phones all day long everyday, keeping your brain stimulated like a poker machine. It can be extremely hard to ignore an email that hits your inbox at eight in the evening, especially if you have been waiting on it all day. But, you have already committed to an evening with your significant other. What do you do in the moment?
Depending on the demand of your job, it is best practice to honor your commitment to your partner knowing you have committed to giving them your time and attention. If you allow your work to infiltrate into your personal life, you are bound to neglect what’s ultimately healthy for work-life balance.
Finding the balance is key to establishing when to set work aside until you resume the next day, as you can’t take those who provide meaning and purpose to your life for granted. The more you are able to present in every facet of your life, the more fulfilled you will be and experience greater happiness. Self-management gives you inner peace where you feel in control of your life, not your inbox.
While it can take time to establish a better work-life balance, be willing to find flexibility until you figure out what best serves you long-term. Once you create a structure along with healthy boundaries, the more peace and happiness you will experience throughout your lifestyle.