5 Ways to Create a Better Work-Life Balance

It doesn’t matter who we talk to, balancing work and life and setting boundaries with personal time is a perpetual challenge. This can leave you feeling disengaged, uninspired and eventually burnt out. 

At HEAL we help companies empower their employees to live healthier, happier lives through our wellness challenges and lunch & learn sessions. Helping employees improve their overall work-life balance is an ongoing goal for our clients. In today’s post we’re breaking down 5 things you can implement right away to help you feel more engaged at work and more balanced at home. 

Make Post-Work Plans

Having something to look forward to after work can boost your overall morale for the day, while also ensuring you keep an end-of-day “shut down” time. Knowing you have to officially stop work at a specific time can also help you be more productive and on task during the workday. 

Keep in mind it doesn’t need to be anything overly social, just something to set a hard “stop” on your workday. Here are some fun activities to get out of “work mode” after a long day: 

  • Go for a bike ride
  • Have dinner at the park or at a local beach
  • Take a class
  • Join a recreational sports team
  • If you find cooking relaxing, make dinner or try a new recipe

Take Time to Unplug

Feeling like you’re constantly being pulled in a million different directions through email, text messages, phone calls and work tasks can be exhausting. One way to be more productive and efficient is to give yourself distraction free time blocks. Try setting a timer for 30-60 minutes and not allowing yourself to check emails, text messages, social media or anything else that will pull you away from the task you’re working on. These ultra-focused time blocks can be a powerful way to help you get more accomplished and leave you feeling less overwhelmed.

A really difficult boundary to set but one that will make you feel so much more present and calm, is to turn off notifications at the end of the day or on weekends if you can. Some things we like to do are to put our phones in a different room when we’re with loved ones, to delete email off our phones on holidays, and to delete social media off our phones certain days of the week.

Take Breaks During the Day

How often do you eat lunch while working at your desk or mindlessly scrolling through social media? One of the best ways to improve focus and productivity is to take regular breaks throughout the day. The key is to unplug during breaks, leave your phone in another room and eat away from your desk. When the 3pm energy slump and sugar cravings hit, get outside for some fresh air or a brisk walk for a quick energy boost. 

Create Start Up, Shut Down, and End of the Week Rituals

Starting your day with a sense of clarity and ending with a feeling of accomplishment is a great way to stay motivated and avoid burnout. Create a simple “startup” routine where you write out your three most important tasks for the day and if it’s your thing, do a 10 minute guided meditation to start your day on a positive note. At the end of the day review your schedule for the next day, close all browser tabs, tidy your workspace and shut down your computer. On Fridays, plan your schedule for the following week and write your three most important tasks for the week ahead. These simple rituals will help give you a greater sense of calm and clarity and leave you feeling more accomplished at the end of each day and week.

Accept That You Won’t Always Have Perfect Balance

Sometimes life happens and you won’t always feel perfectly balanced in all areas of your life. Some days, weeks or even months will feel more richly scheduled than others and that’s ok. The important thing is to have habits and routines established to keep you from feeling burnt out and overwhelmed during these more challenging times. Embrace the ebb and flow of work fluctuations and do your best to maintain your habits as you navigate the busier times of life. 

One of the best ways to start implementing new habits like the ones above, is to start tracking them on a daily basis. During our wellness challenges we run with companies, we put these ideas into action through daily challenges and friendly competition. Each day participants have the opportunity to earn points and win prizes for challenges related to nutrition, stress management, mindfulness, exercise and more! 

To learn more about how you and your team could benefit from the HEAL Wellness Challenge, click here.

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