With technology making us accessible around the clock and competition in the labor force incentivizing longer hours, balancing work and life seems to be a more and more difficult feat. In the society we live in, we praise hard work and dedication. We come from the land of opportunity where success is what you make it. But when it comes to resting and replenishing, there often isn’t much said to that regard. Recently, the ‘self-care’ and ‘wellness’ movements brought to light the importance of taking care of yourself, but what can that really look like in a world that demands our attention?
When I first started my job in corporate IT, the company I worked for boasted that work, life, balance was of the utmost importance. As I found myself wrapping up meetings around midnight, I quickly learned that no other external entity can promise you this. Only you can. While work, life, balance can mean something differently to each person, we can all agree that finding the harmony between your duties at work and the things you want to have in your day to day life at its very essence.
In order to have it all; work, life, balance, we must first make ourselves and our time a priority. We have no problem prioritizing the demands from work, family, or anything else. Why not do the same for ourselves? This means learning how to leave behind the guilt of putting aside anything that may disrupt your peace, if just for a moment. People who give overtly have a natural tendency to feel guilty for not meeting the needs of others. There is even a sense of pride around how selfless one can be. While these can be seen as admirable traits, putting your needs aside for too long will wear you out. Imagine a life where your last priority is yourself. How exhausting and empty can that be? No one can ensure our contentment or happiness more than ourselves. Set aside some time in the day, every day, where you are your first priority.
Secondly, set boundaries with your time and your priorities. If you’ve scheduled time for yourself, someone else, a particular task, etc… be attentive just to that. Examples could look like leaving your laptop outside of the bedroom so that your room is a rest only zone, putting a sign up at home so that people know not to disturb you, or silencing your phone during meals. Set these boundaries so that you and others know that the energy you put into whatever you have dedicated yourself to in that moment is sacred.
Finally, make it a routine. Change doesn't come overnight, neither does balance. Once you set a rhythm to your actions, you’ll see the world around you begin to adapt to your actions as well. It won’t be easy to do at first, and it will seem more convenient to just answer one more call from work or shoot off that last email, but we must remember that if we allow our work life to filter into our personal life, we begin to lose that balance that’s so important to our health and happiness.
Hot Feet Fitness Yoga & Barre Instructor