If you haven’t caught on yet from my previous posts, I am a bit of an advocate for work-life balance and self-care. I think that anyone, regardless of how healthy they are stands to benefit from having a healthy work life balance. Below are some things that I try to implement in my own life. Some days I am better about these than others, but I find when I can do even one or two of these items every day, I wind up being a much more contented person.
Have lunch out every day.
And by lunch out, I mean to get up from your desk and go somewhere different to have lunch away from the day-to-day bustle of your job. As an example, I had a co-worker, who every day would sit in our little cafe and read the paper. It didn’t matter how crazy things were, he would be there for a half hour (sometimes more, sometimes less) enjoying his day. I also had another co-worker who never ate lunch alone. He told us that you should aim to go to lunch every day (even if you just brought it) and meet with other people: coworkers, bosses, friends. You never know how much you can learn from lunch meetings. Also note to self: this guy became partner in his firm really fast… coincidence? I think not – so eat your lunch OUT.
Have no-phone zones and times during your day.
Whether it is during dinner, or right when you get home, or an hour before bedtime, have some periods in your life where there is a phone -free zone. During these times, use your phone only for calls and don’t check email, social media, etc. Its especially helpful to do this before bedtime, as limiting your exposure to blue light will help you rest. Having phone-free zones also helps you to focus on those people and situations right in front of you. I’ve tried this a few times while commuting on the metro, and it is wonderful the things you notice when you aren’t plugged into anything electric!
Do something you enjoy every day.
Some people run, others knit, while still others read, sing, play a sport, or putz around in a garden. But whatever it is, make time for something that you truly enjoy every day. 15 minutes is all it takes!
Take time for complete silence.
Lets face it: our world is hyper and crazy. It is no wonder that emotions are running incredibly high. A number of people are now starting to realize the room for silence. Whether you practice mindfulness, you meditate, chant a mantra, pray, or just think, take time for silence. Turn your phone off, go in a quiet office (if you have one), and sit alone with your own self for a good 20 minutes. Even 10 minutes is a great way to start if the thought of silence scares you.
Bring back the constitutional!!
Ever wonder how our forefathers and mothers got so much done? Well reading any memoirs show us that they did a lot of things that are just plain good for you, including taking long walks. These constitutionals, as they were called, often had no point or end, just involved walking. Sometimes done in groups, or alone – it was a way for people to relax. The key point is to do this without an end: as in walking to/from work, or for an errand doesn’t count. Think of it more as a meandering stroll that you can do during the day, or even after you get home at night.
This list is by no means exhaustive! There is also a lot to be said for drinking a lot of water (especially right when you get up – try drinking 8 oz first thing out of bed and see how you feel), limiting alcohol and caffeine, and eating healthy. But these are just a start. What about you? What are some things you do for self-care?