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Being an adult is difficult. As a child, adulthood was always the goal, but what we do not realize is that adulthood is filled with responsibilities.

Work, most of the time, is the heaviest responsibility one has, aside from family. Work is a vital part of our lives, as it pays the bills and puts the food on our tables. Aren’t we all guilty of putting our personal needs aside for the sake of finishing our work? Don’t you deny it!

Work-life balance is a term often tossed around in the workplace as it makes the company look more desirable to employees. But, let’s face it, not all companies advocate for work-life balance. People would often sacrifice their time to achieve the success of their careers. After all, who doesn’t want a successful career?

Work-life balance means that there is an equilibrium between the demands of a career and the demands of our personal lives. Despite it being often incorporated into our company goals, a work-life balance is difficult to achieve. Each employee has a different struggle. Some may have too much work, while others may neglect their work for their families.

How do we achieve a healthy work-life balance especially for women?

Achieving a healthy work-life balance is not an easy task. Some may think that being a business owner or being self-employed would make your life easier but no. You got it all wrong. This is difficult for everyone. That is why today we will be discussing ways for you to have a healthy work-life balance.

A healthy work-life balance starts with a healthy body, you have to prioritize your health overwork.

Get a good night’s sleep

Despite the nagging we got from our parents when we were younger, we still grow up becoming sleep-deprived adults. Sleep is vital in keeping ourselves healthy as it provides our body with a reprieve from all the activities we have in a day.

Chronic insufficient sleep is associated with disease and death. (1) Good sleep does not only mean that you get the optimal sleep duration. It also involves sleep timing and sleep quality. (1)

How does good sleep provide a healthy work-life balance? Well, poor sleep is associated with missed workdays, lower work performance, and higher health care costs. (2) A missed workday or poor work performance will mean more time spent at work, reducing the time spent at home or doing whatever you want so better get your good night’s sleep.

Eat your breakfast

Breakfast is the most important meal of the day. Cliché, right? This might be the hundredth time you heard this phrase, but it doesn’t make it any less true. Eating breakfast has been linked with several benefits and one is its contribution to mental alertness. (3) .

Having breakfast improves our cognitive abilities as it supplies us with enough glucose for our brains to function, especially in the morning. This allows us to work more efficiently. At the same time, we lower the risk of developing lifestyle diseases that are associated with skipping breakfast. Don’t forget to make your breakfast as healthy as possible.

Take short breaks at work

Short breaks, even just enough for your comforts, are important, especially for women. Take your time and retouch your make-up or just wash your face to freshen up. Afterward, hydrate yourself with water. Your work can always wait but your health won’t.

These little breaks that encourage cleaning up after yourself and just taking a time out could greatly improve your well-being. Physically as you rest your eyes from the screen, and mentally as you get a breather from your job, these breaks help you feel better. A break could be a short walk or a minute of meditation. It doesn’t have to be a big deal.

Short walks or taking breaks in between sitting down promotes your vein circulation and can also help you avoid varicose veins, which are common for people who spend most of their time sitting down.

Get your priorities straight!

Work and your time often get mixed up. One of the best ways to maintain a healthy work-life balance is to organize your schedule. The things you need to do for work needs to be scheduled to the time allotted for your work alone. Do not cross the boundaries between personal time and your job.

Yes, I know this is a very difficult thing to do. Take it one step at a time when you are just starting. Slowly compartmentalize your work and life and make sure that you stick to the schedule you have made. When you have a scheduled night out with your girls, go and have fun. In the same way, you schedule your work.  

Another thing, organize your to-do’s depending on the urgency and its importance. This will save you a lot of time jumping from one work to another.

Move your body

With all the work we need to finish, exercise often slips from our minds. One way to develop a healthy work-life balance is to get moving. Schedule your work-outs early in the morning or after you work, whatever is convenient for you. The important part is for you to stick to the schedule.

Our bodies are designed to withstand physical activities and the recommended amount of exercise by WHO and the AHA is to get at least 150 minutes of moderate-intensity aerobic exercise or 75 minutes of vigorous-intensity aerobic exercise per week. (4) You could opt to schedule your exercise 3 days per week at 50 minutes per day or 6 days per week at 15 minutes per day.

Fulfilling this recommendation would greatly boost one’s health. Regular exercise allows our body to remove more toxins, lessens the chances of developing lifestyle disease, and allows better cognition. Having the right amount of physical exercise leads to a better physical, mental, and psychological state. (5)

The main outcome would always come back to becoming efficient at work and giving yourself more personal time.

Take some time for yourself

This is my last advice, especially for working moms who fail to get some me-time. A time to be at ease with oneself is precious. This time may seem so insignificant but it would be more than enough to recharge and refresh your day.

Juggling your work, family, and self is an exhausting feat. The easiest thing to remove from a to-do list is our time. Some days, you may feel too busy and overwhelmed with the amount of work to be done.

But, despite the rush, try and take some time for you to pamper yourself and rest. This does not necessarily mean that you slack off, it just means that you also get to do the things you love. Schedule your me-time and allow your partner to take care of the kids.

All these tips are just a few of the things that could satisfy our goal of having a healthy work-life balance. It is best to remember that the balance that you want will start with yourself. Plan and get the balance you deserve.

References:

  1. Chaput, J. P., Dutil, C., & Sampasa-Kanyinga, H. (2018). Sleeping hours: what is the ideal number and how does age impact this?. Nature and science of sleep, 10, 421–430. https://doi.org/10.2147/NSS.S163071
  2. Buysse D. J. (2014). Sleep health: can we define it? Does it matter?. Sleep, 37(1), 9–17. https://doi.org/10.5665/sleep.3298
  3. Gibney, M. J., Barr, S. I., Bellisle, F., Drewnowski, A., Fagt, S., Livingstone, B., Masset, G., Varela Moreiras, G., Moreno, L. A., Smith, J., Vieux, F., Thielecke, F., & Hopkins, S. (2018). Breakfast in Human Nutrition: The International Breakfast Research Initiative. Nutrients, 10(5), 559. https://doi.org/10.3390/nu10050559
  4. Oja, P., & Titze, S. (2011). Physical activity recommendations for public health: development and policy context. The EPMA Journal, 2(3), 253–259. https://doi.org/10.1007/s13167-011-0090-1
  5. Mandolesi, L., Polverino, A., Montuori, S., Foti, F., Ferraioli, G., Sorrentino, P., & Sorrentino, G. (2018). Effects of Physical Exercise on Cognitive Functioning and Wellbeing: Biological and Psychological Benefits. Frontiers in psychology, 9, 509. https://doi.org/10.3389/fpsyg.2018.00509