For many, work is an exhausting part of the day. By the time that clock strikes five, it feels like their energy is completely drained and there’s nothing more to do than go home, sleep, and repeat.
But being social with friends, watching our favorite shows, or just taking some time to be with ourselves is paramount to happiness. We need to be able to have a life outside of work so that the job doesn’t define who we are.
If finding a balance between work and free time can feel difficult to achieve, you’re not alone! Especially when working from home, it can be tough to find where the workday ends and our life begins. But a good work-life balance is something you can start today, and its benefits might even improve your productivity along the way.
Here is how to define a good work-life balance without having to change too much of your existing routine.
What is Work-Life Balance?
Work-life balance is the equilibrium between prioritizing the demands of a career and the demands of personal well-being. When one of these becomes more important than the other, it results in a poor life balance.
A poor life balance can be caused by a number of things, many of which are out of your control. Increased occupational responsibility, extended hours, or a promotion might skew you towards a work-defined lifestyle, whereas having children or dealing with a family emergency may shift the priority in the opposite direction.
Regardless, it’s important to remember that there is no such thing as a perfect work-life balance. Life happens, and there are natural moments where one will become your focus as opposed to the other. This is completely normal! It only becomes an issue when it constantly leans toward one side.
Why is Work-Life Balance Important?
This equilibrium is essential to your mental health, as a good work-life balance helps to maintain stress and prevent burnout in the workplace.
Work is one of the most significant causes of stress for a majority of Americans, and it can lead to physiological effects like high blood pressure, insomnia, and a weakened immune system.
Companies that prioritize a good work-life balance for their employees may actually see better outcomes, too. According to Harvard Business Review, the mental and physical problems associated with burned-out employees can cost employers between $125 billion and $190 billion a year. Employees who are happy at their jobs are more productive and more willing to put their best foot forward.
Stabilizing your work and free time is a literal balancing act. It’s tough, but there are some things you can do to make the most out of your work while still enjoying what the rest of life has to offer.
How To Achieve a Good Work-Life Balance
Work-life balance isn’t really about evenly dividing the hours you work and the hours you don’t. It’s more focused on making sure that you have the flexibility to be productive in your professional life while still having the stamina to enjoy your life outside of the office.
For instance, working longer hours during the week so you can leave early on Friday is an example of a balanced practice.
With that in mind, here are a few ways that you can try to manage the two halves of your life with as little stress as possible.
Prioritize Your Health
This is by far the most important aspect of defining a good work-life balance. Your physical and mental health should be a main concern, both to you and an employer. If you feel exceptionally stressed or anxious, there is nothing wrong in taking a mental health day to decompress. This will allow you to recover and hit the ground running the next day.
Putting your health at the forefront doesn’t mean you need to completely change your life around. Daily yoga or meditation sessions are great ways to ease tension and relieve stress.
In addition, CBD Gummies also have a natural ability to help lift your mood and help your body naturally manage everyday stress. This can be extremely useful for when you’re starting to feel a bit overwhelmed at work, as it can return you to a peaceful headspace.
If you feel that your stress is inundating, consider finding time in your day to attend therapy. Have a talk with your employer about ways that you might be able to incorporate appointments into your schedule, such as working an hour later on session days. Your mental health can have a direct effect on your productivity, so finding equilibrium is vital.
It’s important to create boundaries for yourself so that you know when work ends and your personal life begins. When you leave the office, avoid thinking about upcoming deadlines, answering emails, or checking messages. This gives you a physical boundary so that you know it’s time to relax and enjoy your free time.
Of course, working from home has completely meshed our work and personal lives into one location, so this can be increasingly difficult to achieve.
Consider using separate browsers and emails for your work and personal platforms. If possible, you can even have a designated work phone or computer that can be shut off at the end of the workday.
And with that in mind, be sure to set specific work hours. This is especially important when working from home. If you decide to work from 9-5 every day, stick to that and try to not to stray from the routine. This ensures that you have some time for yourself in the morning and at night to finally binge that Netflix show or unwind before bed.
Take A Vacation
American workers left a total of 768 million vacation days unused in 2019. Employees often fear that taking a vacation will interrupt workflow and cause increased stress upon return. However, this is not the case, and vacation days are vital to avoid feeling bogged down at work.
While you can save up some days for a week-long trip to your favorite place, a vacation doesn’t need to be anything too involved. There’s nothing wrong with using a vacation day just to extend your weekend a bit longer.
You work hard all year long and vacation days are well-deserved. Some states have a “use-it-or-lose-it” policy, meaning that unused vacation days are forfeited at the end of the year. There’s nothing wrong with making use of your time off, especially when it can have huge benefits to your holistic well-being.
Do What You Love
We’ve all heard the phrase “If you do what you love, you never work a day in your life.” But that’s a lot easier said than done, because jobs are an expected societal norm. Sometimes it feels like we need to take what we can get.
The thing is, there’s no reason for work to define who you are. A restraining job can decrease your happiness — and that’s not okay.
If you already have a job but are yearning for something new, consider applying elsewhere. The great thing about searching for a new career when you already have one is that you aren’t looking for a job because you need one — you’re looking for a change of pace or direction because you want one.
Find something that will make you excited to jump out of bed and kickstart your day. You deserve to be happy in all aspects of life, and if work isn’t making you smile, then it’s time for a fresh start.
Balancing work and personal life is easier said than done. Work is a huge part of life and it often overrides into our routines upon returning home.
But, maintaining a positive equilibrium is essential for mental and physical well-being. Your health should be a top priority, so be sure to take personal days if work is starting to feel a little overwhelming.
It’s also important to set boundaries so you clearly see when your personal life begins and the workday ends. If this still seems impossible, there is nothing wrong in searching for a new job that you feel much happier completing.
Balance is a very personal thing, so decide what works best for you. But no matter what you decide, just remember that your health and happiness are the top priorities.
We know a bit about balance here at Smile. Our Balance CBD gummies are the first of their kind, a vegan mix of essential vitamins and minerals paired with calming organic CBD. It’s the best of both worlds!