It’s all too easy to become caught up in your work, take it home with you or keep it circling around your mind after you’ve left. If you want to improve your mental wellbeing, this may be one of the parts of your life to address. Getting the balance right is something that everyone, no matter where they are on the ladder, has to get right at some point in their life. Here’s some of the best ways to stop your work and free time clashing.
Nobody’s innocent of this one. It’s incredibly tempting to bring a piece of work you’ve been desperate to finish back home with you. In our eyes, setting up a strict set of rules for yourself regarding taking work back home is crucial. You should never feel bad about turning your emails off, not answering your phone calls or avoiding talking about work with your partner. These things don’t come easy, but distancing yourself from your workplace can have a huge positive impact on your mental health. At the end of the day, your boss and colleagues should be respecting your time and space.
Even if you’re a young professional in your early 20s, thinking about what you’ll be doing when you’re retired gives you a focus outside work. When you’re a little older, why not start making some concrete plans? If you fancy yourself as a sailor travelling around the world, plan out your routes and look into investing in a boat. Maybe you’re looking to actually live in another country as opposed to traveling – in which case, planning some small weekend trips gives you some more focus on the future away from work. When you plan your retirement, you’re giving your work context and making it all seem more worthwhile.
No matter what they tell you, working long hours isn’t good for anybody’s mental health. If working less doesn’t seem like an option either, try working smarter instead of harder. Always try and make the most of your time at work so that you’re not forced to stay that extra hour. Ultimately, you’ll end up getting a lot more work done while still maintaining that all important free time. We’d suggest cutting those meetings that aren’t necessary, setting some time limits and avoiding the office gossip.
Book time off for yourself
If you’re only using your days off to travel, you’re doing it wrong. Everybody needs a relaxing day off once in a while. Putting some time away just for yourself is fantastic for your mental health and general wellbeing. Every couple of months, make sure you take a day or two off and have an extra-long weekend sitting on the sofa and watching movies. We’d suggest timing it after a particularly tough week at work so you can give yourself some much needed relaxation time.
When you’re sitting at an office staring at a screen all day, you’re inevitably going to feel a bit fed up with computers. Spending your time off doing the exact same thing isn’t a good idea when it comes to your mental health. Of course, there’s nothing wrong with relaxing in front of the TV after a hard day at work, but you should at least portion off a bit of your evening away from the screen. Why not spend an hour each night reading a book or going on a long walk? This will help you reset your mind and make you feel much better in the long run.
Take your hour
Lunch breaks should never be underestimated. That hour you have in the middle of the day is just as important as the time you spend away from the office. Even on those days that feel incredibly busy, you should commit yourself to using up your whole hour on lunch. Not only will this make you actively feel better, but you’ll notice that your work will massively improve with a well deserved break.
Find a job you enjoy
While this one might seem like an unrealistic fairytale, finding a job that you love should be the ultimate goal for everybody. If you’re stressed, anxious or dreading going into work, you should rethink your career path. We all spend years of our lives at work, so using that time doing something you love will make your entire life much more enjoyable. When you land that dream job, the line between work and life will blur in the best way possible.
Even so, it’s fair to say that stress and anxiety are inevitable, even in your dream job. Allowing this stress to permeate through your free time isn’t good. If you do, that stress can have adverse effects on your mental and physical health. For men especially, this can result in early signs of hair loss. If this sounds like you, we’d suggest looking at treatment plans, such as Sons, to get yourself back on the right track. At the end of the day, life’s too short to spend it being anxious.
As we spend a third of our life asleep, getting your forty winks is one of the most crucial parts of our daily routine. If you’re struggling to get your head down, it might be a good idea to look into meditation or breathing exercises. These can clear your mind before bed and stop you from overthinking that meeting that’s due tomorrow or piece of work that needs to get done. There are plenty of excellent guides online, so get in touch with your spiritual side and get that sleep you desperately need. The more committed you are to your sleep, the better you’ll feel in the long run.
While balancing life and work might feel like an uphill task, it’s important that you don’t lose hope. Practice is the way you’ll reach a point where you’re content with both your work and your free time. Make use of these eight tips to give yourself the perfect foundation. After that, there’s no stopping you.
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