Dedicating the time and energy to prioritize yourself doesn’t always come easy. This is especially true given that many of us are working from home now. In fact, 42 percent of the US labor force is working remotely. Not only is it mind-boggling that almost half of the US workforce has made the adjustment to working from home, but it also has become apparent that the home office has its own set of unique challenges. Finding a new work-life balance is crucial when managing the stresses and anxieties that are so prominent with this new normal. Here are a few ideas that will help you find the right work-life balance that prioritizes you.
There’s an app for everything, why not take advantage of it? Apps croan be so useful in your day-to-day life and can cut back on the time it takes to complete your chores. Hate leaving the house to go pick up paper towels or Lysol wipes? Rather than running to a store, have whatever cleaning essentials you need delivered, leaving more time to tackle the mess. Bored of arguing with your roommates on who’s turn it is to take out the trash? Your household can stay organized with assigned chores, so you can spend less time worrying about the little things and focus more on yourself. Juggling daily chores, families, and work is never going to be easy, but you can lessen the load by taking the proper steps to better manage them.
Working from home means that your bedroom has become your new office. As much as we all love being able to roll out of bed and start working, this lifestyle makes it hard to separate work from home. By creating and sticking to a routine, it is much easier to have a life outside of work. So if you say your workday ends at 5 pm, be sure to end it at 5. Then once the workday is over, do whatever you can to put work away by shutting down your computer, or at least close out any work-related tabs. Remember to take care of yourself and relax. You’ll be much happier because of it!
Learn to Say No
Whether it’s your job asking you to take on extra responsibilities or your sibling asking you to babysit, you don’t always have to say yes. As hard as it can be to tell people no, it’s important not to take on more than you can handle. The New York Times describes the ability to say “no” as the equivalent of sitting in the driver seat of your life. There’s no shame in saving an evening for yourself to relax and not have to answer to anyone but yourself. As the driver of your life, you’ll have more control over your happiness, and you’ll have more time to say yes to the things you really want to do.
Limit Your Screen Time
Work from home generally means staring at a computer all day, with limited breaks and interactions outside of zoom. All of this screen-time can lead to headaches and eye strain. Post-work it is easy to relax by watching TV or scrolling through Facebook, but try to be intentional about using your free time so that it centers around self-care and relaxation, not a screen. Creating a new after-work routine like going for a walk, starting a journal, or finding time to begin that new book can do wonders for your mental health. Whatever you do, be sure to give your mind (and eyes) a break!
Check-In With Yourself
Schedules make it hard to find time to check-in with yourself regularly. To help with this, try reflecting on your day before you go to bed each night. What went well during the day? What can you do differently that will make you happier? Finding the time to do this helps refocus your brain on what is important to you, what your goals are, and what you are grateful for. Journaling these thoughts is the perfect path to making self-care at the forefront of your daily routine.
Finding the perfect balance isn’t going to be easy, but will be worth it. By prioritizing self-care, you’ll find that you’ll develop both personally and professionally. Self-care should be a goal every single day and with it will come a better work-life balance.
I love these tips, Mary! My favorite tip is “learn to say no”. I feel that this is especially hard for women and other non-men to learn.