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Work Life Balance - What it is and How to Get It.

Achieving the right work life balance is so important.

Work life balance is life.  I’ve been totally out of balance lately. I can always tell when I am out of balance because I lose things, get hurt, I’m grumpy, and start using cuss words.

I even say a few words that are *gasp* negative when my work life balance is unbalanced.  Why is it our mouth is the first thing to go when we are our of balance?

Recently I worked a crap ton of hours.  I was burned out beyond recognition, a shell of my normal self.  OK I’m being dramatic, but you get the point right?

Does this sound familiar?  When you are stuck in the rat race, making money, paying bills, and then doing it all over again a person can really get out of balance!

February went all kinds of wrong because I had no work life balance. First, I lost my favorite sleep mask, it may not seem like a big deal, but trust me, it was sweet! It didn’t bother me at all, It was so comfy, it’s like I crave it to sleep.

If you know me at all, I have to be comfortable or I just about want to die. OK, that’s a bit drastic, but I had a panic attack today because I had to sit in economy class (or as I like to call it, economy minus) on the airplane. I upgraded to economy plus and all was right in the world.

Being out of work life balance can be kind of dangerous.

On the day before my birthday, I went to Miami, I got to the hotel and they have this thick carpet in the lobby that is about an inch higher than the tile. I slipped and fell while I was rolling my luggage. I fell so hard that I really got hurt, I hit my head on the tile, hurt my hip, my neck, my knee and my shoulder. Happy Birthday to me!

The carpet should never be like that, but if I had not been working so much I am sure I would not have fallen, I would have seen the danger and stayed away. The worst part was that my hands were full so I couldn’t even use my hands to break my fall.

The next day on the airplane, I was standing outside the lavatory and somebody was blowing it up. Because I was being greedy and working, I had to stand around on my birthday smelling OPS. OPS stands for other people’s sh*t. That’s what I get for being greedy and working on birthday. 😉

When you are overworked, find someone to pick up the slack.

Thankfully for me, I always have my husband. He picks me up when I fall. He came to Miami and massaged me until I was feeling better. None of those things would have probably happened if I had not over worked myself. I never know when enough is enough, I always have a tendency to push myself too far.

There are signals our bodies and minds give us when we are out of balance.

Life is short, but don’t get caught up in over doing that short life.  Your fuse gets shorter, your attention wanders, you are not “all there” when you do have some down time.  Learn what your personal signals are so that you can re-balance your schedule and become your normal self, you know completely human again and some stressed out zombie version of yourself..

We get this one short life and that is it. You don’t ever want to look back and have regrets. That is why it is so important to have a good work life balance.

Our brains don’t work properly when we are overworked.

We don’t think clearly when we don’t balance out our lives.  If you are out of work life balance we can make poor choices.  We get impatient and OK things just so we don’t have to think about them. Overwork may speed up the aging related decline in your brain.  If that’s not enough to make you re-balance I don’t know what is!

If you wait until it is too late you may need a lot of time off to re-balance your brain instead of a little.  If you keep creating a deficit in your work life balance it is more difficult to fix and to get back to yourself it will take longer.

Doing it all can’t be done right without work life balance.

We women are so into doing it all, but at what expense? Slamming my head onto a marble floor didn’t even stop me. I worked five more days before I slowed down. I now made a promise to myself, no longer will I allow myself to get that out of balance.

Here are a few things you can do can do to make sure you have work life balance.
Find what are the maximum number of hours you can work?
What is the minimum amount of rest you can get without feeling like biting people’s heads off?

Stress is a killer.

Stress causes a lot of problems. How many people live out their entire life without any balance? Finding ways for you to combat stress will allow you to feel better and be better not only at home, but at work too.

Schedule a vacation.

Taking a vacation is so necessary to give yourself that much-needed break to get centered.  A week vacation once a year really is not nearly enough time to pay back the deficit you spent working the entire year.  One to two weeks per quarter sounds like a much better option, but how many of us actually do that?

A vacation can be a stay-cation and costs you no extra money.  If you stay at home for your vacation and just relax and enjoy your home you can regain some of that work life balance.

Work out to clear your mind and strengthen your body.

Exercise – this word seriously sounds like more work. But if you don’t have enough time to exercise or the very thought of exercise makes you groan, you are probably not achieving work life balance. Working hard to achieve your goals is necessary, but know your limits.

Another tip to help you to keep a good balance in your life is to get rid of negative people.  Negative people will suck the life out of you. You cannot refuel when you have a negative vampire sucking the life out of your veins.

Get restful sleep.

I cannot even say enough about the importance of quality sleep. Some of us can go quite a few days without sleep, but when we hit our limit lookout!

Tips to get a restful nights sleep:

  • Invest a great sleep mask and make sure it is soft and comfortable.  You don’t want some scratchy sleep mask squeezing your head to tight, that defeats the purpose.
  • High quality ear plugs will allow you to focus on sleep.
  • If you don’t like to wear ear plugs, a sound machine will help drown out any noises.
  • Keep your room cool but not cold enough to disturb your sleep.

I’m sure you’ve heard of mommy brain. Mommy brain just happens when you are extremely sleep deprived. When you are sleep deprived your memory goes and you cannot think, so get some sleep!

Eating right for you will help you achieve work life balance.

You know, there is no one size fits all thing for eating. I’m a pescatarian and my husband is a carnivore. If I eat his diet I get sick, and he gets sick if he eats mine. Pay attention to what foods make you feel good and eat them. People want to give a whole lot of advice on nutrition but what is good for one person can be deadly to another.

Take some me time.

It’s so important to have a little time to yourself. When you get that me time your brain can relax and reset.  You cannot always pour yourself out, you have to fill yourself up too.  I’m sure you love your children but there has to be a time that you can get some time to yourself.  Scheduling some time for yourself won’t make you a bad parent, it will be quite the opposite you will be the best version of yourself.

Take some alone time with your spouse or significant other.

Nothing charges my batteries like some hubby time. We need kid time too. Do you ever get to a point where you want to gobble up your kids?  You know gobble them up by kissing their little cheeks and giving them cuddles.  A family movie is a great way you can fake some me time and spend time with the kids. If you find yourself needing a family movie every night, that’s a sure sign that your work life balance is unbalanced.

Find a way to make dinner time easier.

Those box cooking services are awesome. You don’t have to do so much work. Seriously, even just having a meal picked out for you takes away some stress. No matter how much time you spend working on strategies for meal planning sometimes you are just over all of the recipes you have been cooking.

There are different types of food services that cater to different diets and health issues.  Using a meal service in the past would have been extremely difficult, but today companies are really educated on food allergies and different types of diets.  It’s amazing how much the food industry has changed in just the last few years.

Find something that helps you relax.

work-life-balance

There are many things that can help you relax.  Writing can be very calming and help you wind down.  Swimming or a nice bath can wash all your stress and anxiety away.  Listen to a babbling brook (or maybe an app with a babbling brook) to help you rebound and find a nice work life balance.

Fire is relaxing, if you don’t have a fireplace you can make a fire outside or there is a fire cracking app.  Find what makes you relax and spend some time enjoying it.

Everything in moderation.

A good rule of thumb to follow is everything in moderation.  Don’t do any one thing too much so that you don’t burn out.  Even relaxing too much without moderation can be too much of a good thing.

Friends that revive you.

Spending time with a friend who makes you laugh can help you fill up your tank. Laughter truly is the best medicine. Find people who make you laugh.  If you don’t have a funny friend, find the humor in everyday life.  There is always someone doing something funny somewhere.

Find your warning signs of being out of balance.

Get out a piece of paper, and write down the negative things that you do and when you do them. Is it when you are working too much? How can you change it? When do you lose your patience?  You lose your patience when you are tired, hungry, angry or lonely.

Tune into your body and into your mind. If you want to be the best you that you can be you will need to figure out just when you go from balanced to unbalanced and what you can do to fix it. Nobody needs to work themselves to death or feel miserable.

What are some of the things you do when your work life is out of balance?  Do you become a total drama queen like I do?  What are some things you do to balance yourself out?  I’d love to hear them and be able to add some more strategies to my balancing act and I hope you got a laugh at my expense. 🙂

 

 

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2 Comments on Why Achieving a Work Life Balance Is So Important

  1. Cindy
    March 8, 2018 at 6:05 pm (5 months ago)

    You rock! Happy belated birthday!

    Reply
    • deannacastro
      March 12, 2018 at 2:57 am (4 months ago)

      Thank you Cindy, so do you! <3

      Reply

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