Monthly Archives: January 2017

Finding Balance In Action: Family, friends, goals, sleep and vacations

Ok so I’m just going to dive straight in today as there is a lot to cover.

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Schedule in time to catch up with family this week, either by phone, Skype or in person.

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Schedule in time to catch up with a friend this week, either by phone, Skype or in person.

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Write down what is important to you and ensure you pursue these goals even if it means saying no to others requests.

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Do three tips from step ten in Monady’s series post each night this week, to aid your sleeping.

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Plan your vacation / staycation dates for the next year so that you go no longer than three months without a break from work.

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Wishing you all a truly blessed work / life balance!

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x X x Jenny x X x

Finding Your Inner Zen; How to Realize a Work / Life Balance Part Five

Photo courtesy of Shutterstock

Photo courtesy of Shutterstock

 

So far this series we’ve covered a lot of ground so just to give you a recap the steps we’ve examined are:

 

The Eight Steps To Find Balance At Work

 

  1. Manage expectations and reduce perfectionism
  2. Break up big tasks and set manageable daily goals
  3. Do important and urgent tasks first and prioritize
  4. Focus on one thing at a time
  5. Delegate where possible
  6. Take breaks and eat lunch
  7. Avoid procrastinating
  8. Don’t define yourself by your job performance or status

 

The Eleven Steps To Find Balance At Home

 

  1. Don’t check emails after your contracted hours
  2. Exercise
  3. Have your five a day
  4. Mindfulness meditation
  5. Schedule in one thing to look forward to each day
  6. Have hobbies and interests outside of work
  7. If you have a stressful work day, prioritize relaxing at home

 

This final week in the series we will take a look at steps eight through to eleven in creating more balance at home, including seeing friends and family, living by your own priorities and taking regular vacations throughout the year.

 

Step Eight: Schedule in friends and family

 

It’s important to keep in regular contact with friends and family if you want your relationships to remain strong and healthy. Ultimately we are social beings so it is vital to maintain and nurture our relationships for our sense of belonging, connection and happiness.

 

If you are really busy you can still text, schedule in a call to catch up, or, better yet, a Skype session or face to face meeting. Try to see friends or family weekly to ensure you reap the psychological benefits of having a close network of social support.

 

If you believe your friendships are not the best they could be, please read ‘Why Building Strong Friendships is Important For Our Health’ to discover the 10 key behaviors which will improve them beyond measure.

 

Equally, should you like to develop closer bonds with family you can read ‘The 10 Key Behaviors That Will Ensure Strong Family Bonds Over the Holidays’ (which is applicable no matter what time of year).

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Why finding balance can be hard work

Ironically, in order to find a healthier work / life balance we must work hard. the beauty though is that once healthy routines and habits have been established we reap countless rewards and our overall quality of life soars to new heights.

 

I hope the exercises have helped you to find greater balance in your life but please do not be dismayed if at first it seemed like it was adding to your to do list. whilst change is always an adjustment I promise that the changes outlined in this months hot topic will serve to enhance your life in beautiful, fulfilling and even unexpected ways. For example, I’m sure your family will love seeing a more relaxed and playful you and that your relationships will thrive as a result.

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Why workaholics suffer

In today’s society which emphasizes the importance of money and success it is easy to become very driven to succeed. The danger is when this desire translates into workaholism and our personal lives suffer. There are many suggestions in this month’s Monday series posts to limit the impact of work outside of working hours and maximize our productivity whilst in work, however, if you feel you are falling into the workaholic trap beware, burn out may be on the horizon.

 

In reality when we burn out we are out of action for much longer than if we had just put on the breaks sooner to an overwhelming schedule or career, and, whilst self care such as a healthy diet, meditation and exercise can help, it can’t eradicate those crazy hours you might be working.

 

If you think you may have a problem with saying no, which leads you to over commit yourself in work and in life, please read my article titled ‘Sick of over-extending yourself? Learn how to say no’.

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How to tell if you need to change jobs for a better work life balance

It’s always difficult to take a pay cut, which is what invariably happens when we change jobs for one with less responsibility and a better work / life balance. Though this is never an easy decision, it is one that those of us who have climbed the career ladder will at some point face (or at the very least think about).

 

Having had post traumatic stress disorder in the past I know my limitations well and, for me, a work life balance that supports my emotional well being and health is my number one priority. Sure, when faced with the question ‘do you want to be stressed and work all the time?’ almost everyone would say no. In reality though, the process of climbing the career ladder is a gradual one and, with practicalities to consider like rising living costs and bills, finances understandably must impact our decision.

 

Though only you will know what is best for you, if you feel like you are constantly burnt out and you are not sure how much longer you can sustain your current lifestyle, I would urge you to consider whether changing jobs / careers is maybe something to look into.

 

If you are exploring your options for a new career follow the steps below for an easy way to reach a decision that works for you:

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Finding Balance In Action: Schedule in creativity

Ok so I know there’s A LOT of exercises this week, so feel free to schedule this one in for any time in the next two weeks. I would say that this is one of the most important exercises as it cultivates true self expression and can be so immensely rewarding, genuinely renewing your spirit.

 

Schedule in a creative activity from Monday’s list (or think of anything creative for that matter) to do for one evening this week – even if only for an hour. TIP: Your favorite childhood creative pastimes are often extremely fun to revisit!

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Finding Balance In Action: Schedule in play!

Did you know it’s actually super productive to schedule in play? It has been found to have a whole bunch of benefits including greater light-heartedness, empathy, flexibility, adaptiveness, optimism, hope for the future and produces a sense of belonging. Play even promotes our being open to new ideas and increases our creativity.

 

Take a close look at the playful activities as listed in Monday’s series post or think up your own and do one playful activity this week.

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Finding Your Inner Zen; How to Realize a Work / Life Balance Part Four

Photo courtesy of Shutterstock

Photo courtesy of Shutterstock

 

Last week we looked at the first five steps of creating a greater balance in your home life, namely:

 

  1. Don’t check emails after your contracted hours
  2. Exercise
  3. Have your five a day
  4. Mindfulness meditation
  5. Schedule in one thing to look forward to each day

 

This week we take a look at steps six and seven, examining the importance of having outside hobbies and interests and prioritizing relaxation.

 

Step Six: Have hobbies and interests outside of work

 

To develop a stronger identity outside of work it is really important to focus on finding hobbies and activities that are unrelated to work, that you can immerse yourself in and that you are passionate about.

 

Playful activities you can engage in include:

 

Spontaneous

 

  • Singing along to one of your favorite songs
  • Dancing
  • Laughing and joking with friends
  • Listening to music
  • Impromptu shopping
  • Taking a walk

 

Non-Spontaneous

 

  • All sports
  • Board games
  • Creating art
  • Arts and crafts
  • Sewing or knitting
  • Karaoke
  • Bowling
  • Going to the cinema
  • Going to a museum or exhibition
  • Going to a concert
  • Going on holiday

 

Ways you can spend some quality alone time include:

 

  • Scenic walks
  • Having a coffee at a cafe and people watching
  • Reading
  • Going to the movies
  • Going to a beautiful restaurant
  • Meditating
  • Listening to music
  • Visualizing
  • Having a long hot bath

 

Creative hobbies and interests include:

 

  • Pottery
  • Sculpting
  • Photography
  • Gardening
  • Painting (watercolor, oil, acrylic)
  • Drawing (pencil, pen, pastels, charcoal)
  • Writing non-fiction
  • Creative writing
  • Writing poetry
  • Song writing
  • Singing
  • Playing an instrument
  • Composing music
  • Dancing
  • Acting
  • Sewing
  • Knitting
  • Card making
  • Calligraphy
  • Scrapbooking
  • Origami and quilling
  • Jewelry making
  • Mosaics (E.g. mirror frames, tables, pots)
  • Cake decorating, baking or cooking

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Why health equals energy and the impact it can have on your work life balance

I once heard a wise man say health = energy (the awesome Tony Robbins). To me this is so true, when I have been at my healthiest I have felt a vitality that was otherwise absent. It gave me more energy to do the things that were most important to me and provided me with more endurance and a greater zest for life.

 

When you have energy like this you are able to put your all into work and life, making you feel less run down by all that you need to do and more enthused to do your very best. It improves your social life because you are more up for meeting people, the pursuit of your passions is given a boost and generally your life outside of work flourishes. Work wise you feel more motivated and driven to perform well too.

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