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

Step Seven: If you have had a stressful work day, prioritize relaxing at home

 

It is important that if you have a stressful day at work you use your time at home to unwind and increase your resources so that you are better positioned to cope at work the next day.

 

  • Exercise
  • Take the evening off all activities
  • Breathing exercises
  • Mindfulness meditation
  • Positive visualization of goals
  • Light candles and listen to soothing music
  • Read a fiction novel
  • Watch your favorite comedy
  • Call or see friends for meal or coffee
  • Spend quality time with your pet
  • Bubble bath or hot shower
  • Indulge in creative interests
  • Early night’s sleep or lay in

 

It’s worth remembering that the motto ‘work hard, play hard’ is a false economy and you will be worse off if this is your approach. ‘Blowing off steam’ on those party nights out will eventually cause you to burn out completely – leading you to be out of action for longer!

 

Stay tuned – next week we will 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.

 

Do you have personal hobbies and interests? What are they and do you have a true passion for them? Do you make a point of relaxing after a stressful day at work? How do you choose to relax? Please share your thoughts in the comments below to gain encouragement, support and insight from our community, we’d love to hear from you.

 

Further Resources:

 

‘The Super Woman’s Guide to Super Fulfillment: Step-by-Step Strategies to Create Work-Life Balance’ by Dr. Jaime Kulaga