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No matter how satsifying work can be, everyone has interests and responsiblities outside the office whether it be picking up the children from school, taking a class, volunteering or simply taking “me” time. Maintining a work-life balance can be difficult as work can sometimes take over, but here are a few tips to make sure you don't get overwhelmed:

  1. Work for the right company: “Try to work for a compnay that puts emphasis on a healthy workplace,” says health and safety specialist Christy Bick. She says that companies that offer corporate wellness programs or other types of benefits and compensation that promote work-life balance usually mention it in their job descriptions. These benefits include things like an on-site gym, a nurse on staff, flex-time or even discounts to local gyms or yoga studios in the area. “Employers are realizing that you need [these incentives] in order to keep employees around,” Bick says.
  2. Incorporate things that make you feel good into your work day:  “Forget about work for a minute,” Bick suggests. “If you're having a bad day and you fought with your partner and you're just feeling crummy for some reason – what do you do to make yourself feel good?” Bick says once you figure this out, try to incorporate it into your work day even if it's only on 15-minute breaks, on your lunch hour or two to three times a week. And, the activity doesn't have to be anything complicated. It can simply be 15 minutes of meditation, going for a quick walk or reading a magazine that you enjoy.
  3. Live a healthier lifestyle: See what you can do to make your lifestyle healtheir in general, not just at work. Whether it be quitting smoking, going on a diet or just reducing your caffeine intake, everyone can stand to be a bit healthier overall. “The stronger we are as human beings in terms of health, we can naturally roll with the punches easier,” Bick says. “It increases your mental stamina and your body's natural ability to deal with stress.”
  4. Take your breaks / vacation: Every work day has built in breaks. Whether it's a 15-minute breather or an hour-long lunch, truly disconnect from work when you go on them. Bick says she discourages people from eating lunch at their desks. “Get up! Leave! Even if it's just to go eat your bag lunch in the kitchen – get away from your desk.” Human Resources consultant Sari Friedman also suggests taking all of your vacation time, even if you're not planning to go away. “Take one day every two weeks and work every nine days for the rest of this year. Why not?” she says. “It doesn't have to be taken all at one time.”
  5. At the end of the day – clearly disconnect: Though she acknowledges how difficult it can be in the age of digital communication, Bick suggests making a clear break from all forms of work communication when you get home. “Sometimes doing the actual job of turning off the cell phone just feels so clear. And helps to set the tone – I'm not at work anymore.” She suggests that people disconnect from work conflicts when they get home as well. Bick understands that it's difficult and improbable for people who are constantly on call. “It's always in the back of your mind. Something as simple as should I be having that second glass of wine with dinner? I might be called in.” But she says that disconnecting is a technique that should be practiced any time a person is given clear non-working time.
  6. Get creative: Friedman suggests that if you really want to balance your work and life responsiblities that you just need to get creative. “I really feel like if you want [the time] it's there,” she says. If it's possible, negotiate a way to work from home on certain days, the daily commute into the city usually takes up a significant amount of time. Or, suggest shifting work hours so you don't work during usual times, Friedman says some people, “like to leave early and then very openly and optically start working again later on, once they put their kids to bed or once they go play ultimate frisbee.” 
In the end, life doesn't revolve around work. People just have to figure out how to make time for everything else. Friedman says. “The world in general is a better place when things are tended to outside of corporate America; like people wanting to volunteer, to be good hands-on parents, to cook healthy meals, to exercise, to volunteer at their church whatever it is. Isn't the world a better place? 

No matter how satsifying work can be, everyone has interests and responsiblities outside the office whether it be picking up the children from school, taking a class, volunteering or simply taking “me” time. Maintining a work-life balance can be difficult as work can sometimes take over, but here are a few tips to make sure you don't get overwhelmed:

  1. Work for the right company: “Try to work for a compnay that puts emphasis on a healthy workplace,” says health and safety specialist Christy Bick. She says that companies that offer corporate wellness programs or other types of benefits and compensation that promote work-life balance usually mention it in their job descriptions. These benefits include things like an on-site gym, a nurse on staff, flex-time or even discounts to local gyms or yoga studios in the area. “Employers are realizing that you need [these incentives] in order to keep employees around,” Bick says.
  2. Incorporate things that make you feel good into your work day:  “Forget about work for a minute,” Bick suggests. “If you're having a bad day and you fought with your partner and you're just feeling crummy for some reason – what do you do to make yourself feel good?” Bick says once you figure this out, try to incorporate it into your work day even if it's only on 15-minute breaks, on your lunch hour or two to three times a week. And, the activity doesn't have to be anything complicated. It can simply be 15 minutes of meditation, going for a quick walk or reading a magazine that you enjoy.
  3. Live a healthier lifestyle: See what you can do to make your lifestyle healtheir in general, not just at work. Whether it be quitting smoking, going on a diet or just reducing your caffeine intake, everyone can stand to be a bit healthier overall. “The stronger we are as human beings in terms of health, we can naturally roll with the punches easier,” Bick says. “It increases your mental stamina and your body's natural ability to deal with stress.”
  4. Take your breaks / vacation: Every work day has built in breaks. Whether it's a 15-minute breather or an hour-long lunch, truly disconnect from work when you go on them. Bick says she discourages people from eating lunch at their desks. “Get up! Leave! Even if it's just to go eat your bag lunch in the kitchen – get away from your desk.” Human Resources consultant Sari Friedman also suggests taking all of your vacation time, even if you're not planning to go away. “Take one day every two weeks and work every nine days for the rest of this year. Why not?” she says. “It doesn't have to be taken all at one time.”
  5. At the end of the day – clearly disconnect: Though she acknowledges how difficult it can be in the age of digital communication, Bick suggests making a clear break from all forms of work communication when you get home. “Sometimes doing the actual job of turning off the cell phone just feels so clear. And helps to set the tone – I'm not at work anymore.” She suggests that people disconnect from work conflicts when they get home as well. Bick understands that it's difficult and improbable for people who are constantly on call. “It's always in the back of your mind. Something as simple as should I be having that second glass of wine with dinner? I might be called in.” But she says that disconnecting is a technique that should be practiced any time a person is given clear non-working time.
  6. Get creative: Friedman suggests that if you really want to balance your work and life responsiblities that you just need to get creative. “I really feel like if you want [the time] it's there,” she says. If it's possible, negotiate a way to work from home on certain days, the daily commute into the city usually takes up a significant amount of time. Or, suggest shifting work hours so you don't work during usual times, Friedman says some people, “like to leave early and then very openly and optically start working again later on, once they put their kids to bed or once they go play ultimate frisbee.” 

In the end, life doesn't revolve around work. People just have to figure out how to make time for everything else. Friedman says. “The world in general is a better place when things are tended to outside of corporate America; like people wanting to volunteer, to be good hands-on parents, to cook healthy meals, to exercise, to volunteer at their church whatever it is. Isn't the world a better place?

Reprinted with permission from Workopolis.com



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