Work/Life Balance

The Very Easy Task of Finding Work/Life Balance

By Ally Medeiros on July 31, 2023

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A woman meditates while sitting in front of her laptop.

Remember when everyone worked non-stop, focused on “the grind,” and was always tired and miserable? We have collectively moved away from that notion., probably because we were forced to when so many of us had to pivot because of the pandemic. Thankfully because of it, we have mostly relaxed our perspective on working, especially since so many can work from home – a dream I escape to every night as I close the coffee shop I work at.

However, I’m starting to see so many posts and videos about “side hustles” and how to earn extra cash outside of your work hours, and you’re probably already familiar with the “girl boss” phenomenon. And I’m afraid, y’all. I’m afraid we’re slipping down that slope toward work obsession again.

Obviously, the cost of living has increased, and it feels like it continues daily. And people have to pay their dang bills. I, myself, am a person who has to pay my dang bills. So, it goes without saying that I understand people simply need more money. I’m not against that; it’s wise and necessary to have a secondary source of income. 

I’m just afraid (of so many things, but right now) that we will be consumed by working until we’re exhausted blobs with no time to enjoy the things we’re working towards. It is hard to see someone without a concept of who they are without their work. Again, many of us went through this ourselves or saw it in our parents or friends. 

When you take away work, who are you? What do you do? How do you enjoy your time? Are you capable of simply enjoying your time? 

I want to take forward in my career the things I have learned from my own experience of working during the pandemic. Rest when you can, or your body will make you. I have been working for 10 years, plus I’ve been going to school on top of that for six of them. I stopped working because my body demanded deep rest. My mental health took the biggest hit ever because I didn’t have a work/life balance. I didn’t have boundaries. I still sleep way more than is recommended to catch up from the burnout. And I’m only now finding my way back to a balance of rest, work, and play. 

Some simple things I recommend to my mom, my partner, my friends, to the team I supervise are: 

  • Set timers for tasks
  • Turn your phone on Do Not Disturb (mine is set for 10 p.m., and it’s perfect)
  • Set achievable goals 
  • Know what you can handle (aka boundaries)
  • Take the time you need 
  • Walk away from your computer or even have someone bring you out when you’re on a break or done for the day
  • Apologize less 
  • Be clear about what you need (sounds like boundaries)
  • Go outside and move your body
  • Look at a flower! Appreciate its beauty! I’m serious!
  • Keep your phone in a separate physical location from your work setup
  • Eat a snack
  • Drink some water 
  • Set boundaries (Yes, again!)

By keeping this in mind, using some of these tips, or developing better ones, you and I will find a good work/life balance. And we will be able to work better, for longer. 

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