One of the ways on how to maintain a healthy work-life balance is by having a hobby outside work. Undoubtedly, work can be quite draining, especially when you don’t have the perfect activity to unwind.
What does work-life balance mean?
Maintaining a balanced link between your career and personal life is what a healthy work-life balance entails. It entails deliberately managing your time and energy to accomplish both work and personal obligations while emphasizing self-care and well-being.
In an ideal world, we would be able to spend time after work doing things that feed us as people. Examples of this might be spending time with friends and family or participating in a pastime.
Struggling with 9-5
I recently started a 9-5 job or, rather, an 8:30 – 5 job. The long commute means I have to wake up by 6 am and leave my house by 7 am. As an entry-level staff, it was pure torture for me!
The organization I work for hold staff meetings every Monday morning, and being a newbie in the industry meant that I find these meeting incredibly boring. Soon enough, my colleagues nicknamed me the “sleeping girl” because I always find a way to doze off in every meeting.
My colleagues also naturally assumed that I partied throughout the weekend, hence the long naps during Monday’s meeting. I got tired of explaining that my weekends were spent indoors, dreading the next Monday.
Learning how to maintain the healthy work-life balance
Two months into my new job, I miraculously stopped dozing off during Monday meetings. I joked that it was because I was gradually acclimatizing and also learning more about the job.
To some extent, this was true. I was getting more familiar with banking terms like ‘substandard and doubtful loans. But I think the main trick was that I learned how to maintain the perfect work-life tips.
Tips that help in maintaining a healthy work-life balance:
1. Cultivate and maintain friends
I was in a new town; hence, I did not have many friends. My colleagues at work were much older than me, and as such, I found it difficult to relate with them.
I think the loneliness I faced from not having friends impacted poorly on my work-life balance. My weekends were spent dreading the weekdays, and thus, I came to work on Mondays looking tired and drained.
The first step to curing my dilemma was finding new friends. We all know that adult friendship is quite difficult to maintain and cultivate. But by being more intentional, I was able to garner a few friends.
Being able to relate with my fellow 9-5er positively impacted my work-life balance. For one, I realized that we all hate our jobs and would prefer to vacation all year round in Ibiza! You know what they say about misery-loving companies, yes? Well, it did work wonders.
2. Utilize Your Weekends!
Once I started using my weekends for fun activities with friends, I noticed that I came to work on Mondays somewhat rejuvenated and ready to do my best.
So, I didn’t spend my weekends dreading Mondays; rather, I tried my best to squeeze in any amount of fun! So, it was normal to find me gulping shots on Saturdays and Sundays whilst screaming, YOLO! YOLO!
What this did for me was that I look forward to my weekends while putting in my best on weekdays.
3. Don’t be scared to go out on a work night
Adulthood makes you feel like going out on a workday is taboo. I sort of adapted to this line of thought without even questioning it.
Work has been boring recently, and I’d spend long hours looking at an empty screen. I will come back home by 6 pm and will sleep almost immediately.
You’d expect that I would come into work the next day rejuvenated, right? Well, that was not the case! I slept around 6 pm, woke up around 2 am, and found it impossible to go back to sleep. Eventually, I slept around 4:30 am and woke up by 6:30 am, very late for work and feeling like I got minimal sleep!
You guessed right! I will be drowsy all through the day! On one of those slow work days, I decided to damn all the consequences and go out!
I felt guilty throughout my date, ‘it is a work night! I shouldn’t be galivanting around town!’ I drowned this voice in my head with as many shots as I could take.
Around 11 pm, I decided I have had enough fun and headed back home. Some group of cute girls that were partying beside me were also leaving at the same time. One of them said, ‘It’s back to 9-5 tomorrow!’ the rest grumbled in response. Instantly, I felt validated! I was not the only one partying on a workday.
I got home around 11:30 pm and hit the bed immediately. I woke up by 5:30 am, feeling well rested and had adequate time to prepare for work!
Will I party every workday? No! but I sure as hell won’t abide by the rule that says you can’t go out on a workday.
The long commute to my workplace means I have no time to visit the gym. You can suggest, why not try home workouts? But I’m coming to realize that home workouts are not for everyone. I.e., me!
Thursdays are usually my work-free days. And taking a 30 mins jog on Thursday and the weekend impacted my work-life balance positively. This is not surprising as Exercise is an excellent stress reliever. It releases feel-good endorphins into your system. It improves your mood and might even boost your energy levels.
5. Find something you enjoy doing outside of work.
I enjoy losing myself in the mindlessness of romance novels. I usually can’t wait for the day to end to bask in my favorite romance genre.
You should find something you enjoy doing outside work, no matter how small it is. If you have something exciting planned for after work, it will be simpler to disconnect from work communications or conclude your day at a certain time. Our hobbies provide us with more energy and vigor.
6. Go out to lunch or eat with coworkers.
My colleagues are convinced that I love the office kitchenette more than I love my office. That is not necessarily true. (winks).I enjoy eating and watching movies at the same time. The office kitchen offers me the opportunity to do just that.
Even if you work from home, you may go out for lunch or interact with coworkers. The change of pace will be nice — and, of course, will serve as a reminder to eat something.
7. Find a career you enjoy.
I have always wanted to be a lawyer, although my dad would have preferred it if I was a doctor. whenever my job gets boring and repetitive, I take pride in knowing I chose this career path.
I am very much aware that employment is a cultural expectation. However, your profession should not be limiting. Simply said, you will not be happy if you dislike what you do. You don’t have to enjoy every element of your career, but it should be interesting enough that you don’t dread getting out of bed in the morning.
8. Make your health a top priority.
Health is wealth might be a common adage but it is true in all ramifications. Your primary priority should be your physical, emotional, and mental well-being.
Recently, I called in sick to work after working 6 months nonstop. It was a fake-sick call, but I heaved a sigh of relief!
Don’t be like me and call in sick when you are not sick. However, do not be afraid to call in sick on bad days if you have a chronic condition. Overworking oneself hinders you from improving and may force you to take more days off in the future.
9. Take advantage of your leave
Sometimes fully disconnecting entails taking a vacation and turning off all work for a period of time. Whether your vacation is a one-day staycation or a two-week trip to Bali, taking time off to physically and psychologically refresh is essential.
According to the U.S. Travel Association’s State of American Vacation 2018 research, 52% of employees reported having unused vacation days at the end of the year. Employees are frequently concerned that taking time off may interrupt the workflow and result in a backlog of work when they return. This apprehension should not prevent you from enjoying a much-needed holiday.
10. Make time for yourself and your family.
Staying in a different state from my family means that I don’t get to see them as often as I would love. I do intend to take a week’s break and go visit them
If you do not firmly plan for personal time, you will never have time to do other things outside of work.
11. Have a Healthy Eating Habit
I am not sure I am currently practicing healthy eating habits. But I intend to put in more effort. Well, don’t be like me! Food is fuel, and it sometimes takes a shortage of healthy alternatives to make you realize you need to modify your behaviors.
When you work full-time, especially in an office setting, it is common for you to snack or consume unhealthy meals. If you find yourself abandoning your healthy routines, it’s time to make a change. The foods you eat have a big impact on your emotions, sleeping patterns, and general health.
One week of fast food can leave you feeling drained, angry, and weary. If you work from an office, do you have time to get out every day? Pack a lunch or inquire with your workplace manager about healthy snack alternatives.
12. Get Enough Rest
The number of hours needed for a “full night’s rest” varies widely from person to person, but you should get at least seven hours of sleep.
Listen to your body and rest when you’re tired. When you know you have a long day of work the next day, don’t overwork yourself. Set a timetable and attempt to switch off all electronics, including television, social media, and the internet, at least 30 minutes before going to bed.
What are some of the causes of poor work-life balance?
More than a quarter of full-time professionals worldwide think balancing work and family has gotten more challenging in the previous five years.
Below are some common causes of poor work-life balance:
1. Increased costs without a raise in pay
This was rated by one-third of employees as the most difficult aspect of maintaining a work-life balance.
2. More workplace responsibilities
Additional job duties were recognized as a key cause of poor work-life balance by over half of millennials and Gen X participants.
3. Increased domestic responsibilities
Over 40% of millennials and Gen X participants said having extra responsibilities at home, such as caring for children and aging relatives, made balancing work and personal life more difficult.
4. Working additional hours
Almost half (46%) of managers work more than 40 hours each week, and 40% have increased their hours in the last five years.
5. Having a family
More than a quarter (26%) of millennials reported working more after having a kid. After having a child, 50% of women and 22% of males took a professional pause.
Disadvantages of having a poor work-life balance
An unhealthy work-life balance happens when work becomes overpowering and takes precedence over personal life, negatively affecting an individual’s well-being.
Here are some common disadvantages of having a poor work-life balance:
1. Constantly overworked
This happens when you work long hours regularly, including weekends and holidays, with insufficient time for rest. This not only affects you physically but emotionally as well.
2. Neglected personal life
In situations like this, personal connections, hobbies, and leisure activities have been neglected as a result of overwhelming job expectations.
Physical, mental, and emotional weariness caused by continuous stress and job-related strain.
4. Relationship strain
Due to work-related obligations, having difficulty maintaining good connections with family, friends, and loved ones.
Conclusion on how to maintain a healthy work-life balance
Remember that attaining a healthy work-life balance varies based on individual circumstances and preferences. It is critical to strike a balance that is comfortable for you and improves your overall well-being.