The Daily Grind vs The Necessary Unwind: Work-Life Balance Tips

January 23, 2024

Alyssa Jackson

M.Ed. in Health and Wellness Education

Photo of person working and cooking

In our fast-paced world, overworking is the unfortunate cultural norm. It’s crucial to recognize the impact a good work-life balance can have on our well-being. Striking this balance not only enhances our mood and job satisfaction but also elevates our productivity. In the pursuit of delivering our best work, preventing burnout and fostering meaningful connections, let’s make a conscious effort to prioritize self-care — both for ourselves and our workplace.

Here’s a simple pact we can make with ourselves and our colleagues: Embrace practices that benefit both our personal lives and professional environments. How do we do that? I have some helpful tips to create a healthy work-life balance.

Turn off work notifications during specific time periods.

Create designated periods when work-related alerts, such as email or calendar notifications, take a back seat so you can focus on personal activities.

Adopt morning and night routines unrelated to work.

Design rituals that set a positive tone for your day and facilitate a peaceful transition into the evening. Instead of checking your work email upon waking or sleeping, spend some time journaling or reading to prepare your heart and mind for the day ahead.

Find what fills your cup.

Identify activities that rejuvenate you and make a deliberate effort to engage in them, especially during demanding days or weeks. This could be making time to prepare a home-cooked meal, talk on the phone with family and friends, or craft a DIY project.

Exercise to prepare your mind and stretch to wind down.

Incorporate physical activity into your routine to boost cognitive function and unwind before and/or after work. Getting your body moving is one of the best ways to manage stress levels.

Establish clear boundaries for family time.

Dedicate specific time periods exclusively for quality moments with your loved ones. Just like you would schedule work priorities, make sure to intentionally plan regular time slots for your family.

Learn the art of saying no.

Recognize that maintaining a manageable workload often leads to increased productivity. Don’t be afraid to decline tasks that would overload both yourself and your team.

Schedule breaks.

Place five- to 15-minute blocks of time into your calendar for short breaks to refresh your mind and enhance focus. In these brief periods, try taking a walk away from your desk and take out a book to let your mind escape the day’s workload.

Teamwork makes the dream work.

You don’t have to carry the weight alone. Don’t hesitate to ask for help. Everyone has their own talents and skills — you may just find someone who would love to utilize their gifts to help you!

Encourage coworkers to prioritize self-care.

Foster a culture that supports well-being by creating an environment where everyone can thrive both personally and professionally.

If you’re seeking a meaningful way to be your best self, consider committing to a work-life balance that enhances your productivity and overall job satisfaction. Let this be the year you take charge of your well-being and create a positive ripple effect throughout your workplace and life.

American College of Education believes in work-life balance. Learn more about our flexible programs that can be completed anywhere and anytime with an online connection.

Disclaimer: The views and opinions expressed in this article are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the official policy or position of American College of Education.
Alyssa Jackson
Alyssa Jackson, M.Ed. in Health and Wellness Education

Alyssa is a nutrition educator with the Expanded Food and Nutrition Program through NC State University in North Carolina. She recently completed her M.Ed in Health and Wellness Education at ACE.

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