Do you have a healthy work-life balance? It might be something that you’ve never considered before now. But maybe you should. Being completely burned out at your workplace can seriously affect all areas of your life, not least your training.
It’s a science-backed fact that mental tiredness can lead to lower levels of physical performance. You may find it harder than ever to work out or reach your fitness goals when you’re feeling stressed. If you’re looking for a way to get back on track, you’ve come to the right place. Here are six ways to achieve a better work-life balance.
How to Achieve Better Work-Life Balance
1. Take Some Time to Disconnect
Do you leave your work in the office? Or, like most of us, do you take it home with you after a long, hard day? Whether it’s checking work emails on your smartphone when you get home or simply obsessing over the presentation you have to give tomorrow, all too many of us find it hard to disconnect from our jobs at the end of the day.
However, if we wish to be happier and healthier, this trend needs to change. Research from Kansas State University found that detaching from your workplace mentally, physically, and electronically could be the secret to achieving a better work-life balance. While it may be easier said than done, turning off your emails and doing something that completely takes your mind off your work is the way to go.
2. Make Training a Priority
For many of us, working out is something of a release. When you feel as though you’ve got the entire world on your shoulders, doing something active and engaging can take your mind off things. On the other hand, some people find it hard to make training a real priority when they’re overstretched in other areas of their lives.
Keeping fit could actually protect you against workplace stress health concerns. In a revealing study from the Universität Basel, researchers found that it pays off to stick to your physical activity routine when you’re experiencing high levels of stress. While hitting the gym may be the last thing on your mind after a hectic day in the office, it might be a savvy way to maintain a healthy work-life balance. Keep working at it!
3. Start Cycling to Work
Commuting can be a real trial, especially if you live far away from your place of work. Surprisingly enough, though, the way in which you choose to travel could have a major impact on your stress. One study from Concordia University compared the difference in morning mood between commuters who cycled and those who drove or took public transport. The results showed that cyclists were less stressed out than other participants.
4. Give Meditation or Yoga a Shot
Believe the hype – meditation and yoga are effective ways to feel more centered and relaxed during work. Research from Ohio State University found that engaging in just 20 minutes of guided meditation or yoga at the workplace over the course of six weeks could lower average stress levels by a massive 10%.
Of course, depending on your job role, it may not be completely feasible to set down a mat and practice meditation in your workplace. If that’s the case, you can always try it for yourself at home or in the gym. Many fitness centers have instructor-led classes which you can join. Failing that, you could watch YouTube tutorials to get started.
5. Take Up Painting, Writing, or Photography
Do you consider yourself a creative person? Pursuing your passions could be a genius way to unwind and improve your work-life balance. Whether it’s painting a stunning landscape, writing some poetry, or even taking some snaps, getting creative could help you chill out and shake off the stresses of your everyday work life.
What’s more, research from San Francisco State University found that engaging in activities of this nature in your free time could also boost your work performance. That means that not only will you get some much-needed "you time" but you will also perform better than ever when you’re actually at work. Go ahead – find your creative interest!
6. Play a Video Game
Could playing video games help you to improve your work-life balance? Sure, gaming often gets a bad rap. Being sedentary for hours as you tap away at keys on a control pad is by no means beneficial to your physical health. However, taking short breaks at work in which you engage in games could actually help you relax and feel uplifted.
Research from the Human Factors and Ergonomics Society found that playing video games could help to boost people’s moods during a day packed with workplace stress. The participants took assigned breaks at work in which they either had some silent time or played a video game. Only those in the latter group felt recharged after their break.