Compared to before, today’s working conditions have significantly improved, with many regulations set in place to ensure employees have enough time for both their work and personal lives.
After all, having a healthy work-life balance is crucial to one’s overall wellbeing. Unfortunately, not everyone can separate work from their personal lives.
In fact, around 14% of the US labor force work more than 49 hours weekly, a number that’s even higher in other countries. Additionally, the recent pandemic has also forced many employees to shift to a work-from-home setup as a safety precaution against the virus.
Because of this, the line between work and home has become even blurrier, with many struggling to maintain a healthy work-life balance as we strive to adapt to the new normal.
With that said, in this article, we’ll be discussing the top 5 tips you can employ to help you maintain a healthy work/home lifestyle.
5 Tips to Maintain a Healthy Work/Home Lifestyle
Striking a balance between your professional and personal lives is crucial to your health and wellbeing, but this is much easier said than done.
With that said, check out these five tips on how to achieve that balance for a healthier and more fulfilling life.
Set Some Boundaries
While it’s true that it’s near-impossible to achieve success if you’re too picky with the work you take on, this doesn’t mean that you can’t set boundaries and identify which ones you will and won’t do.
After all, setting your limits for both your personal and professional lives will allow you to enjoy what both worlds have to offer without sacrificing either one. There are several ways you can set boundaries without sacrificing opportunities for each one.
One example would be learning to say “no” when you should. This means evaluating your priorities both at work and home, then refusing or delegating the tasks that are less of a priority.
This also works for tasks that you’re unable to handle yourself because doing so will free up more of your time to work on other tasks that you need to prioritize.
Learning how to say “no” to some tasks will also enable you to manage your time more effectively, thereby allowing you to have more time for yourself or your loved ones. Another strategy is to keep both worlds separate and avoid working when you’re not supposed to.
While this is easier said than done with the current situation, it’s still important to keep both worlds apart, so you wouldn’t feel like you’re always working.
Make Sure to Integrate Breaks into Your Schedule
Nowadays, many of us are under constant pressure to remain productive and fill our schedules to the brim, whether at work or at home. However, a crucial aspect that you shouldn’t forget to include in your schedule is taking breaks.
While it’s always good to remain as productive as possible, integrating breaks into your busy schedule is vital because it gives you some much-needed rest in between tasks.
Additionally, doing so will also help you feel less overwhelmed and stressed out as you tackle the mountain of tasks you need to accomplish for the day. This is also helpful for maintaining a work-life balance while working from home because it can help structure your day without feeling burnt out later on.
Taking breaks, even short ones, like having a cup of coffee and a snack, or simply getting up and stretching after focusing on a task for a couple of hours. You can even go for a short walk outside, provided you take the necessary precautions.
Not only will breaks help you recharge for what you need to do next, but they can also help you have enough time for yourself, even in the middle of a workday.
Create a Dedicated Workspace
In 2020, around 42% of employees in the US had shifted entirely to working from home full-time. While doing so has eliminated much of the physical challenges involved in working at an office, such as the daily commute and traffic jams, the new work setup has posed new ones in their place.
One of these challenges is that this new setup has many scrambling to retain the work-life balance they have developed over the years. One of the best ways to maintain that balance, even while working from home, is to create a dedicated workspace.
A dedicated workspace doesn’t even have to mean an entire room; it could simply be a portion of the kitchen table or a separate one somewhere in the living room.
Carving out a separate space for your work will allow you to associate that space with work and work alone, thus leaving everywhere else as your “home.” In addition, this will enable you to remain focused only on work while you’re in that space, allowing you to detach yourself from work when you’re no longer there.
This will also help everyone else in your home understand what you’re doing without having to actually say it out loud.
Don’t be Scared of Unplugging
Today’s advanced technology has made it easier than ever to connect with one another, anytime and anywhere we want. With a simple touch of a button, you can easily send a message or call someone who’s halfway across the world.
However, this has also made it easier to blur the lines between what’s healthy and what’s not, with some constantly checking their work email or phone even after work hours.
While this can be helpful for emergencies or urgent work-related matters because you can immediately act, this can also negatively affect our wellbeing.
In some countries like France, there are regulations to help the labor force maintain a healthy work-life balance. However, this doesn’t mean you can’t unplug from time to time to recover from the stress and fatigue you experience during the week.
In fact, there are several benefits to doing so, especially if you’re working to maintain a healthy work/home lifestyle. Unplugging from time to time can help you create more space in your mind for other thoughts and help you avoid the temptation to constantly check up on work-related matters.
Aside from this, unplugging can also help you relax during your downtime and focus on other essential matters in your life, such as spending time with your family and other loved ones.
Make Time for Self-Care
The concept of self-care has become so popular that defining it has become somewhat of a challenge. However, the most accepted definition for self-care is simply doing the things necessary to establish and maintain your health and wellbeing, both physical and mental.
Ensuring you have enough time to practice self-care, such as eating a nutritional diet, engaging in some physical activity, and keeping yourself hydrated, is a significant part of maintaining a healthy work/home lifestyle. Not only will this prevent experiencing burnout, but ensuring your health can also help you cope better with the rigorous demands at work.
Of course, self-care isn’t limited to taking care of your physical needs; it also means taking care of your mental wellbeing. For example, establishing a solid support system at work and at home can help you manage your tasks more effectively and maintain a healthier work/home lifestyle.
In addition, you also need to set aside some time to relax and unwind by participating in activities you genuinely enjoy, such as your hobbies.
Whether it’s practicing yoga or snuggling with a good book, having time to relax will help you avoid blurring the line between work and home, allowing you to maintain a healthy work-life balance.
Maintaining a healthy work/home lifestyle can be challenging, especially given the current circumstances. However, taking steps to preserve this balance is vital if you want to prevent one from taking over the other.
From setting boundaries to practicing self-care, there are numerous ways to maintain that balance and be your best self at home and work.