Finding a work-life balance

Person balancing on a log

Person balancing on a log

Sometimes life is really busy. Whether it’s work, uni, social obligations, or a combination of all three, finding a balance between who we are and what we do is like walking a tightrope, hoping you make it to other side (whatever that looks like).

I’ve recently been navigating this sort of balancing act and it’s only now that I feel like I have the time to hopefully take a step back and regain some perspective. I think it’s something we’re all bound to experience at times (if not most of the time). There are plenty of tips out there for what we should be doing when we’re stressed but if I’m honest, there are days/weeks/months when I simply don’t have time for mindfulness, journaling, a bubble bath or a walk on the beach. In fact, I don’t feel like I’m qualified to recommend stress management tips to anyone when I find myself mostly unable to follow them. Instead, I’m going to touch on a few lifestyle and mindset changes I want to trial over the next few months. Hopefully some of them resonate with you.

Be kind to yourself

This year, I decided to work really hard and dedicate myself to my work in order to drive the best results I can. That’s great but in order to perform at your best you need to be feeling your best. I need to remember that no goal should be at the long-term expense of my mental, physical or emotional health. So, if my body is telling me to log off the night and sleep, I’m going to listen to it without feeling guilty.

Appreciate the small things

The problem with a lot of tips for managing stress and regaining balance is that they are normally activities that don’t naturally fall into my daily routine. They’re things I’d have to go to an effort to make time for (though I guess that’s the point). Instead, I want to start appreciating the smaller things, like the daily commute, where I get to just sit peacefully and listen to music for a while or the walk to and from work where I get to be outside and clear my head at the beginning and end of the day. When you’re stressed and focused on all the things that need doing, it’s easy to forget that the rest of the world exists.

Make time for the people you love

When I’m busy, I tend to withdraw from social activities. I make plans with friends only to cancel them because I just don’t have the time or feel guilty for not finishing important tasks. It’s not until I actually spend time with friends or family that I realise how much I needed to take that time to just talk, sometimes about nothing in particular, and get outside of my own head. It’s easy to forget that we are social beings, and that human contact is really integral to our overall health. Sometimes, just sharing our concerns out loud can help put things in perspective.

Tagged in What messes with your head, health and wellbeing, Wellbeing, Student life, Study matters, stress