Work makes up a huge part of our lives. We spend the majority of our week at work doing our jobs and some of us can get a little lost when it comes to working and we can forget about the little things that matter as much in our lives as work does. But, when it comes to work, why do some of us struggle so much to create a healthy work-life balance?
There are multiple causes of not having a healthy balance, such as stress, lack of time and fulfilment and tiredness, but it is possible to find the root cause within us. No matter what your circumstances are, the way in which you respond to these circumstances will determine the quality of your life. Perhaps you have a job which you love, or a job which is stressful, or maybe you have just gotten used to your job taking up the majority of your time.
Mindfulness is the idea of taking control of ourselves via our bodies and minds with respect to our thoughts and surroundings in order to enable us to become more aware of our feelings, thoughts and experiences. As work forms a huge part of our lives, it is important that we maintain a good work-life balance overall for our health, but how do we improve our work-life balance with mindfulness?
Take One Thing At A Time
Mindfulness is all about being aware and making sure to take things bit by bit. Whilst you are at work, it is important to better learn how you can manage your top priorities. If you feel like you have a million and one different things to do, then this inevitably will lead you to feel stressed and overwhelmed.
Instead, approach the main tasks first and start to do them one by one. Whilst you are working on a task, remember to focus on that task only - be present in the moment. If your mind does begin to wander, then be sure to notice the distractions and slowly let them go.
Don’t Take Things Personally
Thanks to various factors, our jobs can be extremely stressful. We often deal with highly unpleasant situations, from demanding bosses and unpleasant colleagues to not being praised enough. But, whilst it may be difficult, it is important that you don’t take things personally. In work environments, people don’t tend to say things because of you or your work, but rather the situation from how they see it.
Whilst this isn’t always the right thing to do on their part, it is vital for your mental health that you don’t take this personally. Take a deep breath and remember that this reaction has come from their perspective, not yours. Instead of creating negative energy, use any feedback as an opportunity to improve the quality if your work, rather than a personal attack.
Focus On The Job At Hand
The key to implementing mindfulness is all about focus. There are many distractions which surround us and which can have an impact on our productivity levels and sometimes our mind can trick us to focus more on distractions when we are feeling stressed. We can sometimes become extremely overwhelmed if we feel that we have too many tasks which need completing, which has a huge effect on our mood and home life.
Another thing which we may do is say, “I’ll do this work tomorrow” or, due to a task’s difficult nature, we put it on the back burner. In order to avoid this, try to finish your tasks according to their nature and how difficult they are. If you feel as though a task is too complex, then break it down into smaller, more manageable steps.
If you feel as though you can’t focus, or find yourself becoming suddenly overwhelmed, then try some simple breathing techniques. You can do them at your desk, or go somewhere a little quieter to fully benefit. Breath slowly through your nose until the count of 3, hold for 3 and exhale slowly for 5. This very simple breathing exercise will calm your senses and make you feel less stressed almost instantly.
Let Go Of Any Distractions
If you find that you are distracted by stressful thoughts, either at home or work, then you will feel that your life has become somewhat of a burden. Most jobs have their stresses, so it doesn’t take long for us to become distracted by overwhelming thoughts. Worrying about things, whether at work or home, will only add to the stress that you are dealing with already which can lead to you becoming someone with a very poor work-life balance. Whilst it is easier said than done, why not just let those stresses go? What is the worst that can happen if you do?
It may seem impossible to create a healthy work-life balance, but mindfulness is a great tool which we can all use to improve our lives in a positive way. Work-related tensions can have an impact on our home life, and vice versa, so it is important that we learn different ways to help us cope and deal with these when we can. If we find ways to maintain the balance, then this will efficiently help us to manage both work and home.
Natalie Wilson is a freelance writer for many different business publications. With a range of knowledge in the business and insurance sector, she is an avid researcher and writer in the field. Having worked closely with a number of different businesses, including Nutri Advanced, Natalie is now looking to specialise in workplace health and disputes and is currently researching and working closely with different health brands for this. You can connect with her on Twitter @NatWilson976.