work / life balance

This is something I often struggle with. Do you know when to say “when” when it comes to your workload? Do you schedule yourself to near death? I pretty much do. Although this year I’ve taken huge steps to eliminate stress (bye, bye freelance overload) and practice better self-care (healthy food, daily exercise, more face time with friends) it seems as though I still have a never-ending to-do list. Balance, to me, means a calm mind and focused heart. Here are some of the ways I have found to help restore my balance:

Declutter

If I’ve learned anything about myself these last 7 years of singlehood, it’s that I cannot abide clutter (I’m not allowed to watch Hoarders without a note from my doctor). When I feel like I am unable to relax, it is usually because my mind and/or my living spaces are cluttered. So I tidy up those spaces! As for clearing my mind… I get out my notebook and make a list of all the noisy things running around in my brain. After reflecting on the list and deciding which items are rational or not… I close the notebook and feel relieved to have all that junk out of my head and on paper.

Get Moving

Did you know that exercise boosts cognitive creativity? I know my mind feels much clearer after a workout. Next time you need a recharge, skip the caffeine and take a 30 minute walk around the neighborhood. Don’t forget your camera, instagram little vignettes from your walk and share it with your favorite people.

Try Something New, Do Something Different.

I’m a slave to my routine, change is scary for me but also very necessary if I find myself in a rut. Choose to go somewhere new and a little out of your comfort zone. Don’t be afraid to fly solo, it can be liberating.

Take a Nap

Creativity booster alert: NAPS! I’m a heavy sleeper, so if I decide to take a nap I set an alarm. Make sure you are in a dark room, comfy sleepwear is a must, then close your eyes and empty your mind. Studies show that naps, lasting more than an hour to ensure REM sleep, “may improve memory, boost creativity, and help you better plan for the future.” [National Geographic]

Let it Go

Crap things happen every day and dwelling on the bad stuff or everything that’s “gone wrong” will not only bring you down… but also those around you. Focus on the positive and more positive will follow. Beating yourself up over past missteps is counter-productive. Letting things go will free your mind (and heart) to accept the more important things like how awesome you actually are.

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Visit The Maven Circle to read Jen and Jena’s take on Work/Life balance.
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