Coronavirus Update

 

Whitechurch Blog: How to Improve Your Work-Life Balance

3rd June 2020

In case the work/life balance wasn’t difficult enough, we now find ourselves on our tenth week of lockdown where our home has become a mixture of the office, school and virtual social catch ups. It can be hard to switch off at the end of the day when our work now lives in what is usually our social space and there is no option of going out for an evening drink at the pub. Many of us are also having to adapt to having children at home all week that need to be home schooled making us busier than ever with little time to be given to the life side of the balance.

But finding a good balance is essential for improving your happiness, stress levels and keeping relationships positive. In these extremely difficult times, we need to take some time for ourselves and appreciate life beyond work before you burn out.

Here are some tips to help you improve that balance:

  1. Accept that this is an unusual time and there is no perfect balance

Don’t compare yourself to how anyone else is handling the current situation, it is difficult for everyone and our needs are all different. Instead of striving for the perfect work-life balance, plan for a realistic one. Your employer may be more open to flexible hours at the moment, which means some days you may work longer but others you can have the time to focus solely on family and time to relax.

  1. Set boundaries and work hours

Set your schedule for the day and know exactly what time you’ll be signing off – stick to it. Determine which hours will be set for work and which will be required for home schooling. At the end of the day, don’t be tempted to check that last email that has just come through or finish one more task, switch off completely as though your computer is only accessible in the office.

  1. Create a designated workspace

If you can, choose one room to do your work. This helps to distinguish where you need to concentrate and where you can relax. Alternatively, if you don’t have a comfortable space, move rooms between tasks so you don’t get a bad back. You could even work outside, a treat you wouldn’t get in the office! Whatever you do, make sure you hide that computer away at the end of the day.

  1. Unplug

Don’t be afraid to turn off your phone and any other electronics. Sometimes we can feel obliged to engage in virtual catch ups with those we can’t spend time with at the moment, but after a day’s work on a screen this can be bad for our eyes. These engagements are more tiring than a catch up in the park because the facial cues that we subconsciously pick up on are distorted, so more concentration is required. Instead, spend that time with those in your household, meet a friend in the park or take some time with just yourself and a book.

  1. Take some fresh air and exercise

Exercise is central to keeping us healthy which is more important now than ever before. It releases endorphins so helps us to feel positive despite everything going on right now, you’ll feel even more positive if it can be done outside. Taking the dog for a walk during your lunch break can be a great way to break up the day and you’ll come back to work feeling refreshed. Try taking up golf or cycling, these are great to also get some socialisation into your routine. On the days where the weather isn’t so nice, there are hundreds of virtual exercise videos that can be done from your front room – get the whole family involved for a bit of fun!

  1. Don’t go anywhere near work on the weekend!

This is where we really focus on the life side of the work-life balance. No work, no home-schooling, no emails. Relax and treat yourself. Find what makes you happy, binge on a TV series, have a BBQ, bake your favourite treats, do some gardening, open a bottle of wine with a book by an outdoor fire in the evening. Whatever you do, make sure it’s what makes you happy.

 

Keep positive as much as you can, but understand it is okay to find things difficult and have bad days, we all do. Try to remember, this will all be over one day and you will never have this much time with those in your household again. We’re all trying to figure this out and there is no right or wrong way to live life!

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