It’s possible to have a positive personal and professional life, and still feel as if there is an imbalance between the two. What usually happens, though, is one part of your life overshadows the other, resulting in frustration and conflict that only grows until you decided to address it.
It may not be something you can achieve the first time you try it, but eventually, you will develop the balanced life that you seek. Once you’ve gotten a good grasp on the type of work-life balance that works best for you, and you know how to implement it, you’ll be able to have such a fulfilling life.
Sometimes, it’s an issue of not having your priorities straight. Other times, it’s a simple matter of poor time management skills. There may be things you need to cut from your life completely in order to deliver the stability you crave for both your personal and professional worlds.
Work-Life Balance Is More Than a Catch-Phrase
The term work-life balance seems to get thrown around an awful lot. It tends to be discussed as if it were some mythical creature – something unattainable for normal people.
However, it’s very real and very much achievable. When people start discussing the idea of having a better work-life balance, they don’t really get much farther than the idea process.
The actual steps that you need to take in order to get there never get brainstormed or implemented, and the dream remains a dream. You shouldn’t think that work-life balance is something too simple, either.
It wouldn’t be true to say that you’ll get it by just changing a few minor things. This is usually a pretty big adjustment that’s going to need many small changes and a few large ones.
However, just because it’s hard doesn’t mean it’s unattainable. It just means that it’s going to take a lot of planning and a lot of effort. The result of all that hard work is a life where you have enough time to do the things you want to do.
Gone are the days in which you had to choose between a successful job and a happy life. Nowadays, you can be perfectly happy with your family and friends, while still maintaining a job that earns you plenty of money.
This is more easily accomplished in some jobs more than others. One of the biggest factors in that is whether or not you work online, or if you really do have to work in person for your job.
Over the course of 2020 and 2021, many workers saw just how much they could get done from their own computers, laptops and phones at home. Offices full of workers weren’t nearly as necessary as they seemed.
There are so many jobs that can be done right from the comfort of your own home, as long as you have Internet and a way to access it. These kinds of jobs are the best ones available for maintaining good work-life balance.
Obviously, there are certain jobs that can’t be run from the Internet. There are things like owning your own restaurant or owning a factory that can’t be recreated digitally, so naturally those will be more difficult.
However, you might be surprised at just how many jobs can be altered to be fully done online. Take personal training, for example. Typically, these trainers work with individuals at gyms to give them advice and exercise routines.
This would seem impossible to do online, and yet it’s done online very frequently. Trainers either sell access to online videos detailing exact information, or they video chat with their clients live to talk them through the workout.
The vast majority of office jobs can be done online. Things like handling clients and managing files can be done digitally fairly easily, as everyone learned during the 2020 lockdowns.
Work continued for many people despite not having offices open. Working at home is so important for achieving work-life balance because it allows you to typically have more flexible hours – plus it cuts the commute.
If you don’t need to be directly communicating with people, and just need to get the work done, that can be done at any time of day. With more flexible hours and not having to be anywhere at a certain time, you’re free to work more at night when an office would normally be closed and enjoy personal time during the day with your friends and family.
Think of all the opportunities available to you online and on your own schedule. Instead of having to wake up early and drive out to some office to try to find parking and working until you went home, it could be so peaceful.
You could wake up whenever it felt right, have some breakfast and relax a bit, get some work done, and relax a little more after that. You’d be able to get your work done at your own pace, and never have to stress about anything that a typical job structure brings.
Once you start working on your own time and making your own schedule, you won’t settle for anything less ever again. You won’t let someone tell you that you’ll have to spend all day in one spot working away.
Having flexibility in your schedule is like having a car for the first time, when you’re allowed to go wherever you want to. It’s freeing not having to rely on someone else to tell you where to go and when.
By taking steps to open up your schedule, you’re making genuine progress towards having true real work-life balance. It won’t just be a concept anymore, but rather a real thing that improves your life.
Being Your Own Boss Is No Longer an Unachievable Dream
Decades ago, it might have been a bit hopeful to think about starting your own business and becoming your own boss. While it wasn’t impossible, it was just very unlikely since you needed so many resources to start one, and many people didn’t have that.
Nowadays, it’s so much easier to start your own business, both online and offline. However, there’s still a bit of a stigma around it, and many people either don’t take it seriously or don’t think it’s feasible.
They should, though. The old days of having to know someone specific or having to go into a ton of debt to start your own business are over. This is especially true with online businesses, but in person ones are still easier than they used to be.
One of the reasons so many people have become interested in becoming entrepreneurs has been the events of 2020 and 2021. When lockdowns began and businesses started to close, employees drew the short straw.
Employees were not cared for, not helped, or anything. They were told they couldn’t work, and to go apply for unemployment. This made it clear that most employers don’t care about their employees in the slightest – they have to look out for themselves.
If you were at the mercy of an employer when the lockdowns began, you were likely given nothing much when your business closed. These massive corporations didn’t want to waste money supporting their employees of decades.
However, those that worked on their own, particularly in online business, were able to remain operational and employed. For many, this was life-saving. Being able to maintain a steady income when so many were on unemployment is a big deal.
Obviously, being properly taken care of is a great benefit of being your own boss, but the benefits don’t stop there. Another major benefit is deciding your own schedule, which is particularly important to achieving work-life balance.
When you’re your own boss, you get to choose exactly what to do, when to do it, and how it should be done. It does depend a bit on the job you take, but many jobs just require a project to be done by a certain deadline along with various daily tasks.
In cases like this, you could have as many days off as you wanted as long as you got the main projects done and tended to the smaller daily requirements. If you did work in advance and got everything completed that you needed for the next day, you could take the next day off.
You don’t have to run it by your boss and hope it gets approved, and you don’t have to submit a request for the time off weeks in advance. You simply decide that you’ve worked enough and move along with your time.
One of the advantages you have when it comes to starting businesses now as compared to decades ago is the amount of resources available to you. Years ago, you wouldn’t be able to find information on exactly what to do and what not to do.
Now, however, it’s a different story. You can find so much information online from other entrepreneurs that have made mistakes before, and learn so much about what not to do or what they wish they would’ve done sooner.
You can connect with other entrepreneurs, even in the same field. You can share experiences and difficulties and get advice from them on how to proceed if you’re not entirely sure.
Connecting with other entrepreneurs can be as formal as buying a course from them and learning how to do what they do, or it can be as casual as adding them as a friend on Facebook and talking about bad customer experiences.
These are tools that you simply wouldn’t have been able to access before the Internet and social media came to rise. You would’ve been stuck with whomever was local to you, and hope they’d be willing to talk about it.
Another huge benefit of being an entrepreneur is the lack of an income ceiling. With most jobs, you look at them and one of the first things you judge them on is their salary. Whether it be an hourly job or an annual salary, the money matters.
With any job salary, there’s the average, the minimum, and the maximum. If you took on a job with an average salary of $40,000 and a maximum salary of $80,000 you would have a pretty good job, but you’d never be able to make it to six figures.
Being your own boss, you make as much as you strategize your business to make. While this can be scary initially, when you’re still getting your footing, it means in the long run there’s no limit to what you can do.
If your business takes off, you could easily end up earning a seven digit salary. That would almost never happen in a standard job, no matter how hard you worked and how much you wanted it.
It’s also nice just to be able to do such a variety of things in your own business. If you hate having to be so formal with clients at your job, you don’t have to run things that way at your own business.
You can do things exactly as you want to and nobody is going to stop you from doing it. You might have to adjust the way you operate to maximize your own profits, but you might think it’s worth it to work a certain way even if it means a bit of profit loss.
What Are Your Current Pain Points in Life?
In order for you to make the changes you need to help yourself have a healthier and more fulfilling life, you need to be able to clearly identify what things you want to be different in your life right now.
Everyone has something that they’re unhappy with in their lives. Whether it be something at work or something at home, there’s a good chance that something needs to be changed.
Just because you’re unhappy with one aspect of your life doesn’t mean you aren’t generally happy. People will be quick to dismiss minor sources of unhappiness if they’re otherwise fine.
Don’t be afraid to look at your life a bit more critically. It doesn’t mean that you’re not grateful for what you do have, it just means that you want the best possible life for yourself and for those around you.
There are many common physical problems that people have in their lives that are partly caused by a poor work-life balance. Exhaustion and poor physical health are frequent results of excess work.
If you’re constantly having to eat fast food and get little sleep due to your work conditions, you’ll quickly develop physical health problems due to a lack of proper nutrition and a lack of ample rest.
Don’t be so quick to dismiss mental issues, either. Things like stress, depression, and anxiety are more frequent than you might expect, and are another side effect of a poor work-life balance.
While mental health holds its own great deal of importance, it can also directly affect your physical health. Mental issues create hormone imbalances, which can cause many different physical problems.
Often times, jobs and the conditions in which they put workers don’t allow you to take good enough care of your physical and mental health. They tend to see workers as disposable, and don’t really respect you.
Becoming an entrepreneur is a great step towards being able to take care of yourself more. Without a boss that tries to ignore your issues, you’ll be more free to take care of them as they arise.
Another issue in many people’s lives is time. There’s never enough hours in the day for most people, and they’re constantly trying to juggle time with friends and family along with long hours they spend at work.
Typically, people aren’t happy with the amount of time they spend at work. You might not get enough time to yourself or spend enough time with your family. Things like spending time with your kids is crucial, but most jobs don’t care.
Be honest about where you’d like to have more time in your life. Even if it’s not totally feasible in the moment, think about what parts you’d like to have more time for. This lets you know what’s important to you, and you can sort the details out later.
One issue that’s often seen at any job you look at is a lack of enjoyment. While work isn’t always meant to be fun, it should at least be stimulating somehow. It might be difficult and still interesting, but never boring.
You can ask just about anyone you know if they like their job and their answers will be mediocre at best. They’ll probably tell you that it’s not too bad, or that they get decent benefits from it.
But the day to day work is never enjoyed by most people. This is because most jobs are borderline busy work, or they tend to have employers that don’t respect their employees.
You might need to find a job where you can really feel fulfilled, like you’re doing something that not only makes a difference, but is also interesting and keeps you occupied.
In many cases, this might require you to go on and become an entrepreneur. If you wanted to do something your way and on your time, becoming an entrepreneur is much easier than dealing with an array of bosses who might not give you the tasks you want.
Figuring out these pain points in your life is an important part of the healing process. You might think it’s better to ignore them, and in some cases, that might be easier. But easier is not always better.
Identifying exactly what you’re unhappy with, both the obvious and the subtle, is crucial to being able to make the right changes happen. Be honest with yourself and don’t worry about it seeming selfish or self-centered.
If you want to have more time to yourself, but the rest of your life is going pretty well, be honest about it. There’s no reason to deny yourself one thing just because the others are doing alright.
You won’t have to fully sacrifice other things in your life to spend a little bit more time on another. In some cases, sacrificing time in other areas might be what you need and want, but if you don’t want to, you won’t have to.
Make a Plan for What You Want 2022 and Beyond to Be Like
Once you know what you don’t like about your life, it’s time to envision what you’d like it to look like instead. Just identifying the problems isn’t enough. You need to think about what the alternative looks like and how it all fits together.
First start with the basics of deciding what you’d ideally like to change about the sore spots in your life. This can be as simple or as complex as you’d like it to be, but just come up with the way you’d prefer your life to look.
For example, if you weren’t getting enough sleep at night because you kept staying up late to watch Netflix, it would be as simple as you committing to getting a full 8 hours of rest each night. Simple situations require simple changes, so don’t overcomplicate things.
You might, however, consider how these changes would improve your life. Don’t just imagine getting enough sleep, imagine not being exhausted and relying on coffee when you wake up. Imagine having more energy throughout the day.
You’ll need to be working with specific goals in mind, not just the general ones. It’s okay to start with general goals like wanting more personal time, but you’ll have to get more specific as you make your plans.
Go from wanting more personal time to something like wanting enough time to yourself to learn the guitar while also devoting more time to your kids, especially on the weekends.
Making these really specific goals, as specific as you can get them, makes your work easier moving forward. One way to envision it is like trying to get somewhere based on general or specific directions.
If someone told you the place you were driving to is north of you, you might have a few roads in mind that could get you in that direction, but no knowledge of how to get to that exact spot.
With more specific directions, you’ll know what roads and turns to take, and how to get to an exact spot. Otherwise, you’ll be a bit lost once you get started, and you might end up giving up before you get there.
When you don’t have some solid direction on where you should be going and what you should be doing, all you can do is react to things as they come to you, which never works out well in the long run.
Consider things like the amount of hours you’d like to work and the amount of money you’d like to earn. Obviously it can’t be too unreasonable, like working for an hour and earning a million dollars, but don’t be afraid to dream a little.
Something like working 4-5 hours a day and earning six figures would be fantastic, and it’s not unheard of. It’s certainly more appealing than working 8 or more hours per day and earning a lower salary.
Don’t throw out goals that you want just because you don’t think they’ll be achievable. It might not be easy, but these types of dreams are far from impossible. By ignoring what you really want, you’ll never have even the slightest chance of getting it.
It’s good to have both realistic and slightly unrealistic goals, as they both have their own distinct advantages. Realistic goals are nice because they give you a better starting place, and act almost as progress markers as you achieve them.
It feels good to hit goals that you set, because it means you’re moving in the right direction. However, if all your goals are too easy and you hit them all, it means you’re not dreaming big enough.
By setting some more unlikely goals, you’ll have something to work towards long term. There’s a chance you won’t reach them, but they’ll always be there to continue driving you forward and to get you to continue progressing.
When you’re coming up with long term goals, imagine it as your ideal life in which you have no problems at all. You’ll encounter roadblocks on your way there, but don’t try to come up with problems you’ll face forever if they’re not there.
This is common when people are pessimistic about their lives. They think that they’ll always likely be working too much, and factor that into the picture of their lives they have in their head.
Instead of that, imagine that you’ll be working just as much as you’d like and not a bit more. With the rest of that time, you could be relaxing or spending time with family or doing whatever you’d like.
Remember that these plans you’re making are for what you want your life to look like, rather than a prediction of what you assume it’ll be like. Assumptions are often wrong, and can become self-fulfilling prophecies.
Once you have all of these goals and your ideal life outlined, you can start drawing connections from where you are now to where you want to be, and figure out how to get there.
Remember that these goals and ideals might shift over time as your life and your priorities change. You might make more space in your goals to spend time with your kids once you have them, and so on.
Learn and Implement Better Time Management Skills
One skill you’re going to have to learn in order to have a good work-life balance is time management. Very few people are good at it, and most people don’t realize just how much it can change their lives to learn it.
Time management involves many different aspects, from saving time doing certain menial tasks to having a well-organized schedule. Mastering it can be hard, but there are plenty of skills that you can pick up on to help you early.
First, get a detailed outline of your day as it is currently. Log what you’re doing and when you’re doing it, so that you have an idea of what your day looks like in regard to how you allocate your time.
Don’t change the way you go through your day just to look better on paper – just act totally natural. The whole point of detailing your schedule is to see where you’re going wrong already, so you don’t want to make any quick adjustments beforehand.
Once you’re looking at it, your schedule probably has a lot of things in it that either shouldn’t be there or should be much shorter. This is a great first step to identify where you could get more time in your day.
Start by getting rid of the unnecessary things first. Extra work that your coworkers, business partners or colleagues have put on you, random side projects, and other distractions should be cut out first, just until you have the rest of your time in order.
Keep in mind that necessary things aren’t just work related tasks. Sometimes, for your own health and relaxation, things like a bit of entertainment is necessary. Watching a little bit of TV at night isn’t going to ruin your schedule.
If it’s a massive distraction like watching TV for many hours a day, then it’s unnecessary and should be cut down. Just don’t cut things out that you enjoy as long as you’re not spending too much time on them. After all, the goal is to have a better work-life balance.
Try and come up with ways that you can save time in your day, and test it to make sure it works well. For example, one place people tend to waste a lot of time at is the grocery store.
Meandering through the aisles looking at everything can take up a bunch of time, as can waiting in line to checkout. Instead, consider using curbside pickup, a feature most major grocery stores have implemented.
Just drive up at the designated time and have a worker load up your groceries. You pay and stock your cart online, and they prepare your order for you in advance. This can save a ton of time, but make sure it works for you and your schedule.
Try to find ways to save time both in your personal life and at work. There’s certainly places you could improve on when it comes to both, so look at them equally. You can reallocate the time you save with both later on.
At work, you might struggle in the morning to find a good parking spot and drive around in circles looking for a good one. By leaving a little earlier or just taking the first one you find, you can save a decent bit of time.
Little things like this can add up to become big deals. Just saving an hour a day on little tasks adds up to 365 hours per year, which is roughly 15 days of saved time. Not every change has to be drastic to make an impact.
Of course, big changes are worth looking at as well. Things like adjusting your work hours can be major changes in your schedule, allowing you to use that saved time in your work-life schedule.
One of the mistakes many people make when learning time management is that they try to cram a bunch of different things into their schedules because they consider time management to equal doing more things.
This isn’t the case for everyone, though. Sometimes time management means doing more stuff, but other times it might mean doing less and having more room to breathe. Just giving your schedule more wiggle room can be a great work-life adjustment.
Don’t expect to find one single time management system that will solve all of your problems. There are so many different ways of handling time that it can be confusing, but really it just means you have various options.
You shouldn’t be afraid of considering major life changes for the sake of time management, as well. With certain things like jobs, there’s not much wiggle room that you can get if your boss doesn’t allow it.
Something like becoming an entrepreneur is a major task, but it also allows more time and more freedom. Big changes like this might have to be an essential part of your time management plan if your boss isn’t giving you enough room.
Don’t forget that figuring out a way to save time isn’t the end of the story. You actually have to move forward with that and implement it into your life, and from there, reallocate that saved time to something else.
It’s an easy trap to fall into, because you might try something out that saves you time, but you don’t like the change because it’s something different. Instead of going back to your old way, move along and stick with it as a change.
Be an Advocate for Your 2022 Financial Goals
Money is a crucial part of life, for better or for worse. The better off you are financially, the more you can support yourself and your family, and the less you’ll have to stress about working too much.
In order to be able to maintain a better work-life balance, you need to be very strict about how others deal with you financially. You can’t get pushed around or paid less than you ought to be, otherwise you’ll get stuck in a rut.
Knowing your own worth is incredibly valuable. Naturally, employers will try and undervalue you at any chance they get, so that they can keep more money for themselves and keep costs down.
If you know your exact worth and don’t accept anything less than what you’re owed, you’ll be much better off financially. You’ll get something closer to the salary you want and you’ll be able to relax a bit more.
Many people are scared of negotiating their salaries, because they don’t want to come off as ungrateful or overly needy. They should, though, because typically when you’re offered a salary, you’re being lowballed.
Quality work from quality workers is in high demand. If you do your job well, you could easily be earning more than you currently are, just on the grounds that you’re not putting in such partial work as so many others are.
It can be intimidating, but if your boss isn’t willing to pay you what you deserve to be paid, you should consider moving jobs somewhere else. Knowing your worth also means acting when someone disregards you.
Of course, this doesn’t mean that you should approach the situation hastily, either. Getting the right salary isn’t as simple as running into your boss’s office and demanding a certain number, and hoping they say yes.
It’s more like a strategic game. You have to catch your boss in the right move, establish a solid rapport with them, and demonstrate the value you provide to the company and how it cannot be so easily replaced.
Then, you’ll be able to get more of what you want out of your job. It might just be a higher salary, and it might also be greater benefits, or the same pay for less work. Any way you cut it, you need to get it to be better.
The situation faced by entrepreneurs in standing up for themselves financially is a bit different. With no boss to go to that controls your salary, entrepreneurs have to find their own ways around taking no nonsense with their finances.
There are plenty of different situations that you could run into as an entrepreneur that can affect your finances pretty heavily. One of the most common ones you’ll find is when you undervalue your services.
This is a lot more common with new entrepreneurs. You might have reservations about how much you should charge when you’re first starting out, especially if you’re not sure your services are as good as the competition.
Charge the same as your competitors, if they’re getting business. If you’re trying to undercut them, you can do that to an extent as long as you don’t go too low. Pricing your services at too low of a cost is a bad idea.
For one, it attracts somewhat worse clientele. For example, if you ran a lawn service company, you’re probably going to have worse experiences with the owners that want to pay $20 an hour rather than those willing to pay $50 or more.
It also labels your company as the budget option. You might be just as good as anyone else in your field, but if you’re charging half the cost, customers are going to think you’re half as good. Charge full price and become known for your quality of work.
When you start really pushing hard on getting higher pay, you’re going to see resistance, and that’s natural. Don’t get dissuaded by that, though. If you keep on going, eventually the other side is going to fold.
This goes for both entrepreneurs and normal workers. With entrepreneurs, you’re going to see clients turn you away if you don’t haggle down your price, but you have to be okay with that.
If you let people move you around on the price, they’ll all figure it out pretty quick, and your price will end up getting lowered for everyone. Stand firm on it and usually the customers will fold, and a few will leave.
For normal workers, the bulk of the resistance comes from the employer. Employers are constantly trying to keep costs down to a minimum, so that a majority of the money gets put into their pockets along with others.
Most employers will attempt to intimidate you out of pushing for a higher wage, but they don’t normally expect you to stand firm on it. If you don’t show fear and keep pushing for what you know you deserve, they’ll be more apt to consider it.
You have to be willing to take these risks for the sake of your own finances. You can’t resign yourself to a poor money situation in which you’re always worrying about how much work you have to do.
Find Ways to Free Your Creative Spirit Regularly
Many people stifle their creativity because they believe that it’s not conducive to better and more efficient work. Some people want everything to just be straightforward and operate by the book.
Others tend to believe that they’re not very creative at all, and just do things how they’re told to, following instructions to a T. Operating like this isn’t going to get you very far in life, both in regards to work and in your personal life.
When it comes to work, taking chances and risks is important, and doing things creatively helps to distinguish you from your peers. If you blend in with the crowd, nobody will care much about you.
Whether you’re an entrepreneur or a regular employee, setting yourself apart is very important to the success of your career. You can have a decent enough career staying blended in with everyone else, but never a fantastic one.
When you do something creative or inventive with your work that gets customers and competitors to turn their heads, you’re going to see much better results. People get tired of seeing the same thing all the time.
In this case, being creative isn’t for the fun of it necessarily, but rather it’s to be the best you can be at your job. There are many different ways that creativity can help you at work besides just standing out from the crowd.
For example, you might try something nobody else tried before that makes a certain process much faster and easier. This allows you to have more time and not worry about that particular task.
Being more prone to creativity helps a great deal when any problem arises at work. If you’re only used to following things by the book, you won’t know what to do when a brand new problem shows up.
If you’re used to being creative, though, you’ll be able to come up with a way around it or a way to solve it. That kind of skill is invaluable for both entrepreneurs and normal workers.
When it comes to being creative at work, you don’t need to take risks that are too crazy, but you should practice taking some minor ones and try changing things up from time to time.
This is because creativity is like a muscle, and you must exercise it if you want it to get stronger and be more effective. If you don’t use it for long periods of time, you will end up losing it.
You job isn’t the only place in which you should be practicing creativity, though. Your personal life should be a source of as well as a place to practice creativity. Whether it be through hobbies or anything else, it’s important to be creative at home.
The reasons you’ll have to be creative at home are different from those you’d have for being creative at work. It’s not for efficiency or to stand out or anything, but rather just to relax and unwind.
Hobbies that involve some creativity are often stress relieving. Things like arts and crafts and other such creative endeavors tend to be relaxing for those that enjoy them, and they’re generally just fun hobbies to have.
Stress relief via hobbies is important because it gives you some time to yourself, which everyone needs, and stress relief in general is something very important to your physical and mental health.
When you’re too stressed out, your body releases certain hormones such as cortisol, which have various negative effects. It increases your chance of things like heart disease and stroke, and it just feels awful mentally.
Keep in mind that being stressed every now and again is normal and fine, but being stressed out constantly is what puts you at high risk for a variety of physical health complications.
When you do things like paint or do a little wood working or whatever creative hobby you’d like, you tend to get your mind off of stressful things in your life and give yourself a chance to relax.
Having a hobby is a great way to even out your work-life balance a bit, as well. Being too focused on work isn’t healthy, even if you’re not stressed out, so having a creative hobby lets you focus more on your life outside of work.
Being creative at home in a situation in which there are no risks can also help you practice to be creative later on at work. By trying to think differently, you’ll get used to it in a controlled environment so that you don’t have to risk too much in your job.
You should practice this type of thing regularly, but find a schedule that works well for you. It might be daily, it might be weekly, but whenever it is, you should stick with it. Try not to spread it out too much, though, as you’ll lose the progress you make each time.
If you want to practice being creative, you might also try different hobbies each time, or alternate between a few different ones. This will prevent things from getting stale, and it’ll keep you on your toes.
Take Time to Nurture Your Mental Health
One of the biggest mistakes you can make is ignoring your own mental health. Many people, particularly those from older generations, seem to ignore mental health, writing it off as nonsense.
However, there’s plenty of proof that it’s very real and needs to be taken care of. As much as you can try to tough things out, eventually you’ll reach a breaking point. And if you don’t, you’re going to be stuck being miserable instead.
There are many different facets to mental health, many different ways it can affect you, and many different things you can do to take care of yourself. By taking the right steps, you’re going to feel much happier and be glad you took care of it.
First, it’s important to know why mental health is important and what good mental health can help you with. Mental health involves things like your mood, stress levels, confidence, and many other things.
While it may seem to be mostly thought-related, much of your mental health directly affects you physically. As much as you might try to just think positively, sometimes that’s just not possible.
Having good mental health can help you respond to stressful situations easier. If you’re not so stressed out by other things, when something stressful arises, you’ll be more available to handle it.
If you had a ton of different things going on that were stressing you out, though, you’d have a much harder time organizing your thoughts and responding to it in a rational manner.
One of the easiest things you can do for your mental health is get rid of unnecessary roots of negative feelings. These are essentially anything in your life that causes you unnecessary stress, anger, or pain.
An example of an unnecessary stress might be a toxic relationship with your significant other. If breaking up with them will remove a ton of stress from your life, then that would probably be the right move for your own good.
Sources of stress or anger might not be things so easily dismissed, though. Things like poor health habits are a common source of sadness, when people start to get stressed out about things like weight gain.
While it does take time, things like that can still be fixed. Taking the steps to fix things like that in your life will improve it greatly. Don’t worry about how long it’ll take, because as you make little bits of progress, you’ll become happier.
Dealing with your mental health, especially if you come to realize that it’s not in a very good state, is a very difficult task. You should focus on going slow with it so that you don’t make more mistakes along the way.
Don’t make the mistake of thinking that it’s always going to be something that you can handle on your own. In some cases that might be possible, but there will be times when you’ll need the help of someone else.
That someone else might be a friend, a family member, a coworker, or even a stranger. Regardless of who it is, don’t hesitate to reach out to them if you know you’re going to need them.
For many, counseling and therapy are good options to try. There’s still a bit of a stigma around it for some people, but that stigma is unfounded and mindless. The reality is that even if you don’t have some crazy trauma, these people are great to talk to.
Some workplaces offer discounts or otherwise include free counseling or therapy with the job, or you might seek one out on your own. It’s much easier than you might expect, as they tend to be very comforting.
If you’re so inclined, they even have online counseling now. Instead of going to their office in person, you can video chat with them live from the comfort of your own home, allowing you to be even more comfortable.
The worst thing you can do for mental health issues is ignore them. They’re not going to just get better behind the scenes, and realistically, they’ll get much worse. Over time they’ll build up until you crack.
Even if you’re not focused on them, mental problems will be present subconsciously, meaning that they’ll be on your mind whether you’re thinking about them actively or not. This is why you can’t just ignore them.
Naturally solving the problems in your life is a method to helping your mental health, but there are other things you can do to help improve it as well while you’re working on those solutions.
Things like going outside more often and eating more healthily and exercising more have all been shown to increase your body’s output of hormones that make you happy. It might not be a permanent solution, but it helps.
Make it a priority to spend at least one day a week evaluating your own mental health, and perhaps even tracking it to see how you’re progressing. Depending on the direction it’s going, you might need to do more or less to help yourself.
Find Ways to Bring Personal Enjoyment to Your Work Surroundings
Whether you work in a cubicle, and office, or anywhere else, chances are high that your area of work looks pretty sad. Most people’s workspaces have pretty neutral colors, little to no decoration, and generally look like they’re made to depress.
If you’re spending 8 or more hours a day in that one spot, you had better make sure it’s a comfortable 8 hours. If it’s not enjoyable to sit there, you’re going to really despise it in the long term.
One thing that might help, especially if you work a computer or work at a job that requires a lot of sitting is ergonomic furniture. Most places are fine with you bringing in things like your own chair and own computer accessories, and you should utilize that.
Most standard office chairs are pretty uncomfortable. Find one that supports you best, whether you need better arm rests or more lumbar support. Sitting for extended periods of time already isn’t fun, you don’t need it to be uncomfortable too.
Any standard keyboard and mouse isn’t built for comfort, but rather they’re built for low costs. If you’re allowed, replace the keyboard and mouse at your desk with more comfortable options.
Many ergonomic keyboards can be found, with things like wrist padding or more angled keys to help make typing all day more comfortable. The same applies to your mouse. Getting one with a bit more wrist support can make clicking around all day comfortable.
Without a good keyboard and mouse, you’re going to put unneeded strain on your wrists, joints, and tendons, which may end up leading to things like carpal tunnel, causing a good amount of pain.
You’d be surprised at how much a change in air quality can affect you, as well. You might not notice if you’re in the same office every single day, but that air you’re constantly breathing might be dirty or otherwise unpleasant.
First, you can get an air purifier for your space. Utilizing HEPA filters allows you to know you’re getting clean air around you. It removes things like bacteria and viruses from the air as well, which can prevent you from getting sick.
Some air purifiers include things like indicators telling you how clean or dirty the air is so that you have a good idea of how well it’s working. Others have things like spaces for scents that it’ll put back into the air, giving your place a nice smell.
Speaking of scents, aromatherapy is another great option for an office space. Aromatherapy devices are often small enough to fit on a desktop without taking up too much room, and they bring a lot of benefits.
Most people use these devices in conjunction with things like essential oils or other scents in order to achieve some desired effect. While some people don’t get much of an effect from it, others swear by them.
Certain scents are used for different things, like lavender being used for stress and peppermint for energy. They’re not too expensive, and even if it doesn’t boost your energy, it still smells nice.
One often overlooked option is some décor. If you’re going to have the same office for years to come, it’s worth it to invest a bit of money in sprucing up the area so that it’s a comfortable space for you to be in.
Whether it be pictures or a certain type of lamp or anything else, some nice décor and furniture that makes you feel at home is crucial to an office space. A standard sterile looking area isn’t very fun to be in.
Consider having some real plants on or around your desk. It can be something small like a little succulent or cactus, or something a bit larger. Either way, having some greenery around is an easy way to boost your mood.
Making your area comfortable doesn’t just have to be physical things, either. If you have your own office, playing some music on a lower volume can be a great way to feel relaxed.
Certain genres of music such as classical have been shown to reduce stress, but really you can play whatever you’d like as long as it’s work appropriate. In some people it might be a little distracting, but in others, it can help them focus.
Making an area feel as if it’s yours and making it feel comfortable to you is important for so many different reasons. For example, it makes it feel like you’re somewhere that you actually belong.
If you’re not used to being in sterile feeling places, then a sterile office space will feel foreign to you, almost as if you’re in someone else’s space instead of your own hard-earned area.
Additionally, it can be a signal to others about your personality and what kind of a person you are. You might have something on your desk as décor that a coworker also likes, which could strike up a conversation.
Most importantly, though, it makes you comfortable. Even though it’s common, spending all day long in an uncomfortable space is a hard thing to do. Over time, it’ll make you start to really dislike your job.
Delegate and Outsource to Allow Yourself Some Down Time
Some people make the mistake of not giving themselves enough down time. Whether it be because they think it’s better to work or that doing nothing is lazy, they just always have to be doing something.
The problem with this is, most of the time that creates a very stressful life. Even when you’re spending some of that time doing things that you enjoy, you can’t just be doing things constantly.
In order to free up some time for you to take for yourself, you need to be able to learn how to delegate tasks and outsource for your work. These skills will free up time that you can take to relax a bit.
Delegation of tasks is something that can be used effectively both at home and at work. At home, it might be things like delegating chores around so that everyone is pulling their fair share.
You might be living with roommates and be the only one cleaning anything. In that case, split up some of the cleaning with them so that you’re not wasting as much time on that. They should be fine with doing a little bit extra to help out.
The same can be said for things like getting your kids to help out with things like dishes or taking the trash out. If you’re busy with other, more important things, they can take some time out to do easy but helpful tasks.
You might even have people to delegate certain errands to. Things like grocery shopping can take up a lot of time, between the walking around and the lines for checkout. Having someone else do this is a great time saver.
At work, delegation tends to be a bit more official. If you need to do three things by the end of the day, but you only have time for two, you might tell someone working under you or a coworker to help you do the third.
The only problem with delegation at work is that you usually have to either be in a position of power or be well liked for people to agree to help you. Otherwise, they can just blow you off and go about their own days.
If you can get them to go along with it, though, you might end up finishing work sooner and be able to spend a bit of time relaxing. Even if you could do all three things in the day, you might still want to delegate just to be less stressed.
Delegation and outsourcing are fairly similar, but there tends to be one key difference between the two – payment. Delegation is typically done because you’re spreading out the workload among multiple people, but outsourcing is a paid job.
You can find people to outsource to for all kinds of work. No matter what job you do, if you’re an employee or an entrepreneur, there’s always going to be someone willing to do one of your work related tasks at a fee.
For example, you might have to set up a bunch of spreadsheets with a given data set at your job. Fiddling with Excel can take a lot of time, and you might not feel like it. Fortunately, you can outsource that to someone else at a low cost.
If you’re not an entrepreneur, you might want to check and see if your place of employment has any rules against outsourcing. Typically it’s a common practice and they shouldn’t have any problems with it, but just make sure.
Outsourcing is great because even though it costs some money, everyone ends up positive in the outcome. Your boss or customers get the work they needed, so they don’t care, the person you’re outsourcing too gets paid, and you get to relax.
Outsourcing doesn’t just have to be for work-related tasks. There are certain things that you might consider doing just to save the time, even if it costs a little bit more money. Lawn care is a great example.
While you could buy a lawnmower and keep your lawn maintained yourself, it can take up quite a bit of time, especially if you factor in the maintenance of the equipment. Hiring a lawn care company might cost a bit more over time, but it’s worth it.
The same can be said about things that need repairing. Lots of guys like trying to repair things on their own, or do stuff like their own oil changes. While they might have the know-how and the skill, it’s not time efficient.
Fixing something like your air conditioner might take hours and hours of work out of your day off, or you could call someone out to take a look at it and fix whatever problem you might have.
It does cost more money, but that’s where you have to start weighing the pros and cons of reclaiming your time. Plenty of people are willing to foot that cost if it means they just get to relax and take some time off from their busy schedule.
Don’t be so hesitant to outsource and delegate some of the stuff on your plate. There are people who do nothing but that, so if you have to do a little bit to make some room for yourself, that’s alright.
If you’re trying to delegate everything such that you don’t have any work to do, that’s not a good idea. You’re trying to achieve a good work-life balance, and for things to be balanced, you do need to be doing some work.
Heading into the 2022 year, you want to make sure you’re striving for a balanced life that allows you to contribute to the building of your business endeavors, while simultaneously enjoying your personal life without apology.
A little planning goes a long way in making that happen. You’ll need to test and tweak your plans from time to time until you get it just right, but along the way, you’ll notice improvements that cater to your desire to have increased personal satisfaction.
Whatever you do, make a plan and put it into action. Sitting on the sidelines as other enjoy their best lives will only bring you feelings of hurt and frustration, and you can avoid that if you’re willing to do the work.