Ten Steps to Calm

How to Balance Life and Work: 10 Steps to Calm Series

How to Balance Work and Life

Balancing Work and Life is Key.  © 2017 Cindy Fahnestock-Schafer 

It took me years to perfect the art of balancing work and life.  A small word called “salary” mixed with promotional opportunities turned me into a caffeine-a-holic trying to climb my ways up the social ranks.  When I was younger nothing could stop me, or so I thought.  All that work paid off so it seemed.  I had nice things , a fancy car and a house at an early age. I always felt I worked to live and not lived to work. Later, using what I learned to become a small business owner made my work come first above all else.  I missed family gatherings and my friends never saw me.  Over time, it all caught up with me and major changes were necessary.  I had to learn how to balance life and work.  Here are the few steps I have mastered to help balance life and work a bit better .

1) Tip Number One: Realize rest is essential and a good night’s sleep is your best friend.

A solid night’s sleep is essential to your balance. Your body must be supercharged for that busy job you have. Make it a point to get a solid night’s rest. The house chores can wait until your day off. If you are having difficulties sleeping, with too much on your mind, or suffer from anxiety, constantly waking up, then perhaps find a routine to make you tired. I used to take a walk after work which the exercise relieves stress and made me calmer. For those really stressful times, a natural remedy to make you tired will help. Natural ingredients like Kava Kava , Passionflower, and Chamomile are all relaxing herbs.

You can drink Sleepy Time Decaf Tea at night which helps some people get relaxed. I used Anxietall, and took it on my way home. I only took one pill, not the three recommended. I read recently on Consumer Health Digest (here) that many newer natural supplements have rated better. Anxietall worked for me and made me naturally calm and less anxious soon after arrival and sleep came great. The ingredients included Kava Kava and Passionflower. I still have some in my cabinet. Going to a natural health food store and talking to the staff may help.

health snack options

A few snacks a day keeps you going!  © 2017 Cindy Fahnestock-Schafer 

1) Tip Number Two: Munch on snacks in between your workday.

I used to run on coffee, just like an automobile on gas. Coffee curbs your appetite but also messed with your blood pressure. I found that snacking throughout the day gave me balanced blood sugar and helped me stay focused. Instead of spikes of high and lows, crackers with Peanut Butter and Jelly, celery sticks and carrots, or a nutrition bar really helped.

1) Tip Number Three: Walk at Lunch for at least 15 minutes.

Don’t work through your lunch at your desk like I used to do. Make it a point to walk at lunch and remove yourself from your desk. Take the steps, not the elevator. Drive to a nearby park or shopping mall and walk a lap. Walk around the building, or up and down the stairs or halls if you don’t have a place to walk close by. A small bit of activity helps revitalize you and provides oxygenation to the cells in your body, making you more re-energized and clearly focused. It also helps balance stress of the work day.

1) Tip Number Four: Realize your to-do punch-list is flexible.

Easily overwhelmed by a large daily to-do list, I changed to a flexible weekly punchlist. I prioritized HOT items first, and made a running weekly list, moving the low priority items to the bottom. I had to accept the fact that some work days will be more productive than others, and there will indeed be those difficult days where it seems nothing goes right.

A large daily list would stress me out if not finished in the same day, but keeping an ongoing list seemed to mentally allow for finishing more tasks at the end of the week. If you get to the end of your week, and you have a lot left, then deal with the problem. Depending on the type of job you have, you may transfer the items to the following week, or sometimes a half day at the office on the weekend is needed. There’s something about working a few hours and leaving that made me get more accomplished and have control over my life. I had to realize Rome wasn’t built in a day, and neither was the perfect accomplishments at work.

The calm life

Yard work and gardening helps relieve stress.© 2017 Cindy Fahnestock-Schafer 

1) Tip Number Five: Leave work at work and balance your day with something you enjoy.

As much as your day has irritated you, smile to yourself that you can worry about it tomorrow. Leave work at work. Tell yourself mentally that you will have the power over your life to not let work take over your life. Reward yourself with something you enjoy doing when you get home. Whether it be painting or art, working in the yard, planting flowers, taking the kids to the park, walking the dog, or going to the local fruit market to buy some fresh fruit, find the balance that will get your mind off of work. This will help you feel more calm and relaxed, and help you to unwind better.

Learn that pushing yourself to the limits without a work-life balance will eventually catch up with you. It will negatively impact your mental health and possibly physical health down the road. By making small changes like the ones above, you can have success in everything you do.

If you enjoyed this article please share it.  I look forward to your comments. Stay calm and happy.

Stay Calm and Happy

© 2017 Cindy Fahnestock-Schafer