7 Steps Towards A Healthier Lifestyle
Written by Daniel Gospodinov
In this day and age, we seem to obsess with productivity and proving ourselves through our jobs. This means lots of hard work and putting in the extra hours. However, more and more people are discovering there’s a steep price to pay for that.
Poor work-life balance takes its toll and can lead to burnout, diminished job performance, and worsening health and relationships.
That’s why a better work-life balance is so important. It means less stress, improved physical and mental well-being, increased productivity and engagement at work, as well as better and more fulfilling relationships.
But how can we get closer to a more balanced, healthier lifestyle? Let’s dive in and find out!
Leave Perfectionism Behind
Perfectionists are often ambitious people, with a keen eye for details, and the ability to work really long hours to achieve their goals. However, trying to live up to some impossible standards adds plenty of unnecessary pressure and isn’t sustainable in the long run.
Surprisingly, the driving force behind perfectionism isn’t an achievement, it’s fear. Fear of failure, fear of rejection, fear of seeming anything less than perfect. Numerous studies have determined that perfectionists have higher levels of stress and anxiety than the rest of the people.
Furthermore, perfectionism damages your creativity, it diminishes your work drive and spirals you into all kinds of unhealthy behaviour. No wonder Winston Churchill once said that perfectionism could also be spelt ‘paralysis’.
Letting go of perfectionism begins with letting go of the illusion that anything could be perfect, focusing on the positives, and embracing ourselves fully as we are. It means developing self-compassion and letting go of the all-or-nothing mentality (that your work is either perfect or a total failure).
Leaving perfectionism behind will free you from the unnecessary pressures and anxiety, and allow you to be fully yourself. That is the only way to bring balance into your life and restore your passion for work.
Take More Time To Rest & Recharge
We often try to work through our burnout or depression and only try to find solutions when we begin to feel that we can’t take it anymore. The symptoms are clear: diminished desire and fulfilment in work, being on the edge, feeling tired and unmotivated.
That’s when it’s most prudent to stop trying to power through and instead take steps to renew our energy.
Sleeping is how we recover physically and mentally from daily challenges and stressors. It’s how we restore our energy reserves and ensure we’re sharp and healthy. That’s why you need at least 7-8 hours of slumber every night.
You can also increase your quality of sleep, by sticking to a sleep schedule, having pitch-black darkness in your bedroom, and having light dinners, at least 2-3 hours before you go to bed. Chamomile or valerian tea before bedtime can also help those who have trouble falling asleep.
Schedule regular breaks during the day as well. Successful people know that taking one or two 15-minute power naps (or caffeine naps) can help increase productivity and provide much-needed relaxation.
You can’t pour from an empty cup. You can’t give the energy that you do not possess. That’s why it’s best to fill your own cup first, and only then allow the world to benefit from the overflow.
Start A Journal
Journaling has many benefits, but one of its most important functions is to help you stay in touch with yourself. It’s an invaluable self-discovery tool that offers us support, comfort, and understanding even in the darkest of times.
There are many types and uses for a journal.
Most often, people start a journal to track their day-to-day activities and record life events. Reviewing it at the end of the year can help you identify different patterns in your life. This helps you better see the bigger picture, and determine what you should do next.
Morning pages, popularized by author Julia Cameron, are a way to download and trap all your thoughts and fears onto the page. This is invaluable for people who have really active minds, and who often find themselves overwhelmed by their thoughts and emotions. By writing two pages longhand every morning, you will reduce your overall anxiety and start the day with a clearer and calmer head.
Bullet journaling can be a calendar, diary, tracker, or a “to-do” list. It can help you keep track of all the books you read, a place where you write down inspirational quotes or break down your goals into smaller chunks.
Journaling for self-discovery can help you explore your emotions and work through some tough times in your life. Write about significant moments and relationships in your life and explore what they mean to you. You’ll be surprised at how much this can increase your self-awareness and help you gain meaningful insights about yourself and the important people in your life.
Journaling will help you become calmer, more organized and more self-aware. These are all essential steps towards living a better and more balanced kind of life.
Meditate & Exercise
Meditation and exercise are powerful habits to add to your daily routine not only to achieve a work-life balance but to also maintain a healthier lifestyle.
Meditation is a daily habit of lots of successful people. It has helped them manage their stress, helped them focus on the present moment, and it also increased their self-awareness.
However, lots of people think that meditation isn’t for them or that they simply can’t meditate.
Like trying any kind of new activity, it requires an open mind. Start really small by trying several meditation techniques to determine which one is right for you. If you’ve never done it before, doing a 10-minute meditation while being focused on your breathing is an ideal way to start.
There are plenty of reasons why you should be exercising daily.
Scientists have found a link between physical activity and mental well-being. Working out does not only reduce stress but also builds up the mental stamina needed to complete really tough projects. Generally, the more demanding our daily jobs are, the more exercise we have to incorporate into our daily routines.
The best kinds of exercises for distressing and developing mental endurance are cardiovascular exercises like running and swimming. Running is an excellent way to increase your stamina and develop mental resilience. Swimming also gives you the same results (plus it’s also a nice way to cool down during the warmer parts of the year).
Start A Garden
One of the best and most deeply-rewarding hobbies you can start is gardening.
Gardens are many people’s happy places, where if you were to observe them at work, you would find them smiling. That’s because in almost all gardening, the land is made better and so is the person. Whether you have a fruit, vegetable, or flower garden, plants will bring joy and breathe new life into you.
Gardening improves your mood and lowers your stress levels. It keeps you physically fit, engages all the senses, and teaches you something new every time. Being outdoors also makes sure you get plenty of vitamin D, which has numerous health benefits and helps prevent disease.
Gardens provide beauty, but they also require lots of maintenance. Removing weeds and invasive plants, trimming, and even clearing the fallen leaves sure is lots of hard work. That’s why it may be best sometimes to delegate some efforts and hire the services of professionals.
One thing is for sure, though–creating beauty nourishes the soul and recharges you. This makes starting a garden one of the best hobbies you can choose to achieve a better work-life balance.
Find A Job You Love
Everyone’s familiar with the old saying about finding a job you love and never having to work a day in your life.
Yet, so many of us are pushed into a career for the wrong reasons. We have either listened to our parents or significant others, or we have decided security over following our dreams.
We must escape this trap.
Our time on this earth is limited, which makes it doubly important to seek something that is inherently interesting for us to do. Something to pour all our love and unique gifts into. Something that will fill each day with meaning and feelings of deep satisfaction and joy.
So, find out what puts a smile on your face and makes you excited to get up every morning.
And do more of that.
Take Small Steps, & Never Drastic Changes
When it comes to making big goals, possible small steps are the best way to go.
When you are starting something new, it’s best to focus on consistency and building up the habit and to forget about results… at least initially.
Taking small steps is ideal because they get us started. They don’t make us feel overwhelmed. And most importantly, they do add up over time and create momentum. Having lots of small victories, in the beginning, sets us up for success and makes it much more likely we’ll stick with the process.
All experts say that forming a new habit takes anywhere between 30-45 days. This means that if we want results in the long run, consistency and building up the habit are the things we should focus all our efforts on.
Remember, achieving a healthy work-life balance isn’t a big step in the future, but a small one taken just now. Take enough small steps every day, and eventually, you’ll get there. All you need is consistency and the will to make it possible.
7 Steps Towards A Healthier Lifestyle 7 Steps Towards A Healthier Lifestyle 7 Steps Towards A Healthier Lifestyle 7 Steps Towards A Healthier Lifestyle