How To: Creating the Elusive Work-Life Balance

WorkLife by Elise Sabak

Hello That Working Girl readers! My name is Elise, and I’m a co-creator of the blog Under PRessure.

As a workaholic, it’s tough for me to find a work-life balance. I’m a student, an intern, a blogger, a freelance writer. I have quite a bit on my plate, and sometimes, after seeing the accomplishments of others, I feel like I’m not doing enough and it’s simple to say “YES!” to another project. But, until my family was facing a tough time in the fall, I didn’t think about how important it is to make time for your life.

Now, I don’t wholly believe a work-life balance exists. I think it can be achieved to some capacity, but they will never be 100 percent equal. Sure, I do things with my friends and go out, but I’m constantly worrying about work or stories or finding a job (graduation is nigh!).

In the spirit of regaining my life and my sanity, I’ve put together a few ideas to relax, recharge, and work toward that balance.

• Exercise - I try to get in a few hours of exercise a week. Not only does it make me feel great, it reduces stress and helps me amp up productivity for the remainder of the day. Mix it up between cardio and something calming, like yoga!

• Schedule “down time”I don’t know about you, but most days I schedule my time down to the hour. That means scheduling “down time” is a must. Make this time special. It’s just for you, so do whatever makes you happy. Read, shop, listen to music, write (for pleasure, NOT WORK!), meditate, or dance around.

• Make time for friendsIt’s vital to spend time with friends or your support system. Work can be stressful as can the new experiences it brings along. Making time to see the people you love, even if it’s for a short time each week, will make you feel better. Really want to make this a special time? Make a rule that no one talks about work!

• Pamper yourselfDuring a busy day of classes or your work day, give yourself a little pamper time. If that means buying a fave lotion and using it at your desk, secretly swapping heels for a comfy pair of flats, or dare I say, slippers under your desk, or winding down as soon as the day’s done with a bath and a glass of wine, go for it! You’ll look forward to these little things in your day, and it can calm you down in the midst of a work rush.

• Don’t CompareComparison is the thief of joy. If you spend all of your time making comparisons to others, you’ll never be satisfied. Take a second to be grateful for your experiences, and try not to dwell on comparisons (this is a tough one for me!).

I hope you find any of these ideas helpful! A work-life balance can be tough to achieve, and is definitely something that differs from person to person. I would love to know how you do this. Leave a comment or tweet me @esabak with hashtag #UnderPressureXTWG!

Xo, Elise