When I think about grey goals, or goals that will compliment work and life, I think of self-care. Many people don’t truly understand what self-care means and the enormous effects it can have in your life.
Practicing self-care means you have the power to stand up for what you need in order to thrive. It can be as simple as taking your lunch break outside on a nice day, or as complicated as passing on a major project.
Below are a few self-care goals you can practice to transform your quality of life.
CREATE A DESIGNATED PERSONAL DAY.
If you want to lead a more balanced life, this step is very important. Things fall through the cracks, especially if you’re spreading yourself too thin. Dedicate a portion of your Friday’s (or whichever day is best for you) to personal time. On these days, I do laundry, clean the house, pay bills, and run errands. It keeps me from feeling overwhelmed in the long run.
Set aside your weekend for family, friends and extracurricular activities.Weekends can be the perfect time to catch up on emails, work on that very important project, or stay at home and do nothing. But connecting with people is also important. It’s a great stress reliever, which can lead to better productivity and creativity.
CREATE BOUNDARIES WHEN NEEDED.
Creating healthy boundaries at work is essential to practicing self-care. I created the bad habit of checking my emails what seemed like every other second. I was constantly plugged in. It wasn’t until I made the distinction of taking time away from work email that I created some much needed boundaries.
When I do bring work home, I take an hour or two to finish the day, and once I’m finished, I’m finished. There may be times when you need the weekend to finish that big project, or take a client to dinner, but It is important to define when you’ve done enough.
Always give yourself the time and space to rest and recharge. You want to be awesome at your job, be an amazing significant other, and look good while doing it. But the truth is we are human beings, and if you don’t take care of your wellbeing, your career and your life will suffer.
BUILD A SUPPORT SYSTEM.
This is a tough one. Creating a structure that will allow you to fulfill your personal and career vision is imperative to your success. Building an effective support system may mean that you need to clean house. It’s important to be around individuals who are rooting you on, not feeding off your misery.
Once you begin this transformation, you’ll find that you want to be around people that inspire you.n return, you can inspire them. Your life is often a solo act, but as you grow you’ll create room for like-minded individuals. They will give you the support you need to make the necessary changes in all facets of your life.
DELEGATE. DELEGATE. DELEGATE.
I can’t tell you how many times I have been willing to take on my work and someone else’s all in the name of “looking good”. If saying “no” is hard for you, then maybe it’s time you start delegating work to other team members (like interns) who do have the bandwidth. Asking for help isn’t a sign of weakness; it’s a sign of leadership. By redistributing the load, it will allow you to focus and perform on a much higher level. Don’t let your work or your personal life suffer because you want to play the martyr. Remember, “Teamwork makes the dream work.”
There isn’t a “perfect” way to create a healthy work/life balance, you only do so through trial and error. Once you find a system that works for you, set it in place and make changes when needed. I promise your body, mind and soul will thank you, and you’ll be well on your way towards building a career and life that you love!
You can connect with Justine on Twitter @JustineAksoy.