Work-life balance: How to dominate the ultimate challenge

Thursday, September 24, 2015

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By Chelsea DiMarco, Marketing Communications Co-op

The transition from college into the “real world” was certainly not an easy one for me. I quickly went from pulling all-nighters to being snuggled in bed by 10 p.m. The repetitiveness of the daily work week reminds me of the back of the shampoo bottle: lather, rinse, repeat. It’s the “repeat” part that often leads people to the Monday blues, daunted by the week that lies ahead. So, is there a way to break this monotonous cycle?

1. WEEKENDS ARE FOR RELAXING

There’s a reason that most people only work Monday through Friday. If we worked 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, we wouldn’t be enjoying all that life has to offer outside work. By prioritizing your workload at the beginning and end of each week, you’ll be ready to check out of work on Friday afternoon worry-free.

2. TAKE SOME DEEP BREATHS

I recently took up yoga to stay in shape and reduce stress. Even if you’re not ready to get your chaturanga on, everyone can focus on mindful breathing techniques when the going gets tough at work. By taking a few moments for some deep breaths (in through the nose, out through the mouth) throughout the day, you can mentally check in and reenergize before getting back to the grind.

3. DON’T BREAK PROMISES

We’ve all been there before: you made dinner plans with a friend, but now you’re buried in work. Don’t call your friend and cancel. I repeat, “Don’t cancel!” Sometimes, the best stress reliever is to go out and do something else, regardless of how busy you truly are! If deadlines are flexible, leave the work for the following day. I promise, you’ll be more productive than you would be if you’d stayed in and broke your commitment. And your mind will thank you for the break!

4. TREAT. YO. SELF.

A little lesson I learned from Tom Haverford and Donna Meagle. It doesn’t have to be anything big. Rewarding yourself, whether it’s a new pair of shoes or an afternoon cat nap, is the perfect way to give yourself a metaphorical pat on the back for your hard work.