Balancing your work and life can be tough. Believe me, I know.
I’ve had a few jobs but my first “real” full-time job was a business traineeship selling caravans (super random I know). I actually worked there for a few years and eventually made my way up to Sales Assistant where I made really good money.
I was only around 20, so quite young, but I was working long hours, 9-10 hours a day, 6 days a week (a few times a year we would all work more than a month straight because of expos). It was honestly madness, which is why I was making amazing money.
A few years into the job, it really started to get to me. I was constantly stressed, I would often cry at work, my relationships around me with friends and family suffered, I had arguments with co-workers (who were all much older than me which made it worse). It was really, really hard.
Being my first job, I had no idea about the whole work-life balancing act. All I had seen was other people doing well and handling everything so why was I struggling?
I truly believe that if you don’t slow down, you will be forced to slow down. Take that however you like, but I know first hand that the universe will stop you if you don’t stop.
In 2016, I was in a car accident which caused a life-long back injury. Still now, four years later, I suffer from lower back pain. The car accident forced me to go on bed rest for a few months and I wasn’t able to work for 14 months, which resulted in me losing my job.
While on bed rest, that’s when I thought of my two businesses. I started my lingerie boutique and started studying to be a counsellor, now here I am. Living my literal dream. It’s amazing but I would have never gotten here if the universe hadn’t forced me to slow down.
Don’t be like me and wait for the universe to force you to do it because it was a much harder route to take.
So, now I’ve explained my first-hand experience, I thought I would offer some self-care practises you can start doing today to avoid that burnout and keep the universe on your good side.
There is nothing I love more than boundaries. Having healthy boundaries will transform your entire life, literally.
Set yourself limits for work and only work during the hours you’re supposed too. The second you clock off, your mind also clocks off.
If you find this difficult, delete the apps and login off of your phone. Or better yet, have a completely separate phone and computer for work and leave them there.
You can also set boundaries with friends and family and ask for no visitors or some time to yourself.
Whether you’re looking at your work to-do list or your personal to-do list, have them prioritised. Not everything needs to be done that day. Focus on the three biggest tasks you have to do and then anything else you can get done is a bonus.
♡ Say no
Honestly, if you can’t or don’t want to do something, you do not have too. You’re allowed to say no to anything you want.
If you feel like your boss is giving you too much work, ask for a meeting to discuss the tasks you need to get done and how it isn’t possible to do any more.
If your friend invites you out and you’re not feeling it, let them know it isn’t the best time.
Stop doing things that stress you out, don’t align with your values or makes you feel crappy.
♡ Basic needs
I honestly wish that when I was working that crazy job, somebody was there to pull me up and say “Hey Shorina, you haven’t had any water or your lunch yet”.
When you’re super busy, overworked or stress, it is SO easy to forget to do the simple and most important things.
Set reminders in your phone for your lunch. Take a huge bottle of water (buy a 3L one) and keep it next to your computer monitor to remind you. Take healthy snacks to keep in your drawer if you need to eat on the move.
Please just remember yourself and what you need too.
♡ Have alone time
When you’re struggling to balance work and normal life, you’ll often stressfully squeeze everybody into a tiny little schedule and before your brain explodes, you will forget about yourself and not even realise.
Spend some time alone each day, whether that’s half an hour for journaling, a one hour walk or twenty minutes for yoga.
♡ Seek help when it’s needed
When I was struggling at my job, I started seeing my counsellor (who I still see now by the way). He was absolutely incredible. He helped me put some things in place to organise myself, taught me quite a lot about putting myself first and how work is just work, I wasn’t born to just work or think about work. I should live my life too.
Side note, he then also helped me through the car accident and while I was in my denial/ grief stage of losing my job and honestly hating the world with this new back injury, he was the one who spoke to me about how the universe had to slow me down.
I think this is my favourite point!
I love giving other people things to do, especially when it means I can tick something off of my to-do list.
Delegate things to other people, whether that means you hire a virtual assistant to do your social media accounts at work or you hire a cleaner to help at home. There is no shame in delegating.
However you begin your work-life balance journey, remember that you need to steer clear of the universe...
Certified Counsellor & Mental Health Coach