That elusive word: balance. We crave it, but how exactly do we achieve it — especially when the world seems to have gone mad?
Balance versus burnout
Stress and burnout are the leading causes of mental health issues and physical complications in adults of working age. Certain lifestyle choices can also have an impact on our ideal sense of balance. Andrew Thatcher, a professor of industrial psychology at Wits University, says: “Balance means different things for different people, depending on their age and life stage.”
We couldn’t agree more. It is up to you to decide what you want out of your daily life. But finding balance in these key areas will go along way to making your life feel more manageable — and you’ll feel way happier.
Is your current workspace working for you?
Louis Fourie, director of Venture Workspace, highlights the importance of the right work environment. You should be able to enjoy the work you do and be excited about it. Yes, there are good and bad days. But greater satisfaction can be achieved in a space that speaks to employees’ needs and accommodates your individual working style.
If you’re working from home, ensure your workspace encourages productivity, creativity and a clear head. Example: Rather than wedging a makeshift desk between the TV and the couch surrounded by family stuff and general clutter, take time to create a space that is a no-go zone: only work happens here.
What you choose to put inside your body may be affecting your happiness…
Healthy food is the fuel your body naturally craves. A good selection of healthy snacks (think nuts, fruits and dairy) should keep you going strong during the day. Not much of a snacker? Then regular sips of water can help you stay hydrated and clear-headed.
If by the end of your workday you’re too tired to prepare yourself a healthy meal, it’s okay to order in. Just take care not to make this a habit — or use healthy food services like We Are Food and UCOOK.
Fast foods are complicit in lowering your overall mood — never mind being detrimental for your body. Making healthier choices like prepping meals can cut time out of daily cooking, promote a healthy diet and put a smile on your face.
Physical exercise is a great way to destress and blow off some steam.
It also helps get the blood flowing and reduces the risk of contracting certain stress-related conditions. For those who are prone to or know themselves to suffer from mental health issues, fitness has been proven to help.
Trying out different workouts can be fun and exciting. And if you’re shunning the gym or your local yoga studio has closed its doors for the moment, there are loads of online resources to choose from. For example, Women’s Health has DIY home workouts to suit any regime and cover pretty much every body part. Some apps — like Down Dog, Yoga for Beginners, HIIT, Barre, and 7 Minute Workout — are providing workouts free until 1 April.
Use this time to do a total mind and body reset…
Sign up for a 12-week workout programme or a 28-day healthy eating plan. Women’s Health’s Mindfulness Manual is also on shelves this week — it’s a six-month journal packed with expert tips to guide you towards living a healthier and happier life. Plus: This month’s issue of the magazine comes with a Little Book Of 15-Minute Workouts.
How often do you unplug?
Unplugging your devices may sound totally absurd — we practically live in cyberspace — but a 2011 study shows that unplugging an hour before bed greatly improves your quality of sleep. One hour. Within which a good read or cuppa tea may help soothe your senses. Try meditation and yoga to ease anxiety. The idea is to get your body to rest well enough that you start the next day relaxed and on a high note.