This was originally published on Liberal America on August 14, 2016.
Our modern world is so fast-paced. We all have cell phones attached to our arms and are expected to constantly be available. In this country, we work longer hours than any other country. We put in longer work weeks and we don’t get or use very much vacation time.
We are always busy. We jam pack our schedules with activity, and get ourselvesstressed out in the process. This may sound cheesy, but the world is so much faster. We are always “connected” to work and everything else.
You may see this common phrase if you are looking for a job: “fast-paced environment.” They never say anything about the quality of the work, just that it is done quickly.
Since the 1950s, we have had many new technological advances that were supposed to make our lives easier. However, we don’t have more leisure time than we did during that period.
The stress we put on ourselves can cause physical symptoms as well. It cancause:
We weigh ourselves down with commitments. We have this thing called “work-life balance,” but we work so much more. Psychologist, Dr. Robert Brooks, said:
“But even if you don’t have much control over the hours you have to work, you can ask yourself: In what other ways am I bringing greater enjoyment into my life? Focus your time and attention on things you can control.”
Companies are realizing this, and they are doing things to make our lives easier. Many people work remotely, so they can keep their own schedule. Here are a fewtips for better work-life balance.
1. Schedule Some Downtime.We all have our entire schedules planned out on our phones. Pencil in some downtime for you. If you go out with your friends, plan another outing a couple weeks later. You need to take care of yourself first.
2. Drop Activities That Sap Your DowntimePsychologist, Dr. Marilyn Puder-York, said:
“Many people waste their time on activities or people that add no value — for example, spending too much time at work with a colleague who is constantly venting and gossiping.”
If you have activities that you hate doing, you don’t have to do them (unless it’s your job, then you might). There is no need to weigh yourself down with things you don’t like.
3. Rethink ErrandsIf you need help getting everything done, try and make things easier for yourself. Get your groceries online if you can. Hire a someone to mow your lawn.
4. ExerciseWhen you are scheduling time for yourself, include a little bit of exercise. Exercising can greatly improve your mood and relieve stress.
5. RelaxPencil in some time for something you enjoy. Take a long bath while reading a trashy novel. Pick up a new hobby. We all need to find ways to react sometimes. Learn to cook.
Bonus tip: Listening to music can really relax you.
Here is an inspirational song to empower you in your fight against stress: