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Defining Work-Life Balance: 5 Tips for a Healthier Work-Life Balance

Updated: Jan 29

Ever find yourself overwhelmed, caught in a whirlwind of work and life, wondering how you can achieve more balance in your life? This article aims to provide you with a deeper insight into the meaning of work-life balance and guide you toward fostering a more enriching and healthier equilibrium. Prepare for a transformative exploration where the smallest changes yield profound results. Let's redefine balance together.


A women in a cafe sitting by the window and working using her laptop.

According to Forbes, Work-life balance is often defined as an equal time or priority to personal and professional activities.” It's essential to note that achieving an equal distribution of personal and professional balance isn't always feasible. Instead, I believe the emphasis should be on cultivating a healthy balance that works well for you.

Here are some benefits of having a healthy work-life balance:

  • Improved mental health

  • More time to build and maintain friendships/relationships

  • Increases productivity at work

  • Reduces the chance of burnout

Now that you know the benefits of work-life balance and why it is so vital in our everyday lives, let’s dive into my 5 tips you can start NOW for a healthier work-life balance.



1) Self-Care & Prioritize YOU


One of the hardest things for me is to find time in my schedule to practice self-care. Self-care can mean something different for everyone, and that’s what makes it so fun. It does not need to look the same every time you do it, for example, one day it might be doing a 30-minute workout class, or having a movie night with your favourite snacks—and the possibilities are endless.


Click here for some self-care inspiration. The most important thing about any self-care activity is that it brings you happiness and should not invoke any more stress on you. Doing any self-care-related activities is great to unwind after a long day and can act as a daily reminder that you deserve to take care of yourself.

It is so important to take time for yourself and find clarity. The most important relationship is the one you have with yourself. - Diane Von Furstenberg

Three women on a Yoga mat mediating with their eyes closed


2) Spend Time Outdoors


There are so many benefits to spending time outdoors, especially if you have any work-from-home days or remote work. Getting outside is incredibly important for your health. I have noticed that on the days I do go outside, I feel refreshed, and my motivation immediately increases. Even a ten-minute walk can make a difference. There are also so many beautiful places here in Nova Scotia/Halifax you can explore while going outside, such as Point Pleasant Park, the public gardens, and the waterfront.


In times when I am feeling overwhelmed in my school/work life, getting fresh air can really make a difference to help clear my mind. Walking is not the only thing you can do outside; there are countless activities you can engage in throughout the year including sports, hiking, having a picnic, biking and many many more! If you want some inspiration check out this link to find 100 fun things to do outside.


A family out in a park on a sunny day playing badminton together


3) Separate your Workspace/Home Space


This tip is specifically directed at those who are doing fully remote work or have an office at home which they use for work-related activities. If you are working from home, try and create a separation between your work life and home space. This can include:

  • Having a separate desk just for work activities (or room if possible)

  • Create a schedule and a strict time frame when you shut off from work (more at the tip below)

  • Going to a Library / Café during the workday

  • Switching attire once you're working vs during your time off

Once your work is done for the day, try and move away from your workspace so your brain can unwind from all the hard work you’ve done. If you need to do other work that is non-work related, these tips can also help make that switch.



4) Practice Time Management/ Scheduling


This tip has been one of the most helpful for me over the years as I work on my work-life balance. My biggest advice is that at the end of each day, plan for the day ahead by making a list of all your to-do items and prioritizing what needs to be done first. I like to give those activities a time slot in the day.


The key here is ensuring that these time slots and goals are realistic and well thought out. It is better to slot an activity that you think will take you 2 hours, or 2.5 hours so that there is a higher chance you will complete it on the time allotted and if you’re done early, you will be ahead of schedule!


A woman setting schedule and organizing their week using a calendar.

Try and make any time management-related activities fun and be as creative as you like. Here are some fun tools and platforms to help make your planning/time management more effective:

One crucial element of time management regarding work-life balance is creating a strict time cut-off when your workday is done and implementing some self-care, and non-work-related activities in your schedule.



5) Have a Consistent Sleep Schedule


One of the most important things you can do for yourself is to prioritize your sleep. Having a restful, good sleep is so important to allowing your mind to relax and giving it enough energy to function throughout the day.


Just like your body needs rest in between any physical activity, your mind also needs to rest between each day. Let’s say you go on a 10km run; you need to rest your body before you go on your next 10km run or any intense activities thereafter. The same applies to your mind.


After a hard-working day, you need to rest your mind, and nothing does that better than a good night's sleep. According to the Health Foundation, adults should get at least 7 hours of sleep. Having a good night's rest can result in more productivity and efficiency the following day. Getting enough sleep can also support:

  • Your focus during the day

  • Regulating your emotions

  • Reduces the risk of developing diseases.


A woman resting on her bed with her eyes closed

I have always struggled with falling asleep and getting a restful sleep, but I always try to remain patient and implement as many helpful tools as I can. Here are some techniques I use that you might find helpful too:

  • Listening to sleep meditations

  • Falling asleep mind activities

  • Reading before sleep/removing blue light and technology

Have More Questions About Work-Life Balance? 

Here at TEAM Work Cooperative, we can support you in building key skills to achieve a healthy work-life balance. Keep an eye out for any upcoming workshops on our events page on the TEAM Work Cooperative Website. We cover a wide variety of topics in our workshops such as “How to get a good night’s sleep,” “ADHD and Sleep,” “Jobs in Halifax,” “Confidence Building for Women,” and much more! After reading this article, if you still have more questions, feel free to fill out our form below to talk with one of our representatives.

 

A picture of Emma Sundloev, the author of this specific blog article.

About Emma Sundloev

Raised in Switzerland, and from Singapore and Sweden, Emma recently moved to Halifax to pursue her undergraduate degree. She is studying Commerce, majoring in Managing People and Organizations at Dalhousie University, and is currently completing her second co-op at TEAM Work! In her free time, Emma enjoys singing in her acapella group, hanging out with friends, and involving herself in various societies and activities. Growing up in an international school her whole life, Emma also loves exploring new countries and learning new cultures!





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