Working full time is not easy by any means. I often come home exhausted and unable to enjoy myself with pending doom of the next day looming over my shoulder. I strive to go to the gym as much as I can in the morning meaning earlier bedtimes and even earlier wakeups. It’s not very glamorous.
Add covid and this whole pandemic in the mix. The pandemic has made us realise how quickly we need to respond and adapt to changing circumstances. However, it’s also made us realise the importance of work life balance and the importance of physical and mental wellbeing. Your mental and physical health means so much more than a job.
I thought I would share a few tips that I use to maintain work life balance during covid and avoid burnout and breakdown.
Find a hobby you enjoy or start a personal project
At my workplace, we’ve initiated something called ‘One Thing’ that gets published in our newsletter that gets circulated to the whole division. It’s a really good way to get to know people that you may have not gotten to know before and it really highlights the importance of finding that one thing that you enjoy and won’t sacrifice it for anything.
Unsurprisingly, everyone’s hobby is running. The amount of people that starting running during the pandemic – don’t even try me. For me, I really enjoy the gym and I’m really determined to improve my health.
A personal project I’ve embarked on during covid is of course, this blog! Yes, I started writing again since the pandemic. It initially started as a weekly summary and thoughts of covid and now almost 8 months later, I’m still regularly posting. I suggested to start a project because I think it’s really gratifying.
Regularly communicate with your managers
Communication is such a must! Regularly communicate with your managers and team about your responsibilities and your progress. This will help you work efficiently. I find that regularly communicating with my managers to go through any questions or difficulties helps speed work and productivity. This will definitely minimise you working unnecessarily long hours.
If you’re having a difficult time, don’t be afraid to be open and speak out. People will often have no idea what you’re going through. Given these difficult circumstances, managers will prioritise employee’s wellbeing over anything.
Allow adequate time to recover and unwind and switch off whenever you need to
For me, as soon as I pack my things and head out of the office, I don’t even think about work until I get back into my seat the next day. In fact, I tend to switch off by the evening.
Log off social media. Take a walk. Read a book. Meditate. Have a bath. Sleep early.
In fact, by not properly disengaging after work and letting yourself rewind will make you prone to negative mood, sleep disturbance and even cardiovascular disease.
Eat well, sleep well
Diet and sleep are the foundation of positive physical and mental being. Trust me, there have been many times that I have been sleep-deprived at the office and I feel like crap and it also makes it difficult to work and focus.
I notice the effects of getting crappy foods right away and do my best to avoid them as much as possible mon-fri (treat yourself once in a while though).
There is also a correlation between sleep and mental health with people having poorer sleep more likely to have depression. Poor sleep also reduces your social abilities.
Stay in touch with family and friends
Even if it’s just a Facetime, it’s so important to stay connected with family and friends. I try to hang out with friends at least once a week.
Be kind to yourself
Be proud for whatever you have done today. Whatever negativity you are feeling will pass. Being kind to yourself will promote happiness and confidence. If you have trouble, I find that positive affirmations are really helpful.
Remember that even stressful times at work come and go. Work eventually ends so you can rest. Do allow yourself to adequately recover and unwind.