10 Tips for a Better Work Life Balance
What the F is Balance?
This week Gazelli House welcomed Julie Montagu, yoga and nutrition teacher and author of the wonderful self-care manual Recharge, to talk on a panel with Gazelli House habit coach Dr Heather McKee and oriental medicine expert Phoebus Tian about how to get a sense of balance in our lives – and whether it’s even possible! You can find the top ten tips from our experts below.
“This Gazelli House event reminded me why I do what I do,” says our founder Jamila Askarova. “Two hours flew by as if it was a second – our conversations inspired us, moved us and made us laugh. And that is what Gazelli House is about – it’s about coming together and sparking that curiosity within each other never to stop learning and growing.”
Ten top tips to balance your life
1 Learn to adapt.
Balance is like standing on one leg, so you need constantly to renegotiate your balance and adapt to small changes in order to remain upright and steady. Achieving a permanent solution is unrealistic because you are focusing on an ever-moving target, so you need to accept that sometimes something will have to give.
2 Be less reactive.
For instance, if your child misses the bus, instead of cancelling your plans and running off to fetch them, why not take a step back and try to talk them through the process of walking home? Solutions like these will enhance their independence and lay the groundwork to help you to balance the demands of a busy schedule in the future.
3 Cultivate self-awareness.
Our priorities will be different on different days, but the first step is making conscious decisions about how we want to spend our time and what are the most important values, priorities and goals in our lives. Once we have identified what it is that matters, then it is easier to stay true to our fundamental principles.
4 Enough is enough.
Ultimately there will always be more you can do. But stretching or punishing yourself into doing more can only have a negative impact on your health and happiness. So understand what “good enough” looks like for you, and do enough of what you value well enough – and above all, recognise that this is enough.
5 Be more compassionate to yourself.
Accept that you are not perfect, acknowledge that everyone messes up sometimes and learn from the experience. Being compassionate to yourself will also make you more compassionate to others.
6 Allow yourself to feel.
If you feel the need to cry or to vent your feelings, give yourself permission to do so. Have one person – a partner, friend, family member or colleague – that you know you can call. Don’t bottle it up.
7 Make time for social interaction.
Studies have shown that social interaction correlates directly with our sense of belonging and joy. This means that we need to be social in order to be happy, both inside and outside our work. The more time you spend with people, the happier you will be.
8 Go with the flow.
Be aware of the world around you and adapt to what it brings. In Chinese medicine, eating seasonal foods is important for health – for instance, watermelon is great for summer, with water to keep you hydrated and lycopene to reduce sun damage, but eating too much in winter may give you stomachache or diarrhoea.
9 Yin and yang.
Yin and yang are seemingly opposite forces that work together and interconnect to achieve a state of balance. For instance, within the body, muscle training and stretching are equally important – muscle volume will support your body but stretching releases the tension from daily life and training.
10 There is no such thing as perfect balance.
So don’t beat yourself up if you find you can’t achieve it! Perhaps instead we should be working towards an integration of the various elements within our lives. This will look different every day, but will be based on prioritising the things we value and love the most – not fogetting ourselves!
Gazelli House hosts a monthly panel discussion on wellbeing to give you the latest insights and tips to help you to be the best possible you. You can find information about upcoming events here.