Work life balance. Get it now!

Work life balance. A term we hear all the time. But what exactly is the meaning of work life balance? How many of us can honestly say we’re adept at it? And most importantly, how exactly does one achieve this elusive state of being?

Establishing a good balance between work and daily living. A juggling act!

Work is a pivotal factor in our lives. It dominates our list of priorities, reigning supreme on top of that list. What goes on in our daily lives is pretty much pushed unceremoniously to the back. However, the cumulative stress from endless workdays can be highly damaging. Affecting our homes, our relationships, our health, our happiness quotient - to the point that it needs looking into. The need of the hour is to work smart and work in such a way that life as we live it on a daily basis does not play second fiddle.

Work-life balance, not work-life tightrope.

Essentially, work life balance translates into a healthy reservoir of energy and vitality. The trick is to manage time, and not let it manage you. Yes, work will take up a majority of your day, but make sure you squeeze in a hefty chunk of time for your family, friends and yourself! Never forget yourself.

Sleep early, wake up early (Do you know why?)

Try and get to bed by 10 pm. The reason for this? Your body is busy repairing itself while you sleep. All your major internal organs are being rejuvenated, it’s not happening all at once, the organs do it in turns. If you’re awake till early AM, the repair work is enormously hampered. On the other hand, if you’re in sync with your natural biorhythms, you will benefit physically and mentally – and not just benefit, but benefit enormously! Of course, this is not to say that you shouldn’t enjoy those late-night parties. Just try and reserve them for weekends!

Watch what goes down the hatch!

Food is fuel for your body. Eat natural and wholesome food, steer clear of the processed variety. If you’re vegetarian, we applaud your choice. Tuck into fibre-rich cereals like oats, barley, brown rice. Include plant proteins like lentils and beans. Opt for plenty of fresh vegetables and fruit. Enjoy healthy nuts like almonds and walnuts. Seeds like chia and pumpkin are great too. Go for organic A2 milk and low fat dairy products. Choose sauteing over deep frying. Avoid trans fat. Minimise salt and sugar. Better still, cut out sugar completely. Keep a glass of water handy and sip away at regular intervals while at work. There’s nothing to beat an intake of 2 litres of water every day. Instead of tea/coffee, have green tea/lemonade/vegetable or herbal juices. Quick tip: Drink water 1 or 2 hours after meals.

Life is fun. Enjoy it

Lighten up, don’t take work so seriously. It is vital that you pencil in fun activities in your diary. Enjoy a walk with your friends (or by yourself), go cycling, join a cooking class – anything that will perk up your spirits and provide a diversion from the humdrum.

You know best

Listen to your body, listen to your mind. Push yourself to do your best, but never push yourself beyond the limit. There’s a fine line here that shouldn’t be crossed. Mental and physical burnout is common and difficult to shake off. If you think your workplace is toxic and a deterrent to your overall growth, maybe it’s time to rethink your options.

Be old fashioned. Maintain a diary.

Note down all the finer points you experience in your moods, energy levels, sleeping patterns, your digestion and elimination. Jot down events at work (or home or elsewhere) that affect you, chronicle the triggers for your feelings – also keep a special column for the food that you’re eating and how you feel after each meal. This will heighten your awareness and allow you to make changes in your daily life which will ultimately help you achieve and maintain work life balance.

Take short breaks at work

Stretch yourself once every hour at work, for say, 5 minutes each time. Indulge in a few rounds of deep breathing. Look away from your computer every half an hour. Try not to lunch at your desk, take a short stroll after it.

Pamper yourself for sure.

Give yourself a soothing full body oil massage before a shower. When you return home from work, soak your feet in a tub of hot water – add a few drops of aroma oil for good measure. An Ayurvedic head and foot massage can work wonders. Fit one into your regular schedule.

Early dinner

An early dinner suits an active body, induces sound sleep and prevents weight gain. It’s a good idea to have digested your dinner before you hit the bed.

Mind your digestive fire or agni

According to Ayurveda, the cornerstone for good health is good digestion. If we eat more than we should, food is not broken down properly, more acid is produced. Reflux and indigestion ensue. Ayurveda recommends that we do not eat to full stomach capacity. Keep one third or one quarter of the stomach empty.
To figure out the ideal portion for your constitution, cup your hands with fingertips touching, forming the shape of a bowl. The recommended amount of total food is the equivalent of two handfuls. Feel free to eat a little less!

Should you meditate? Or should you meditate?

The benefits of meditation are so immense, it would be foolish not to meditate. Set aside some time to meditate every single day – this is your extra special Me-Time. You could do it first thing in the morning, last thing before turning in, or anytime throughout the day. Reserve a quiet place to meditate, make it nice and cosy. Sit comfortably, but remember to keep your spine erect.
Read about the benefits of meditation And once you start meditating, you will actually see how significantly your work-life balance will improve.

Yoga is the way to go.

It’s a good idea to include 30 minutes of Yoga in your daily routine. Stretching, twisting and bending powers up the body. Promotes strength and flexibility. Strengthens muscles and ligaments. Improves blood circulation, flushes out the lymphatic system. Here are some Yoga poses to get you started. Remember to add Pranayams to your routine.

Health is wealth. Health is Ayurveda

Balance is everything according to Ayurveda. This ancient science of healing believes that good health depends on maintaining the delicate balance between the mind, body and spirit. To know more about adopting the natural principles advocated by Ayurveda for lifelong balance go to: Health-for-all.

The quantum of work we need to tackle everyday may not be under our control, but how we deal with it certainly is. Although we all know the importance of work life balance, we stray from it when we are stressed and overworked. Let’s choose energy and vitality instead. Let’s choose balance.