“Wellness is a choice; a way of life; a process; an efficient channelling of energy; an integration of body, mind, and spirit; and the loving acceptance of yourself.” Eudaimonian writer Regina Sara Ryan, explained the pursuit of urban chi perfectly. In order to perform at our best in the office, we need to enjoy a rewarding personal life and that requires balance. Finding or maintaining a healthy medium between work life and play requires effort, and vigilance. To assist you on your path of harmony attainment we’ve put together some easy swaps.
LEARN TO SAY “NO”
Since society is slowly coming to appreciate the importance of self-care, we are realising that identifying what we can do is just as important as accepting what we cannot do, as well as communicating what we are not willing to do. This requires that you give up on perfectionism and learn to be discerning.
In the workplace, it sounds like telling your superior that you cannot take on any more assignments because your workload is exhausted. Though it seems scary, and your supervisor might not like hearing ‘no’ at first, doing your best at what you can handle works to your company’s favour. When you’re spread thin, you’ll do a sub-par job and that will definitely disappoint your senior more than if they’d just delegated to someone else.
MANAGE YOUR TIME
Adrenalin junkies tend to look for a fix wherever they can find it. You might not think you fall into this category, but if you’re putting off work until the dreaded deadline is looming over your head, you’re guilty as charged.
Effective time management is crucial to your success in the office. If you’ve committed to a deadline, you need to follow-through otherwise your integrity is called into question. No one will care that you’ve come in early and left late all week, to finish a proposal that should’ve been submitted days ago. It’ll be difficult for your colleagues to believe you when you commit to another deadline.
When you accept or decline a work assignment, you need to organise your schedule appropriately. The added bonus is that you’ll make it to your yoga class on time.
MANAGE YOUR STRESS
Though part of achieving stress management requires that you learn to manage your time well, there are other contributing factors.
To ensure you don’t pull your hair out because of the demands of the job, Robert Brooks, a professor of Psychology at Harvard Medical School, believes phone notifications stir your subconscious with an undercurrent of stress. This is why the co-author of ‘The Power of Resilience: Achieving Balance, Confidence and Personal Strength in Your Life’ suggests that we don’t text during our children’s sports matches or when we’re at dinner with friends. Learning to compartmentalise your life will train your mind to respond appropriately to the environments you are in.
Go on a cyber-fast, adopt a tech-free after 6pm rule, go for a barefoot walk in your garden, do yoga. Whatever helps you unwind is something you should do 3 – 5 times a week to ensure you minimise your stress.
PROTECT YOUR ENERGY
Time-wasting activities and people tend to drain our energy. Having done something for a few hours with nothing to show for it is not only frustrating but demoralising. Don’t consider it selfish to end friendships that suck you dry instead of doing their part to fill you up. Your friends and family don’t need to complete you, but if all their doing is exhausting you, there will be no energy left for you to work and play with.
Streamline your life like you would your home. It’s difficult to have a clear mind with physical, mental and emotional clutter.
PLAN YOUR RETIREMENT
Finding your urban chi definitely requires that you live in the moment; when you’re committed to the present you give it all your best efforts. But you shouldn’t feel bad for working with the future in mind.
It’s easy to become demotivated if you feel your efforts are to no end. So plan your retirement, fantasise about whether you’ll use that time to travel the world or indulge your passion. When you know that your time for rest is coming, and that it is right at the horizon, you’ll be excited to work to deserve that rest. It is similar to how runners tend to push harder in their final 100 meters.
Inject some enthusiasm into your life by reminding yourself why you’re working.
HOW CAN EMPLOYERS HELP?
Unhappy employees disrupt a company’s bottom line. If your staff aren’t at their best, they certainly won’t perform at their best. Employers need to assume part of that responsibility.
Show that you care for the people contributing to the success of your business by organising office outings, offering child/day care services for employees with kids or subsidised gym memberships and exercise access.
You’ll be amazed at how learning feeds the mind, keeping those brain muscles fit and strong. Complement that re-skilling and up-skilling with fair vacation days and out-of-office lunches so there is a balance between work and play.
You can’t pour from an empty cup, take care of yourself first. If you want to be an effective employee to your employers, and an equally supportive individual to your loved ones, you need to learn to live a balanced life. It will be something you have to work at every single day, but you will enjoy a fuller life because of it.