5 Top Tips To Achieving a Work/Life Balance

Within the therapy world, a phrase you will often here is ‘at 3am this idea popped into my head’ or ‘I was sitting on the loo when an idea popped into my head’ or ‘I didn’t mean to check my emails at 1am but I couldn’t sleep’.

Being the heartless person I was, I always prided myself on the fact that I was very good at stopping thinking about work the minute I left the office.

However, with my most recent job, there isn’t often time to think of bright ideas during the day and I’m working with very complex cases which has resulted in the cogs never quite turning off (including managing to infiltrate regularly into my dreams). The heart seems to have defrosted a little as well. Grr.

As a result, I am feeling run down, struggling to stick to my weight loss plan, grumpy and getting home and collapsing on the sofa.

By the time I get home, I’ve been on the go for 10 hours and I just end up thinking about how much work I have to do tomorrow or next week. I sit on the sofa and collapse into a heap from 5.30PM til 9.30PM.

I have of course also been neglecting The Healthy OT which I want to continue working on and watch flourish. I’m generally feeling quite frustrated with it all. I never have quite enough brain power to think about what to write, or how to build and develop what I’m trying to achieve.

For the past week, I have managed to find brain space to spend some time generating a plan for how I’m going to combat a better work/life balance, so here goes:

1) Exercise (and stretch): a classic go to solution for everything ha! I do find exercise really wakes me up but I really need to persevere with just doing it the minute I get in from work. I would like to be exercising 4 times a week (as I’m currently watching my posture crumple before my very eyes with limited exercises focusing on improving my posture at the moment) and 2 of those times can be done at the weekend. Additionally, if I’m stronger, moving around will be easier and therefore more energy efficient.

Plan: exercise on a Tuesday and Thursday the minute I get in from work (2 x 25 minute HIIT).

2) Have a bath: I know baths are known for relaxation, but for a small group of us, they are known to wake us up and I am one of those people. Our bath takes FOREVER to run but that gives me 25 minutes to collapse on the sofa, get in the bath and then another energy burst for the evening 👌

3) Focus on pushing ‘work’ thoughts out my head – probably the best method for this is to add more tiny hobbies in such as reading, listening to music, getting involved in a box set or generating ideas for a blog post etc. I’m SO bad for thinking of a million different topics at once instead of focusing on one thing, which puts me at higher risk of letting work thoughts slip into my head. I need to commit to what I’m doing in the moment and not think of anything else.

4) Incorporate more healthy fats into my day and meal prep: yes you can eat fat when trying to lose weight! I find that my diet tends to consist of more saturated fat than unsaturated (and they’re the bad fats), so I need to try and add more nuts, seeds, avocado and coconut oil into my day.

Meal Prep: this may seem quite random and abstract (hence the mention of a million thoughts but go with this). I’m often so tired in the evening that I can’t always be bothered to cook what I had planned and this can throw my calories off. I then get annoyed that I can’t just stick to my weight management plan and then end up being frustrated. If meal times were covered and designed to give me a good energy boost and nutritional intake, then I could steadily be losing weight without having to think about it, allowing more brain space to think about other fun things!

5) Get up earlier: I’ve got into a terrible habit of hitting the snooze button and getting up at the last possible minute. I did wake up naturally at 6.15am the other day and I got out of bed and what a difference it made. I got to work 25 minutes early which meant I could leave earlier and have more of an evening!

And I know I said 5 top tips but here’s a free 6th tip:

6) Be less grumpy.: I’m not known for being grumpy. I’m not having any negative thoughts, but I’d like to be able to achieve more leisure activities during the week. I’m just so exhausted that I’m also being slightly more blunt when communicating with other humans. I don’t need the worry about offending people on top of everything else! I’m just going to chill out, take each day as it comes and focus on myself more than work.

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