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The Pursuit of Work-Life Balance: 5 Ways to Switch Off Stress

With the ever-changing, fast-paced world we live in today, it’s easy to get caught up in our busy schedules that sometimes we often forget to put our own needs first. We are all always talking about the importance of a work-life balance, yet, we are all also guilty of taking it lightly – that is until we fall into the burnout trap.

There is no one hundred per cent guaranteed-way of a work-life balance, but there are a few simple ways we can do to improve it. Here’s how:

1. Schedule some “ME” time

Whether it’s the first thing you do in the morning or the last before you get into bed, giving yourself some “me” time keeps your mental (and physical) health in check. What should you do during your “me” time? Absolutely anything! (other than work of course). 

Give yourself an hour or more every day to indulge in your hobbies, to read a book or even carry out your self-care ritual. Anything that genuinely puts you in a good mood. “Me” time is a designated worry-free activity that takes your mind off the stresses of everyday life. 

2. Unplug from social media

There’s no denying how social media keeps us entertained, updated and most importantly, connected with everything that is going on in the world. But social media is sometimes also the reason why we end up feeling stressed too (without even realizing it!)

How often do you feel pressured to get the latest phone just because you saw a friend’s recent story update on Instagram about his latest purchase? Or how you feel unhappy with your body type because it is not what is seen as “ideal” according to social media standards? How about how mundane your life seems in comparison to an influencer who seems to be out and about living his or her best lives?

Sometimes, you need to disconnect to reconnect. Put your phone down. Stop scrolling through your feed and learn to appreciate what you already have right in front of you. Why not try out a tech-free activity instead? 

3. Keep Physically Active

Living a balanced life also means putting your physical health and fitness a priority. According to the World Health Organization, the average adult needs a minimum of 150 to 300 minutes of moderate exercise a week; about 21 to 43 minutes per day. 

Moderate exercise includes activities such as brisk walking, swimming and even mowing the lawn. Overworking yourself until you leave no room for physical health not only causes burnout in your professional life, but it can also increase the likelihood of developing heart diseases such as high cholesterol, obesity and high blood pressure. 

It can be easy to neglect your exercise routine, and instead opt for staying late at work. However, the more you choose to disregard your physical health, the faster it’s effect will catch up to you. Think of your health as a long-term investment. 

4. Take a vacation

As human beings, we all need some time off from work to physically and mentally recharge. Whether it’s just a weekend retreat to a fancy hotel in town or a 2-week Euro tour, taking a vacation not only allows us to escape from our repetitive work schedule for a little while but also enables us to regain inspiration, momentum and purpose in life.

A study even shows that employees who take vacations are more than 6.5% likely to be promoted or even earn a raise compared to those who leave at least 11 days of unused vacation time on the table. Not only that, employees tend to be happier with sufficient time off, driving at least 31% greater productivity at their workplace. It is a win-win situation after all! 

Read more about how taking a vacation is good for productivity and the economy.

5. Spend quality time with loved ones

Friends and family play an important role when it comes to sustaining a healthy work-life balance. When you have blocked in “family” or “friends” time into your planner, make sure your body and your mind is there too. Avoid taking phone calls, checking emails, writing reports or even browsing social feeds excessively.

Research shows that the amount of time spent with friends and family goes a long way towards boosting one’s happiness – even more so than an increased income! So,while money can’t buy you happiness, spending time with the ones you love always will.

Here’s a list of money-free things you can do with your loved ones over the weekend! 

My Healthy Morning Super Smoothie

Ever since the pandemic took over the world, we’ve all had major changes in the way we go around our everyday life. One of my significant turning points was the fact that I finally had time to put together a healthy super smoothie for breakfast.

The one thing that these uncertain times has taught me was the importance of health, which is why I decided to practice a healthier lifestyle. And what better way to kick off this journey by implementing a healthy diet. Starting with what I consume first thing in the morning.

My advice to those who’ve always wanted to embark on the “healthier lifestyle” path is to always start small (though I do feel this rule also implies anything you want to do in life). Starting something new can sometimes seem overwhelming, and so its always best to start small and build your pace through time.

If you feel like eating healthy throughout the entire day is too much work, you can always start by making sure you get your breakfast right. After all, breakfast is the most important meal of the day!

My healthy super smoothie is ideal for those who don’t have much time to prepare something fancy in the morning but still want something healthy to fuel them up until lunch break. All you need is a few basic ingredients and a blender and you’re good to go.

Let’s get started!

Step 1: Prep your ingredients.

  • 1 Banana
  • 2 Strawberries (Fresh or Frozen)
  • 1 tablespoon of Blueberries (Fresh or Frozen)
  • 1/2 a cup of cold Fresh Milk

Pro tip: For a more flavourful smoothie, you can consider adding

  • 3 tablespoon of Natural Yoghurt
  • 2 tablespoon of Honey
  • 4 cubes of ice

Step 2: Throw them into the blender. Blend for about 10-15 seconds until you get a smooth texture.

Step 3: Pour into a glass and enjoy your super (and healthy) smoothie of the day!