Although I wouldn’t change it for anything in the world, being a parent is exhausting. If you have kids, then you know full well about the sleep deprivation and constant and the taxing battle of trying to juggle your career and home life.
While everyone has these one secrets on maintaining a healthy work-life balance, arguably the best thing that you can do for your kids, career, and yourself is practicing self-care. And, here are five simple ways that you can start taking care of you so that you plenty of energy to be productive at work and still have enough gas left in the tank for your kids.
Get enough sleep.
I used to have serious sleeping problems. I tried sleep machines and I even used some light sleeping pills. People have different solutions for sleep…for me I found out when I got a diffuser that goes by my bed the smell somehow magically put me to bed.
I’ll be honest. I don’t know much about the science behind it, but people react to different things differently and for me, those smells that are emitted put me to bed almost instantly. I also like that that that there’s not as much sound like that of a sleep machine device -- my spouse also enjoys this perk.
Establish time slots when you don’t work.
Work is obviously an important part of our lives. However, it should be our sole purpose in life. Everyone needs to set boundaries on when you work and when you don’t. If not, you’ll be on-call 24/7/365 -- even if you aren’t physically at work, you’ll be doing work-related tasks like responding to emails and phone calls.
The point is when you’re not “on-the-clock” you should be caring for yourself through meditation, exercise, reading, writing, or doing whatever else you enjoy. And, you should spending quality time with your loved ones. Research has found that when we care for ourselves, we’re less anxious, stressed, happier, live longer, and have more energy.
In other words, when you clock out at 5 pm, you’re done for the day. If you have off on Saturday and Sunday, don’t spend any of that time working.
Set yourself up for healthy eating.
Not to boast, but I’m actually pretty great about eating healthy at home. Unfortunately, the office is a completely different story. On top of vending machines packed with salty and sugary snacks, there are several food trucks right outside our office that I’m a sucker for.
Then, I caught this article on healthy office snacks off Apple News. I immediately sent it to my office mates. And, to my surprise, we actually went in together on a subscription at work. Now we can munch on delicious and healthier food options that give us enough energy to get through the day. And, I’ve noticed that when I get home I’m not as worn out as I used to be.
Stay active at work
I was gifted a Varidesk from an old co-worker who moved out of state. Now I’m standing about 50% of my days now. As much as you would think that could wear me out, my body is just used to it. I sit down only when I need to rest.
Unexpectedly, I can even hold a baby now without getting as tired like I did when I wasn’t in this good of shape. Obviously, don’t over exhaust yourself, but staying consistently active in different ways, like using the standing desk, taking the stairs instead of the elevator, and going for walks during breaks, has made me feel like a new and active person at home as well.
We have a tendency to put others ahead of ourselves. However, if we don’t make the time to attend to our own needs, we won’t be of much use to our families or work. It may sound selfish. But, we all need to start paying more attention to our own health. And, you can start by getting enough sleep, eating healthier, becoming more active at work, and setting boundaries.