7 ways to help achieve a work-life balance, according to an expert behind the Headspace app

It's something many of us might struggle to reach, but here's seven things to try, that might get you closer to that elusive work-life balance.
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Attempting to juggle your career, a healthy social life, being a present parent along with trying to maintain your fitness and health can be a huge ask even for the best of us.

That elusive work-life balance is something many of us dream of achieving, and while everyone’s ideal ‘balance’ may be different, finding that balance is crucial for your overall wellbeing.

The app Headspace has become a popular and accessible tool over the past few years for people to try short guided mindfulness meditations, and has become a part of many people’s daily routines as their go-to way to help reset and alleviate stress.

Director of Healthcare at Headspace, Sarah Romotsky, tells Glamour that she believes the much coveted work-life balance can be achievable through the incorporation of mindfulness along with other lifestyle changes.

She shared seven simple ways you can help attain a work-life balance and bring your mental health into check.

1. Learn your strengths and when to ask for help

The more hands you have on deck, the lighter the workload will be.

Try and identify where your strengths lie and where you might need help or guidance. For example, if you own your own business, instead of spending hours trying to manage your books or design the perfect logo when you’re not design whizz, try outsourcing the work instead. It will mean less time stressing and wasting time.

Try and identify where your strengths lie and where you might need to ask for help. (Image: Getty)

2. Prioritise your time and have set work hours

It’s very easy to become overwhelmed with your overflowing to-do list, so it’s important to learn to prioritise otherwise you’ll never stop working!

Identifying between what’s urgent and important and what’s important but not urgent is the key to managing your tasks and not feel like you’re drowning and helps your establish boundaries so that you won’t feel bad for taking (the needed and deserved) time to focus on yourself.

3. Switch off

In an age where a screen is within hand’s reach at every moment, it can be difficult to ignore emails or phone calls that come your way even when you’re out of the office.

Try and make it a habit to switch off your emails after a certain time in the day to ensure you’re not responding to emails while outside of work hours.

Giving yourself these clear boundaries will allow you to properly enjoy and make the most of your time away from work.

4. Make movement a must

There’s plenty of evidence that shows exercise and movement help to contribute to a healthy mind and overall wellbeing, so it’s vital that you try and incorporate some movement into your day.

Whether it’s getting off a few bus stops earlier and walking the rest of the way or making a conscious effort to prioritise not missing your yoga class because you have “just five more” emails to respond to, making movement or exercise a priority on your to-do list will help you get away from your desk, and you’ll feel better for it.

5. Manage your mind and take a break

The health of your mind is just as important as your physical health, so we need to take the time to invest in both our mental and physical wellbeing.

Mindfulness and meditation are useful tools to help you take a moment to pause and reflect, connect to the world around you and help alleviate stress.

6. Take time to make time

It’s all well and good knowing you need to take time out for yourself, but let’s be honest, unless you actually take time to plan it into your day, it’ll likely fall to the wayside.

There are plenty of tools (or you can just keep a good old fashioned journal) to track how long things take and how often you’re doing work-related things.

Tracking this for a week can give you a good snapshot of how ‘balanced’ your lifestyle is, and if it’s not, where you can make improvements.

7. Follow your passions

Identify activities, hobbies or interests that make you happy or inspire you.

Pursuing these hobbies will not only be a rewarding and enjoyable experience but it will re-energise your mind and nurture new and creative ways of thinking which you may not have otherwise come across had you not pursued them.

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