Like New Year’s resolutions, starting and maintaining new habits is hard. It is said that it can take anywhere from 18 to 254 days for people to form new habits, and an average of 66 days for a new behaviour to become instinctive. A lot of us have goals and resolutions that likely vary from wanting to create a better routine to living healthier or to create a more active lifestyle. The unforeseen circumstances of 2020 have affected and disrupted our lives and we have all had to adjust. What we hoped was a temporary situation has quickly become the new normal.
With the fall season set to begin, now may be the perfect time to reflect and embrace change. As we start to accept our new normal and try to find a current work-life balance, it is important to implement a bit of an intentional lifestyle change as compounding stress from the never-ending workday can be damaging. Work-life balance means something different to every individual and it necessarily doesn’t have to be the completion and achievement of a project. It can also include self-care so that your body and mind are being refreshed. Here are some tips to help you find a balance that’s right for you:
- Create a boundary and set your hours
It is important to have a designated space in your home where you only work. Ensure this space is organized and allows you to be productive. In some cases, you might have to consider a situational space, one that you can leave when you’re finished working to help yourself create a bit more of a physical boundary. A quick trip to your favourite coffee shop or even a short walk around the block can give you the separation your brain requires. It is important to have set hours and take breaks as you would if you were working out of your organization’s office.
- Exercise and meditate
Exercise is an effective stress reducer. It pumps feel-good endorphins through your body. It helps lift your mood and can even get you into a meditative state. It’s imperative to dedicate a few blocks of time each week to self-care - whether that’s exercise, yoga or meditation. A quick five-minute meditation session is a great way to reduce stress. The key is to find something that you can build into your life that will activate your parasympathetic nervous system. Short, meditative exercises like deep breathing or grounding your senses in your present surroundings are great places to start. The more you do these, the more you activate your parasympathetic nervous system (our body’s rest and digest response system), which “calms everything down, and not just at that moment.
When you establish these changes and create (and stick to) a routine, it is only a matter of time before it becomes habitual. Creating a daily routine helps establish positive progressive habits that create momentum that carries us forward. Routines can be very personalized and tailored to what works best for each person and can be as simple as a regular morning and evening routine.
A morning routine sets the tone for your day and helps with accountability, prioritization and often promotes a healthy lifestyle. Some things to consider include:
- Doing some stretches in the morning before getting out of bed
- Maintaining a joint-friendly diet
- Exercising regularly
- We would be remiss not to encourage you to include products such as SierraSil’s Joint Formula 14 in your daily routine.
Likewise, an evening routine is a great way to wind down from your day, decompress, and get ready for bed. Turning off your screens a couple of hours before you want to go to sleep will help your body relax and prepare for a more restful night. Taking the time for a short spiritual reading or meditation session are some simple ways to relax your mind and wind down from your day. Getting enough sleep is also imperative for maintaining a healthy immune system, which is so important when schedules are changing and people are adjusting to new routines.
As we adjust to our new normal, it is important to create a healthy work-life balance, especially with the increasing work-from-home culture.
For The Active Parents
As children hopefully safely return to school, a good routine at home is crucial for helping them adapt to all of the new changes that will be coming their way elsewhere. These children will be going through different stages and work styles that they will have to adapt to, as well. Having a regular home routine can be a very grounding feeling for anyone who is struggling with adjusting to new experiences. Below are some tips to help adapt to this new normal for both you and the kids:
- Take the pressure off!
If things don’t work out the way you’d hoped, default to sending love to your kids and make a plan to catch up on work the following day, if possible.
- Get educational but visually pleasing materials for the children.
- Podcasts, audiobooks, TED talks.
Listen to a book or podcast or stream a TED talk while completing regular chores around the house.
- Aim for the best balance possible.
- Be fully present in your current activity.
If you’re home and spending time with your family/kids, give that precious time your full attention. It’s so easy to feel like you need to sneak in work here and there when you’re remote and working from home. It can be so hard to separate the two, so one has to be really aware of this. When playing with your children, being fully present (both physically and emotionally) shows them how much you value spending time with them and will strengthen the bond you share together. Finding activities everyone enjoys doing can be difficult, but when you discover them, everyone will look forward to sharing that time together.
Setting boundaries and establishing a positive, daily routine for the whole family is a form of self-care that shows up in every aspect of your life. Remember to “work from home”, not “live at work”!