So many of us are career-oriented people with aspirations and big dreams of reaching high levels of success. Of course, it takes a lot of motivation and focus to achieve our goals, but sometimes we can become so wrapped up in our work that it begins to impede on our everyday life. Creating a work-life balance will reduce feelings of stress and help you to enjoy your time outside the office. Setting boundaries on when and where you work as well as making time for fun hobbies and projects like a paint with diamonds kit or outdoor gardening are two of the components to draw the line between work and home. If you find it difficult not to bring your work (and the stress that comes along with it) home, try implementing some of these tips. 

What Is a Work-Life Balance?

A work-life balance simply refers to the amount of time you spend working and thinking about work, even when you’re not there, and the amount of time spent on other important activities like exercise, hobbies and hanging out with family and friends. It’s easy to recognize if you have a poor work-life balance because you’ll regularly feel tired and/or stressed, you work very long hours, you don’t have time to do things that you love and you find yourself constantly thinking about work. Equally prioritizing your personal life and your work life should be the goal to help rid you of becoming overwhelmed by work demands and still able to enjoy your free time. 

  1. Do Not Check Work Emails at Home

Setting boundaries is one of the most important parts to establishing a healthy work-life balance. If you’re constantly checking emails, thinking about projects and calling clients or coworkers about upcoming tasks and assignments, you’re probably not allowing your brain any time off. Because we have our phones on us nearly all the time, it’s easier to constantly hover your thumb over that mail icon and quickly check on your inbox. But then, you’re reminded of deadlines and work-related issues, making your time at home more stressful than it needs to be. Set specific hours for yourself–whether you work in an office or from your home. After your workday ends, unplug for the evening. You can even decide not to connect your work email to your phone so you feel less tempted to check every few hours.

  1. Set Realistic Deadlines for Yourself

Good time management is another key to keeping your work stress at a minimum. If you’re the kind of person who tends to wait until the last minute to get projects done, you’ll keep yourself in a constant cycle of stress and anxiety. Instead, carefully plan out exactly what needs to be done by when, even if this means breaking a project into smaller, more manageable steps. Create a list for yourself each morning detailing what exactly you need to get done. As you cross each item off, you’ll feel a sense of accomplishment that will keep you motivated throughout the day. Finding a schedule that works for you will allow you a greater sense of control over your workload and spread out your responsibility into more feasible pieces. 

  1. Exercise Regularly

When you feel good, your anxiety levels diminish. Exercise is the perfect outlet to release tension and increase your endorphins, which helps your brain release positive feelings. People who become overwhelmed by their work often let their mental and physical health slide as a result of putting too much focus and energy into their careers. Of course, it’s important to care about your work, but you need to draw the line before it becomes detrimental to your health. Create a workout routine that fits into your everyday schedule. If you’re the kind of person who is early to rise, try a simple exercise like going for a run in the morning before work. For those who prefer some downtime in the evening, make it a point to get to the gym right after the office and work off some of those feelings of stress. 

  1. Make Time for a Hobby

Having a hobby that you enjoy and care about will give you a mental break from work. Hobbies come in all forms–from relaxing mental activities like meditation to fun projects like painting with diamonds or crocheting. Any type of hobby that takes your mind off work is a great way to break up your day. You can even practice your hobbies at work during break times. Employers should encourage their employees to step away from the desk for a few minutes each day and let their minds decompress. During these times, it can be useful to add a little more work to your latest paint with diamonds project or take a few minutes to do a breathing exercise and practice meditation. Your brain will thank you for it. 

  1. Spend Time with Family

Making time for the people whom we love helps to remind us what is really important in life and also provides the opportunity to reconnect. Sometimes we can get so wrapped up in our work, we skip the family dinners and miss out on a friend happy hour. It’s essential to keep your schedule open outside of work hours to feel that sense of connection between you and the people around you. In the evenings, you can ask your family to talk about the best or more exciting part of their day. This will help to keep you involved in each other’s lives and focus on the positive things that happen rather than dwelling on negatives or sources of stress. 

Manage Your Work-Life Balance to Reduce Feelings of Stress

Having a proper work-life balance is so important for our mental health. When you spend every minute of the day thinking–and stressing–about work, you will start to feel burned out and less happy with your job. Instead, set clear boundaries for yourself and make time for hobbies, family, friends and relaxation. Exercising will keep you in top mental and physical health, preparing you for the next big hurdle at work. Don’t stress—we know you can do it!