8 Easy Ways to Create Work-Life Balance

Use habits to create work-life balance

Does it sometimes feel like work-life balance is more work-work balance at this time of year? Rather than being burnt out by the end of the holidays, use these 8 easy ways to include self-care habits into your day.

Why self-care leads to balance

Work-life balance doesn’t just happen. Even though it’s the framework around which I build my studio policies, schedule & commitments, there are times in the year that work tends to take over.

Habits are what create your lifestyle. There’s no such thing as creating work-life balance once and for all. Your habits of self-care will determine your level of self-care. It’s about daily choices.

Angela Watson, Truth for Teachers

Self-care, or habits, ensure that we take time for ourselves so that we have enough to give. To give to our students, piano parents, & families.

8 ways to create work-life balance

We all have different routines, times we are alert & responsibilities. So, having a one-size-fits-all approach won’t work. Perhaps you can create:

  1. Morning routines
  2. Midday breaks
  3. Nighttime routines
  4. Rest or sleep routines
  5. Mental decompression
  6. Physical activities
  7. Hobbies & creative activities
  8. Indulgences

For myself, I have set up a routine that works for me:

  • Exercise or stretch when I first wake up (I’ll be honest that this one has fallen by the wayside & I can really feel it.)
  • Complete my Duolingo goals as my kids are getting dressed for the day.
  • For lunch, I take a break from work & watch 1 episode of a show. For those busier times of the year, I also make time for a nap.
  • While I drive from home to home for my students, I listen to podcast episodes or listen to music that I can sing along with.
  • And before bed, I make time to read from a book … not to learn something new, but to unwind.
  • Once a month, I go in for a massage to manage chronic pain.

When my routine changes over the holidays it can be more difficult to make those times for myself, especially with a house full of family. But I’m learning to just say, “I’m going to take a nap (or whatever my routine is). See you in a bit.” Thankfully, everyone knows & understands it’s nothing about them. I just need to recharge a little.

Setting up self-care habits

Creating work-life balance isn’t about overhauling your entire life … at least not all at once. It is about the small decisions day in & day out that make the difference.

Even the smallest blocks of self-care have made a big difference in my work-life balance. Remember it’s better to have:

  • 15-minutes of daily exercise than none at all because the class was too much hassle to get to.
  • 5-minutes of meditation or enjoying a moment is better than rushing through your day without noticing the way the sun glistens off the snowflakes.
  • 5-minutes to journal or jot down your concerns so you don’t carry them into the next day.
  • 15-minutes to play through the music YOU love rather than find music for students.
  • Buy a small indulgence once a month to treat yourself.

A note on indulgences. These don’t have to be expensive. In university, I would go to the used book store & purchase a new book from the $1 section once a month (or if I felt like I needed a little indulgence in my life). It could just as easily be a cup of your favourite coffee or tea. Or, maybe it’s a fun shade of nail polish. Whatever you choose, it’s something that makes YOU feel special … not something that breaks the bank.

What’s on your list?

If you are wondering how I’ve created work-life balance in running my studio, read “Work/Life Balance … Does it actually exist?

To read more about the podcast that inspired me to look at my self-habits, check out Angela Watson’s “How to practice habits of self-care when you have no time” podcast.

What is on your list of self-care habits that give you the balance you need?

Let me know in the comments below!

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