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.
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:
- Morning routines
- Midday breaks
- Nighttime routines
- Rest or sleep routines
- Mental decompression
- Physical activities
- Hobbies & creative activities
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!