It is all too easy to get fully absorbed into projects at work and projects at home and miles of to-do lists. It is too easy to lose track of taking care of yourself and connecting with your passion each day. Then one day you wake up uninspired and unmotivated and unable to focus at work. This is a work-life balance problem, but it goes beyond just that. When it gets this bad, you need to take a personal retreat.
How to Get Your Work-Life Balance Groove Back
1. Make a Plan
Choose a day to get away. Hire a babysitter. Get someone to cover your shift at work. Do whatever you need to do to make time for yourself. Put the date in pen on your calendar, and don’t cancel on yourself.
2. Be Creative
Think about what is most likely to recharge your batteries and give you time to reflect and rejuvenate on your personal retreat. A picnic breakfast by the lake? A long hike in the woods? A day at the spa? A morning at the gym? An afternoon at the library? A day in a canoe? Make a plan that will help you reconnect with yourself.
When you’re on your personal retreat, take time to think about how your life is going in all areas. Do you have sufficient work-life balance? Are you feeling fulfilled at work? Are you being enriched by your personal relationships? What simple changes could you make today to create a more satisfying daily life? What are your longer-term goals?
4. Take Action
Commit to making a handful of immediate changes in your life, such as signing up for a class, spending more time with your family in the evenings, starting a book club, joining a gym, or finding a therapist. Whatever you decided to do, put it straight on the calendar and make an appointment.
5. Commit to Yourself
Try to avoid getting so run down again in the future by carving out small amounts of time each day just for you. No matter how busy you are, make time for a cup of hot tea, a phone call with a good friend, a hot bath or shower, a walk around the neighborhood, a chapter in a good book, or whatever would help you connect with yourself and your own needs each day, improving your work-life balance and your overall energy and effectiveness in the process.