Let me ask you something.
Have you ever been to a restaurant or walked past one and noticed a family or group of friends all sitting together at the same table but not talking because they are all on their phones? Or a couple on a date, but both parties are glued to their phones and not communicating and enjoying each other’s physical presence?
For me, I really don’t get it. Why bother going out with someone if you are just going to spend half the time on your phone? Like what is so interesting on social media or your chats that you must look and reply to at that very moment that you are actually in the physical presence of another human being? Maybe I am traditional like that. But for me, when I go out with someone, I try my best to put my phone away.
But I mean, I get it. Some things are urgent and need to pull your attention away for a while. Maybe there is some issue at work you need to resolve, or your client or boss is texting you and that requires your urgent reply. So yes, I get it. But we are only humans, and a balance is always needed before we burn out completely.
So how do you have a healthy balance between work and personal time?
#1: Practice heightened presence
Here’s the thing. When you let yourself be completely immersed in a given situation, you’ll be able to fully absorb the positives. Because if your mind is focused on work while you’re out with friends, then let’s face it, it won’t be able to relax completely and enjoy the presence of those you are around.
Breathing exercises, meditation and conscious awareness of your thoughts will help you work toward greater levels of presence.
#2: Look for opportunities to have shared experiences
There are many things we do each day that would enable us to include others. Often, though, we choose not to because extending an invitation sounds like effort or creates some other small inconvenience. Think of how often you go out to eat, exercise or run errands by yourself.
It takes just a few seconds to send a quick text seeing if someone wants to join you in an activity. Sending that text can result in sharing that experience with someone, killing two birds with one stone: You get to see someone you enjoy while doing something you’ve been looking forward to or need to accomplish!
#3: Be very thoughtful about your friends
Outside of work and your partner or family, friends are likely some of the only people you’re able to make time for in between meetings, errands and sleep. That puts a big emphasis on picking high-quality friends.
You should enjoy spending time with the people you surround yourself with, meaning you should keep an eye out for shared values and interests. Your friends should also make you a better person, and the relationships should be two-way; you shouldn’t be supporting your friend via one-sided daily phone calls, and your friend shouldn’t be the only one issuing invitations to get together.
When you have these relationships in your life, you’ll engage in more valuable and memorable interactions — and doing thoughtful things for your friends will lift you up, too.
#4: Find the recharging activities that work best for you
You will inevitably have times when you need to recharge. This could be after a long week of work or wrapping up a particularly challenging project.
It’s worth the small investment to think about how you like to recover. Conscious thought about the recharging activities that work best for you will focus your time on doing what will yield the most energy in return. Personally for me, an hour of work-out a day helps rejuvenate and recharge my mind and body. The key is finding what works best for you.
#5: Eat well, and drink water
Although it might not sound like it has anything to do with making time for fun, your physical health is critical. If you’re dehydrated or eating unhealthy meals on a loop, your energy levels will decrease. Consequently, you’ll be less present in each moment, making each task or effort less enjoyable.
You should, therefore, take the inconsequential bit of time to stay hydrated throughout the day and find food that will give you energy. When your body’s feeling good, you’ll be able to live each day much more fully.
#6: Sleep well
In addition to eating well and drinking water, sleep is a huge piece of the physical health puzzle. When you’ve had enough sleep, you have the energy to tackle the day as your best self.
This doesn’t just mean sleeping for the minimum number of hours to avoid drowsiness; it also means doing what improves the quality of your sleep. Winding down before bed, even for a few minutes, can greatly improve your sleep. Keeping your room cool, using a sound machine and investing in good pillows can also make a world of difference.
#7: Take activities outdoors
I enjoy hiking. Do you enjoy hiking? I find it so comforting and relaxing to be in nature, to have the ability to just leave all your worries and things you are going through behind in the real world, and just enjoy the simple nature around. And it has come to a point where I have now come to seek solace in these nature parks during my hikes.
Because here’s why. Exposure to nature relaxes us and improves our air flow, encouraging us to take deep breaths and draw in more oxygen.
#8: Try new things
When we’re busy, it’s easy to get into routines and do the same things over and over. It could be the restaurants we frequent, the activities we choose or even the music we listen to.
Instead, push yourself to constantly change those choices so you don’t feel trapped in a repetitive loop. You’ll be going out to eat or listening to music, anyway — why not try something new? It will expand your horizons; if nothing else, it will shake the cobwebs loose and allow new ideas to take root in your subconscious.
This article is brought to you by eVantage Technology.