The holiday season is often busy and stressful, so January is always a great time to take a breath, and regroup. What are you doing to maintain work-life balance? Think about these aspects of your life, and set a few goals early in 2017 to work on for each area.
1. Self management: As nutrition experts, we certainly know and understand the important of a healthy diet and regular exercise regime. Of course, we are also human, and sometimes get off track. Be sure to check in with yourself to reinforce how important it is to keep that exercise schedule, and eat well.
2. Stress management: What is the cause of your stress and what can you actively do to reduce it? Sometimes taking care of the other issues (self mangement, time management, and allowing yourself some free time) can be the key to managing overall stress. Also, be sure to get some good sleep.
3. Time management: There are lots of ways to keep tab on time. You might consider creating a Monday morning list of goals for the week. Prioritize the “must dos” and sort your work out through the day or week, so that the essential tasks get done on time, and others stay on track. And if you have a home office, set hours, and an “end” to your work day.
4. Technology management: Email, social networks, and app notifications, can all be real time-suckers (and mood-changers). Consider scheduling a time-block that you will schedule posts, or check email each day, and then stick to it (perhaps an hour in the morning, and an hour at the end of the workday). Turn off notifications on your phone or laptop while you’re working. Put your phone in “airplane mode” when you are working on a writing deadline, or when you are counseling patients. You can then check on messages and respond during the designated hours you set.
5. Fun management! Everyone has a difference parameter for what “work-life-balance” looks like. For me – I think it’s vital to schedule some down time and days off where you can unplug and do things that you enjoy with people you love. Don’t underestimate the importance of fun free time. In this 24/7 world we live in, it’s easy to feel guilty about not being available at all hours, at all times – but don’t. Prioritize your free time as an essential component of your successful, productive life. When you step away from work fully, you return more energized and ready to be engaged. And people will get over not getting a response at 10 pm.
Rosanne Rust, RDN
Chair Elect, 2016-2017