HOW TO MAINTAIN A HEALTHY WORK-LIFE BALANCE

22 Jan 2021 | Student Advice

Christmas is over, New Year has passed and the celebrations are (probably) winding down. Now it’s time for the exams and essays! For those of you who haven’t had your nose in study books over the break, getting back into your University headspace may take a moment. Don’t worry though, here are a couple of ways to reinstate a healthy work-life balance. Who knows it may even be healthier than before?

 

A healthy and happy new year

Many of you will have filled a page – or at least your mind – with a couple of New Year’s Resolutions. Whether you’ve opted to give ‘Dry January’ a go or just want to hit the gym more, my advice to you would be to start small and build up from there. Set yourself up for success by setting achievable goals to help yourself to be healthier and happier. Rather than pushing yourself to exercise 5 times a week, start at 3 times and build from there. Or, if you’re switching straight from a carnivore lifestyle to a vegan try building up to it with vegetarianism first.

Are you a vampire or a cockerel?

When sorting out your schedule it is important to ask yourself one question, are you a vampire or a cockerel? In other words, do you work best in the morning or as the sun sets? There are undoubtedly many people who do leave their work until last minute – leading to all-nighters – but there are also those who just work better at night. In fact, a study by the University of Adelaide suggests that “Brains learn better at night”. Knowing when you are most productive can be very helpful when you are sorting out your schedule.

Creating your schedule

When trying to maintain a health work-life balance, the key ingredient is, unsurprisingly, time management. Draw upon your teenage self and choose once again what your poison is: your phone calendar, spreadsheets, hand drawn timetables or even spider diagrams. Be as specific or vague as you want to be, but having some form of schedule can help you to keep on track socially and academically.

Treat yourself as well as browbeat

When designing a healthy schedule it is just as important to reward yourself for your work as push yourself towards your goals. Make sure that you include activities and hobbies that you love in your weekly life, whether that’s hanging out with friends (when we’re allowed again), doing something creative or playing a sport.  Also, if you’ve done particularly well in a test, or simply had a very productive week, indulge in something wicked. 

Know your support system

Returning to university mid-semester can often feel more jarring than leaving home in the first place. Back at university, you may be surrounded by friends and course mates but it is normal to miss the ones you love. To maintain good mental health and happiness, make sure you regularly communicate with friends and family, especially if we go into another lockdown.  

Maintaining a healthy work-life balance can often feel like walking on a tight rope. If you party too hard you can tip to one side and if you study too hard you could lean to the other. The secret to keeping your balance is to constantly check in with yourself and adjust your behaviour.

By Ilona Cabral

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