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Work. Life. Balance?

You don’t wait until your car breaks down on the side of the road to fill a leaky tire, do you? So why do so many of us CHOOSE to neglect our bodies and basic necessities when under the grind in our daily (albeit BUSY) lives! Bottom line: preventative maintenance can make all the difference in the world when it comes to tackling the challenge of the work-life balance and determining just how successful –and happy –you can be.

Here are a few tips to help you achieve balance:

1. Set some goals.

One of the most common excuses we have for not taking the time to relax and regroup is that we don’t actually have any time to spare.  But setting goals – big or little – will help shape the lifestyle you are hoping to create.  Notice I used the word “create.” A verb. An action word.  The first step to achieving a work-life balance is to set the goal and go from there.  You will be amazed at how effectively you can foster a work-life balance when you take the time to prioritize and include your own well-being in the equation!

2. Pencil in some downtime.

Okay, so scheduling free time seems a little ironic to some, understandably.  However, the importance of carving out some ‘you’ time could truly be priceless.  According to Statistics Canada, over 1 in 4 workers report being highly stressed out! Considering the economical and health havoc stress can have, this is an extremely serious issue – research shows that mental and physical health issues cost employers billions in claims and deteriorate from the overall quality-of-life of Canadians across the board.  Are you one of them? Do yourself a favour and make some time to live – a little relaxation goes a long way!

3. Move it or Lose it.

With our days planned out practically from the moment, we stop hitting the snooze button to the very time our heads hit the pillow at night, it’s hard to squeeze in that quality time between ourselves and our old friend Gym. But Gym’s a good guy, and not in a “just friends” kind of way – in a partner for life kind of way.  There are very few solutions available to master stress and achieve success that does not involve taking good care of the body that’s going to get you there.  So walk the dogs, strap on those blades (and wrist-guards), hit the gym, or play a sport! Being active will help you feel alert and alive, making tackling the stresses of every day SO much easier!

Of course, there is no surefire way to eliminate stress from your life, and it’s important to remember that balancing implies action in progress.  It takes commitment to your goals, dedication to – and constant reevaluation of – your habits, and above all having a clear idea of what you want your life to be.  Whether you love or loathe your job, taking steps to save yourself from the negative, stress-ball, chicken-with-its-head-chopped-off mentality now will give you a new pair of lenses to look through – and the best part is they can be whatever colour you want.  It’s all up to you.