Depending on your career field and lifestyle, it can be tough to force yourself to step away from work or other commitments. We’re raised to believe that being busy means being productive and is a sign of success, but that’s not actually the case. Last week, I totally crashed and forced myself to make the weekend a no-work zone. After two full days of reading and catching up on my favorite TV shows, I woke up Monday morning feeling like a brand new person. This scenario isn’t unique to just me. We’re all working basically 24/7 these days and aren’t giving ourselves the breaks that we truly need in order to stay healthy and happy. Here are 10 ways to break your crazy busy cycle, because sometimes being so busy doesn’t make you important, it makes you boring.
Try to take weekends off.
It’s just not sustainable to work seven days a week every month, all year long. If you freelance and have to work weekends sometimes in order to get everything done, that’s one thing — we’ve all been there, and it happens from time to time. Maybe you can take Mondays off so you get at least one day a week to rest and recharge. If you work full-time and bring work home on Friday nights, maybe just work Sunday afternoons and leave the rest of the time for fun. Either way, make sure you have dedicated days where you step away from your regular commitments and do something just for you.
Make fitness your hobby.
If you avoid the gym like the plaque and would rather go to the dentist than do any form of cardio, I hear you – I never thought I would do anything other than yoga, and now I’m one year into a serious barre class addiction. Because my workouts are so much fun, they feel like “me time” and are a great way to relax. There’s bound to be some work-out trend that you can get behind. The bonus of loving your pilates/Zumba/cycle classes is you’re doing something good for your mental and physical health, and it’s a nice break from working.
Rely on your girlfriends.
Your BFFs are definitely in the same boat, and they’ll appreciate you dragging them off the couch sometimes for drinks dates and movies. Working so hard can make you crave nothing more than a night home alone but don’t neglect your friends. No woman is an island, after all.
Indulge your pop culture addiction.
Some of us are more obsessed than others, but there’s bound to be something you love, whether it’s blasting Taylor Swift on your morning commute or watching every episode of the latest teen drama. The entertainment we love can get us through the busiest of work weeks and provide a much-needed respite.
Give up your iPhone (sometimes).
Don’t freak out, but a social media break can do wonders for you. Stop checking Instagram and work emails when you’re out and you’ll actually feel like that dinner with a friend was a break instead of another chance to feel stressed out.
Simplify your diet.
No matter how much you enjoy cooking, if you’re making gourmet meals every night for dinner, it’s no wonder you’re so burnt out. Something has to give when you’re busy, and since you still need to feed yourself, you need to figure it out. Have a few go-to easy meals using the same ingredients so you can shop once and get a few dinners out of the same grocery bag.
Free your schedule.
Forget FOMO. We all need a week off from having a million social engagements. When you feel yourself getting burnt out, don’t be afraid to stay home for a few nights with some good books and Netflix. Your body and mind will thank you.
Learn the power of saying no.
It’s hard to turn down job opportunities, party invites, and so on. Saying no is never, ever easy. But if your social and work calendar is packed for the next little while, don’t make your life even harder by agreeing to things you don’t really want to or know you absolutely don’t have time for.
Plan a staycation.
No funds for a luxurious trip to Europe? No problem. You can have just as much fun and relax just as much in your very own city or town. Grab a friend or your BF and try a new brunch place on Sundays and seek out a flea market/festival/etc. It’ll remind you that there’s more to life than being exhausted from overworking yourself.
Know that you can’t have it all at the same time.
When celebs are asked how they balance work and family, many of them say simply, we don’t. Some days we’re killing it at our jobs and other times it’s all about the kids. Apply the same philosophy to your own life. If you’re working, focus on that. If you’re resting, you should stop thinking about work. Once you master that, you’ll never complain to your BFF that you’re way too busy ever again, because you’ll learn that there’s no shame in taking a day or so off. We can’t be on all the time.
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