Wellness and Work – Striking a Balance

Published: June 24, 2024

In this fast-paced world of design, it can be a challenge to achieve a healthy balance between your professional commitments and personal wellness. However, amidst the hustle and bustle of work, it’s crucial to understand and prioritize your personal needs. The goal? Stop feeling like Dolly Parton sang “9 to 5” about you specifically. The nature of jobs in design often means long hours, which can cause conflicts between your professional and personal priorities.

I am a firm believer that what you do for a living is not your entire personality – it’s just one of your many layers. You need to create time for all the other things you enjoy doing to live a happy and healthy life.

Navigating Work-Life Boundaries in the Modern Workplace

There are a multitude of viewpoints on how people approach work. Some view their job as their identity and thrive in the in-between where these lines are blurred. An increasing number of others, however, are choosing to create a clearer separation between work and personal time. They see work as an extension of themselves, not their only characteristic. Setting boundaries and managing your time requires clear communication with team members, which helps you find a work-life balance that is best for your lifestyle.

Regardless of if you work hybrid, fully remote or are squeezing in projects while traveling, it is important to create a working environment free from distractions. Opening your laptop at the same time every morning and shutting down at the same time each afternoon, for example, can create a routine that mentally signals the start and end of each workday. And what about when that computer is shut? That’s your personal time to do with as you please. This routine can also be adjusted to fit individual needs – like taking a two-hour lunch instead of 30 minutes and working later in the evening to compensate – to fit individual needs and work requirements.

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Prioritizing Well-Being

Need some help transitioning into work mode? Maybe instead of starting a workday by logging in early, try taking a few moments for yourself. This can be as simple as breathwork exercises, stretching or reading uplifting material to jumpstart the day. I’ve really enjoyed “Nedra Nuggets” from Nedra Glover Tawwab, a weekly newsletter I subscribe to.

The phrase ‘I wish I hadn’t worked so hard’ is number two on Bronnie Ware’s list of common last sentiments in her book, “The Regret of Dying,” which I don’t look at as her telling us to work less but interpret it to mean that we need to create a better work-life balance to enjoy all the life we are given.

Ultimately, the company you decide to work for – even if it’s for yourself – and the people you surround yourself with on a day-to-day basis are determining factors of both your professional and personal well-being. A safe, trusting and supportive everyday environment allows one to thrive as an employee and as a unique individual.

—By Rebecca Sutton, CMKBD, CKBR, of Kitchen Design Concepts

Photo credit: Adobe Stock/Andrey Popov

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