Work-life balance for optimal health
Author: Linda Sinden Date Posted:19 June 2019
What is Work-Life Balance?
Work-life balance is about feeling satisfied with the way you divide your time and energy between paid work and the other things you need and want to do. The meaning of work-life balance changes for people throughout life, often in response to milestones during the course of life.
What provides a sense of balance varies from person to person. It is not a simple formula of time spent at work, compared with time spent on activities outside of work. Hours worked is an important factor, but may not be the principal one. For some people, achieving work-life balance may entail making a decision to work longer hours at some times of the year or at certain stages of one's career.
The sense of having the opportunity to achieve, or at least work towards, desired work-life balance is highly related to a sense of control, choice, and being able to match work patterns to your own lifestyle and life stage.
A regular routine is the key to maintaining high energy and life enjoyment throughout your day and throughout your life. Consider the time you get up, your morning routine, how often you eat and exercise, along with your work time, we time and me time.
Striking a balance between these components ensures that each day you will be able to enjoy optimal well-being. Let’s consider some key areas of a healthy balanced daily routine.
Have you ever wondered why when you are well rested, you naturally wake up early? It is because your internal clock is tuned into the circadian rhythms of nature. These biological rhythms guide our desires to wake, eat, drink, procreate, be active, sleep, and even guide the timing of cell regeneration. You can use nature's organising power to your advantage as part of a regular morning routine. Be up just before the sun, take a drink of lemon or lime in warm water, ideally exercise or practise Sun Salutation or do a round of Yoga Asanas.
Herbal help: Take a cup of Kapha tea first thing in the morning to stimulate energy and clarity. If you have a tendency for nasal congestion or need to clear your throat regularly also take 2 tablets of Congest Assist at this time. Then wait 30 minutes before eating.
The quality of the fuel you put into your body (input) will determine the quality of energy (output) available to you in your daily life. The simple analogy of a car pit-stop is a useful way of driving home the importance of refuelling and re-energising your motor (body) so that you can continue at maximum efficiency, optimise your resources, and live the life you love.
- The key for optimal digestion is to be hungry for breakfast, lunch and evening meal. If you find your appetite is changeable, sluggish or naturally low at a meal time consider taking Herbal Digest 2 tablets 30 minutes before meals.
- As digesting what you eat fully is most important for your wellbeing, if you have a coating on your tongue when you wake up in the morning prior to cleaning your teeth and scraping or cleaning the top of your tongue, then digestive help is also needed after you eat. Take 1-2 tablets of Digest Plus (for Vata and Kapha types) and ½ tsp of Digest Medium in a little luke-warm water for Pitta types.
- Breakfast is essential for you to be at your best in the morning. Break your overnight fast, re-fuel your brain and kick-start your metabolism with a healthy breakfast tailored to your needs and mind body type.
Vata Food List
Pitta Food List
Kapha Food List
- Lunch Are regular mealtimes taking a back seat to your work schedule? If so, consider making lunch a regular activity in your day and diary. Refuelling between 12-1pm gives greater mental clarity, increased productivity, stable mood and physical stamina. Eating your main food of the day at lunch also helps with weight loss and reduces cravings later in the day.
- Dinner In the evening, eat lightly and according to your appetite to promote health and protect yourself from a variety of ailments that come from improperly digested food. This is particularly important from 40 years of age onwards. Eating a large meal at night contributes to weight gain, indigestion and negatively affect your sleep.
- Snacks are important to provide an energy boost and are an effective way to stave off hunger pangs and prevent overeating at dinner. Favour tree ripened fruit, nuts and seeds and healthy slices or bliss balls ideally homemade from wholesome ingredients!
Regular exercise helps you to feel in control, promotes well-being and relaxation, helps to cleanse the body, can lower blood pressure, and relaxes tight muscles. It can also provide social support, relief from stress, or private time to exercise alone and clear your head. Plus, if you choose an exercise form you like or love, it will feel a pleasure! Aim to be active for 30 minutes or more most days. Walking is ideal as is the Sun Salutation and Yoga asanas.
If you would like an extra boost of energy for exercise take 2-4 tablets of Amla Berry Plus 30 minutes prior exercise or make it part of your daily routine by having it prior lunch.
Do the hours you work enable you to achieve a healthy work-life balance?
Work time includes paid and unpaid (or voluntary) work. There are a variety of ways to structure work time to meet your needs and the needs of your organisation. These include Flexible Work Arrangements and Flexible Leave Arrangements. The number of hours you work per day and over a week can potentially either enhance your life enjoyment and fulfilment, or lead to stress overload, which may result in your requiring to take sick leave.
Having a sense of control on a day-to-day basis and over the longer term is important in enabling you to feel positive about the direction in which you are going, and enables you to feel a sense of achievement in life. Many of the same positive thought patterns that allow people to feel in control of their lives also contribute to stress resilience – the capacity to cope with, and ‘bounce back’ from stressful events.
Work to Home Transition
Working hard and providing a great service while at work is what others expect and demand of us and what we expect of ourselves. However, many of us find that the working day extends into our personal time. There are bound to be times when a particular deadline needs to be met, but taking work home on a regular basis is not ideal. It can erode the quality time spent on our own or with family and friends, and has the potential to be destructive of relationships and quality rest. It becomes even more of an issue when thinking and worrying about work gets in the way of sleep, relaxation and peace of mind.
Stress Free Mind is a very helpful combination of herbs when one is experiencing high mental demand.
Stress Free Emotions is superb when the stress of life causes emotional ups and down and you would like to feel more at ease, happy and able to love more easily.
Quality “Me Time”
Most of us are working longer days, with fewer days off. The increased stress that this can create over the long term impacts on concentration, mood and sleep, and can lead to burn out. We need to be more willing to take time off, relax and do things that help us relax and unwind.
Quality “We Time”
We time’ can be described as time dedicated exclusively to building a stronger relationship with family members or friends. Dedicating this time to family and friends is considered to be one of the best ways to strengthen the bonds between loved ones.
Adequate sleep is essential for our health and wellbeing. Sleep affects our physical and mental health, and is essential for the normal functioning of all the systems of our body, including the immune and nervous systems. Aim to have 7.5 to 9 hours of undisturbed sleep per night. If you have a young family see about taking turns to get an undisturbed sleep for 2 consecutive nights per week as a minimum.
- Slumber Time Tea is a very effective tea to take about 30 minutes prior to bed. It does indeed help one feel ready to slumber!
- If you have difficulty going to sleep take 2 tablets of Blissful Sleep with your Slumber Time Tea.
- If you have difficulty waking in the night then take 2 tablets of Deep Rest with your Slumber Time Tea.
Wishing you the bliss of balance this day and always.