Often work makes people feel guilty. The job comes first, but so does your family life. How do you balance the two, especially during the summer months when there are vacations to consider and kids out of school.
My June blog reviewed my tips for staying productive. This one focuses on enjoying your free time without guilt. Remember, you can’t always be a workhorse. Sometimes you need to play too. This will keep you productive and alert and allow you to focus on the job when you are working.
Our current work culture dictates that you need to work hard and continuously. Time off is not to be taken lightly. I remember working in the corporate world and having to spend a huge about of time in the weeks prior to a scheduled vacation organizing and making sure that everything was going to run smoothly during my time off. This kind of stress does not make for a restful vacation. Instead, it causes exhaustion.
As a solopreneur, it is important to learn how to balance work with your life. You need the play time to offset your hard work. Not only will you become more productive, your family will enjoy having you participate in fun activities. Sometimes this is difficult for us to do. It is a change in habit from work mode to relax mode, but give it a try.
Here are some suggestions for making sure that you are relaxing during these lazy days of summer.
Schedule Free Time
It may seem counterintuitive to put free time in your schedule, however, some of us can’t seem to get away from work unless it is scheduled on the calendar. Use this free time to do what you want to do. Read, ride a bike, paint, read a story to your child. Just do something not work related.
This may seem simple enough, but making sure that you eat together as a family is a great way to keep in touch with activities, outings etc. This means turning off everyone’s phone while eating. We have a family rule about no phones during dinner. You will be surprised at how much you can find out during your dinner conversations!
Get with Friends
Summer holidays and weekends are a terrific time to get out the grill and socialize. Interacting with friends is a great way to reduce stress and will really make a difference in your relaxation level.
Here’s a favorite and simple recipe that I use for grilling vegetables. My family loves it!
1 cup balsamic vinegar
½ cup olive oil
Salt and pepper to taste
3-4 garlic cloves, crushed
Put in a zippered plastic bag, add whatever vegetables you have sliced. Different squashes, onions (great on the grill) peppers, etc.
Marinate at least 1 hour. Put on the grill. I use a screen or grill pan. And cook.
Having fun is important to your mental health. You will find that your mental alertness will improve when you have time to relax and enjoy yourself. You will find that your stress levels decrease and when you stay in touch with your family. Work-life balance can be simple and easy to achieve if you let it happen. Enjoy your summer!