Finding A 'Work-Life Balance'
'Work-Life Balance' is a phrase that I've heard used lots since I've started following the lives of bloggers through their blogs themselves, YouTube, Instagram etc. It's something that they often talk about struggling with as because documenting their life is essentially their career, it's difficult to draw a line. Obviously, I am by no means a full-time blogger and I, for the most part, don't really see my blog as work at all- it's a hobby that I enjoy. However, taking pictures, editing HTML (which mostly consists of me watching endless YouTube tutorials) and actually writing blog posts is time-consuming and so adding my blog to the things that I do has made it difficult for me to relax over the past couple of months. It hasn't made me feel crazily stressed but I could feel the amount of time I was spending working taking it's toll on me so I'm trying to take some steps to change that. With studying for a full-time degree, working as an English tutor part-time (which involves lots of planning), having a significant role within the campaign Girls Against, plus running my blog, I often work from 8am-10pm on weekdays with minimal breaks, which is really unhealthy and bad for my mental health. I discussed how work took over my life during my A-Levels in a recent post about my experience with anxiety and I'm determined not to let that happen again this year, even if I do enjoy all of the things I class as 'work' now. So here are some of the things I'm doing to try and ensure I make time for myself:
1. Scheduling in 'holidays'.
People who work a 9-5 job obviously have a given amount of time for their holidays but, although with UNI we are given lots of time off for Christmas, Easter and summer, all of the other things I do continue throughout the year. So I'm trying to give myself official weeks off where I can just totally relax. I can't say I've managed one of these so far but I am planning on scheduling some in over summer and I definitely took a few days off everything during Christmas and Easter, if not a full break, which felt really nice in itself. However, I am currently on holiday in Corfu (as you might be able to tell by these photos), the week before my only UNI exam this semester, which is an attempt to try and force myself not to go overboard with revision. I am also in Corfu because I am not going to turn down a week of sun. I'm doing 2 hours of revision a day (ish) whilst I'm here, one in the afternoon and one in the evening and trying to relax for the rest of the day. I'm also writing blog posts (currently sat on my balcony writing this one) and taking photos for my blog because, as mentioned, I enjoy this and don't find it stressful whatsoever. Although I'm pretty sure this might be the only blog post for this week because I want to make the most of my time here.
2. Taking Weekends Off
This is something I've been trying to do since the beginning of university. I decided that I'd much rather work really hard throughout the week so I can have my weekends to myself. This is in part due to the fact that I mostly see my boyfriend on the weekends and I wanted to make sure I had time to see him but also because I struggle to take evenings off if I know I haven't got everything done that I wanted to do that day and don't enjoy the scheduled 'relaxing time'. Whereas with weekends, once it gets to Friday evening I know that I'm done for that week and anything else will have to wait till Monday. This is, of course, something I won't do during my second and third years of university as my workload grows, and something I don't do 100% of time now, so I will have to find another method of relaxation then, but it works great for now.
3. Making Plans and Sticking To Them
This is a really important one for me because I struggle to relax on my own because I'm always thinking that there's something more productive that I could be doing. However, when I'm with someone else, I know that there's no way I could be doing work at that moment and want to make the most of the time I have with whoever I'm with, so I'm really able to fully relax.
4. Planning My Time
Something I've started doing recently is realistically planning my days hour by hour. This means that usually I really have got everything I wanted to do done by 8pm and can relax for the rest of the night. I'm still a bit rubbish at switching off in the evenings though and often find something else productive to do without even thinking about it. But telling yourself that you're going to stop working at a certain time can be really helpful.
I'm going to leave this post here for today because I am hungry and I can smell the food from the restaurant of my hotel but I hope it helped you think about whether your work-life balance is truly balanced and gave you some tips to help it get there. I'm wearing this skirt from & Other Stories again because I just can't get enough of it along with this top also from & Other Stories, both of which I featured in my last post about what's new in my wardrobe. You've seen the shoes and the bag before but this bag is now back in stock on Zara (linked below)! I'm off to relax and enjoy the rest of the time I have in beautiful Corfu now but keep an eye on my Instagram to see what I'm up to.