A couple of weeks ago I wrote about readjusting to life after lockdown. The post came from a mental health standpoint with an emphasis on protecting your well-being and easing into socialising again.
But with normal life well underway, I wanted to write a similar post but from a different angle.
The work-life balance angle.
So here are a few mindful thoughts and tips on how you can create a healthy work-life balance post lockdown. A balance which not only helps boost and maintain your productivity but also continues to put your well-being first.
Since lockdown ended and restrictions started easing up, I’ve felt slightly unproductive.
I know I write a lot that you shouldn’t feel guilty for resting and taking self-care days but sometimes my guilt gets the better of me.
Truth be told, I sometimes struggle to practice what I preach.
I’m only human. And as humans, we seem to find it easier to help others than we do to help ourselves.
Simpler times in lockdown
During lockdown, it was so easy to do nothing else but work on my business. There was nowhere to go and no one to see.
I felt like I had everything under control.
I would spend my days mapping out digital planners, writing blog posts, creating content and planning my next steps. Nights were spent designing away on Adobe and Canva.
My activity on Instagram skyrocketed and I found myself posting nearly every day, showing up on stories, engaging and making genuine connections with people.
And of course, I even found the time to indulge in self-care daily and was spending quality time with my partner, John.
This daily routine that I had so carefully curated was keeping me sane and I felt extremely productive and well-rested at the same time.
But now I feel like a fish out of water.
Life has gone back to normal again and I’m struggling to juggle everything.
From seeing family and friends to planning dinner dates. Hitting the gym and still getting outside for a walk while dodging the rain.
Spending quality time with John but still finding the time for self-care.
Spring cleaning my wardrobe and clearing out the house (it’s currently on sale) to selling things on eBay and dropping off clothes at charity shops.
All while working on my business, doing client work, continuing to write my blog and newsletter as well as finding the time to create content and show up on social media.
Are you exhausted yet?
Because I certainly am.
Like a fish out of water
For someone who started a business in lockdown, I had no idea what it would be like once things went back to normal. To be honest I don’t think I even gave it a second thought.
But now things seem to be piling up and for someone as highly organised as me, I’m feeling slightly panicky with everything that I’ve got to do.
And maybe this doesn’t seem like a lot of work to you but I pride myself on not overloading my schedule too much and only focusing on what is a priority.
So certain things have started to take a back seat.
There’s been a huge dip in my social media presence. I’m not nearly posting as much as I used to and in all honesty, I’ve stopped engaging with new accounts and have just been focusing on my current following.
Hopefully, this will change over time as I figure things out.
I also can’t help but feel as though I’m not as productive as I once was.
I’ve changed my morning routine to now fit in the gym and yoga so it now spreads across 3 hours.
I now feel a bit shameful that I don’t actually sit down at my computer until 12 pm to crack on with my tasks.
And occasionally I’ll take the afternoon off because I want to head out for a lazy lunch somewhere.
I know it’s ridiculous as I keep preaching that a daily routine can be whatever you want it to be. But I’m nowhere near the point where I can get away with just working 2 hours a day.
I’ve only just started offering a service and working with clients and I’m yet to hit my monthly financial goals.
So until then, I can’t help but feel guilty if I unexpectedly take the whole day off on a Friday and don’t open my laptop back up until Monday morning.
Reflecting on this has really made me think about how we view productivity. We seem to put so much pressure on ourselves to be productive as though it determines our self-worth.
But it doesn’t.
“Your worth is not measured by your productivity”
And this is why continuing to do inner work is so important to me.
Although I had gotten to a place where I was happy with my daily routine and felt no guilt for it being slow or relaxed, doesn’t mean that the guilt won’t creep back in every so often.
I just need to keep remembering that building a business is always going to be a learning curve.
Sometimes things make sense, sometimes they don’t and sometimes you think you can balance everything and sometimes you can’t.
7 ways to create a healthy work-life balance post lockdown
Since places have started to reopen and socialising has become a thing again, I feel like many of us have struggled to readjust our schedules to blend back in.
We had all just got used to the “new normal” and were beginning to enjoy a new slower pace to work and life.
But now it’s back to square one.
So to help you readjust and recreate a healthy work-life balance post lockdown, I have put together some mindful tips.
Tips that not only help boost and maintain your productivity but also continue to put your well-being first.
1. create a daily routine that you love
… a daily routine that suits your personality and lifestyle.
For me, this is working when I feel most productive and not sticking to the confines of a 9 to 5. This routine might even look like heading to a café to work for a few hours a day.
Allow yourself a slow morning and productive afternoon (that’s me) or a productive morning and slow afternoon.
Take a day off during the week if you feel like it.
Remember that when it comes to building a daily routine you love, it’s what works for you. You’ll also find that if you create a daily routine in this way then you’re more likely to stick to it!
2. outsource what you can, or what you don’t enjoy
Last year I found that cooking dinner took up loads of my time.
Although I’m a huge fan of baking because I take my time with it and sip a gin & tonic as I whisk, cooking is a different story.
Especially when you’re hungry and it’s quite late.
I’m such a slow chopper and actually pretty indecisive when it comes to food, and hate going to the supermarket so I wanted to eliminate this stress from my life.
I signed up to All Plants which is a vegan food delivery service and have not looked back. They deliver you a box of 6 ready-made meals that go straight in the oven from frozen.
The meals are entirely plant-based and include all 5 of your daily fruit & veg portions and are only around 500 kcals per portion.
Not only are these meals absolutely delicious but I’ve been able to reduce the amount of unnecessary time I spend in the kitchen as well as the supermarket. I can instead spend this time designing or taking care of myself.
So here’s a tip for you.
Highlight the one thing you hate doing or spend the most amount of time doing and look for ways to outsource or reduce the time you spend on it.
It might be as simple as buying healthy ready-made meals to just pop in the oven or doing all of your shopping online to eliminate the time wasted driving to the shops, finding a parking space and queuing to pay.
3. set boundaries with clients
I know social media is a fun way to meet potential clients and connect with people but it can also drain your energy.
Especially if you use it to keep in touch with clients as they can message you any time of day on there, and worst still, see when you’ve read their messages.
So I suggest sticking to emails only.
Avoid contacting clients through DMs. It’s ok to do it for potential clients but once they’ve booked in a call with you and are ready to go then switch it right over to email.
Also, only contact clients during hours when you want to be contacted. For example, if you get the urge to message a client at 7 pm on a random Saturday, they then might think it’s ok to contact you at this hour too.
So keep it clear and professional.
There are so many more boundaries you can set for a healthy work-life balance so make sure you do the research and stick to them!
4. be intentional with social media
Oh, you’ve got to love my love-hate relationship with social media!
Instead of jumping on your apps to mindlessly scroll and end up on your cousin’s best friend’s dog account 2 hours later, I suggest using social media intentionally and coming up with a plan.
Set yourself a timer of 25 mins to hop on and engage before and after posting. This is a lot more efficient than just aimlessly scrolling and you’ll save a shit tonne of time.
Taking breaks from social media is also completely and utterly ok! Especially if you have loads of other stuff going on behind the scenes.
Don’t feel bad about it.
I’ve managed to create a healthier work-life balance thanks to regularly detoxing from social media so why not give it a go!
My detox planner is a great booster to help you get started.
5. schedule in breaks and time for rest and self-care
Breaks are essential for your overall productivity as they break up your day. Don’t ignore them and take as many as you need.
And make sure you continue to treat your mind, body and soul to self-care and self-love regularly.
Dedicating time to self-care can look different to everyone. For me, it’s spending an evening by myself relaxing in a hot bath with candles, wine and a good book while eating chocolate, before stretching and doing a puzzle in bed.
Continue to indulge in whatever activity makes you feel happy and well-nourished.
Your well-being will thank you.
6. schedule in time to have fun
Be the person to make plans.
Stop waiting for an invite from friends and family and feeling bad about having to say ‘no’ because you have shit to do.
Instead, be proactive in blocking out some time during the week or at the weekends when you can socialise and have fun. It might be a case of just moving some things around or even sacrificing a night in front of Netflix.
By being the one who organises things, you can then plan your workload accordingly throughout the week.
This will also stop you from feeling guilty about going out to lunch with a friend on a whim or spending all weekend with family. You’ve put in the work during the week and completed what you needed to.
7. be flexible with the outcome
Sometimes things don’t always go to plan. It’s therefore so important to be flexible when setting daily goals and objectives.
Because when you set a goal for yourself you are automatically putting pressure on yourself to complete it.
And if you don’t reach your goal you will probably end up beating yourself up for it. Or end up working late into the night to complete it.
So either be flexible with the outcome or set yourself an intention for the day instead.
For instance, “today, I will work as hard as I can to complete X task. If I’ve put the effort in and still don’t complete X task then I will still be pleased with my progress.”
I hope you find these tips on how to create a healthy work-life balance post lockdown useful.
I encourage you to bookmark this page so you can refer back to them at any time.
And just like with all my other tips, I recommend you test them out first before sticking to them as what works for me might not necessarily work for you.
Until next week,
♡ Thalia xx