If you weren’t paying close attention, you could think that entrepreneurs seem to be put into one of two categories: those that hustle and grind 24/7 and those that are lazy and unsuccessful. Why is there no in between?
Obviously those are both examples of extremes that are used to highlight different styles of business mindsets. But it can be worrisome to note how many business owners are falling prey to the concept that, in order to be successful, you must never take a break or slow down.
While the idea of establishing a more equitable share of time spent focusing on both professional and personal life is often called work-life balance, we believe that Whole Life Balance paints a better picture of what it means.
Whole life balance is both a mindset and a behavior. This concept recognizes that there isn’t one set way for someone to harmonize their career and personal life, but that making it a priority should be a fundamental first step. Key to Whole Life Balance is also the belief that your work and your private life can integrate in such a way that it becomes a life of purpose and balance. In this way, you can think of work life and personal life as a symbiotic relationship or as the overlapping portions of a Venn diagram.
This means that while there are parts of work and personal life that overlap, there are also parts outside of the other. But that overlap is where purpose really comes alive. Whole Life Balance is unlocked when you feel in alignment with your personal life and your career.
Beyond all of these positive impacts, cultivating and sustaining a reverence, respect, and balance in your whole life has other benefits to your entire wellness including:
- Increasing: joy, productivity, happiness, wellness, focus, connection
- Decreasing: stress, anxiety, poor health, distractions, mental health struggles
Even seasoned veterans at Whole Life Balance know that it’s helpful to be reminded of ways to sustain and encourage that sense of purpose and richness for living life. Below are helpful tips for anyone wishing to destress their life and reprioritized what matters.
Tips for How to Encourage Whole Life Balance
One of the biggest cultrips of burnout, overwhelm, frustration, and mental health struggles is lack of healthy boundaries. When we don’t set an expectation for how we wish to be treated, and how we should treat others, we sabotage so many opportunities for healthy relationships and interactions. Boundaries are meant to not only protect our physical safety but also our emotional and mental wellbeing. Setting boundaries also means coming up with guidelines for when and how you’ll work and when and how you won’t work, thereby setting expectations for yourself and others so that you can be productive at work and enjoy life afterwards.
Isn’t it amazing that in our culture we have to market and promote the idea of taking care of one’s whole self? That should tell you all you need to know about the state of our overworked and overwhelmed world. Self care should be a non-negotiable part of your daily routine. It doesn’t need to look the same for everyone, but your commitment should be the same: to relax, reflect, and take care of you so you can care for others (who will then learn to care for themselves by your role-modeling).
This is a necessary component in learning how to set and respect boundaries as well. Learn how to pause, reflect, and say no when it’s necessary. Saying no creates space to better identify the opportunities you’ll want to say yes to. It takes time, courage, and practice to say no when appropriate, but it pays off in dividends.
You know the drill: we all have the same amount of hours in a day. How will you experience yours? As rushed days, stress, missed deadlines, lack of connection to others, and your wellness in the dumps? Or as mindful days in which you felt in control of your choices, calm and collected thought, true connection to others, projects thriving, joy, and optimal wellness? Time management helps you prioritize, which helps you to stay on track to Whole Life Balance.
Whole Life Balance requires an active participant in life, which means you’ll be asked to be adaptable and go with the flow. Remember, this goes in both directions! Sometimes being flexible means you choose to take a vacation day, sometimes it means you’ll work on a weekend, and sometimes it means you have to be willing to compromise in life for the good of the whole. When you are a resilient and adaptable person, you understand the benefits and power of shifting dynamics and your role in navigating them.
Having a network of people, or even just one trusted person, who you know will support you through life’s ups and downs is key to living a life of balance and joy. We all need someone to lean on, to give us advice, and to validate our purpose. Remain open to building positive connections with others in both the professional and personal setting in order to reinforce your support system.
One of the easiest ways to start with Whole LIfe Balance is by developing routines. Remember, just like self care, this will look different for everyone. But the key is dedication to either one solid, productive routine, or multiple routines throughout your day. The reason these are so powerful is that they actually train our brain and product feel-good hormones through what’s called a “pleasure-reward” system. That’s why routines bring comfort and keep you motivated.
Take Mental breaks
Your brain is like a constantly working computer and it needs occasional breaks in order to keep on trucking in an optimal fashion. In fact, you can even think of it as the need for your brain to use “brakes!” Slowing down and stopping, even for a short time, does wonders for our brain power and ability to focus. Every 30 minutes, take a 10 minute break and do something that either brings you joy or relaxes you.
Along with healthy boundaries, prioritizing relationships is vital to establishing Whole Life Balance. Take time to continually reassess professional and personal relationships in a meaningful way and take note of whether they are providing value to both parties. This requires intentional thought, self-reflection, and honesty but can be powerful in the way it brings people together as well as guides them to be free of each other.
Your work life and your personal life have substantial impacts on your overall health and wellness. Conversely, your health and wellness play a major factor in the level of satisfaction in your work life and personal life. While every person’s journey of wellness is unique, research proves that mindful eating, mindful movement, and mindful mental and emotional connections lead to longer, healthier, and more productive lives.
One of the most welcome advantages to Whole Life Balance is that it truly provides a primer to lead your best life of freedom and success. Remember that whether you are an entrepreneur or not, Whole Life Balance is crucial for everyone!