As I write this, I can honestly say that trying to maintain a work life balance is not easy. It requires effort and planning. But it does get better over time as you progress through your career.
Here are some tips on how to do so:
Try to incorporate the things you enjoy doing, into your life.
For example, I really enjoy singing and music. I even used to sing in my church choir. However, during my Foundation Year 1 (FY1) and Foundation Year 2 (FY2) years, I moved away from home and away from my local church. At the time, I did not look for any nearby local choirs, as I felt that I would not be able to commit to rehearsals and Sunday church fellowship due to my rota. Looking back, I really wish I had.
Don’t replace work with an aspect of your life that you enjoy doing. Instead, try to fit it into your working schedule.
Remain social with people in your field.
Again, I recall when I moved away for my FY1 and FY2 years. I was allocated to a post over three hours away from home. I moved into a flat with some other FY1s, and made the best of friends and still remain close to them even now. Having this social circle was so helpful! We were able to rant about work together, and go out for drinks and meals together, which really made the experience of work all the more enjoyable.
Catch up with family and friends outside of work.
Even though it is good to have friends at work, maintaining your circle of friends outside of work is also crucial. On your days off or after work, make a conscious effort to keep up with them. Take your mind off work and stay true to who you are outside of work too. Work does consume the majority of your time, but there is so much more to you... This leads to my next point...
Take a break!
If you are feeling like you need a break, it’s because you do!
Listen to your body. Plan your annual leave. When you are off, try to take your mind off work. Yes, there will be times when you may have to work on your portfolio or complete some mandatory training, but for the most part enjoy your break. Normalise relaxing, sleeping in, and binging on YouTube or Netflix shows!
Get fresh air
Now that the weather is getting warmer, make the most of the vitamin D! Take a walk or go for a run. One thing I found is that A&E departments never have windows. Doing long days can get quite depressing - when going to work it looks grey, then leaving at night it looks dark. Taking a vitamin D tablet a day is good. but stepping out in the natural sunshine is even better!
Start one day at a time.
Plan your weeks or months and include the things you enjoy. For some of us, maintaining a work life balance means catching up on episodes of the Crown (guilty!) and for some, it means attending your regular Crossfit classes.
No matter what it is just, enjoy it!
Dr Mobola Odukale