+

11 science-backed tricks for finding work-life balance.

How to turn off your screens, work with focus, and take care of yourself.

Today, most employees can work out, eat, and even drink a beer without stepping outside their offices.

With digital technologies available in more and more careers, you don’t even have to work for a giant tech company to feel like you’re always at work, even when you’re not at work. Anyone who finds themselves checking their work email before they get out of bed in the morning can tell you that.


"Wait, you mean your job doesn't have unlimited access to bicycles and 24-hour gyms?" — people at tech start-ups who inspire rabid jealousy in me. Photo by Travis Wise/Flickr.

But even if you love your job, failing to take time away from work can cause burnout. It’s important to establish boundaries to make sure you have a healthy work-life balance. So here are 11 science-backed methods for making sure you have a healthy relationship with your work.

1. Get enough sleep.

If you find yourself working until midnight and waking up at 5 a.m. to put in a few more hours before heading to the office, it's time to take a step back and re-evaluate. When work hours start to eat into your sleep hours, your health, mood, and even the quality of your work will suffer. You're not doing yourself or your employer any favors by being sleep-deprived.

2. Take a lunch break (and actually leave your desk).

OK, I know most of us are guilty of eating a sandwich in front of the computer at least once. Or maybe twice. Per week. But it's important to actually take a break during your lunch break. Your lunch hour is a time to let your mind recharge, not just a time to eat.

3. Make time for exercise.

Studies have found that even light exercise can improve your mood, stress levels, and productivity.

4. Stop checking your email at home.

It may be hard to completely avoid reading work email at home. But set limits: Only respond to urgent emails, don't check them after 9 p.m., and please for the love of all that is holy, don't start in on your work emails before you've had your coffee.

You could just say that this is your phone. Photo by Billy Brown/Flickr.

5. Meditate and be mindful with your work.

I don't need to sell you on the benefits of meditation — you've probably read a few dozen articles already about mindfulness and wellness. Developing a meditation practice can help you deal with work stress, even if you start with just a few minutes every day.

6. Commit to eating healthier.

I'm going to take a wild guess and say that the idea of cooking healthy meals at home and preparing cute bento-box lunches is the first thing you sacrifice when you're slammed at work. No, I'm not psychic; I've just been there. And from experience, I can say that a key part of work-life balance is treating your body to a balanced diet. (And if you really don't have time to cook your own healthy meals, at least aim for a nutritious choice on Seamless.)

If you don't have time to make a healthy lunch, browse "#healthylunch" on Instagram while you wait for a salad to be delivered to your office. Photo by Jeremy Keith/Flickr.

7. Take your PTO.

You get it for a reason. Studies have shown that vacation time (as in using it, not just accumulating it) does wonders for your stress levels and decision-making abilities.

8. Stop multitasking all the time.

Tuning out your boss's emails might actually make you a better employee. If you try to do several things at once — work, email, tweet, listen to a podcast — you're actually less productive and your body goes into anxiety mode. So try to focus on one task at a time (protip: turn off your push notifications).

9. Call in sick.

When you're sick, call in sick! Going into work when you're not 100% is bad for you, your company, your co-workers, and your family. And let's be real — you're not getting any work done when you're miserable.

10. Get a hobby.

Having a creative outlet improves your psychological health and helps you to relax. Plus, your co-workers will think you're really cool if you have to duck out of work a few minutes early for band practice.

11. Re-evaluate your job.

OK, obviously take this advice with a grain of salt. But if you can feasibly do it, there are many cases where you would probably be happier if you looked for a new job or even retired early. If the thought makes you giddy, it's worth exploring.

This is what retirement looks like. (I think. I'm at least four decades away.) Photo by Barbara Ann Spengler/Flickr.

The core of work-life balance is investing in your own well-being just like you'd invest in your career.

So go forth and invest! And let us know what other tricks you use to take care of yourself when work gets stressful.

Celine Dion spoke directly to her fans on social media.

Celine Dion has shared the devastating news that she has been diagnosed with a rare neurological disorder called stiff person syndrome.

In an emotional video to her fans, the 54-year-old French-Canadian singer apologized for taking so long to reach out and explained that her health struggles have been difficult to talk about.

"As you know, I have always been an open book, and I wasn't ready to say anything before. But I'm ready now."

Keep ReadingShow less

Moms don't have to be hard to shop for. Here are gifts she'll love.

True

Every year, moms put on their elf hats and become Santa's helpers. They shop for and wrap the family's presents, cook the holiday meal, organize the crafts and even set out cookies for the big guy. They're so busy making the holiday season magical for their family that oftentimes they don't get any time to rest.

Keep ReadingShow less

Tenacious D performs at the Rock in Pott festival.

The medley that closes out the second side of the Beatles’ “Abbey Road” album is one of the most impressive displays of musicianship in the band’s storied career. It also provided the perfect send-off before the band’s official breakup months later, ending with the lyrics, “And in the end, the love you take is equal to the love you make.”

In 1969, “Abbey Road” was the last record the group made together, although “Let it Be,” recorded earlier that year, was released in 1970.

At first, the medley was just a clever way for the band to use a handful of half-finished tunes, but when it came together it was a rousing, grandiose affair.

Arranged by Paul McCartney and producer George Martin, the medley weaves together five songs written by McCartney, "You Never Give Me Your Money," "She Came in Through the Bathroom Window," "Golden Slumbers," "Carry That Weight” and "The End," and three by John Lennon, “Sun King," "Mean Mr. Mustard" and "Polythene Pam."

Fifteen seconds after the medley and the album’s conclusion, there is a surprise treat, McCartney’s 22-second “Her Majesty,” which wound up on the record as an accident.

Jack Black and Kyle Gass, collectively known as Tenacious D, recently reimagined two of the songs in the medley, "You Never Give Me Your Money" and "The End," for acoustic guitars for a performance on SiriusXM's Octane Channel. Like everything with Tenacious D, it showed off the duo’s impressive musical chops as well as their fantastic sense of humor.

The truncated version of the medley was also a wonderful tribute to the incredible work the Beatles did 53 years ago.

Warning: This video contains NSFW language.

A tiger at the Endangered Animal Rescue Sanctuary and a mugshot of Joe Exotic from Santa Rosa County Jail.

Netflix’s “Tiger King” will go down in history as the collective distraction that helped America get through the dark, depressing days of early COVID-19 lockdowns. The show followed the true story of the feud between private zoo owner Joe Exotic, the self-described “gay, gun-carrying, redneck with a mullet,” and Carole Baskin, founder of Big Cat Rescue.

Exotic is currently serving out a 21-year prison sentence for animal rights abuses and hiring someone to kill Baskin.

The show was a raucous look inside the world of big cat owners and brought a lot of attention to the animal abuse that runs rampant in the industry. The light it shed on the industry was so bright it led Congress to take action. The Senate unanimously passed the Big Cat Public Safety Act on December 6. The House had already passed the bill in July.

The White House has signaled that President Biden will sign the bill into law.

Keep ReadingShow less