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Using What You Enjoy to Maintain Work-Life Balance

“You can’t have everything you want, but you can have the things that really matter to you.”

~Marissa Mayer

What makes you smile? What brings you peace? Every day there should be a little light amidst the chaos. Sometimes our days can get ahead of us. We wake up and follow a schedule with a one-track mind. Alarm. Work. Eat. Work. Sleep. Repeat. Fully packed schedules can make the days drag or fly past us. When there’s not a balance between work and personal life, everything can start to get overwhelming. For most of us, it’s easy to let work run rampant and let our personal lives fall by the wayside. That is why for this post, I’m emphasizing returning to things we enjoy or starting something new.

A great way to maintain work-life balance is to focus on things that you enjoy. Things that brighten your day or help you stay level don’t necessarily have to be spectacular things. Some of the best ways to stay balanced are simple. This was especially beneficial after moving to Shanghai. Between the new place and new job, there were many things that I had to get accustomed to. I also find these habits and practices to also be helpful in the time of a pandemic. I included mall activities into my regular routine and they really turned my day around. Here are some activities to incorporate into your day to maintain a work-life balance. You don’t necessarily have to do all of them, but should reserve time out in your day, so you’re not all work.

Me-Time. I am such an advocate of “me time.” Take silent time for yourself to enjoy something simple: devotion, journaling, an adult coloring book, reading, and so on. On the opposite side of this, make time for family as well. Do activities that force you to disconnect from your devices and actually enjoy time together.

Writing. Writing for me is very therapeutic. Between typing and journaling with pen to paper, I stay very content.

Photography. Whenever I get the chance, I get out and shoot; plus, as a photographer, it’s part of my job. I try to make a clear divide from business by changing the subject of my image. Besides taking photos, the editing process I find very soothing.

Walking. This one is fairly new. My walks were really just wanderings and drifting to help escape living in a new city. (This will probably be the most amount of activity for me.) Back home, I walk more for fitness, always counting my steps.

New eateries. There are plenty of places to eat in Shanghai! So much food. So many types of food. Not enough time and not enough stomach for all; but I tried my best shot. On the flip-side, I try cooking and baking new recipes at home to change things up a bit.

Language studies. It was inevitable that I need to learn a few phrases living in a foreign country. The process of learning also helps to sharpen the mind. Consider learning a second, third, or even fourth language. It’s a big help when traveling.

Hanging out. Make time for social events and going to new places. One of the things that I appreciated about my new workplace is the atmosphere of family. We supported each other, encouraged each other to try new things, and took on adventures together.

Home Décor. With a tad bit of OCD, I love interior decorating; especially, when it includes greenery and paintings. Nothing quite ever completes my living space. I change for month and season (or whenever I just need a change). So it’s great learning about interior trends and creating new floral arrangements.

I encourage you to become intentional about maintaining work-life balance. Delve into your creative enthusiasm and discover new hobbies. Just because you work in one specific field, or study a particular major, doesn’t mean you can’t have multiple interests. If you focus on what you enjoy, it’ll become easier to not let your life be overrun by work. Get active. Pick up a paintbrush. Become a connoisseur of what you find unique. It is the variety that keeps our days lively.

Maintain work-life balance
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