In today’s fast-paced and demanding world, achieving a healthy work-life balance has become more challenging than ever. Juggling the responsibilities of work, family, and personal well-being can often feel overwhelming—even for wellness professionals.
We talked to fitness and wellness pros to understand how they balance it all without burning out. Try their suggestions to experience more success, with less stress.
Manage screen time
Let’s start with the ultimate killer of work-life balance: technology. It’s your connection to the outside world, sure, but it’s also tethering you to work. “I turn my devices off at 9 PM sharp. No matter where I am or what I’m doing, all my electronic devices go to ‘do not disturb’ or airplane mode at 9 PM,” says Head of Business Development at Volt Athletics Sarah Ray. “I use any time I have after that to read, meditate, or talk to my husband.”
Create better boundaries
If you don’t set your own boundaries, you’ll wind up feeling overwhelmed and overworked. “Learn to say no. You have to be protective of your time,” says Founder and CEO of Pure Indoor Cycling Maria Dislay. “As instructors we’re all about our clients and sometimes we get asked to take the next class or grab a coffee after teaching. It’s hard to say no but if you blocked off a few hours of self-care or a research session for yourself, don’t be afraid to say no. People will understand and you’ll feel in control of how you manage your time.”
Schedule your own workout
You teach fitness because you love it, right? Yet, it can be so easy to forget your personal wellness when constantly tending to others’ needs. “Every Sunday, I look at my week and schedule in my workouts!” says Ray. “This is non-negotiable. It goes on my calendar, around all my other professional and personal obligations.” Don’t forget: Workouts are self-care, too.
Use a different part of your brain
To prevent burnout, take time to do something fulfilling that’s not at all related to work. “I take pottery classes, which help me to shut off my business owner brain,” says Co-Founder of Lumos Yoga & Barre Melissa Benhaim. “I also make time every night to cook dinner for myself because it’s my me-time and helps me decompress.”
Make non-fitness friends
Fitness studios or wellness centers can be much more casual work environments than most, so it’s not surprising if some of your best friends are also your current or former coworkers—or even your boss. When you’re constantly socializing with colleagues or industry friends, it can be all too easy to blur those personal and professional lines and always end up talking shop. While work relationships are healthy and important, it’s good for your mental health to expand your support network.
Work in batches
We’re big fans of batching work, and so is White Coat Trainer Alex Robles, MD, physician and personal trainer. “I set a timer for 30 minutes for each of the tasks from my to-do list. For those 30 minutes I am laser-focused and keep my phone far away and other distractions at bay. This way, I work out for 30 minutes, I work on our online business for 30 undistracted minutes, I watch YouTube videos only for 30 minutes, etc.” By batching your work, you can focus on one task at time—improving productivity and focus. You’ll also avoid work tasks creeping into precious personal time.
The truth is: It may be impossible to completely separate your work and your personal life. That said, creating boundaries and a focused schedule can go a long way towards achieving more balance—and less burnout.