Sitting in your special place

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Our health and well-being should be prioritised on everyone’s list. 

Say what you will about seizing the day and only living once, but without our health, we don’t have much to live for. It’s astonishing to look back on the last 100 years and see the leaps and bounds we’ve taken.

The progress we can see in society and technology is undoubtedly something the ancestors of the last generation wouldn’t have been able to dream of. We need to be mindful not to let the wonders of these changes allow us to overlook the drawbacks or the improvements still to come. Despite access to education and improved equality in society, only a fool would try to deny the severe lack of work/life balance. 

Most of us need more flexibility in our workload, directly affecting our ability to balance our work and personal lives. No one should be suggesting that if you work a little bit harder or do X, Y and Z, your life will suddenly be better. A good work/life balance sounds like a special privilege to many. 

In an ideal world, we’d make the necessary changes. These probably look different to each of us, and they aren’t going to happen overnight. We haven’t all got the power that comes with a spot as an executive chair of some board, but we can make decisions in our day-to-day life. 

There are many ways to change your perspective and re-establish a better balance in your world. No matter how busy you are or how many commitments you have, it’s worth carving out a little time just for you. That means time to do a thing you love, to go to a place that calms you, to sit in your special place for a while. If you can build a bit of conscious time for yourself, a kind of non-negotiable, not only will you feel more relaxed, but you’ll also feel somewhat empowered. 

What this little slice of peace looks like will be different for all of us. Part of the benefit will come from ensuring your special place is tailored just for you. Perhaps you have a pile of books you’re desperate to read but ‘just don’t have the time’. Make sure you set aside at least 10 mins a day, no matter how tired you are no matter how busy you are, to sit with your book. Maybe you read a page or two or a whole chapter. That little bit of time will mean everything. 

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If your passion is DIY, find yourself a project and set aside some time. Maybe you’re doing up your decking; if you only have 10 minutes this week, perhaps you’re just researching whether you want a clear decking oil or a simple deck stain. In those 10 minutes you’ve got, your focus is solely on that project that is consciously focused on you.   

Another fantastic way to ensure you take the necessary time is to create a special place. Some of us will be more fortunate than others and can carve this out within our home; others might find a location outside the house, such as a nearby park or a favourite corner café. For those in the more fortunate category, why not get a bit creative and invest in this space and invest in yourself? When you set up your home office, you might have sought the best office chairs Australia offers and a sturdy desk. 

We don’t have to be interior designers to achieve this goal. You don’t need to spend the big bucks on the most talented interior designers in Melbourne or Sydney. It’s not about the aesthetic so much as making the space your own. That means taking the time to think about all the different aspects of what you need and where you can work.

One of the positives from the recent pandemic is the increased number of jobs that allow you to work from home. Those of us that began working from home in 2020 may have yet to realise our contribution to the number of office chairs sold or the part we paid in the transition to a hybrid working world. Working from home not only cuts out commuting time but also makes a morning routine substantially less taxing and allows simple household chores to be completed during work hours. 

This doesn’t mean we will suddenly be sitting back enjoying the best non-Cuban cigars straight from a boveda. It might be just taking a little extra time to prepare a healthy breakfast or indulging in a unique coffee for afternoon tea.

You can say goodbye when your evenings and weekends are consumed with chores like washing and cleaning because these can be done during your commute or even your lunch break. If you haven’t considered it yet, why not look into creating a hybrid work environment? You’ll be surprised by how much extra time you’ll have. It can increase your chance of enjoying working on your schedule and allows you to adjust your working hours if and when needed.

Finding balance in our world today can be daunting and overwhelming, especially if you already feel that burnout creeping in. It can feel like a waste of your precious energy reserves to make the changes and enforce new routines. The best thing you can do for your stress level and well-being in our hustle culture is to be conscious about making time for yourself and finding that special place to sit back and appreciate.