Living in today’s modern age can be tough, our careers mean we’re constantly bombarded with social media, emails, texts, and the list goes on! It’s hard to switch off and truly unwind.  We’re busier than ever with what used to be your ‘9-5’ job becoming more of an ‘8-8’ due to technology enabling us to take our workload with us on the move.

All too often I used to find myself arriving at my desk before breakfast and leaving at dinner time, even at weekends I found it hard to switch off from my emails. It became unhealthy and I felt withdrawn, depressed and unhappy. It wasn’t doing my career any favours, yet I would feel guilty if I took time out. I realised this had to change.

If you find you’re struggling to maintain a healthy, balanced lifestyle and feel bombarded with stress check out my top tips below.

  • Exercise and meditate

I never used to properly exercise, a little walking here and there but most of my time was spent at my desk or in my car heading to meetings. I decided I needed to sort myself out so I joined my local Milton Keynes gym and even hired a personal trainer for one-to-one sessions. I had to go back to basics, and understand what my body needed. I now follow a tailored exercise plan but if you simply can’t afford or find time for a personal trainer then home exercises and running will have the same affect, they’ll also release endorphins making you feel amazing. Meditation is a great stress relief technique (see tips here), as is yoga!

  • Zone OUT

It’s fair to say this is easier said than done, if you’re busy at work and working to deadlines it can be tough to just switch off but it will pay back in the long run. Take an evening out, spend it with friends and family and switch off your emails. Try to do this at least three times a week, your mind need some rest time too!

  • Reassess your diet

Spend a lot of the time feeling tried, lethargic and weak? Your diet could be a player in this. As busy humans we’ve adapted to an on-the-go lifestyle which often results in grabbing a sandwich from your local Pret instead of preparing a nutritious lunch or salad. These sandwiches may sound healthy on the packet (chicken and salad is health right?) but they’re often packed with salt and additives. Make an effort to eat foods that will boost your energy levels, fruits and vegetables are an obvious but also rice and whole-wheat.

  • Organise your time

I’m now a self-confessed serial list maker, I began to realise that I wasn’t planning my time effectively which meant a lot of wasted time. Now I try and plan my days and weeks and give allocated time slots to various tasks, I even make a spare 30 minutes for a wind-down period when I get home and make a cup of tea. I find this enables me to have a routine and clearer head, it might help you too!

  • New hobbies

A new hobby can distract your busy mind and open you up to a new circle of friends. I spent little time investing in myself and doing anything that didn’t involve work! I now attend a weekly craft workshop in a local boutique. It’s cheap, takes up only one hour but enables me to distract myself and disconnect from my busy life. I’ve also made some new friends too!

I hope these tips inspire you to think about making steps towards a more balanced lifestyle. It takes time and small steps but eventually you’ll get there! Good luck!