What is the definition of the word balance? Balance is “an even distribution of weight enabling someone or something to remain upright and steady.”
I feel that most of us have not had much balance in our lives, even pre- Covid and especially during Covid.
Before Covid struck, many Bostonians held themselves to being the ideal worker. They tried to mold themselves into unrealistic stereotypes of working 10 hour days and pushing themselves to the limit because they felt they had something to prove.
Be honest with yourself BostonMan? Many of you probably fit this description.
Quarantine forced us all to go from a state of constant business to literally being forced to stay home and not “do” much of anything. This major life change caused many people to value their home life more over their work life. For some, the value of being “on” constantly during an eight hour work day is not a focal point any longer. Bostonians have sort of developed an “enough is enough” type mindset.
Multiple surveys have shown that over 80% of the workforce are actually satisfied with working from home if feasible within their company. They do not miss their commute and are able to get more household tasks completed during the day at break times, as opposed to squeezing them all into a Saturday or Sunday. Working virtually and spending more time at home has helped them refocus their priorities to getting more rest and exercise.
Social distancing and quarantining away from loved ones has made Bostonians value relationships and social time a bit more than feeling like they had to adhere to the pressure of their jobs.
Let’s face it BostonMan “all work and no play” is never a smart choice for life’s balance. Keeping that sort of pace is unreasonable, impractical, and unnecessary. Many people can still be extremely successful without making their job their main priority in their life.
That said, life is finally getting back to “normal” here in Boston! Amen BostonMan! However, I can’t help but wonder if Bostonians, and people in general, will actually go back to life exactly how it was before Covid struck.
Recent polls from my social media followers show that 81% report that their work/life balance has changed since the pandemic. In addition, only 65% reported that they would go back to their social life as it was before the pre-pandemic even though the city is open.
Some are now unwilling to spend as much on evenings out now that they realized what they can save by staying in a bit more often. Others have stated they now want to work during work hours only and enjoy their family and friends more often.
Some said that they never want to feel stressed or anxious about work again and not become overwhelmed as easily by incorporating more self-care into their routines. Over 90% of people who responded to the survey felt that it is important to keep a consistent schedule, ask for help when needed, take time off for vacations and pleasure, and be clear with work that family time is very important.
So BostonMan, how do you know if you’re “unbalanced” per se? Here are four signs that your life may be “out of whack” and you need to re-evaluate during Summer 21.
- Your to-do list is too long.
- You never finish tasks but you always feel busy.
- You suffer from stomach aches, headaches, insomnia, and exhaustion.
- You feel depressed and sad and feel like your direction in life is gone and you are lacking purpose.
This may lead the BostonMan to wonder: how do I truly balance my life? As Type A as Tiffy G, aka myself, is in my day-to-day life, I honestly feel I do a decent job at keeping balance between work, loved ones, and self-care. Here are my suggestions BostonMan:
- Let go of perfectionism. This was a difficult one for me as I am a high achiever by heart, but you actually do not have to be the best at EVERYTHING or be FIRST or do it ALL. It actually is okay to not always rush. Enjoy the journey!
- Manage your own time. Be responsible and work when you are supposed to work. Be efficient during work hours, but do not put in extra hours on a frequent basis.
- Take time for activities and people you love. Sometimes you have to prioritize what is important to you in order to not burn out. Schedule a date night, a night out with friends, bonding time with family, exercise classes, or a massage. I suggest choosing a few activities you love each week and spreading out different ones throughout the month so you have enjoyable times to look forward to in your schedule.
- Learn to say NO. Do not ever feel pressured to commit to things that you dread or do not have time for. If people truly respect you for you, they will understand.
- Indulge in life. I am a big believer in the 80/20 rule, as in being 80% healthy and regimented and 20% fun. Therefore, eat the pizza, have the espresso martini for dessert on Saturday nights, treat yourself to the expensive coat you worked hard for all year, and make sure you take at least one fun vacation per year.
As Sarah Jessica Parker once said “Every once in a while a girl has to indulge herself.” This goes for all humans really.
Balance is something we personally have control over in our life. We must learn what to hold on to and what to let go of. We create the balance that makes us happy. We learn to deal with the good vs. the bad, the success vs the failures, the salad vs. the cheeseburger.
I recently read a motivational quote: “If you are not obsessed with your life then change it.” Sure, we may have bad days from time to time, but we have one life to live and one run on this Earth so please make sure to balance your life so you can be the happiest and healthiest human that you can possibly be.
Images by Merissa Conley
Tiffany Giannato is a mother, fashionista, stylist, and shopping addict! Her blogs, pictorials, and fashion tips are aimed towards empowering both women and men to look and feel their best regardless of age. Her “you can be as trendy at 61 as you were at 21” mantra has taken Boston by storm! A true Italian, Tiffany believes family, love, food, and style are always the keys to happiness!