I’m sorry, but I think it’s a complete myth that one can maintain a perfect work + life balance all the time. We all have those days (weeks, months) when we’re running on fumes, completely shot, zombie walking from one thing to the next. Whether you’re traditionally employed or a business owner, this is a given. As a business owner of not one, but TWO hospitality businesses, we have those days, weeks and months often. At OTR, we acknowledge the toll stress takes on the body, and in the words of Danielle's life coach, "awareness proceeds change." We have found some great ways to try and maintain our health while motoring through the times when work tips the scale.
Pills. Meaning the good ones...vitamins. Grapefruit seed extract is our go-to. Derived from the seeds, membranes, and the pulp of grapefruit, this extract packs a punch. This stuff does everything from fighting infection and inflammation to acting as an antiseptic, plus its all natural, baby! A good multivitamin is also key, as being OTR means literally on the run..chewable SmartyPants make us feel like kids again! You’ll note, at OTR we rarely call in sick.
Calm.com. Meditation is the best tool for keeping you centered and grounded when life is moving faster than you’d like. This app is worth every penny of the $39.99 annual subscription, and you can try it out for free for as long as you like with limited access to meditations. The app provides everything from mindfulness reminders, guided and unguided meditations, and dozens of calming sounds and scenes to use in your practice. Whether you’re a beginner or an experienced meditation buff, this app is the perfect remedy for a cluttered mind.
Workouts. Even if for 5 minutes these little bursts of activity can prevent that icky, stale feeling on days spent working while plopped in a chair or dashing from one place to the next in an Uber. They get your blood flowing and for us, we find we think better after taking a little time to sweat and jiggle around a bit. Walking work meeting, anyone?
Meal planning. What’s worse than adding a greasy meal into the mix when you already feel exhausted and over it? Taking some time to plan out your meals, even those on the go, can alleviate all that comes with the intake of fast food. Salads store well and can be eaten quickly en route, and the crockpot can be a lifesaver if you know you’ll be getting home exhausted at dinnertime. Just carve out a window to do a little prep work and your body will thank you--plus you can work even longer if you have nutrients in your body!
Routine, routine, routine. Sometimes, just having one or two things you can count on can change the way your day goes. Knowing time is carved out for coffee in the morning (and setting that automatic coffee timer), looking forward to a walk in the afternoon, or doing a monotonous task that lets your brain unplug (this is our fav) makes or breaks some of those tough days.
Interact with Animals. We find a lot of good juju from animals, obviously, Danielle having been born on a ranch this makes sense. Numerous studies show the positive effects of animals in work and life. Whether it is petting a nearby pooch, or volunteering at your local shelter, you don't have to be a pet owner to reap all the benefits of a little unconditional love these little (or big) ones bring to work-life.
Striking a perfect balance can be impossible, but keeping yourself healthy and happy is not. Sometimes the most important step is making the decision to turn things around. Even if the week is seemingly overrun with work, at least try and make the most of it, finding a bit of time for play.
Everything after that is cake. . .or something a little less sugary.