6 Ways to Unplug That Inspire the Warm Fuzzies
This year has been one of productivity and progress for me. Not only did I sign new clients, but I also managed to bag more assignments than usual from the existing ones. And, I ventured into a handful of creative projects that allowed me to write a lot every day.
I must add that my work these days is tremendously fulfilling, and I’m grateful for that. But with freelancing comes long working hours. Running a one-person business, switching off from work is not an option because of the never-ending list of tasks.
At the end of every day, I can never say, “Oh! My work is finished” or “I‘m done for the day.” There is always something that needs my attention, and urgently. As a result, it is easier to feel burned out. Unfortunately, I have been there one too many times.
Moreover, managing a home can be tedious if you are in front of your laptop for hours. Let’s not forget that longer working hours hamper family time, which is just as crucial for mental and emotional well-being. All work and no play does make Asavari dull.
Over time, I have created a routine for myself that helps me strike a work-life balance and genuinely unplug. You can also implement these tips:
Carve Special Time With Your Spouse
My husband is my biggest cheerleader. With him by my side, I feel invincible. I love spending time with him. But with our busy schedules, it does become difficult. That’s why we’re clear about keeping the weekends for each other.
We usually watch a film on Fridays and catch one docuseries (mostly crime) every Saturday. We do a lunch date of sorts over the weekend where we have a lot of good food, followed by coffee. Now that the lockdown restrictions have been lifted, we make it a point to step outside.
On weekdays, we step away from our laptops for an hour to go and have a cup of tea nearby. I have come to enjoy this new activity because it’s a momentary pause in a hectic day. We both get some respite from work.
Catch Up With Extended Family
If you’ve read my previous articles, you’ll know how much I love and miss my family. I’m super close to them. I make it a point to call my grandparents, aunts, uncles, and cousins almost every other week. It’s so important to stay in touch with them.
We share what’s happening in our lives, crack jokes, and laugh. It makes me feel happy and lightens my mood. With my parents and siblings, I speak to them almost every day. That’s nonnegotiable.
Keep Your Social Media in Check
Social media is not everything. Sadly, it isn’t difficult to get caught in the Instagram, Twitter, or Reddit vortex now and then. I have created an environment where the digital clutter in my life doesn’t bother me anymore.
For starters, I don’t have social media apps on my phone. I access my profiles on the desktop only when I’m not working on my clients’ social media. Secondly, I make it a point not to check my social media feeds over the weekend.
It’s great to see everyone flourishing in their respective careers and lives and posting about it. But that’s not me. All I want is to minimize my screen time whenever I can, and I do that successfully. If you do have social media apps on your phone, set a screen time limit.
Turn Off All Push Notifications
I have several project management tools on my phone, which I use to stay on top of things. This is not a requirement by any client and is only for emergencies.
Since I don’t want to be bombarded with deadline reminders constantly, I have switched off push notifications for those tools. I only open the apps when I want to. Otherwise, I let them be. I don’t believe in raising the temptation to “check-in” on work, especially when I’m on a break.
Step Back, Reflect, and Plan
By the time Friday clocks in, I’m exhausted. I usually avoid doing any intensive work during the day. But I do make it a point to introspect the week that has gone by and create a schedule for the upcoming one.
I utilize the time to research new content ideas, send pitches, clear out my emails, and finish minor tasks that have long been pending. This is also when I discuss my goals with my husband and put a plan in place. It’s an excellent activity to bid farewell to a chaotic workweek.
Pick Up a Hobby
Apart from cooking delicious meals, I recently picked up painting with my husband. Every Sunday, we pick a page from our adult coloring books and finish painting it together. It’s such a juvenile activity, but it gives our brain something else to do. Plus, it relieves stress and we both get a sense of accomplishment after we’re done.
I understand weekends present a perfect opportunity to take a much-needed break and step back from the monotonous routine. I’ve finally learned to welcome them with open arms, guilt-free. At the end of the day, I love to be well-rested and give myself a break!