Hello. My name is Lesli. I’m a workaholic.
It’s true. Ask anyone I know and they’ll tell you, I’m tethered to my phone, to the chime of a new email, a phone call or text from work. I happily give my all to my job, and as my reward, I’ve broken sales record, launched flawless campaigns and press events, earned promotions, met some amazing people and friends, and been asked to move to the US to manage a whole new market. I’ve earned a seat at the table, and I’ve learned in! Boy have I leaned in… (If you haven’t read LEAN IN by Sheryl Sandberg, you better!)
I’m very proud of what I’ve accomplished and I wouldn’t change a thing…well, maybe one. If I could ask for one little thing, it’s not even that huge…
CAN I GET A LITTLE ME TIME PLEASE!?!?!
I struggle DAILY with balancing work and life. How do I be amazing at my job, but also feel okay saying I’m going to take this time off, or I’m going take off my work hat at 6pm and not put it on until 8am the next morning? How does one strike the balance between work and play?
The truth is I don’t always get to leave the office at 6pm. Some days I’m taking my work home with me at night, and I like it. Other days, I dread it. I also travel a minimum of once a month. Something at the beginning of my career I thought was soooo glamorous! I never realized, until I found myself travelling for three months straight at the end of last year, that it was the most taxing endeavour I have ever put my body through. By the end of it all, I was worn out, working hours I stopped counting, because I was just too dedicated and so stressed that I developed an eye twitch that lasted a month!
So let me ask you the question again, how does one strike the balance between work and play? (Play being life, and life being everything!) Here are a few things I’ve started to insist I do to stay focused on myself, as much as I do at work.
I don’t know about you, but I do a bad job asking for help. Part of me being a Super Woman is the ability to do it all! Who can relate? Well, as a result, I’ve taken on projects that were larger than I am when I didn’t have to. So communicate with your team, with your boss and don’t be afraid to ask for help. Sometimes it may be as simple as communicating that you’re unavailable due to personal reasons, and you need support while you’re away. You’d be surprised at the help that’s available when you actually convey that you need it.
LEARN TO SAY NO
This leads into leaning to say NO! I am such a yes person. My dad taught me to be a “Can Do” person and to me, I thought that meant never saying NO. Not saying NO to people causes you to put others first. Not that this is a bad thing, there’s a time and place, but if you’re always saying YES (like me) you may begin to neglect yourself and your needs.
I just started saying no recently and you know what I’ve learned? That the person you said NO to isn’t going to hate you. They aren’t going to die, or harbour resentment (at least I hope). So try it out once and a while, and see what happens.
TAKE A REAL LUNCH BREAK
How many of us have “working lunches”? This is a fancy way of saying “NO BREAK FOR YOU!” (Insert Soup Nazi voice here). If you want to start to be more productive at work, you have to give your brain and body a moment away in order to pause and refresh.
TAKE REGULAR VACATIONS! YOU DESERVE IT!
This one is pretty self-explanatory. Do it. And you actually do.
I’m still working on this one. I’m so glued to my phone, to Instagram, Snapchat, and texting, which opens the door for me to easily check my email and… start thinking about work again. TURN OFF YOUR PHONE!! Even for an hour every day to give yourself a moment to daydream and explore the things that you haven’t allowed yourself to think about outside of your work.
GET A HOBBY
Get involved in something bigger than yourself. It will help to give yourself perspective on what’s important. It can be working out, volunteering, reading a book…whatever it is. It’s so important to find a space where you can let go, relax, enjoy other people or even yourself!
This is a big one for me and one I’m trying to be more consistent with it lately. The benefits of meditation are amazing. It helps to preserve the aging brain, it improves concentration and attention, reduces anxiety and it can help you to focus.
Meditation has helped me to reduce stress and approach challenges from a more centred and calm place. It has also allowed me to access solutions more efficiently. It can be as simple as dedicating 10 minutes a day to a practice! I use this app called HEADSPACE. I strongly recommend it, this is not an AD.
Get a massage regularly! You wouldn’t believe the tension and stress that accumulates in your body. At least for me, I know that I carry my stress in my shoulders and lower back! I love to visit THE NOW in West Hollywood. If you’re ever in LA make sure you stop by. They take walk-ins and have the most amazing environment.
Good luck family! I hope that these tips will help you find some balance. I’m still working on finding mine, and part of finding balance is accepting the journey.
Make sure to come along on my adventures by following my Instagram Account. See something you’d like me to write about? Tag me! I can’t wait for you to join in on my #DoTheDaniel adventures in Los Angeles.
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Photos by Lesli Lolene,