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Master the Art of Work-Life Balance: 5 Mindful Practices to Leave Work at Work

For many years of my working life, I struggled to leave work at work.

I often felt guilty about my mind being elsewhere and not being present with my friends and loved ones.

Even when I wasn’t at work, I would think about it… often at the most annoying times when I would much rather focus on something else.

My mind would drift to decisions I have made, conversations I have had, things coming in the future, and worrying about what hasn’t happened yet.

I wanted a job and career I loved without impacting my life outside work.

I wanted to be more present with my loved ones and family. Being able to enjoy them and support them when it was most crucial.

I longed to learn how to leave work at work.

To control when I was thinking about work and when I could focus on something else.

I feared that it was impossible to have a career in medicine and the life I wanted.

A life where I could explore my other passions, enjoy spending time with the people I want to share my life with, and be healthy and happy.

I was motivated and committed to being the best doctor I could be…but I wanted to live my life too!

It just didn’t seem possible.

Even changing working environments didn’t seem to help. This pattern would happen in clinical and non-clinical work.

I realized that not only did I have to follow my career path, but I also needed to change how I managed my thinking time and create my own boundaries.

Then, I discovered a set of mindful practices that I could use to support me as I shifted and transitioned into any job.

Practices that allowed me to find the time I wanted for myself and other people and to commit to a career where I could make a bigger impact.

And gave me the:

Ability to be present when I wanted to be

Ability to spend focused time thinking about work to be more efficient with my thoughts.

Ability to reduce my feelings of anxiety and feel more relaxed and happy!

Here are 5 simple practices you can try today to help you leave work at work and be more present in your relationships, too.

1. Embrace the art of downloading

Create a practice so you can take a few minutes to download your thoughts from the day so you can turn the page on them. Journalling can be a powerful tool to help you review what has gone well during the day and any challenges you faced. Writing down your thoughts allows you to process them and create distance to be more present in your next activity.

2. Prep your priorities with care

Work out your priorities for the next day ahead of time as part of your end-of-day practice. By being mindful of your priorities, you not only set a clear roadmap for the next day, but you can also guide yourself to where you want to direct your energy. Knowing you have a plan will help reduce anxiety about unfinished tasks.

3. Affirm your presence with mindful intention

Transitioning your mindset from professional to personal can be facilitated by using affirmations. Remind yourself of the positive qualities you want to bring to your relationships. Affirmations can reinforce how you interact and communicate with the people who matter most, allowing you to be more authentic in your interactions.

4. Add mindful rituals to create separation

Integrate small mindful rituals that signify you have finished one phase and are beginning another. This could be as simple as listening to an uplifting song, changing your clothes, breathwork practice, or treating yourself to your favorite cup of tea. These rituals act as mental cues and help create separation between work and home.

5. Consciously engage with devices

Devices and social media are often the most intrusive into our personal space, making it challenging to disconnect from work. Being aware of how these devices seep into your life is the first step to figuring out what you would like your relationship to be. Start by creating some healthy boundaries, specific times, and ways that you want to interact with your smartphone -allowing you to reclaim control over your personal space.

If you are struggling to make time for yourself and want to learn how to get a better work-life balance, especially when you feel short on time, come and join the next Reset Your Medical Career Workshop! Click the link to learn more and to register


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