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Maintaining a work-life balance is a hot topic lately, but no one ever tells you how to establish one in the first place. Maybe that’s because it looks different for everyone. Nevertheless, learning how to take care of myself as a person while jumping into my service year as the Fellow in Rockingham County is a major priority of mine. Going into my service year and starting the 8-5 grind, I knew it would be important to establish habits to help me manage this huge life transition. I would like to use this blog post to share the things I have found useful in the hopes it could help others establish a healthy routine! Here are 5 things I do to take care of myself: 

1.) I don’t take my shoes off when I get home for the evening.  

This might sound strange–but hear me out. The first 30 minutes when I get home are for chores. For me, this looks like cleaning up anything left over from the morning, throwing in a load of laundry, and packing my lunch for the next day. Once the 30 minutes are up, I take my shoes off and that is how I signal to myself it is time to relax.  

2.) I try to exercise every day, but I never force myself.  

There are two ways I encourage myself to stay motivated. First, I save my favorite podcasts or the first listen of an album for my runs. This helps me stay excited to get out and move even if I’m not feeling it. Second, I tend to change into my workout clothes when I’m done with my chores. This takes one more step out of working out when I’m ready and I’m more likely to go! 

3.) Friday Resets! 

I am a huge believer in the Friday Reset. Every Friday, I take extra time when I get home to make sure all my laundry is done, go to the grocery store for the next week, and do any tidying up that went ignored during the week. This makes the weekend much more enjoyable.  

4.) I always have a project to do. 

I have always been pretty creative but when I get really bogged down with school, or now, my service, crafts and projects tend to be the first thing to go. Making sure I have something relaxing to work on in the evenings helps me from stressing about everything else I could be doing or scrolling endlessly on my phone. 

5.) I am working on giving myself grace.  

This is a huge focus of mine both inside my service role and out. The work we do as Fellows is extremely rewarding, but it can also be demanding. I am learning to manage the expectations I have for myself and move on quickly when I make mistakes. Out of all the habits I have established so far this year, this has definitely been the most difficult, but it is also the most important.

[Photo credit: Patient Care Technician via flickr]