August 17, 2020

The life of a busy professional isn’t easy. In addition to keeping up with work, you also have family and social obligations to uphold. Finding time to take care of yourself can be tough, especially if you want to get ahead in your career.

Unfortunately, workplace burnout is on the rise, with more and more Americans getting overloaded on the job. CNBC reports that some 23 percent of full-time employees surveyed feel burned out at work very often or always, while 44 percent feel burned out sometimes.

Establish balance in your life while still enjoying a fulfilling career by following these tips for busy professionals.

Pay attention to your diet

The food you eat doesn’t just impact your waistline, it also impacts your mood. Maintain a balanced diet in accordance with the government’s My Plate guidelines. This covers a healthy balance of grains, dairy, vegetables, fruits, and protein.

You may also want to consider adding fermented foods or probiotics to your diet. Research has established a link between gut health and mental health. For instance, a lack of Coprococcus and Dialister bacteria is connected to an increased risk of depression.

Make sleep a priority

When you are well-rested, you are better able to focus at work and will get tasks done more effectively. This increased efficiency means you are more likely to get out of the office at a decent time, leaving more time to enjoy your hobbies outside of work.

Sleep is also integral to good mental health. Individuals with sleep problems are more prone to a range of ailments including ADHD, depression, bipolar disorder, and anxiety. Aim to get at least seven hours of sleep every night.

Commit to a regular fitness routine

Exercise produces feel-good endorphins that can elevate your mood. It also helps keep you healthy, maintaining muscle tone and cardiovascular health. Since you have a busy work schedule, you might not have time for long workouts.

Don’t stress: It takes only 20 minutes per day to reap the rewards of physical activity. Commit to a regular routine by finding something you enjoy doing, whether it’s Zumba or yoga. Working out with a friend can also make your exercise more enjoyable.

Look for ways to get some exercise whenever possible. For instance, you can take the stairs instead of the elevator, park farther away from the office, or even ride your bike to work if you live close enough. A fitness tracker or smartwatch can help you track your progress and how many extra calories you burn.

Spend less time on social media

 If you find yourself frequently scrolling through social media, make a concerted effort to cut back on screen time. For one thing, it’s a waste of time that could be better spent exercising, preparing a great meal, or socializing with friends (which is shown to boost mental health).

What’s more, research has actually shown that social media triggers sadness because it encourages us to compare our lives to other people’s. You can download apps that help you limit your usage of certain social media like Instagram.

Create a soothing home space

Coming home to a relaxing space of your own after a hectic work day can help you maintain balance mentally. Stash away any job-related documents and reminders and resolve to make your home space work-free.

You will find it easier to shake off your job stress if you have a welcoming atmosphere that is free of office-related clutter at home. Clutter is also shown to cause anxiety, so a more organized space can be soothing.

Decide if you need a new path

At the end of the day, taking steps to maintain balance only goes so far if your job makes you miserable. If you can’t find reasons to stay, and you don’t see positive change in the future, it may be time to move on. While finding a new job first is always the recommended course of action, you can always opt for freelance work while you’re looking for something new.

To get the ball rolling, start out with small freelance assignments while you’re still full-time so you can build up reviews and clients. Who knows, you may find that you can build up a steady client base with your freelance work and you won’t need to pursue a job search.

It’s understandable to want and strive for career success. Neglecting your own health in the process will only backfire, however, as it’s likely to lead to a burnout—which will interrupt your climb up the ladder.

Follow these tips for busy professionals to maintain balance in your life and foster improved well-being. You will find you are still fulfilled and also more at peace.

Ultimately, this balance will allow you to thrive both professionally and personally.

Julie Morris

Life and Career Coach

Guest Blogger

About the author 


I’m a Canadian, gluten-free, tai chi loving, great-grandmother. I live in Ontario and love helping people get healthy again.   I use all the experience I have gained in the almost 5 decades to help you live a life full of vitality with great clarity and focus.

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