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If you’re like most people these days, you’re finding that the end of the year can become overwhelming pretty fast. There are holidays, tight deadlines, and personal responsibilities all with their own expectations. Throw in unexpected obligations and spending time with family (that may or may not be pleasant) and you find yourself feeling more stressed than blessed. It’s easy to forget what work-life balance looks like.

For me, I’m finding this time of year especially full. I hosted Thanksgiving dinner, and then immediately headed to London for a training program on the Hogan assessment, which coincided with my birthday, along with an influx of new client opportunities.

And it’s this trip that has me thinking about how to creatively find work-life balance.

If you had asked me just a few months ago if I could squeeze a trip to London into my schedule, I would have laughed. And yet, when the opportunity presented itself, I realized it would be the perfect time to step away and clear my head.

If you struggle with work-life balance, especially at this time of year, here are five articles on how to manage stress, practice self-care, and balance priorities.

1. Three techniques to avoid burnout.

In general, burnout is one of the top indicators that signal when we have lost equilibrium or balance in our lives. This article from Inc. Magazine dives into how damaging it can be, especially for startup business owners and entrepreneurs. The article also outlines three very important techniques that will help with the overwhelm.

2. The importance of work-life balance.

This video feature for Entrepreneur by Jack Canfield provides great advice for better time management. His advice includes a creative method for prioritizing your time, setting clear boundaries, and yes … taking that vacation.

3. Five signs you need to check your work-life balance.

Naturally, an article from Self Magazine is going to focus on self-care, and that happens to be a very important part of finding work-life balance. What makes this article interesting, and an easy read, is that it reminds us what stress can look like once we internalize it — moodiness, forgetfulness, negative thoughts, or lack of interest in the things you once loved. It’s an important reminder why balance is so important to our well-being.

4. Why you should take time away from your to-do list. 

This article from Swirled goes into the benefits of actually stepping away from your prioritized responsibilities and how it can positively influence your life and state of mind. The article explores the reasons why stepping away from your action items or to-do list can help clear your mind, reduce stress, and foster productivity.

5. The evolving definition of work-life balance. 

This is an interesting article from Forbes that explores what work-life balance looks like across generations, and what it means to offer work-life incentives that create a flexible and happy work environment for everyone. As the article states, attitudes on work-life balance will continue to evolve with cultural, generational and economic changes. A company that can adapt will find itself ahead of the curve.

This can be a crazy time of year, so make sure you take the steps necessary for self-care and reflection. Ask yourself what one thing you can focus on starting now until the end of the year that can help you find balance? Make sure it’s realistic so you can achieve it without too much struggle. Some ideas might include focusing on your health (massage, exercise or diet), setting up times to unplug, setting tighter boundaries at work or at home, or making time for yourself (reading, baking, or even shopping).

On a final note, it’s my birthday! … and I’m in London. Not a bad way to find work-life balance, so here’s a picture of me celebrating after the training seminar.

 

Christina Holloway is an executive coach and business coach. She helps executives and entrepreneurs grow their companies faster, create results-driven teams, and increase profitability. She has been featured in ForbesThe Huffington PostAddicted2Success and Fast Company. If you’re interested in working with Christina, take a look at her strategy sessions and contact her to get started.

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