Three rocks stacked on top of each other in front of a sunset. Three rocks say: "mind," "body," and "soul."

Mindfulness and Career: 5 Tips to Maintaining a Healthy Work-Life Balance

Mindfulness allows us to pay attention to our anxiety and needs while staying in the present moment. From part-time jobs to full-time careers, mindfulness is crucial when it comes to maintaining a healthy work-life balance. To help you get started, here are a few tips on how you can help improve your mindfulness in the workplace!

1. Start your day with Mindfulness

Woman sitting at the window while holding a mug.
Source: https://www.sparkpeople.com/resource/wellness_articles.asp?id=2581

Having a good start to your day can have a large, positive impact on your mental well-being. While we may be tempted to check our emails or read work notifications right away, these can be added stressors and put you under unnecessary pressure. Instead, it may be beneficial to spend the first few minutes of your day relaxing with a cup of coffee or listening to your favorite song. By starting off strong, you are already making a big contribution to your mindfulness!

Source: hbr.org

2. Focusing on the here and now: the S.T.O.P. method

Man sitting at his desk taking a deep breath with hands together.
Source: https://www.verywellmind.com/abdominal-breathing-2584115

We live in a fast-paced world. Taking some time for a well needed rest can help us keep rooted and stay in the present moment. One way to try this is the S.T.O.P. method:

  • Stop- Take a momentary pause.
  • Take a Breath- Focus on the sensation of your breath.
  • Observe- Recognize and acknowledge the situation you are experiencing.
  • Proceed- After having taken a moment to focus and relax, continue what you were doing.

Source: nytimes.com

3. Yoga and Meditation

Woman sitting in front of window in lotus position.
Source: https://www.lovejoyandwonder.com/10-guided-morning-meditations-to-start-your-day/

Yoga and meditation are both great ways of helping manage stress and mindfulness, improving self-confidence and concentration, while allowing you the opportunity to exercise as well. There are many apps and YouTube videos with tutorials and guides to help you get started!

Source: forbes.com

4. Brain Breaks

Man sitting at desk while stretching.
Source: https://health.usnews.com/wellness/articles/taking-a-break-from-work

If you find that meditation takes too long, brain breaks, or short 7-8 minute bursts of mindfulness, can also be very beneficial! Brain breaks can look different from person to person, but the main goal is to set aside time to reflect and find a quiet moment to relax and remain present. Both scheduled and unscheduled brain breaks have shown to be beneficial to productivity and mood. 

Source: forbes.com

5. Work stays at work and Staying in the Present: the R.A.I.N. method

Woman with her family while looking at screen.
Source: https://www.forbes.com/sites/forbeshumanresourcescouncil/2022/01/18/the-importance-of-separating-work-and-personal-life-in-a-remote-environment/?sh=2611c4f646c8

Our lives can get busy with the amount of work we have which can make us forget to live in the moment. However, when possible, try to keep work at work! In doing so, this allows us more opportunities to live in the present, spend time with friends and family, and allow us to enjoy ourselves more. The R.A.I.N. method can help us stay in the present and not get caught up in the experiences of others.

  • Recognize- Acknowledge the present situation and note it in an accepting manner.
  • Accept- Allow life to be what it is and recognize that we may not be able to control what happens.
  • Identify- Recognize what is giving you stress or joy and explore how it makes you feel.
  • Non-Identification- Understand that these feelings are temporary. Your work or struggles do not define you, and these are thoughts that will pass.

Source: nytimes.com

At the end of the day, we are not our jobs! Mindfulness should be seen as a process rather than a destination because there is always room for us to be mindful and take a much needed rest. In allowing yourself to take a break and recognize the present moment, you are helping contribute to mindfulness that will result in improved mood and a better understanding of your needs.