Finding balance between work and life

Finding the balance between your work and personal life is difficult to achieve in any industry, but it is especially difficult in the hospitality industry. Unlike other businesses that have set hours, you often have to be on call, all the time, for your guests. This can lead to increased stress and potential burnout. Many people spend too much time at work. According to a 2014 Gallup survey, the average full time worker in the United States puts in 47 hours per week and nearly 40% of respondents said they spent more than 50 hours a week at their job. As an owner or manager of a bed and breakfast, lodge, or campground, you’re most likely putting in even more hours because of the constant needs of your guests. You, as a business owner, have to be careful not burn yourself out. Authors Ayala Pines and Elliot Aronson explained that burnouts are, “a state of physical, emotional and mental exhaustion caused by long term involvement in emotionally demanding situations.” In other words, your body and mind will get worn out dealing with difficult people. So how do you find a work/life balance and avoid burnouts? Here are some stress management suggestions that can help. Track your Stressors: For a couple of weeks, keep a record of situations that create high stress in your life and how you respond to them. What were your thoughts and feelings? Which people were around? How did you react? These notes can help you recognize patterns in your stressors and your reactions. Once you’ve tracked your stressors, you can begin to change your responses and seek out the best way to reduce the stress associated with them. Take a Deep Breath: As funny as it sounds, it actually helps. Even the new apple watch has an app for it. When you’re feeling overwhelmed and don’t think you can handle any more stress, take a deep breath. A few minutes of deep breathing will help clear your head and calm you down. This is a simple, but great way, to find more balance throughout the day. Cool Down Quickly: Getting frustrated and angry can lead to inappropriate reactions. Learn how to cool off quickly before responding to difficult situations. One technique to do this is the ‘cooling breath’ technique. Breathe in through your mouth as if you were sipping through a straw and then breathe out through your nose. You should feel a cooling, drying sensation over your tongue. This gives you time to think over your response to the situation, helping avoid a knee-jerk reaction. Practice Mindfulness Meditation: Mindfulness meditation is a technique in which your thoughts and feelings are not ignored but are rather acknowledged and observed without judgement. Creating a detachment from your thoughts helps you gain insight and awareness,reduce anxiety and stress, while increasing satisfaction with yourself. It can also help your brain overcome distractions. If this type of meditation is something that appeals to you, set aside 10 minutes to practice it. Here is a video that will guide you.
Set Time Aside for you: The author Stephen Covey made a great point when he said, “Most of us spend too much time on what is urgent and not enough time on what is important.” Sometimes we get so caught up in all our work, we forget how important it is to take time for ourselves. Many successful businessmen, such as Richard Branson and Mitt Romney, have noticed the importance of setting time aside for themselves and applied this skill to their lives. Each of these leaders takes time out of their day to unwind a bit and rest. They know that if they’re tired or stressed, they’re not going to be able to think straight and mistakes will be made. The time you set aside for you may be used to practice mindfulness meditation or any other activity you like to do, such as reading. Just take a few minutes to realign with yourself and focus on de-stressing. The key is to be constantly evaluating the balance between your work and personal life and making small changes to that balance There will be moments where you work more, but there will also be periods where you have more free time. No matter what though, don’t forget to take the steps to care for yourself.
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