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TWO MORE couples fit into the fantastic Couples retreat by a lake in Finland 7-13 August!

How do you balance fun and work?

How do you care of yourself? How do you ensure you have a good balance of work, fun, creativity and rest?

Recently, though, I’ve been consciously looking at my working habits. And I’ve began making changes using some tools which are supporting me greatly. Here are few of them:

  • I now more consciously plan my work time, deciding in advance how long I will work and what are the key things I want to achieve that day. If my planning seems unrealistic, I allow myself to reschedule tasks for another day.
  • I keep checking in with what I want to do and have become flexible with my plans. If a task is ongoingly unpleasant, then I can do less of it or ask someone else (like Pete!) to do it or maybe even just stop doing it.
  • I involve exercise in each of my days, whether it be stretching at home, working out at the gym, running, walking and/or yoga. All forms count. I write down the amount of exercise I do to help ensure my body gets enough of it.
  • I allow myself to have “Tuulia days” or half days. I’ll go to the movies, the theater or an art exhibition. I eat out for lunch. I stroll through the city and feel my body and ongoingly ask myself: What do I want to do right now?
  • I plan new stuff—new exercises for workshops, new workshops formats, new workshop locations, etc. Such planning helps keeps me inspired to do the work I do.
  • I allow myself to sleep in. I now avoid scheduling early morning meetings and tend to start work at around 9:30 or 10 a.m. On many mornings, I avoid setting an alarm clock.
  • I attend various trainings and workshops and classes. Recently, those have been things like creative dance, 5 rhythms, tantra, family constellations, etc.
  • Even though I work with my husband, Pete, we try to consciously separate times when we discuss/do work and times when we don’t discus/do any work. We book couples time or time in cabin in the woods.
  • Since I noticed that I tend to check my phone frequently (for emails, WhatsApp, messenger), I’ve begun having digital-device free days and half-days. I enjoy just turning off my mobile or even leaving it at home when I go out. I’ve begun wearing a wrist watch and using an analog alarm clock so I’m less reliant on checking my phone for such purposes.
  • I meet on a regular basis with a work supervisor. I love work supervision! Common topics there are how do I take care of myself and do I feel stressed. And I get to talk, feel my body and discuss triggering, new or difficult situations in workshops and private sessions. I also offer work supervision myself. While supporting others to manage their workload and stressful topics I get inspired myself, too.
Last year, my dear friend Albrecht and I began an accountability buddy project in which he supports me to manage my balance of work-time/free-time. I set goals for myself, track my progress and have a weekly 20-minutes chat with Albrecht about this. My goals have been to begin working less than 40 hours a week (mainly happening), exercise on average at least 30 minutes each day (happening routinely), not work after 9 p.m. (struggling a lot with this one), separate time spent on personal email and work-related email (well on the way), structure my work time better with goals and time slots (ongoing) and fix a few issues with my email program (happening). I love how this accountability buddy system has been working for me on many topics!

What do you enjoy doing?

In a previous blog, I wrote about how I judge myself to be a workaholic. I like owning it instead of trying to hide how much or how compulsively I sometimes work.

For a period, I’d been working late into the evening or before breakfast. I hadn’t been planning out my work well. I did tasks as they arose and didn’t prioritize more important tasks. I was sometimes working instead or resting, reading a book and seeing my friends.

How do you relax the best?
What tips do you have for a good balance in life with work, rest, exercise and fun time?
How do you ensure you have enough quiet time, relaxing?
Let me know!

Wishing you a relaxing rest of the winter!

Tuulia Syvänen

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