by Dionne M. Lackey

While overworking seems to be popular these days, it’s extremely damaging. There’s absolutely no reason to overdo it, even if you have bills to pay. In fact, the harder you push yourself, the closer you get to the end of the line.

It’s important to learn how to balance all the aspects of your life without just focusing on work. Sure, work is extremely important. It keeps your brain active. And yes, it also provides the income necessary for you and your family to survive. But it also wears you down, especially if you tend to go non-stop.

There is a way to help manage your self-care and create a better balance with work and the other areas in your life that matter most to you.  Here is a 20-minute exercise that can easily be incorporated into your day: 


  1. Five minutes of meditation. This exercise at the beginning of each day is crucial. Meditating can mean the difference between attacking your day with ferocity and approaching it with an aura of calmness.
  • Meditation centers your mind and calms your spirit. It also helps relieve any tension you feel about the day ahead.
  • Meditation can help you focus on your inner power and remind you that you’re important to others.
  1. Five minutes for planning. Once you’ve meditated, it’s time to plan your day. Planning means organizing your tasks in such a way that you can be productive without abusing yourself.
  • Prioritize your tasks based on their importance.
  • Try your best to stick to the plan for the day. Having a clear plan for what you want to accomplish helps to keep you focused and stress-free.
  1. Five minutes for checking in. I like to call this the “self-check”.  Whether all at once or in one-minute intervals, check up on yourself. Assess how well you’ve been able to stick to your plan for the day. Have you accomplished your important tasks? Have you been able to manage your day without losing your cool?
  • There may be times when you’ll have to readjust your list of tasks. This is perfectly fine, as there are bound to be unforeseen circumstances. But what’s important is that you take them in stride.
  • Avoid letting unexpected events throw your plan out completely. Take a moment to change your approach. Learn how to go with the flow.
  1. Five minutes for winding down. Now that you’ve come to the end of the day, it’s time to wind down. You’ve probably never allowed yourself the opportunity to do that before. Or maybe you haven’t fully mastered the art of winding down.  Taking time to wind down is the best way to relieve the stress of the day.
  • Engage in some relaxing activities. Do you like yoga or would you prefer to sit quietly and listen to jazz music? Let go of what happened today and get ready for tomorrow.
  • Winding down also opens you up to spending quality time with loved ones. You’ll probably agree that at the end of a busy day, you may be too tired to interact with anyone.  That will change when you allow yourself time to wind down each day.


Once you try it, you’ll realize that this approach works. Designating these 20 minutes each day can help you maintain a balance between your professional and personal lives. Learn to be present in each moment, as it can help you manage all other aspects of your life with relative ease. You’ll enjoy a calmer existence that you didn’t think was possible.

Dionne M. Lackey, CLSC, LMT is the founder of Wholistic Insight Now, LLC, focusing on self-care and wellness solutions with a commitment to healing, educating and empowering.  Her mantra: We are here to serve.

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