5 Tips to Find Balance at Work

  • Jennifer Coulombe
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“In the Age of Aquarius, the depression and stress on mankind will tear up people who do not have the technical knowledge of self.” – Yogi Bhajan

Before I decided to be true to myself and live out my life’s calling, I spent almost 13 years living the grind: you know, the Monday through Friday 40+ hour work weeks spent in an office. Many days were a complete blur, especially for the two and a half years when I worked full time and completed my MBA. Some days I would collapse into bed, shocked that I even remembered to eat and breathe!

Especially when I was working and going to grad school, I could have really used some tips on how to keep my professional life together while maintaining some semblance of balance. In hindsight, it is easy to imagine how I might have done things a little differently so I hope that my lessons learned will help you navigate workplace stress. Here is the top five list I would have prescribed for those especially hectic days!

1. Quick Breaks

No matter how busy you are at work or at school, set a timer and force yourself to get up and stretch, meditate, or do some pranayama breathing at least once per hour for 3-5 minutes. During lunch, get away from your desk for at least part of your break! Go for a walk around the block to clear your head and take in some fresh air. This four-part breath exercise can be done anywhere to calm the nerves and bring attention to inner stillness.

2. Meal Planning

Take time over the weekend to plan healthy meals for your busy work week and to batch cook. The NY Times free cooking newsletter is one of my easy go-to’s for recipe ideas. I skim this daily email for vegetarian options and compile my picks in a folder for easy access and inspiration. Your body and bank account will thank you!

3. Relaxing Tunes

Keep headphones at your desk and listen to music throughout the day to boost mood and calm stress. I prefer relaxing Kundalini music – the mantras put me in a positive frame of mind and help me focus. Some of my favorite Kundalini artists are Jai-Jagdeesh, Ajeet Kaur and Snatam Kaur.

4. Yoga + Meditation

If possible, commit to a set time for your own personal yoga and meditation practice. No matter how busy the day is, it can be incredibly calming to know that you have this sacred time to yourself. In Kundalini yoga, the 2 and a half hours before sunrise and sunset are deemed the ambrosial hours, the most powerful time to experience your personal practice. Regardless of what time you dedicate to a yoga and meditation practice, aim to get in the habit of a daily practice, no matter how short or long it is.

5. Social Time

Find some time each week to socialize or to try a fun new activity with a friend. Even if it’s just thirty minutes for a power walk or a coffee catch-up with someone you haven’t seen in a while, connection is important. Prioritizing social time allows you to work smarter and more efficiently.

In this Aquarian Age, the world is moving at such a frantic pace so it is essential that we find ways to digest all of the new information coming at us. We need the time and space to manage our energy levels if we are to keep up with increasingly busy schedules. I have found relief using the tips outlined above and I sincerely hope my ideas will help you be more relaxed, present and productive at work and in your life. It’s the small daily shifts that can really make a difference!

As always, I would love to hear from you! What self-care practices and relaxation techniques have you incorporated into your life?

Jennifer Coulombe, MBA, recently left her full time job to be true to herself and live out her destiny. A certified Kundalini Yoga teacher and new entrepreneur working on launching her first company, Sat Nam babe, a socially conscious line of leisure wear for our littlest babes under age five, Jen can also be found braving the New York City streets by bike, hanging out in her Brooklyn neighborhood and daydreaming about her next spontaneous travel adventure. If you liked her article, be sure to read her other articles: The Dog Days of Summer: How to get the Most out of this Precious Season, Kundalini Yoga: 5 Tips to Jumpstart Your Practice, Summer Solstice: How to Mindfully Spend the Longest Day of the Year, Energizing Breathing Exercises to Conquer Your Day.

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