Family and “me” time vacations are important to help you recharge your batteries.

Recharge Your Batteries

Between the holidays and our end of the year family vacation, I took a bit of a longer break from writing posts. Vacations are an important way for people to relax and recharge their batteries.

Top 5 Reasons Vacation is Important:

1- Quality Family Time: School, work, after school activities keep us so busy that we don’t get to spend quality time with the family. Be present and shut off those electronic gadgets to create some lasting  memories on your family vacation.

2- It Destresses You: It allows us to take a break from the everyday stresses of life. I remember reading somewhere that “Stress is related to 99% of all illness.” So relax, catch up on sleep and exercise a bit more (going for long walks count too).

3- “Me” Time: While family time is important so is “me” time – girlfriend weekend getaway anyone? A weekend of sharing, laughing, eating, drinking and focusing on ourselves and not our family can be very reenergizing. This is important for guys too; everyone can use a break.

4- Exploring New Places Is Fun: You can also have a “staycation” and explore places which are not too far from home. This past weekend, we decided to go on a BA (I just made that up) – Brooklyn Adventure (BA). We walked on the promenade in Brooklyn Heights, asked the girls to identify NYC landmarks and had a delicious pizza lunch at Dellarocco.

5- YOLO (You Only Live Once): “Work to live, don’t live to work.” is one of my life mantras. As I tell my daughters all the time, “Life is not a dress rehearsal, enjoy life.”

Keep in mind, vacations dont have to be 1-2 weeks at a stretch, a 3 day escape from your daily routine can refresh your mind and body too.

So what is the parenting life lesson here? Parenting is hard work! Take some time off/vacation to recharge your batteries to help you with the ups and downs of the wonderful parenting “rollercoaster” and enjoy life!

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Develop a work and life mantra.

YOLO

I have shared my work and life mantra with many over the past few weeks. It reminded me of one of my earlier blog posts which I felt was worth repeating:

At some point everyone should develop a general mantra for their life…Mine is pretty simple and revolves around the following:

1– “If you don’t ask, you don’t get.”

Perhaps you are a working mom and you want to work from home a few days a week to be able to balance your work and family life, but no one in your organization has done it before. Someone has to be the first one. Don’t be afraid to ask! All your leader can say is no, but if you never ask, how will you know?

2– “You have to look out for number one… if you don’t, no one else will.”

Even though one would like to think everyone is kind and thoughtful and looking to do the “right thing”…let’s face it, many people follow the WIIFM (What’s In It for Me?) factor.

For example, you may want to get promoted and have a leader or mentor looking out for you, but don’t count on it. You have to put in the effort to make it happen. Others may be supportive, but don’t expect them to make it happen for you. You have to work hard to get something you really want for yourself!

I’ll repeat…You have to look out for number one (which is yourself) because if you don’t, no one else will (some things are worth repeating).

3– Work to live, don’t live to work.

This gets back to my overall YOLO (You Only Live Once) philosophy. No one on their death bed says they wish they would have worked more. Since you spend so many of the hours of the day at work, there should be some level of enjoyment, but don’t let work consume you. Getting paid for work should enable you to enjoy life and have fun… A Ferris Bueller movie quote comes to mind…”Yup, I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again…Life moves pretty fast… If you don’t stop and look around every once in a while, you could miss it.”

Work to live, don’t live to work. Figure out how to make your work and life “fit” together.

Work Life Balance

The ever elusive quest for the working parent: How do I achieve work life balance? Or is the better question: How do I make my work and life “fit” together? Can there ever be true balance?

A few years ago, I attended an information session at work where a senior level executive provided her perspective on how to maintain work life balance. For each person it will be different, but as working parents we can all learn from one another. The following tips she shared with the group were invaluable:

Top 10 Ways to Maintain Work Life Balance
1 – Know (declare and stay committed to) what is non-negotiable
2- Schedule and make happen your must have “Me” time – jogging, train reading
3- Build and reward your support network (parents, friends, spouse, etc.) – make time for them and take time to say thank you
4 – Choose leaders who value you what you do and ask yourself very once in a while “does my job make me happy” and if not “what do I need to do to change that in some small way so it does”
5 – Prioritize/Prioritize/Prioritize – Focus/Focus/Focus
6 – No regrets policy – if you think that you are going to regret a trade off, you will so don’t make the trade off
7 – Have time management rules
* Minimize external lunches – they take too much time
* Manage to one night a week maximum for business purposes
* Build a moat around weekends
* Carve out time to get work done during the day (meetingless Wednesdays)
8 – Compartmentalize – I generally don’t mix business and personal ( ie. colleagues over for dinners, etc.)
9 – Have a “trusted” outlet – there will be times where there is more work-life pressure than usual and you will need to vent – have a trusted source(s)
10- Always remember that your kids have much longer memories than your colleagues.

This talk really spoke to me. There is a lot of great advice from a top level woman executive who strives toward work life balance or “fit” as we all do.

Work to live, don’t live to work. YOLO – life is not a dress rehearsal. Enjoy it!

Develop a work and life mantra.

YOLO

This all sounds kind of deep for a post, but at some point everyone should develop a general mantra for their life…Mine is pretty simple and revolves around the following:

1– “If you don’t ask, you don’t get.”

Perhaps you are a working mom and you want to work from home a few days a week to be able to balance your work and family life, but no one in your organization has done it before. Someone has to be the first one. Don’t be afraid to ask! All your leader can say is no, but if you never ask, how will you know?

2– “You have to look out for number one… if you don’t, no one else will.”

Even though one would like to think everyone is kind and thoughtful and looking to do the “right thing”…let’s face it, many people follow the WIIFM (What’s In It for Me?) factor.

For example, you may want to get promoted and have a leader or mentor looking out for you, but don’t count on it. You have to put in the effort to make it happen. Others may be supportive, but don’t expect them to make it happen for you. You have to work hard to get something you really want for yourself!

I’ll repeat…You have to look out for number one (which is yourself) because if you don’t, no one else will (some things are worth repeating).

3– Work to live, don’t live to work.

This gets back to my overall YOLO (You Only Live Once) philosophy. No one on their death bed says they wish they would have worked more. Since you spend so many of the hours of the day at work, there should be some level of enjoyment, but don’t let work consume you. Getting paid for work should enable you to enjoy life and have fun… A Ferris Bueller movie quote comes to mind…”Yup, I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again…Life moves pretty fast… If you don’t stop and look around every once in a while, you could miss it.”