How to Avoid Summertime Sadness: Achieving Work-Life Balance

Written by Julia Francis

Written by Julia Francis

The Fourth of July has come and gone, and we are officially in full swing of summer! With longer days and (hopefully) more sunshine on the horizon, you might be catching yourself gazing out of your office window as you daydream about sandy beaches and piña coladas. Unfortunately, this can also lead to the feeling of burn out. The solution? Finding work-life balance in your daily routine and carving out some well-deserved “you time” because sometimes you need to be a little selfish.

For those of you who don’t work a typical nine-to-five workday, it’s especially important that you’re mindful about creating some work-life balance in your life (especially during the summertime!). It’s always important to make time for the people and things that you love, but this can seem like it’s exponentialized during the summer. Whether your kids are on school break or your significant other gets to take off early on “Summer Fridays,” it’s easy to feel like you’re the only one missing out.

I’m sure your job ebbs and flows just like everyone else’s. Maybe you’re firing on all cylinders to prepare for an important board meeting – if that’s the case, now is not the time to try to make that Wednesday happy hour with your girlfriends! However, chances are, your projects will slow down at some point, or your Executive will go on vacation. This is the time to set boundaries and carve out time for yourself.

Don’t get me wrong, “you time” is equally as important for those of you with a nine-to-five schedule. Because let’s be real, just because you get off at 5 pm doesn’t mean that you can’t burn out. This brings me to my next point. Do you have stacked up PTO? If so, use it! Take it from me, I used to be the kind of person who only took PTO when I absolutely had to. Even if you don’t have a vacation planned this summer, plan a three-day weekend! It doesn’t have to be anything crazy – it can even be a staycation (my personal favorite).

On the contrary, maybe you do have vacations planned, but they feel more like obligations (weddings, family reunions, etc.). Don’t fool yourself, this can also lead to burnout. If you don’t take the time to recharge, and I mean really recharge, you might return to the office feeling more exhausted than you did before you left for your trip. Some easy solutions? If you have PTO, tack on an extra day so you can spend a day at home relaxing. In other words, don’t fly home on a Sunday night and expect yourself to be bright-eyed and bushy-tailed at work on Monday morning. Instead, fly home Saturday so you can spend your Sunday in solace – whatever that might look like for you.

Here’s the bottom line: summertime sadness is a real thing. Burnout is a real thing. “You time” is definitely a real thing. And the better you take care of yourself, the better your performance will be in the office. You’ll be more present, more energized, more proactive and ultimately, more impactful. And chances are, your rejuvenated energy in the office won’t go unnoticed by your Executive, and who knows, maybe taking a vacation will end up propelling your career forward! You just never know.

As our good friend Katy Perry once said “Baby, you’re a firework!” Now go pencil some much-needed “you time” into your schedule so your spark doesn’t go out!

Happy Summer!