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Tips to Improve Work/Life Balance

As summer winds down and a busy fall is about to get into full swing, take the time to evaluate some of your work habits and the ways in which work creeps into your life. Here are some tips to promote a healthy work/life balance:

Learn your employer's policies. Your employee might have some policies already in place to improve work/life balance --  vacation days, PTO, telecommuting options or flexible work hours. Bring out the old employee handbook, see what your options are, and talk to your managers.

Turn off your cell phone. When you're sleeping, or at the gym, or have to hammer out some emails without distractions --- silent mode or airplane mode is your best friend. Make a point of disconnecting every once and awhile.

Hit the gym. This is valuable time for just YOU. Not only do you get the physical benefits, but you will reap the mental health benefits of focusing just on yourself as well.

Use your vacation time. Some companies actually require their employees to take vacation time-- and we all know that most countries other than the United States take up to triple the amount of vacation days Americans do. You've accrued those days, use them.

Sleep. Everyone has heard of the incredible value of sleep -- but not everyone thinks it applies to them. It does. Sleep is what will keep your mind sharp at home or at work, and able to pack in all the various activities you have to do in a day. Make a point of creating a bedtime routine-- dim the lights, turn your phone on silent, read a book -- whatever you have to do to settle in for a good night's rest.

Don't eat lunch at your desk. Take the time to get out of the office, get some fresh air, and eat your lunch in a spot that isn't right next to your computer. Maybe take a minute to sit in a park and read a book, listen to a podcast, or just relax. Come back to the office refreshed and ready for the second half of your day.

Say no. You don't have to do everything. So, it's okay if you don't.

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