Hustle & Bustle

Living in the hustle and bustle of Chicago can blur the fine line between work-life balance as we find ourselves caught up in our hectic day-to-day schedules. Whether you’ve earned yourself a prestigious title in the corporate world or you’re grinding out a stale 9-to-5 each day, it’s simple to become engrossed in this mundane routine of eat, sleep, work, repeat. Although work itself is important to not only help you pay the bills and live comfortably, whatever that may look like to you, it shouldn’t be the most important aspect of your life.

The “Grind” Never Stops

While you may have heard the cliche saying that goes something along the lines of, “you weren’t born to just pay bills and die.” How closely do you really live by this mantra? Answer this silently to yourself. If the answer is not something you’re necessarily complacent with, I encourage you to reset. What do I mean by this? Studies have shown that taking a break from work is a great way to not only interrupt that dull, stagnant routine, but the change of scenery also improves productivity as well as creativity. Whether you’re barely starting your job search as a recent college grad, you’ve moved far along in the groove of your career, or simply hit a standstill at your current role–you’re never too old to start over.

Take A Step Back

Take a look at this “adult gap year” or sabbatical as a time of reinventing yourself. There’s no better way to refresh than taking some time off just to live a little. Our batteries need to be recharged every now and then too! Each year, many people leave their vacation time unused which is really quite unfortunate. According to Travel and Leisure, an estimated 662 million vacation days went unused in the United States in 2016. Smith recommends taking “one day per month as a personal ‘mental health day’ and then taking a full week off every three to four months for a mental reset.” Even if this means taking a staycation or planning a mini getaway, I advise you to take advantage of it! Your future self will thank you.

Realign, Refocus.

We let our work control us, instead of us taking control of our work. Take some time out to realign. We live in a society that’s developed this unhealthy mentality that we constantly have to be grinding in order to be progressing forward, but sometimes the best thing you can do for yourself is to take a time-out. Life moves fast. Slow down. Catch your breath. Just because you’re standing still doesn’t mean you’re not making progress. Realign your mind, your goals, and above all–your purpose.

Work to live, don’t live to work.