We, above all, are natural beings. No matter how much we try to bend ourselves into shapes that adhere to the rules and conduct of the society we’ve built, we are the breath of our Mother Earth and we must pay attention to our natural rhythms or reap the consequenses.

We are naturally inclined to labor and provide for ourselves and family but we are not meant to give so much of our mind, body, and spirit to someone whose only goal is to profit from that labor. We spend so much of our selves and our time at our jobs that we have nothing left for our real life. Being unable to fully participate in your own life is no way to live and I’m certain it is the biggest reason why depression and anxiety is so epidemic right now.

We all know the consequences of not giving our bodies the rest they need but tend to ignore completely the result of not having enough mental clarity or will to work on your growth as an individual. Make no mistake, you will change and grow regardless of your active participation but you’ll have far better results if you tend to your garden. Pull the weeds, plant seeds that you want to harvest, your careful attention is needed to make sure that you harvest something that nourishes you. It is also important to make sure what you plant is in line with who you are rather than who you think you should be.

Now it would be lovely if we could all just quit our jobs and really live the way nature intended but of course that’s not really an option for most of us. However, there are many things you can do to improve your work-life balance. Some are small moves with quick results, others facilitate steady and strong change but it will take some time to see the results.

You might think that taking on those extra hours or responsibilities will help you climb the ladder, but in most cases you are only setting a precedent that allows your superiors to squeeze out more of your labor for less pay. The most popular business model is to spread your workers as thin as possible so even when you do climb another rung on that ladder you get very little in return. Of course there are exceptions to every rule but think carefully what that ladder climbing will bring you, think less about the paycheck and more about how it will affect the balance in your life. On the other side of those hours or projects, how good are the chances that you will get what you think you’re going to get and what else comes with it?

If you’re someone whose job it is to take care of others this is even more important, especially right now as our “essential workers” are faced with this pandemic. As the saying goes, “you cannot pour from an empty cup”, and I think far too many of us feel as if we only only have empty cups but we somehow continue to pour anyway. Yes, you can pour until you drop but if you intentionally take time to refill that cup as often as possible the quality of what you give to others is far better.

When you have a couple minutes to yourself, on a break or before some much needed sleep, make those minutes count. Don’t just reach for your phone or chat with a coworker, get yourself as close to solitude as you are able, close your eyes, and breathe with intention. Imagine your feet are roots travelling far beneath the earth and pulling energy from the source, feel that energy move up through your body and out through the top of your head. Allow that energy to swirl around you inside and out, wrapping you in a cocoon of pure light. Listen to music that makes you feel good, try some binaural beats to help you sleep. Take care of yourself the best that you possibly can.