How in balance do you feel your life is? Are you sleeping enough; are you playing enough? Are you working too much? the concept of 8-8-8 relates to Sleep, Work, Play. Are each getting the amount necessary for solid work/ life balance?
If you are like most people you will find that it's easy for this balance to get out of whack and when it does we can feel the effects in how we perceive our life satisfaction.
During the pandemic, a large number of people reported that work began to take on a much larger portion of their lives. They were often stuck at home with many of the leisure actives they enjoy off limits and to stave off boredom or stress they found themselves sitting at their computer working more. Later, when things began to open up a little bit, they found this new pattern and become a habit and they felt more tethered to their work than ever before.
In addition, many people have reported they were staying up later in the evening watching television or on social media as a way to continue to feel some form of connection. They were still getting up early for work so their "8" for sleep began to get impacted.
What was maybe once in balance had become unbalanced and it was taking a toll on their well-being.
Just as things can get out of balance, we can consciously choose to come back into balance by making some slight but consistent adjustments.
Here are some basic ways to re-engage the 8-8-8 Rule:
Reset your sleep clock, otherwise known as your Circadian Rhythm . Start resetting your clock by getting into bed 15 minutes earlier each few days until you are back to a good 8 hours of sleep that best fits into your natural schedule.
Set your work hours. If you're available for work anytime, you will be at risk of losing balance and boundaries around work. If you normally don't work on the weekends, then begin by setting weekends off limit for work. Initially, it may feel unnatural to not check email, or to not get a few work items completed with a little free time, but setting this boundary allows your nervous system the time to reset so enjoyment comes more easily.
Make a "play plan". Insert play into your life daily! Whether it's taking a walk to the park or in the woods. Or meeting a friend for coffee at the cafe down the street. Put this plan into your calendar as if it was an appointment with yourself. Honor those appointments. If currently there is NO play in your life... or personal time... begin by putting at least one item a day into that space. As you acclimate to that new commitment, begin to add a few additional enjoyment items into those spaces.
Life without balance becomes a burden. Sometimes we don't feel the effects of that burden until our stress level rises and we are no longer feeling the joy of life. Taking steps to recreate balance will inevitably bring you back to a place of clarity and connection to yourself and those you love.