The need for work life balance is more important now than ever before, regardless of your job. The world today is busy, demanding and always on the go. As technology and internet progresses, people’s work life is no longer nine to five. The 40 hour week has almost doubled with work flowing into people’s private life. The end of the work day tends to be blurred and as people continue to work when home on computers and phones job stress has been on the rise for decades.
With this increase, studies shows the adverse effect it can have on a person’s emotional, mental and physical health. When people don’t disengage from work they become less efficient, more prone to mistakes and more likely to get sick.
This also applies to the sex industry. You may find that besides your designated work hours, you will have emails, texts, phone calls, marketing through social media and other factors to do outside of your work hours.
It is important to maintain a balance with your work and your personal life so your health and well being remain stable. If you don’t have work life balance strategies in place, after awhile it can affect work, income, health and relationships due to sickness, stress and fatigue.
Below are some simple ideas that can be implemented no matter where you are to bring some balance back into your life.
Routines and Boundaries
Creating routine not only reduces stress in your own life, it helps create patterns and habits of those around you that will support creating balance in your own life.
For example, if clients know you are unreachable at certain times, they will learn not to contact you during these times.
If there are no boundaries in place, you may find yourself receiving phones or text all hours day or night. Create space around you when its not official work hours. Try not to allow distractions to change your boundaries or space.
Most smartphones nowadays have a ‘Do Not Disturb’ or silence button. Aim to put it on, automatically or manually, an hour before bed until an hour after you wake up.
On the iphone you can use the favourites mode to allow calls through from friends or family as you wish. A detailed walkthrough on how to do this can be found here. This gives you more control over your work and private life.
This also allows you a good sleep so you are refreshed when you wake up as well as time to wind down or start getting ready. There are always exceptions that happen but it will help in keeping yourself balanced throughout the day.
Time Management and Work Life Balance
If you buy a small diary or use one on your phone, it will help make your life easier. It is important when you plan your days to also incorporate time for yourself. Try blocking out small periods of ‘you’ time throughout the day or week to either relax between bookings or at the end or start of your day. It can be as small as 5-10 mins here and there so you can refocus before your next task.
Some quick tips for how to spend that time include:
- 5 min mediations. Although this link starts at five minute meditations, it also has longer sessions from 10 minutes and up depending on your schedule.
- Listen to Music. This may be anything from classical to your favourite upbeat tunes. Make a ‘Go To’ playlist of relaxing or happy music that you can listen to between bookings or as you are winding down from work.
- Find a Friend or Journal. If you’re feeling stressed, expressing those thoughts and emotions stops them from building up. Either catching up with a friend or expressing it through writing releasing these emotions.
- Go for a walk. It doesn’t have to be a long one but changing your surrounding can help give perspective. Exercise also releases endorphins to increase your mood.
We all need a break from work, it may be a semi regular weekend to a few weeks of a year. As you continue in this work, you will find certain times in the year that are quieter than others. Make the most of the quiet times by using them as a break from work.
Spend a night or two at a friends, or find a friend or family member to babysit the kids, even just adding a walk around the block each morning can help. Prewarn any clients that you will be away and during this time take a break from all aspects of work including social media, even if it’s 24hrs. Otherwise your body and mind won’t be having a proper rest from work.
When you work odd hours or are on call, this is easier said then done. Time management will play apart in this. Set up a routine bedtime to ensure you maximise your sleep. Aim to do exercise each day even if you go for a walk in your area. One simple but effective exercise routine is the 7 minute workout. It can be done just about anywhere. Always remember to stretch before and after.
Drinking water is vital for the human body. Depending on how clean your water source is boil the water in a jug and let it cool. This will purify the water of pathogens. When our bodies get dehydrated we can get tired, headaches and run down. If you have the choice of a healthy food option over a sugar snack, try to take it as it all contributes to your body’s health.
We all need help or someone to listen to us at some stage. Depending on your circumstance, due to stigma this work can feel isolating. Some sex workers aren’t comfortable opening up to the people in their life about what they do and some people have trouble understanding this work. If you don’t have someone in your private life you can talk too, get in contact with the closest sex work organisation. They will be able to talk to you or help you put a support system in place so you will have people to call when you need someone there.
Budgeting is very important but so is rewarding yourself for your achievements. This work is similar to commission based work, which means your income will vary week to week. It is important that bills are covered, but another part of work/ life balance is feeling great about yourself. You are worth it, whether its a small reward or a bigger goal. Try to put some money aside each week toward something you would like for yourself and when you reach that amount go out and enjoy the splurge
While you’re saving up some inexpensive ways you can spoil yourself right now, are here.