Millions of people across the nation went into 2019 with resolutions — lose weight, lead a healthier lifestyle, spend more time with loved ones, be more present, etc. However, according to U.S. News & World Report, around 80 percent of New Year’s resolutions have already failed by the second week of February. But, if you take all of these goals into account, there is one overarching lifestyle change that can make a big impact in your overall physical and mental health: prioritizing work-life balance.
Work-life balance not only affects your personal well-being, but also that of your family, friends and even your workplace performance. On average, only 11.4 hours each day are devoted to leisure and personal care, meaning that for the other 12 plus hours, you are putting everyone else above your own needs, whether that is through answering emails after hours, checking homework, working overtime or baking cookies for the church bake sale. And while, of course, it is important to take care of your loved ones and be a member of your community, it is equally important to make sure you are taking care of yourself.
“Everybody is just so busy nowadays. Honestly, the art of being able to relax is getting harder and harder because we are so consumed by our daily lives, social media, emails, texts, etc.,” explains Katelin Schebler, the owner of Culture A Day Spa in Frisco. “People are not taking any time for themselves to just relax and turn off their phones and minds. I think it is so important to take even 15 minutes out of your day to focus and allow yourself to unwind.”
When Mrs. Schebler and her husband, Jon, opened Culture A Day Spa in October 2018, they had one goal in mind: a luxurious and relaxing experience for everyone who passes through their doors. They offer massages, facials and even private dinner parties, but more than that, it offers a place to escape, whether for 45 minutes or an entire afternoon. “We like to not only invite guests to relax before or after their treatment, we encourage it,” Mrs. Schebler says. “Our relaxation room is a phone-free zone where anyone can meditate, read, nap or just enjoy some peace and quiet for as long as they would like. We have even had one client who stayed all day to finish a book!”
Preventing your personal and professional lives from encroaching on one another is also a key factor in maintaining both physical and mental health. The National Center for Biotechnology Information found that those who work 55 hours or more in a week are at a higher risk for anxiety, depression, coronary heart disease and strokes compared to those who work 35- to 40-hour weeks. Chronic stress can cause people to “burnout” and become less productive. You may be working longer hours, but that does not mean the quality of work is improving if you are not functioning at 100 percent.
Aside from the conventional means of getting some peace and quiet, like reading a book, going for a walk, doing yoga, etc., Frisco is also home to local businesses that offer wholly unique experiences guaranteed to get your mind off everyday stresses.
“More and more, you see people trying to cram 25 hours into a 24-hour day and really just allow their self care to be placed on the back burner,” says Ray Thoma, the owner of The Float Spot. “We have so much external stimuli coming at us from every direction that we literally feel selfish for taking time for ourselves.”
The Float Spot is a proactive wellness studio focused on accelerated muscle recovery and total relaxation. Here, they can offer you an experience like no other, anywhere from 30 to 120 minutes of time with only yourself in an environment likened to that of being in the womb. Their state-of-the-art i-sopod® floatation tanks are each filled with only 12 inches of water heated to your approximate external body heat and 22 bags of Epsom salts that will keep you floating directly on the surface. “Because the air, water and your body are all in the same narrow temperature range, it is hard to tell where the water begins and ends, creating a feeling of weightlessness and complete tranquility,” Mr. Thoma explains.
Float therapy is ideal for athletes, executives hunched over desks all day, parents constantly on the move and even pregnant women who are in their second trimester and beyond.
Aside from floatation therapy, salts can also be used to clear the central nervous system and calm the mind in the practice of halotherapy or the breathing in of salty air. At The Salt Retreat, clients can relax in “salt rooms” where a machine called a halogenerator grinds up dry salts then disperses the mist throughout the treatment room. “Salt is known to soothe the central nervous system. So, basically, when people come in and take therapy with us, whether occasionally or often, they are getting a deeper relaxation than you can get from just going and having some quiet time or taking a nap,” says Heather Tognazzini, the co-owner of The Salt Retreat.
The Salt Retreat is one of only two dedicated salt therapy centers across the Dallas/Fort Worth metroplex. Halotherapy is a 100 percent natural, holistic remedy that stimulates breathing, alleviates allergy and asthma symptoms and helps relieve pain associated with psoriasis and asthma.
As more studies on the importance of work-life balance emerge each year, some businesses are taking note and actively implementing non-work-related activities during the week as an option for employees. Frisco’s own Gearbox Software has done just that, and a group of co-workers started up a weekly Aikido club. Aikido is a martial art from Japan that focuses on movements that promote self-defense and self-improvement. “I have been practicing Aikido for about 20 years, and I had co-workers start asking me about it. So, we found a room for a demonstration and invited anyone interested to check it out,” says Seung Kim, an FX artist and the founder of the club.
Mr. Kim was also joined by Raison Varner, a sound designer and now president of the club, to join him in teaching classes, as he too studied Aikido. Together, they formed the Aikido Club in April 2017. “We meet twice a week and usually have about 12 to 15 people join us,” Mr. Varner says. “Once we start doing martial arts, we totally forget about our stresses or fatigue and we get our adrenaline pumping and are able to bond about something outside of work, which then makes us more productive when working on projects together.”
Sixty-six percent of U.S. employees do not strongly believe they have a healthy work-life balance. Attitudes about this topic continue to evolve with cultural and generational changes, but at the end of the day, the better balance you find, the more satisfied you will be as a whole. You are valuable! Can you start implementing activities in your weekly schedule as a reminder of that?