At best the London lifestyle is exciting, exhilarating, and full of opportunity, but at worst it can be challenging, exhausting and almost unmanageable. At the root of this problem, for many graduates and young professionals is the pressure they feel to balance a full-time job, where they are subject to long hours and high demands as they strive to prove their worth and consequently further their career, with having a ‘life’ outside the office, finding time for friends, hobbies and some much needed R&R.
The city itself can at times provide additional stresses with the expensive cost of living, the soul-destroying process of flat hunting (Except at Springboard, where we make it oh-so-very-simple!) and a stressful daily commute. Despite all this, I love London. Its buzz, its diversity, and having a a myriad of unique and differing experiences at the tip of my fingers. I have lived in London for nearly 6 years now, and whilst I haven’t loved every second, my experience has been overwhelmingly positive. As a young(ish!) person and a young professional, for now at least, I can’t imagine anywhere else I’d rather be.
My secret? A healthy work/life balance: something which can so often easily allude the busy young professional. Having fought an, on occasion, losing battle for free time in which to have fun, and even more crucially to put myself first, here are some tips I have amassed over the past half decade which have enabled me to live a happier, more balanced and ultimately more fulfilled and productive London life.
- Leave work at work: Easier said than done, I know. But you know how boring it is when parents drone on about their children for hours on end? Well buddy, that’s how other people feel about your job. Whilst an occasional rant has some value in allowing you to vent your frustrations, banging on about it endlessly will only alienate people and leave you feeling even more stressed. Work is work, forget about it for now. It’ll definitely still be there in the morning.
- Ensure you get adequate sleep: Whilst missing out on a hour or two here and there may not seem like a biggie and may appear to be your salvation in freeing up some much needed extra time to focus on more pressing matters, it will definitely not help you in the long run. A lack of sleep will leave you feeling irritable, hyper-sensitive and can lead to even small problems feeling insurmountable.
- Learn to say no: You are not morally obliged to accept every invitation to hangout, attend all after work drinks, or fill your weekends up to the brim. Give plans some serious thought before saying ‘yes’ and take some time to work out whether accepting will be a help or a hindrance to you.
- Put yourself first: Set aside some time, at least once a week, to do something for you. This time should be immoveable, something which you will no forgo for anything or anyone. Work out, take a bath, go for a walk, read a book, paint your nails, get a massage, play a video game, without feeling any guilt. Everyone benefits from doing something they enjoy, and needs a little downtime. And in the long-term, your work will only benefit.
- Prioritise you friends/family/significant other: Don’t make the mistake of ignoring these people and assuming they’ll always be there for you. Maybe they will, and if so you’re lucky, but all relationships need work. Call your parents, schedule regular ‘date nights’ with your partner and ensure sufficient time to catch up with your friends.
- Always remember; one step at a time, and most importantly, don’t take yourself, life, or your job too seriously!
And as far as accommodation goes…Springboard offers the ideal environment for a busy young professional, completely removing the stress from flatsharing, viewings and renting. Our fixed monthly payment includes all bills, council tax, Wifi and a cleaner, while our on-site (or close at hand) dedicated landlord ensures that all problems are fixed as quickly as possible. All of this, in a friendly and welcoming environment, living alongside other like-minded young professionals. So, if you want one less thing to worry about, why not book a Springboard viewing today?