For many college students and recent grads, achieving a healthy work-life balance can feel impossible. However, in our fast-paced world, it’s important to take care of yourself! Right now, Generation Hired presented by Neutrogena® is bringing you exclusive webinars featuring leading experts in skin health, beauty, science, innovation, marketing, and more to provide tips and tricks for navigating your early career journey. You can check out the replay from our most recent event, How To Achieve A Healthy Work-Life Balance, And the Importance of Self Care, below:
During this event, Neutrogena® and Her Campus employees shared how they care for their mental health while balancing work with family, friends, and their passions. They chatted about stress relief, time management, and how to achieve balance both personally and professionally. If you’re interested in achieving a healthier work-life balance, check out these key takeaways from the event:
Rest is important
If you’re a college student or recent grad, your schedule is likely jam-packed with activities. But if there’s one thing to know about self-care, it’s that rest is crucial! “Get the rest that you need,” says Annie Wang, the Co-founder, Chief Product Officer, and Creative Director of Her Campus Media. “Taking time to rest and waking up the next day helps me put things into perspective and makes me feel better.”
“I would love to tell my younger self to take a breath,” says Whitney Kopp, the Brand Manager of Professional Marketing at Johnson & Johnson Consumer Health. She remembers how difficult it was to manage stress during college and early in her career, and encourages students and recent grads to stay grounded and calm. “Decisions are important, but in retrospect, they probably aren’t as monumental as you think in the long run! Calm yourself and think clearly.”
Create a personalized self-care ritual
Jenni Evora, the Head of Communications at Neutrogena®, says that having a morning ritual has helped transform her sense of work-life balance and reduce stress during the week. “I love having calm, relaxed mornings,” she says. “I block my calendar off so that I can walk and make breakfast. I also love having a calm morning routine — I’m a huge fan of the Neutrogena® Rain Bath shower gel — it smells so good. It’s a way for me to relax and protect my mornings.”
Similarly, Whitney takes time every day to apply makeup, Neutrogena® Hydro Boost, and sunscreen as a way of practicing self-care. “I try to routinely carve out time — even if it’s not a ton of time — to do a face mask, take a bath, be quiet and reset myself for the week,” she says. “I think, ‘how can I take a moment to ground myself and get rid of the Sunday scaries?’”
Engage in activities that help you destress
Whether it’s exercise, meditation, spending time in nature, or all of the above, it’s important to find a stress relief practice that aligns with your lifestyle. For Jenni, reading helps her find a sense of calm during busy weeks. “Growing up, I was the kid who went to the library, read twenty books in a week, and then wanted to go back. Nowadays I’m working to make sure I can read a good book — I love fiction and escaping to different worlds!”
For Whitney, stress relief looks like getting a change of scenery. “It’s so easy for me to be at my desk and try to get one more email in — this is often stressful! For me, I like to change the narrative of my mind for a few minutes — get out of the house, take a walk, get a change of scenery, or jump on my bike,” she says. “I’ve always felt better after giving myself that little break. I can think more clearly and feel grounded and relaxed.”
Practice healthy time management
While a perfect work-life balance isn’t always realistic, practicing good time management can help you feel better in the long run. “It’s about holding yourself accountable,” says Whitney. “I try to be intentional about how long a task should take me. If I know I have a chunk of time coming up to complete something, I think, ‘is this something that needs to get done quickly? Or something that needs to be A+?’” Sometimes, knocking low-lift tasks off of your list can be more productive than attempting to complete everything to perfection.
Communicate your boundaries to others
If you’re struggling with work-life balance, communicating your boundaries is a must. “Be transparent about the realities happening in your day,” says Jenni. “Having transparent conversations makes us more empathetic, and makes it easier to support each other throughout the day. It made us feel closer and strengthened relationships.”
Whitney agrees: “You can’t be 100% focused on everything all the time! I’m vocal with my team about my time. I’m not going to respond to emails between 7-8pm unless it’s an absolute emergency. In my earlier years in the working world, I wasn’t as comfortable saying things like that,” she says. “But as I’ve grown into myself more and become more comfortable, I now feel 100% comfortable saying from this time to this time. Once you set those boundaries, you’re hard-pressed to find someone who’s not going to be on board.”
Annie feels similarly. “A big piece of [work-life balance] is recognizing that everyone is human with a life outside of work!” she says. “It’s easy to forget that sometimes.”
Early in your career, having a life outside of work can feel impossible — after all, starting a 9-5 is a big responsibility. It may be difficult to set professional boundaries, close your laptop at the end of the day, or not think about work projects on the weekends. However, know that finding work-life balance is more of a journey than a destination. Over time, you can start to make little changes that’ll go a long way, whether it’s setting aside a few minutes in the morning for your skincare routine or turning off email notifications after a certain time each day. The process may seem overwhelming at first, but with time, experience, and practice, striving toward a healthy work-life balance will feel more natural. Know that self-care is not selfish, it’s necessary.
We loved hearing everyone’s tips for how to practice self-care and achieve work-life balance, and we hope you did, too! If you missed the event, check out the replay here and stay tuned for more career wisdom on Generation Hired and Neutrogena®.
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