Work-Life Balance

Thinking about what I want to accomplish and setting goals happens at the beginning of each new year. Often my ‘resolutions’ are not as resolute as they should be to impact lasting change, and many trickle off by February and are forgotten. However, one thing that never changes is planning my annual camping trip; the only consistent trip I take during the year.  Who can blame me when there are views like this to enjoy?

1

We stay in a place that is outside most cell phone coverage, which is the best part of my camping trip.  It is time completely unplugged from all distractions. I spend my time reading in my favorite hammock, cruising around on my dirt bike, fishing, painting, or just hanging out in the shade with a plate of delicious food chatting with family.

2
You may be wondering why I have told you all about my favorite trip of the year. Taking an annual trip to the place I love the most is one way I have found to unwind, recharge, and refocus on my priorities.  I regain my equilibrium and re-energize to face the stress of life.

3So what does this have to do with goals or setting up proper work-life balance? Why is it important to practice work-life balance?  Does such a thing actually exist?  Below are five things I try to do.

  1. Prioritize and Plan — while this may seem obvious, I have learned that preparation helps alleviate much of the stress of last minute changes. Planning ahead is essential at work because much of what I do depends on or affects my coworkers’ projects. Now for the “life” side of planning ahead. Does it really matter if I plan what day I’m going to do my laundry?  For me, it does.  I have a schedule for when I will complete certain tasks such as laundry and frozen meal prepping which helps me instantly identify what time I have available for the inevitable emergencies of life. (By the way, my favorite “emergencies” often involve chocolate and a good book!)
  2. De-junk, De-clutter, Delete — this is a new one for me. I have recently discovered the freedom of just simply getting rid of excess— not only is there more physical space in my environment but I have found that the more neat and tidy my space is, the easier it is to maintain my balance and stay centered on what is most important.
  3. The Power of a Positive No — learning how to say “No” is a great way to maintain balance at work. Saying no, or communicating concerns and limitations can help management adequately plan time and set expectations for project completion.
  4. Relaxation, Meditation, and Laughter — As a naturally artistic person, spending time creating something new is my way of relaxing and de-stressing. Journaling, reading, watching movies, cooking, gardening, spending time with friends and families, and even cleaning are all ways of relaxing—you just have to find what works for you. Meditation or mindfulness is also useful for maintaining balance. Just don’t forget to laugh! Laughter releases endorphins that will help you feel better.
  5. Vacation — last on my list, but just as important as the rest is a vacation! Although my camping trip is my favorite vacation during the year, I try to plan ahead to spread my vacation time throughout the whole year. Taking a day off here and there throughout the year can really help to keep a fresh perspective and balance.

Hopefully these tips help you find your center and balance work and life to create an amazing future.  I still have a lot to work on but it just takes one step at a time.  (Or in my case, one long ride through the mountains!)  Good luck!

Blog written by: Jennifer Tolman, Creative Marketing Specialist for Sentinel Security Life Insurance Co.

“Too Young” for Life Insurance?

For many people, life insurance is only important when you get “old.” I used to believe that, until I realized that seemingly solid finances can take a sharp turn at any moment. The sudden death of your spouse will definitely sting on every emotional level, but what happens to the household finances when that happens? Many young couples and families become financially crippled due to the lack of planning.

After her husband was hit while riding his bicycle and later died from his injuries, Chanel Reynolds said, “I was finding it really hard for me to stay present and in the room and to be able to hear what the doctors were saying because I was so overwhelmed with not knowing how much money we had in our checking account, and the fact that we had our wills drafted but not signed.” She also added that she was unsure of whether she was going to be able to care for a family by herself. Although not a large policy, Ms. Reynolds was saved from financial ruin because of life insurance.

It is not surprising that Ms. Reynolds’ quality of life was preserved due to a life insurance policy. The typical coverage amount for a policy is often determined by either the net worth or a multiple of the annual income generated by the applying for the policy. With the income from her husband’s policy, Ms. Reynolds was able to gain some time in order to figure out their mortgage situation along with other bills, keep her son in the same school, and give her time to look for secure employment.

Aside from crises, there are other benefits to buying a life insurance policy while you are young. You are able to open up more options in payment type, which can provide you with lower premiums or even shorten the amount of time that you would have to pay those premiums. Since health risks do commonly increase with age, life insurance policies generally get more expensive to purchase down the road. Life insurance policies can also be another way of saving for retirement, especially if other options are not available to you. Tax-deferred strategies are really popular among other savings vehicles, and life insurance policies provide this as well.

Whether this is all new to you or you are seasoned in life insurance, make sure to do some research on your own. A great place to start is with the nonprofit Life and Health Insurance Foundation for America. You are never too young to begin thinking about your future. You are never too young to begin planning.

For more information visit www.sslco.com or call us at 800-247-1423.

Blog written by: Thy Mims, Marketing Communications Manager for Sentinel Security Life Insurance Co.

*Sources
[1] Lieber, Ron. “YOUR MONEY; A Shocking Death, a Financial Lesson and Help for Others.” The New York Times, 12 Jan. 2013. Web.
[2] “Why Single People Need Life Insurance Too.” DailyFinance.com. N.p., n.d. Web.
[3] “You’re Never Too Young for Life Insurance.” – MSN Money UK. N.p., n.d. Web.
[4] “You’re Not Too Young for Life Insurance.” Insurance and Health Care. N.p., n.d. Web.