In last week’s episode, I shared with all of you the struggles I was facing before I decided to take my sabbatical. This week, I’m going to talk about the constant pull in my life: juggling my work and home life — and how my time away helped me strike a balance between the two.
Because I’m a trader it’s an option for me to work from home (although through COVID-19 it’s become more of a requirement than a choice) and though this seems ideal, it can feel like a blessing or a curse depending on the day.
On the one hand…
Working from home is a blessing. I can trade from my bed, and my commute is less than a minute. I get to stay home and work with my husband and every day around noon I can have lunch with Leo. Sounds perfect, right? Well not exactly…
Although those things are reasons I love working from home, sometimes it can also be the reason I feel drained. Trading in the same place you sleep can feel isolating, and the lack of a scenery change was driving me so stir crazy I almost started to miss the sight of traffic (can you imagine!) Likewise, even though I love my husband, Darrell, and Leo very much, there’s only so much of someone you can take, especially in the midst of a pandemic.
So admittedly, I found working from home to be tough at times (I’m sure a lot of you can share similar stories), but certainly taking a sabbatical from the comfort of my own home would be a piece of cake, right?
Would it shock you if I said it wasn’t?
Now that I was on break I had to find activities to fill my time. After all, before my sabbatical, practically all my time went to eating, sleeping, trading, and repeating. So what did I do? Like many, I filled time surfing the internet. Oftentimes I was on my phone in bed. Of course, I did other things but who isn’t guilty of spending a little too much time on their phone before they start their day? Additionally, every day at noon sharp I’d make Leo the same thing for lunch, and we’d sit at the same table. It was fast and easy but quickly became mundane and mindless.
After a while, I couldn’t take it anymore. Even though I wasn’t working, I was feeling similar types of burnout to when I was working. How was this possible? That’s when it hit me. Just because you can do something doesn’t mean you should.
What could I do differently?
There are certainly days where trading or surfing the internet from my bed is totally acceptable (and needed!), but just because I can do that every day doesn’t mean I should. By going to great lengths to make myself comfortable during my sabbatical… I was actually making my time off duller than it had to be. Instead, I started getting out of bed and dressing up for the day. Even if I wasn’t going anywhere. Why? Because it made me feel like I could conquer the day — even if it was just doing yard work.
Similarly, I started to change up Leo and my lunch time routine. Instead of noon every day sometimes we’d break a little bit early. Or if we needed a change of scenery, we’d go to a park and eat.
How does this affect my trading?
During my sabbatical, I wasn’t working but I felt similar burnout. However, I found that changing my habits really helped with my fatigue. And by applying those same habits post-sabbatical, I believe it’ll have a positive effect on my work-life balance.
With all that’s going on in the world, no one knows when (or if) we’ll be able to return to life before COVID-19. But I feel confident going forward that I have a gameplan that’ll help juggle my work-life balance. I’ll be happier in both my personal and work life by taking these steps and my trading will thank me for it. It’s one step closer to obtaining and maintaining my ideal ‘trader lifestyle.’
Do you have any habits causing burnout? Let me know in the comments! And look out for next Thursday’s episode where I continue this series.