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Life Balance – Health and Wellbeing

Life Balance – Health and Wellbeing

Employee health and wellbeing is a constant focus in the professional services industry. For a long-time, the term ‘work-life balance,’ was heralded as the key to happy and healthy employees. More recently, the focus has been on providing a ‘flexible workplace,’ which is a great step forward for professionals balancing work and life priorities such as raising a family, juggling multiple responsibilities, living remotely or exploring their passions on the side.

Unfortunately, the nature of the legal profession, with revenue directly related to hours invested, means that we are all going to be time poor regardless of how flexible our work arrangement. Lawyers are often particularly dedicated to their work, and (with a history of over achievement and inbuilt competitive tendencies from years of conditioning) may not prioritise their own health and well-being. Ultimately this leads to reduced productivity, increased chances of mental health issues such as anxiety and depression, poor physical health, tiredness and a general negative malaise.

After over a decade in professional services myself, I think the key to a lengthy and enjoyable career is to include ‘health’ in the work and life balance discussion. Taking that a step further, I prefer the term ‘life balance’. Given most of us spend the majority of our adult lives either at work or asleep, it can be disheartening to label our free time as ‘life.’ Busy professionals can boost their ‘health’ and thus their ‘life balance’ by incorporating relatively simple and time effective practices into their weekly routines:

Green Tea

I love a coffee as much as the next person and am certainly not advocating anyone give it up, however, adding green tea to your daily routine can only have a hugely positive effect on your overall well-being.

The benefits of green tea are well established; it has been demonstrated to assist with weight loss, boost metabolism, lower cholesterol, reduce inflammation in the body, improve memory function and even regulate body temperature.

Finally, getting up from your desk a couple of times a day to make a tea will give your mind and body a break – sitting hunched over your computer for hours on end is no good for anybody (from experience this can also lead to neck pain and headaches!).


As simple as it sounds, setting aside 10 minutes a day to meditate can do wonders for your mental state. Think of daily meditation as exercise for your brain that offers an abundance of benefits, including improved focus, reduced levels of stress, higher patience and tolerance, increased energy and memory and combined better decision making.

For those looking for inspiration, the following apps can kick start your meditation practice:

Aura https://www.aurahealth.io/Breethe https://breethe.com/Buddhify https://buddhify.com/Calm – https://www.calm.com/Headspace – https://www.headspace.com/Insight Timer – https://insighttimer.com/10% Happier – http://www.10percenthappier.com/mindfulness-meditation-the-basics/.


Everyone knows that regular exercise has excellent health benefits and contributes to improved sleep, energy and productivity levels at work. However, fitting in exercise around our busy work and home schedules at times seems impossible.

Until recently I was in a rut, only exercising once a week for almost 12 months. It wasn’t until I went on a skiing holiday that I rediscovered the importance of exercise to my well-being and happiness. This acted as a catalyst for me to once again prioritise exercise as part of my daily routine and since implementing this, I have had more energy, less stress, clearer thinking and ultimately have been more productive at work.

It all comes down to the seemingly simple act of adjusting your priorities. It’s remarkable how easy it is, in the busy lives we lead, to lose sight of the big picture and prioritise short-term goals. By shifting the focus to our long-term health and wellbeing, day-to-day performance will increase as a result.


As obvious as it may seem, paying attention to what you eat has numerous health benefits, including increased energy levels, strengthening the immune system and improving mood.

Some simple everyday tips to incorporate into your weekly routine:

  • Increase your chewing
  • Add complex carbs to your diet, such as whole grains, veggies, legumes and seeds. They contain glucose which is the main energy source for the brain and body; because they also contain fibre, they are digested at a slower rate providing more sustained energy over time
  • If you feel a cold/illness coming on it is a good idea to increase intake of spices such as turmeric (check out – https://www.turmericandco.com.au/ for further information), ginger, garlic, citrus foods, spinach, papaya, kiwi fruit, chicken and broccoli. When you need an immediate fix buy yourself some ArmaForce – https://www.bioceuticals.com.au/product/preview/ArmaForce (I swear by it!)
  • Drink plenty of water everyday (at least 2 litres)
  • Having recently completed a juice cleanse – https://orchardstreet.com.au/ I can say that the odd detox here and there certainly doesn’t hurt does wonders for the body (once you’ve surpassed the coffee withdrawal headaches!).

For any partners or HR professionals reading this blog that are keen to create more awareness in the firm about nutrition I would strongly recommend you check out ‘The Biting Truth’ – https://thebitingtruth.com/corporate-nutrition/. They are already assisting many major financial institutions and professional services organisations with improving their staff’s overall well-being.


Having recently had our 2nd child I can directly report on the results of lack of sleep. It can affect your concentration, increase the likelihood of being affected by stress or anxiety, leave you irritable, reduce your short-term memory, decrease appetite for exercise and mood lifting activities – the list goes on.

The importance of sleep is not up for debate, however, when you are stressed and working long hours (while juggling whatever else you have in your life) it can sometimes be hard to switch off. If you are having trouble sleeping, the following practices may help:

  • Increase weekly exercise
  • Meditate to train your brain to switch off
  • Create a positive mindset towards sleep – look forward to it and the health benefits of a good sleep routine
  • Reduce alcohol and coffee intake, particularly in the afternoon/evenings
  • Reduce size of evening meals
  • Stop multi-tasking and start a daily to-do-list to reduce residual stress levels

Set aside some ‘me’ time

With so much on our plate, we often find ourselves putting our own needs on the back burner. If this is something that you struggle with, know that self-care is not selfish. Remember that when you tend to your own needs first, you are more likely to be able to offer your best self to others as a result.

Start by making a commitment to do something you enjoy once a week. Whether it’s taking a leisurely walk in the park, learning a new skill, drawing yourself a bath, listening to music, reading, or playing with your pet. Dedicating some time to indulge in something that gives you joy is a must in maintaining a good state of emotional health and well-being.

Hopefully you can take 1 or 2 things away from this blog that you can implement into your daily routine to achieve your life balance. Given the festive season is in full swing some of these changes may have to wait until the new year…

Sam Gray

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