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Achieving a healthy work-life balance: tips for Au Pairs’ daily well-being

by Agata Telefus on Nov 29, 2023Reading time: 4 min.
Work-life balance: Tips for Au Pairs’ daily well-being

Keeping a healthy work-life balance is crucial to your well-being and managing stress. While your Au Pair stay is more of a cultural exchange than a full-time job, the daily tasks still share some job-like characteristics. Therefore, it's essential to find a balance between your duties and your personal life. Here are four practical tips:

Stick to your schedule

When you signed your Au Pair contract, you agreed on a work schedule with your Host Family. It is very important that both parties respect it. Your free time should not be violated and you have a full right to spend it however you want. Of course, there might be some situations when the Host Family asks you to change the schedule because of unforeseen circumstances. It is okay to stay flexible and accept it, but at the same time, make sure that you don’t exceed the agreed weekly work hours, or if you do, that you get extra compensation
Don’t be afraid to set clear boundaries and discuss your rights, in case your schedule gets violated too often. Moreover, it can be beneficial to plan regular check-ins with your Host Family to discuss how things are going and address any concerns. This ensures that everyone is satisfied with the arrangement. Friendly, but assertive communication is the key!

Monitor screen time in the evenings

Although scrolling through social media for hours or binge-watching a series may seem relaxing, it doesn't provide proper brain relaxation. Engaging in these activities can leave you feeling tired, anxious, and disrupt your sleep. We understand it is tempting to catch up with social media after a phone-free workday but don’t let it become your only evening activity. 
Set a timer on your phone to control your social media usage. After the chosen time is reached, an app will be automatically closed and will prevent you from opening it again. This is not only a really good tip if you struggle with social media addiction, but also a healthy way to monitor your screen time. After a day of adventures with your host kids, allow your eyes and brain to rest by putting screens away.

Meaningful cool-down

Au Pair needs to get at least a few hours of free time every day, so make sure that you are using this time to cool down. We encourage you to practice meaningful relaxation after a full day of work. Try writing a journal, do some light yoga, call your best friends and let off steam about what happened during the day. Even listening to relaxing music and just lying down in bed can help! 
Try different relaxation methods and choose whatever suits you best. Establishing new habits may seem challenging at the beginning, but the benefits will become apparent after just one week. On top of that, prioritize not only mental but also physical self-care. Make sure you are sleeping enough and keeping a balanced diet.

Create a personal life

To achieve a good work-life balance, you first need to have a life outside of your job. In any case, it is not healthy to let your life be all about working, and this also considers your Au Pair stay. Try to build a personal life outside of your Host Family house - spend time with new friends, discover hobbies, start doing sports, or join clubs or organizations. Build time for these activities in your weekly schedule, of course without violating your agreed-upon working hours. Treat these moments with the same importance as your work hours! 
Last but not least - don’t be afraid to spend time alone or with other people than your Host Family. It is not disrespectful to stay apart from them during your free time. In fact, it can be really beneficial for both of you. This considers most importantly everyday evening cool-down, but also going out and traveling on your free days.  
Try to implement these tips step by step in your everyday life. Remember that achieving work-life balance is a dynamic process that requires ongoing effort and adjustments. By being proactive and mindful, you can create a harmonious routine that allows you to enjoy both your work and personal experiences during your Au Pair stay.
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