Many people are finding it impossible to find a work/life balance. It’s stressful. And the more our stress levels spike, the worse our health becomes. If the plan is to live a long healthy life, you have no choice but to fix the imbalance and understand how important that balance is. Work/Life balance is possible, and you can do it.
The Balancing Act: An Obtainable and Necessarily Skill
Piled-up e-mails. Unending workloads. Family. Relationships. Those are just a few of the responsibilities outweighing your current imbalance.
Stress can lead to both mental and physical health issues. It can decrease mental clarity and make us anxious, depressed, and irritable. Stress also causes our immune systems to weaken. This makes us an easy target for catching a coworker’s cold and susceptible to other more serious sicknesses. In fact, recent studies reveal chronic stress doubles your risk of experiencing a heart attack.
Learning to find balance between work and life will not only help you become happier and more productive, but it may also reduce sick days—and even save your life.
Make A List of What You Find Important in Life
Make an actual, physical list on paper or in your computer. Thinking about what you find meaningful and actually writing it down are two different things. If we see our goals, tangibly on paper or a screen, we may be more likely to pursue them on a daily basis.
For example, if you add “My dog Roxy” to your list, you may be more inclined to take a break after work to take him to the park. That would be a healthy choice instead of running home to check emails. We doubt that “responding to an unpleasant remark from a coworker” is on your list of what you find important in life.
Write it. Make it visible. Read it, every day.
Designate Time for Family and Relationships
If you really want to achieve a work/life balance, you can’t just sit around and wait for free time to magically appear. Be realistic. We know that is never going to happen.
Instead, plan time to spend with your family, friends, and significant others. Stand firm on your commitment. If you are tempted to flake out, remember your list and think about what is truly important to you.
We hear this all the time, but it makes a difference! With technology becoming more invasive than ever, this is likely the hardest for most of us. Also, many jobs are becoming more flexible, allowing workers to work from home. Remember, the keyword here is balance; make yourself available but also designate time to power down your electronics.
If you need assistance with this, try going somewhere and leaving your cell-phone at home. Additionally, both iOS and Android Smartphones now have a “Do Not Disturb” feature.
Make Realistic Goals
We aren’t Superman or Superwoman. We can’t do everything, at least all today. Our lists will likely always be never-ending. Do not have unrealistic expectations in doing everything in one day. Give yourself attainable, reasonable daily goals.
Set yourself up for success.
It’s also important not to over-commit. Though often perceived as “weak” or “lazy,” learning to say no may be your most powerful tool. Put it this way: Would you rather be extremely efficient at a handful of things, or sloppy from juggling too many?
Learn to Communicate, At Work and Home
We can’t expect others to know when we are overwhelmed and stressed. We also shouldn’t take our stress out on anyone. Communication can solve this problem.
Be open about your struggles with your boss and coworkers. Chances are, if you continue to be passive about being overwhelmed or overworked, your performance will decrease. Stating your needs is a win-win for you and your employer. Also, consider suggesting solutions rather than just complaining.
If you come home stressed, communicate to your partner or family that you need five minutes to decompress. Then, find a quiet place or take a walk to release stress before taking it out of your loved ones.
These are just a few of many steps you can take to reduce stress and improve your quality of life. There are many other solutions, such as exercise, self-care, and therapy, that can help you reach a healthy work-life balance. Find what works best for you. With practice and patience, you can do it!