How much time do you spend at work? Are you spending enough time with your family and friends? What about the amount of time time you dedicate to taking care of yourself: to sleep, to exercise, to reflection and meditation?
There is no such thing as work / life balance or perhaps, more truthfully, there is no one right answer to what work / life balance looks like.
Work is part of life. Work is what gets us out of bed on most mornings. It keeps a roof over our heads, puts food on the table, pays for our vacations and all the other trinkets and baubles we surround ourselves and our family with. Our family and friends are also a part of life. Those relationships provide laughter, joy and a sense of belonging.
Three clues that you may be feeling out of balance are:
- Lack of energy. You feel tired. You drag yourself out of bed, drag yourself to work and then back home again. The pep in your step is gone.
- Lack of enthusiasm. You no longer enjoy work or personal activities as much as you used to. Activities you used to enjoy now seem to be a chore or an obligation.
- Increased irritability: Your patience levels are at an all time low. You snap at the smallest things and start to take all comments personally.
Some common reasons people find themselves off-kilter are:
- They don’t know what their ideal life looks like. How do you define success? Is it getting the next promotion or spending more time with family and friends? If you are expending a whole lot of time and energy working for a promotion because other people think you should, that’s not healthy. If you have turned down a dream opportunity because you’ve been guilted into it, that’s not healthy.
- They don’t know how to say “no”. I am guilty of this. My business is new and sometimes I feel like I have to take every piece of business offered to me. It doesn’t work that way. Some opportunities are not a fit for my business and sometimes, plain and simple, I need to hold as sacred time with my family and for myself. When I don’t do that, I feel off-balance, I suffer, my family suffers and my work suffers. Not healthy.
- They don’t carve out “me time”. We can’t take care of our family or our business if we don’t take care of ourselves. Get enough sleep, exercise and eat healthy. Find activities that you enjoy and do them. Curl up with a good book, join a rec team … something, anything that recognizes and acknowledges the importance of your mental health and well-being.
There is no one right answer to how to get your life back in balance. Each one of us has our own perception of work / life balance. Some people live to work; others work to live. The key is to find your balance and then takes steps to maintain it.
What are some things you do to maintain your healthy life balance?