There are a lot of things that go on within a given day. From work to home life and everything in between, it is easy to devote more time in one direction than another, but when the system loses its balance we suffer. A good work-life balance is essential to a happy and healthy lifestyle, and we have some tips to help you reclaim your balance and your happiness.
When working a job that has tight deadlines or high expectations, it is easy to become consumed with work and always be mentally going through a checklist. This type of behavior skews the balance more in the work direction, which makes daily life off-kilter. Some of the repercussions of the skew in balance include extra stress and anxiety, fatigue, and even a lowered immune system. All of these things are compounded on the fact that you are missing good quality time with the people you love and care about.
But do not think that workaholics are the only people who suffer from a skew in balance. Stay at Home Moms and Dads are at risk for skewing in the other direction. When the family takes up 100% of your time, then it becomes harder to treat family like family instead of a job. It is possible to become resentful toward the people you love when you do not find a good balance of family life and caring for yourself too.
For the benefit of your sanity and the maintenance of a happy, healthy lifestyle, there are some avenues you can try to keep the balance. One of the best ways to do this is to devise a plan. When you have a plan, you are less likely to fall into the needs and priorities of the people around you. Make lists, schedules, or whatever you need to create a system for yourself and your household. This may mean washing a load of clothes each night rather than on your day off, making a list for errands so that they are all completed in one trip, or even delegating tasks to other people. You and your family decide how to better manage the mundane parts of the week using a schedule or list and save some time to actually enjoy one another. Make a plan.
It is also helpful to learn how to say no. If you are already maxed out, then there is nothing wrong with politely declining an extra task at work or in extracurricular activities. The head of the class party committee can find someone else to make cupcakes, and someone else at work can spearhead a committee. It is okay to say no.
Additionally, a step that could really make a dramatic change for you and your family is leaving work at work. Use the commute at the end of the day to decompress by listening to music, a podcast, or an audiobook. By the time you get home, work is behind you. Take a minute to change clothes and really step out of that work persona when you get home to be ready for family time with your spouse or kids.
Other than leaving work at work and making plans, it is important to take care of yourself too. Work-life balance is an individualized thing, and you are the best one to determine if everything is as it should be. Eat right, sleep, and make time for some fun, however you describe the word fun. It may mean going to the movies, riding bikes, going on weekend trips, or taking a cooking class. Take care of yourself to maintain the balance too. Your entire household will benefit.