Work-Life Balance

Work-life Balance Client

I like the idea of combining enjoyment and achievement in each day in the four major areas of your life: work, family, friendships and self-care. This approach does not assume that enjoyment can only come from recreation or relaxation; rather, it reminds us that satisfaction can come from accomplishing something, even if it means putting in a hard day of work at a job we don’t love. In fact, focusing on, and taking pride in how you do your job can compensate for the pain associated with being in a job you don’t like.

Although the terms burnout and stress associated with an imbalance in work-life are often used interchangeably, they describe different states of mind and behavior.  While symptoms of stress include anxiety and other mental and physical issues, burnout is characterized by depression, physical, emotional and mental exhaustion,  doubting your competency and/or the value of the work, physical problems and a sense hopelessness.

Burnout typically occurs when you have very little control over your work demands, feel that your job is a poor fit, experience a mismatch in values between you and your employer, and/or deal with a dysfunctional workplace.

Our workforce is as productive today as it was three years ago, but with seven million fewer workers! This means that greater demands are  placed on today’s employees; thus, people feel increasingly stressed and  overwhelmed by their job responsibilities. This is the kind of stress that leads to job burnout! Learning to recognize and deal with your work stress will enable  you to bring more harmony into every aspect of your  life.

You may be at risk of burnout if you...

  • Derive your sense of self from your job
  • Are a “workaholic” 
  • Have codependency traits (see section on Codependency) or have trouble saying “no” to others
  • Feel you have no control over your work
  • Have a fast paced job that requires you to expend constant energy to keep up
  • Work too many hours

Tips to improve your work-life balance

  • Maintain a clear separation between your work and home life (turn off cell phones, close email, etc)
  • Build relaxation into your schedule 
  • Spend quality time with family and friends
  • Increase your support system
  • Minimize activities that sap your time and energy
  • Learn to say “no” to unrealistic work demands
  • Exercise to boost your energy level and concentration, and improve your productivity
  • Learn relaxation skills - 15 - 20 minutes per day can improve your mood and energy 
  • Avoid excess alcohol, caffeine or other addictive substances
    Get plenty of sleep