Emerge and Spread Your Wings

Work Life – A Balancing Act?

I can’t believe it is February already. Where has the time gone? I just can’t stop myself saying it, but before I’ve even finished the last word, my teenager is rolling her eyes. When did I become one of those “old” people who always make those comments? Unbelievable.

Whether you have been working full-on since the beginning of the year, or wrangling children and school holidays like me, the year is no longer shiny brand new.

If one of those resolutions you set at the beginning of the year was “more work-life balance” I want to ask

“so how is that going for you?”

The catchphrase of Work-Life Balance seems to be a hot topic if the latest magazine covers are to be believed. Around this time of year when holidays are starting to fade to memories even if the heat isn’t, the reality of being back at work might be sinking in.

A speaker at a conference I attended some years back made an interesting point which has stuck with me. What do we mean by Work-Life Balance? I detect an implication in this concept that work is something that gets in the way of the good aspects of living, an idea that there is some master switch we can pull, to separate our work and the rest of our lives. A quest to reach that magical point which creates balance for ever and ever Amen.

Maybe life is like that for some people in some jobs. I suspect for most of us in the helping professions, that our work (at least when we first start) is more based on our personal values of improving life for others. The flip side of finding our work meaningful can be a difficulty separating our home lives from our work lives in a way that allows us longevity in the workforce, rather than burnout. One of the key aspects of this balancing act seems to be our awareness of when the balance is tipping from coping to not coping, and what are our warning signs.

So what tips the balance for you?

  • Is it difficulty maintaining personal boundaries when faced with an unrelenting caseload?
  • Is it the challenge of managing the stress at work, resulting in it spilling over at home?
  • Is it forgetting to look after your health, fitness, healthy eating and ending up sick?
  • How often does the first part of your long planned holiday end up spent sick in bed.
  • Do you struggle with chronic health issues as a result of work stress?
  • Does your ability to find balance depend on your relationship with your colleagues or communication with your manager?
Instead of aiming for an ambiguous “better work-life balance” have any of these questions lead you to more clarity? Are you clearer on what to tackle to achieve better job satisfaction and health, a sustainable work life, a non-compromised home life and less risk of burnout this year?
If you are still struggling with the “How?” to put Wellbeing into your practice I’d love to talk further with you. You can contact me through this link.