We know we should be achieving this, but it always seems out of reach. How easy is it to really maintain a healthy work/life balance?Acknowledge that we live in a highly competitive era. We are competing against technology.
Many of us work flexible or varied hours, this extends our working availability, as we are engaging with others who work different hours to us or even different time zones. The added immediacy of communication means that not only are we expected to react, reply or complete tasks quickly, we also feel a compulsion to do so.
At the same time, we have family lives, children, spouses, personal responsibilities. What takes priority? The dilemma is that work and the salary that comes with it, sustains one. The dual demands of family life and work pressures intersect and in doing so, create a great deal of anxiety. The anxiety comes from trying to manage both these responsibilities in a balanced way. This is where life becomes challenging.
Not fulfilling familial responsibilities is frequently accompanied by feelings of guilt and resentment, which further increases anxiety.
We tend to give priority to work and only give intense focus to family when a crisis presents. The spill over from pressures at work creeps into family time and vice versa. How often have you been unable to concentrate at work because of an argument at home?
Placing undue pressure on yourself to get the work/life balance right is yet another stress.
I advise clients to understand and accept that the balance will fluctuate. Sometimes, there will be more or less priority given to work or family. Often, the mere act of acknowledging these stressors can help to diffuse some anxiety.
Accept that you are not superhuman, make peace with the fact that you will have limitations and will do the best you can at that moment.
Your spouse or family would rather experience relaxed or engaged quality time with you, where you are not thinking about what else you should be doing or how little time you have spent with them.
Don’t live in the future and neglect experiencing the present.
l Louisa is a relationship expert. She has a particular interest in the psychology of love, mid-life transition and awakening. She consults internationally and in South Africa, to a broad base of clients, pertaining to relationships, personal growth, trauma, conflict management and selfactualization. https://www.louisaniehaus.com/