Work-life balance is the creating a balance to separate your work and family life. With the advancements in communication technologies, this can seem like an impossible goal for many people because you can now be in constant contact with work or home. Rest assured, a healthy work-life balance is possible. The ideal work-life balance varies for each individual, so it is key to find the ideal balance that works for you and your family.
Signs & Symptoms
Recognizing a work-life imbalance can be difficult. When you have an imbalance, problems will arise in your personal relationships and your physical and mental health.
Common signs and symptoms of work-life imbalance include:
Bringing work home
Increased arguments with family members about time spent working
Canceling family plans or social plans for work
Poor sleep and work-related dreams
Teeth grinding during sleep
Short temper with family members
Upset stomach digestive issues
Increased caffeine/alcohol use
Increased expectations at work
Diagnosis & Treatment Options
Achieving a healthy work-life balance is possible by setting limits and boundaries between work and home through figuring out the things that matter most to you and incorporating those things into your life. Here are some tips for how to manage your work-life balance while at work and at home:
While at work:
Set manageable goals each day.
Make a “to do” list, and take care of important tasks first and eliminate unessential ones. Make sure to be realistic about workloads and deadlines.
Taking a break at work is acceptable and often encouraged by many employers. Small breaks at work will help clear your mind, and improve your ability to deal with stress and make good decisions.
Listen to your favorite music at work to foster concentration, reduce stress and anxiety, and stimulate creativity.
Be honest with colleagues or your boss when you feel you are feeling overwhelmed. Don’t just complain - suggest practical alternatives, too!
Take advantage of your options.
Ask your employer about flex hours, a compressed workweek, job sharing, telecommuting or other scheduling flexibility. The more control you have over your hours, the less stressed you are likely to be.
Give yourself a break. No one is perfect! Allow yourself to be human and do the best you can.
While at home:
Leave work at work.Create a boundary between work and home. If possible, avoid answering work related communications while at home. If you cannot completely avoid work at home, reduce the amount of times you check your emails or other messages.
Manage your time.Cut or delegate activities you do not enjoy or cannot handle. Divide and conquer your responsibilities at home.
Make a list.Put family events on a weekly calendar, and keep a daily to-do list at home. Having a plan helps you maintain focus.
Make time for fun and relaxation.
Set aside time each day for an activity that you enjoy, such as practicing yoga or reading. Volunteering can also be a great way to boost your work-life balance.
Get support.Chatting with friends and family can be important to your success at home.
Treat your body right.Eat right, exercise and get adequate rest to reduce stress. Avoid relying on drugs, alcohol or cigarettes to cope with stress.
Learn to say no.
Remember that it is OK to respectfully say no. When you quit accepting tasks out of guilt or a false sense of obligation, you will have more time for activities that are meaningful to you.
Get help if you need it.
If you are persistently overwhelmed, it may be time to seek help from a mental health professional.
There Is Hope!
If your life feels too chaotic to manage, talk with a counselor or other mental health provider. Creating work-life balance is a continuous process as your family, interests and work life change. Periodically examine and adjust your priorities to make sure you are staying on track.
For more information about maintaining a healthy work-life balance, contact our office today or visit these sites:
Therapy is more long-term than counseling and focuses on a broader range of issues. The underlying principle is that a person's patterns of thinking and unconscious awareness affect the way that person interacts with the world. The goal is to uncover those patterns and become aware of their effect and then learn new, healthier ways to think and interact.
So you live in Kentucky and only a few more weeks until spring. Everyone should be happy and feel better about that, right? I think most of us get a sense of relief and hope, and that cognitive energy to bust out of the winter season and get moving. For some, the spring can be a rough time. Depression, anxiety, bi-polar disorder, and relationship issues prevent the spring season from being all that it could be. Following are some reasons that these and other conditions may worsen in the spring, a few resources for you, and some concrete strategies you can implement to help yourself.
So why do people struggle some in the spring when it should be all flowers and sunshine?
1. Sleep Many times the spring season causes a change in our circadian rhythm
. The sun wakes you up in the am, it is difficult to keep a routine, and restlessness all contribute to the sleep problem. Our eating in the winter and spring can affect how much we sleep. Caffeine, napping, undereating, and how much we are moving, all contribute to how much we sleep. Spring likely has an effect on melatonin in the body, which aids in sleep.
Strategies that help are EXERCISE and EATING RIGHT! If you keep moving with the help of a tool like a Fitbit or utilize regular exercise of 45 minutes or more 4-5 times per week, you are far less likely to have sleep problems. Exercise helps you sleep. Exercise helps you eat better. Eating and sleeping adequately can reduce your stress and fight any symptoms you may have. Eating healthy keeps your mind, body, and spirit in a positive place. When your body is well, your mind has a great chance of being well too. Sounds too simple? Give it a try!
2. Spring Fever is Real Our office has existed for over 15 years now. I can tell you that March to May is our busiest time of the year, always. Bipolar disorder, marital infidelity, depression, and anxiety are the main reasons people call us in the spring. The real causes of spring fever include longer days that produce more sunshine and increased energy, changes in hormone production, sleep cycles, nutrition and diet changes, body needs, and possibly, a lack of self care. When we bust of out winter here in Kentucky we sometimes forget that it takes a little time to get our minds and bodies in shape for yard work, spring cleaning, and for many, an increased workload all the way around. Here are some links to let you know spring fever is real.
Sometimes in spring we have been thinking about all the things we should of, could of, would of done if we had lived in San Diego or Florida during our winter days. The reality of being human can set in when we find out that spring has sprung, it is time to get moving, and we don't have the energy or drive to complete our list of high expectations. Many people are disappointed in themselves and these outcomes. Don't worry about it.
Strategies you can use include setting small attainable goals you can feel good about. Work on your list a little at a time. Make goals that regular people can reach with time built in for you to EXERCISE AND SLEEP. Do a mix of things that you enjoy and are healthy for you while completing your responsibilities. If you deny yourself from pleasure too long, that strategy is likely to backfire. Have a good balanced approach. Use a checklist that has 3 sections. One section is for today. One section is for the week. Reserve one part of the list for things your are really wanting to do. Put a vacation or planned fun activities on a calendar. Look up things you might want to do during that time online. Planning, thinking and dreaming are fine. They keep us hopeful.
If you live in Kentucky, you know about allergies. Kentucky is known to be one of the worst states when it comes to spring and fall allergies. Louisville is ranked as one of the worst cities in the entire country to live in due to allergies.
Many times people are unaware they are being affected. Sometimes the symptoms are less obvious than a runny nose, cough, and cold like symptoms. Many times people are lethargic, grouchy, have headaches, and have cognitive deficits. The allergic affect we have in Kentucky can quickly turn into a sinus infection, bronchitis, ear infections, and other maladies that make us mentally and physically drained. That flower below can cause us some issues!
Get to a doctor. Take a seasonal allergy medication. Some are mild, like Allegra (please get your physician's approval before taking allergy medications) and can be taken everyday. Prescription nose sprays may help, but may also have some cognitive or mood altering side effects. Be careful, but don't suffer! Get help from an allergist if you need it.