It can be really difficult to look at all of the aspects of our lives, without getting overwhelmed, and accurately judge how much time we should allot to each area in order to gain stability. How do we prioritize? Not only am I still trying to figure out how to achieve work-life balance, but I am still trying to figure out what that looks like in reality. Is it truly attainable at all? Some days, the answer seems like an obvious NO. Others, feel much more successful (and dare I say – balanced).
I have toggled back and forth about what it means to have a work-life stability. In my attempts to achieve balance, I’ve come to understand that I first need to recognize what aspects of life I am trying to juggle. This is the main key that I have found that made an actual difference in my life. Recognizing the various puzzle pieces I’m trying to place helped me realize what I must do if I want to live my life to the fullest and healthiest potential.
So what are the aspects of life that we must balance? Some could include:
- Job/ Career/ Education
- Home/ Family/ Spouse
- Social Life (Friends)
- Personal Growth
- Physical Health
Let’s say that the average person works a nine-to-five job and the average amount of time that is spent working at that job is about 40 hours a week. That can equal out to almost 2,000 hours a year spent at work. Add on about 4,000 hours for sleeping (if you’re lucky!) and you’ve already cancelled out more than half of your average year. I don’t know about you, but knowing half of my year is spent at work or sleeping isn’t the most comforting thought. It already sounds like life is out of balance.
So we are at work a lot, yes, but do we leave work at work? Do we unplug when we get home or do we continually check our email when we hear that tiny ding? There is a difference between an interest and a passion. If your job is your passion, it can be so difficult to set boundaries that inspire balance. It took a small episode of insomnia after getting a new job for me to realize I wasn’t unplugging. I would check every email that came in. I couldn’t stand that there might be something that I just had to know. This imbalance began to permeate every aspect of my life and I quickly realized that I need to change.
I need to identify my priorities and begin to create more steadiness for myself. But how?
- I removed my work email off my phone. I’ve set specific times to check my email and I have made changes to prevent myself from checking it outside of those times.
- I’ve started enjoying my day off. Practicing self-care recharges me for the week, both personally and professionally. I take that day to pause from work and spend time engaging in other important aspects of life.
- I have accountability. I’ve talked to my partner about helping me unplug and find balance. When he sees that I am bringing work home, he gently reminds me to step away.
- I’ve also started limiting my social media presence, which has allowed my real-life relationships to flourish. I spend more time talking to my friends, rather than liking their photos. I tell my partner that I am thankful for him, rather than throwing a “#MCM” on an Instagram post.
Balance takes effort. It can be difficult to maintain, but it is so worth the work. It has been two full weeks since I have unplugged and I have started sleeping again. I feel more confident in my job and I’m having the most fun with my partner that I’ve had in a while.
We all have areas of our lives that we need to focus more on and unplug. What is yours? If you need help finding balance, call us at 832-421-8714.