‘Work life balance’ is something that is different for all of us and our understanding of it and what we want this to mean and how we understand it may change as we age and have more life experience.
Essentially the key foundation of achieving true work life balance is to know yourself as a person, and to know that there are many facets to you as a person and they are all equal and deserving of and needing care in all areas. If one of these areas is ‘out’ so to speak then it has a knock on effect on all of the other areas of our lives as well.
Its key in this to know that work is not separate to life and not something to try and to be minimised, but rather to understand that it is simply a part of life, just like everything else.
It’s important in life that we take care of all areas of our life, starting with taking care of our physical and emotional health and well-being. When it comes to work-life balance we need to know where to focus and when. The approaches we take and choices we take will be different for all of us at different times as our circumstances are all different.
Often we seek ‘work life balance’ when we feel work has taken too much of our focus and time in our lives and our health and well-being has been affected, leaving us feeling tired, unwell, rundown and unfulfilled in other areas.
In reaction to that excess of being dominant work focussed, we can then sometimes focus on doing things like entertainment to distract us from work and in that some of our activities may actually be harmful for the body like drinking alcohol, eating excessively and/or unhealthily, sleeping late or too little, or perhaps having risky hobbies.
But if we do not live well in time when we are not ‘at work’ then this can create tiredness and fatigue and at times more ill health that then carries on to how we feel when we are at work. This approach also leads to an unhealthy impact on the body, no different to the unhealthy impact of being too consumed by work!!
If we want to feel well, and we don’t feel well from being consumed by work, it doesn’t make sense to compound ill health with choices outside of work that make us more unwell…
Many of us seek to work less when we are feeling tired and run down, and how we are at work may be part of this, however how we are in non-work time equally affects us.
We are made tired by both how we are at work and what is going on at work as well as how we are in our ‘personal’ time.