Get A Healthier Work-Life Balance
By the time we leave university and get our first jobs, we already have the belief of “doing it all” at an early age. Usually the plan is to start a lucrative career, meet someone and fall in love, get married in our late 20s, and then have children before the age of 32. At the time it seems like a realistic timeline of expectations.
However, with age and wisdom I learned that by trying to do it all, especially at the same time, you are not giving anything your best. Because there is way too much to accomplish in such a short time, you tend to miss out on the wonders of the journey since you are just whizzing through to the destination.
While there is no magic pill you can take to achieve “work-life balance,” here are a few tips that can help you keep your sanity and actually enjoy the daily juggle of parenthood, marriage and career.
Set your own priorities
You are the one living your life, not your friends, spouse or spiritual advisor. You know what means the most to you so make it priority. Don’t listen to anyone else telling you what you should or should not be able to do. Pay attention to your own needs and well-being. If you feel you’re out of balance day in, day out, then you are. It’s time to look at what’s going on and reevaluate. Be willing to re-negotiate your work duties, as well as your parenting duties.
You are not perfect; deal with it
All the pressure that women today put on themselves today to be the perfect mother, the perfect worker, and the perfect wife with the perfect body takes the joy and energy out of their lives. Since when did human beings become perfect? Give yourself a break and do what is good enough for you and everyone else.
Life can become overwhelming when you have to do everything yourself. Ask for help and let other people take the weight off your shoulders. Take time out for you. It’s not selfish; it’s necessary. Exercise, meditate, read, and hang with friends. Schedule one night once a week that you do something that you enjoy. It doesn’t apply to things you think will be good for you or things that your children or partner would enjoy. This is for you. Whatever it is – having a meal with someone, reading a novel in the bath or lolling on the sofa with a glass of wine, watching TV – make it non-negotiable. Turn off your phone and enjoy the freedom of being unreachable by anyone. Stick to it and don’t put it off.
Don’t carry your work home
Unless you work from home, don’t try to finish what you should have done at the office from home. If you work at home, have a schedule and stick to it. When the workday is over, take off your work clothes, switch off the computer and enjoy quality time with your family.
Learn the contentment habit
In this era of social media, it is easy to be misled by the fabulous lifestyle your friends or neighbors seem to be living. You may think they have got it all, but take my word for it, they don’t. Instead of working yourself up in a frenzy trying to keep up with those around you, focus on your own life, and celebrate what you have and work towards making your own dreams come true.
Define success on your own terms
The most successful people in the world today are those that have discovered their passions and pursued them. Find a job that combines your passion with bringing in an income. If not, pursue this passion outside of your work be it gardening, tennis, writing, or just enjoying time over drinks with likeminded people.