Life as a Balancing Act

Life as a Balancing Act
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Do you ever feel like there is not enough time to do all of the things you have to do, and no time at all for the things you enjoy? If so, you are not alone. 

On average, people in the United States have worked more and more hours each year since 1970. But in recent years, fewer people say they want to take on more at work, even if they would get promoted or get paid more money. Especially during this time of working from home, the line can often be blurred with your house has become the office. 

Do you ever feel: 

  • That you always have more and more work to do at your job? 
  • That too many people depend on you every day? 
  • That you never have enough time for your family or friends? 
  • That you never have time for hobbies or things you enjoy? 
  • That each second of your day is scheduled? 

If you answered “yes” to any of these questions, take steps at work and at home to get your life into balance. 

Care for yourself at home

1. Manage your time well 

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  • Focus on the important things. Taking on too much can wear you out. Look at how you spend your time, and redirect your focus. Learn to say “no” and let go of things that do not matter. • Set one small goal at a time. Use a day planner. Break large projects into smaller ones. • Ask for help. Let your children, your spouse, your coworkers, and other people in your life help you get things done. 
  • Leave your job at the office (or more likely in a certain part of the house designated as workspace). If you give up free time to get more work done, you may pay for it with stress. If you feel like you live at work, literally, it makes it even harder to do!
  • Dress for success. When you are working, look professional even if you don’t leave the house. When the workday ends, change clothes to feel able to truly shift your focus on family and friends. 
  • Unplug. Do not let technology (such as your cell phone or the Internet) erase the line between your time and your employer’s time. 

Lower job stress 

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Job stress causes trouble at work and at home. At work, you may worry about things you have not had time to do at home. At home, you may worry about your job. This cycle upsets your work-life balance. Lowering your job stress can get your life back in balance. 

Job stress can be caused by: 

  • Pressure and deadlines. 
  • Heavy workloads or long hours. 
  • Not being allowed to make decisions. 
  • Health and safety hazards. 
  • Feeling you may lose your job. 
  • Unclear or changing job duties. 
  • Too much responsibility. 
  • Work that is very tiring or boring. 

Do any of these things bother you? Consider talking with your boss to change things. There are some things that you may not be able to control. But even a few small changes might help lower your stress. 

Know when to quit 

If you are truly unhappy because of a stressful job, and if the suggestions here have not worked, it may be time to think about changing jobs or changing careers. But before you quit, take time to research your options. 

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