Good work-life balance can feel elusive and unattainable, so we break it down into six main pillars
A poor work-life balance can rob you of the joyful moments of your life and negatively impact your mental health and well-being. Here, with the help of Dr. Kirstie Fleetwood Meade, she identified six key pillars of her work-life balance to lay new ground.
It’s pretty impossible to embark on a journey if you don’t know where you’re going.
Dr. Fleetwood Mead says, “Spend some time in visualizing what your ‘ideal’ work-life balance might look like. If you currently feel like you are 3 out of 10 on how well you align with this ideal, how can you move up to 4? can make this look more achievable.
“Then ask yourself why it’s important to you. If it’s to reduce stress, why? Can you spend more time with your family? The more you get, the easier it is to say yes to things that come close and no to things that don’t. “
your values and priorities
Once you’ve explored your “why,” Dr. Fleetwood Mead recommends shifting your focus to your core values. These are the guiding beliefs for us to live a meaningful life, she explains.
“Clarifying your values can help you make decisions about work-life balance,” she continues. “Examples of values include adventure, curiosity, power, fitness, freedom, fun, compassion, self-development, connectedness, love, equality, but there are many others.”
What role do your values play in your life now, and how would a better work-life balance affect your values?
your barriers or derailers
“Changing habits, making decisions, and saying no can all be emotionally draining,” says Dr. Fleetwood Mead. It becomes even more important to be able to get ahead of the “derailers” who may be disrupting or hindering. “
Think about what exactly these are for you and how you can address them, plan for them, and get support.
your worth and your infallibility
“It’s very important to take care of yourself in the same way you take care of others, but when that’s difficult, I often refer to the classic ‘you can’t pour from an empty cup’.” “In my therapy work, I also love the idea of ’both/and’—that two things that seem to be contradictory are actually true at the same time,” says Dr. Fleetwood Mead. Often we fall into black and white thinking. For example, if I’m your best colleague, that means you have to be “on” all the time. “
Instead, Dr. Fleetwood Mead suggests reframing it like this:
you are important and you can’t do it all.
you work hard and The world doesn’t collapse if you don’t check your email in the evening.
you care about others and Need time to recharge.
It’s probably one of the first things you think of when you think about how to improve your work-life balance, but it’s not easy.
“First, challenge your view of the word ‘no,'” suggests Dr. Fleetwood Mead. “We often grow up in stories of being likable, helpful, and kind. But you can still be a kind person.”
Dr. Fleetwood Meade suggests having some helpful phrases on hand. For example, offer alternatives. “I have too many things to do right now, but I’ll get back to you in X days or X weeks.” You can be polite but firm. Or, if you tend to be picky about people, take your time if you’re under pressure.
“Finally, the practice of manifestation—recognizing what is happening in your body and mind—is very helpful in guiding work-life balance,” says Dr. Fleetwood Mead. “Think of a situation where you know for certain that you want or don’t want to do something. Do you know what a whole body yes and a whole body no feel feels like?
“We say we know something from our ‘intuition’ or ‘marrow’. The more we know how our body feels in a given situation, the more automatically we act.” You will be able to react from where you feel yourself, rather than from.”
You may need to take the time to listen to these sensations, especially if you are accustomed to overtaking them. But if our bodies can hold the key to how we really feel, it’s worth it.
For more information on work-life balance, visit our Counseling Directory or speak with a qualified counselor.