Balancing work and life

The effects of imbalance are well-documented: frustration, anxiety, depression, and stress can overwhelm and create illness from lack of self-care and more.

by Ada Porat — 

Work-life balance is about finding the critical balance point between work and personal commitments. This process looks different for each person, and it looks different at various stages of life.

The effects of imbalance are well-documented: frustration, anxiety, depression, and stress can overwhelm and create illness from lack of self-care and more. When out of balance, one is also more likely to use substances to compensate such as more food, more sugar, more alcohol and/or more prescription drugs.

How does one turn this imbalance around? As with all change, the first step is in knowing where you are. Are you aware of being out of whack, but are unsure why? Perhaps you know where you are off-kilter, but you don’t know what to do about it.

Secondly, you need to know who in your life can support you in making changes. Do you need to enroll your boss and propose flextime or telecommuting? Do you need to ask your family to help out with responsibilities? Do you need a life coach to keep you motivated and focused?

Next, take a look at your personal boundaries. Are you a people pleaser who always says yes to every request? Do you offer to help others at the expense of your own time which can cause stress? You may need to learn how to say no, and disentangle yourself from the obligations you have agreed to for all the wrong reasons. It is both your right and your responsibility to choose how you spend your time and energy.

The next step is to review all your current obligations, as well as those things you would like to include in your life. This list may include self-care, hobbies, family, time for yourself and friends, social obligations, fun/leisure, travel, classes, organizations, community efforts, health, work and, of course, sleep.

Now determine the actual time spent and the desired time spent for each of these activities. You may find quite a disparity between the two. Your goal is to begin working toward your desired time allotments, rather than continuing your present unbalanced time habits. Prioritize your activities and find ways to delegate, automate or eliminate what is not essential. You may decide to lower your squeaky-clean standards for house-cleaning, negotiate for flextime at work or find a new job altogether.

Next, you need to find ways to build “decompression space” into your day. This will provide you with opportunities to regenerate, clear your mind and keep stress at manageable levels. Some options include meditation or yogic breathing.

Daily meditation has been found to have beneficial results in balancing both hemispheres of the brain. You can also de-stress and center by simply changing your surroundings while breathing consciously. Your body will thank you for it.

 

Ada Porat is a vibrational healer and life balance coach with extensive international teaching and clinical experience. She uses body/ mind/spirit techniques to help clients find life balance. www.AdaPorat.com or 602-283-4628.

Reprinted from AzNetNews, Volume 26, Number 3, June/July 2007.

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