Feeling guilty because you aren't leading a 'balanced' life? Don't get
discouraged – you're not alone. How many people do you know who are truly happy
with the pace of their busy lives? Probably not many!
Truth is, there's no magic formula that will help you give exactly the right
amount of time to the many competing demands in your life. Invariably, life
involves choices – and the choices are up to you.
As you move through different stages of life,
your priorities will change. You may get pregnant, look after a sick parent,
start a new career or discover a new hobby. At each stage, your focus will shift
and different things will demand and hold your attention – often at the expense
of other priorities in your life.
But that is not necessarily a bad thing. You may actually be happiest when
you're pursuing something that you feel passionate about, even if it means that
your life is not balanced and your other priorities get less attention.
Regaining a sense of control
Work-life balance is not about organizing your schedule and giving every part of
your life equal time. It's about regaining a sense of accomplishment and
control. It's about making choices that are right for the time and circumstances
of your life. It's about living life in a way that makes you feel happy,
rewarded and fulfilled.
In your search for a balanced lifestyle, start by asking yourself these simple
|•||Do you feel good about how you're
spending your time?
|•||Are you aware of the choices you're
making or is life running roughshod over you?
|•||Are you nurturing the things that are
important to you?
|•||Are the choices and sacrifices you're
making today moving you towards a goal or vision for your future?
|•||Do you understand the implications of
your choices on your family and your work?
A balancing act
Rather than letting external circumstances push and pull you through life, take
responsibility for the choices you make. Take time to plan,
set goals and make good decisions about the way you’re spending your
Sometimes, you may have to make sacrifices in one area to achieve your goals in
another area. The important thing is to make sure that you are spending your
time and energy effectively, without sacrificing your health, relationships and
family. And remember, no matter how hard you strive to find balance, there will
always be some degree of tension between the competing demands in your life.
back to top
A checklist for work/life harmony
As you strive for greater control of your life, keep these helpful strategies in
Set personal boundaries
Think about situations that frustrate you or cause you to make needless personal
sacrifices. Set limits for yourself. Decide what you're willing to accept and
where you’ll draw the line. Then stick to your rules!
Concentrate on results
Don’t waste valuable time and energy on unproductive activities. Prioritize the
tasks that give you the greatest satisfaction or the best results. When you
focus on the right things, your limited time will go a lot farther.
Adjust your standards
Are you a slave to your standards? Find areas where you can ease back a little.
Maybe you can learn to live with a few dust bunnies if it means you have time
for a hot bath at the end of the day! Ask for help if you need it – you don't
have to shoulder all the burdens yourself.
Pursue your passions
If you enjoy a hobby or activity, make time for it – even if it throws your life
out of balance for a while. Just be careful that you don’t focus on your
personal interests to the exclusion of everything else in your life.
Take care of your health
Make time to follow a healthy diet and exercise regularly. Exercise relaxes
tense muscles, increases stamina and helps you sleep better. A balanced diet
delivers essential nutrients that combat stress, help you fight off diseases and
keep you energized. Visit Get
fit for life and Eat smart
for valuable information on healthy living.
Take time to smell the roses
Trite but true. It's important to put yourself first – at least some of the
time. Take time to reward yourself for all your hard work. Read a book, take a
nap or indulge in a special treat. If you're respectful of your own needs, it's
much easier to find the resources to respect and support the needs of those
Get the support you need
The Peel board offers many programs that can help you make positive lifestyle
choices. Visit Wellness programs
and Employee Assistance Program to learn
back to top