We live in such a fast moving world; no-one seems to have time for anything anymore.
Time has become such a precious commodity, perhaps more so than money in some cases. At any given point in the day, most of us seem to be painfully aware; of what time it is.
Everything and everyone seems to be rushed.
Companies and bosses seem to expect more and more, yet there are still only 24 hours in a day, the same as there have always been. Are we expected to work all of them?
“We work to live, we do not live to work”. In other words, we have to have more to our lives than just work, in order to feel fulfilled.
Family and recreation need to play a balanced part in our lives in order to preserve our mental health and promote happiness.
So why is it that we often have such a poor work and life balance? And if you’re struggling to achieve a better work life balance, how easy is it to achieve? Can online counseling help? Are there other avenues to explore?
Usually, the lack of a work life balance is down to the pressures of our jobs, combined with the way in which we interpret those pressures. For example we have a deadline to meet which is challenging or perhaps even unrealistic. Then we start to think, I must do this perfectly or I will get fired, I must keep my boss happy or I will lose my job, or unemployment is so high I have to keep this job as I won’t find another. Adding insult to injury, we usually then start making detailed, ‘scary movies’ in our head, of living on the streets and starving to death. OK, that’s an extreme example, but you get the picture.
It is important to recognize the scary movies you make. They have a profound effect on how you feel and behave…. Yet they haven’t actually happened!! Right now they exist only in your mind, they are just absolute worst case scenarios and the worst that can happen rarely does. Stop for a second and name three people you know who have lost their jobs and then ended up living on the streets and starving to death? Online counseling includes therapies such as CBT which can help you learn how to keep things in proportion. It is unlikely you will get fired for missing an unrealistic deadline, you do not have to do perfectly in order to keep your job and there are always other jobs! Even if 15% of are people unemployed, that means that 85 people in every 100 ARE employed!
Always remember, you do not work for anyone. You co-operate at your discretion. That is a much healthier headspace and far more realistic too. Doubt me? Ask yourself, how long would you continue doing your job, if your employer stopped paying you? Exactly! You co-operate at your discretion, you simply have a reciprocal and discretionary agreement with your employer. You are not a slave!
If possible, enjoy your work . If you hate your job it is unhealthy to stay in it and you probably won’t be performing to the best of your ability anyway, so it serves no-one. If you can, get out and find something else that you do enjoy. This means actively looking, not just a half-hearted glance through the jobs section once a week! If it is not possible to consider changing jobs (unlikely) then consider how you might change the way you do things, or build something in that will make it at least a little more pleasurable. Again, this is another area where online counseling can help by helping to break the negative cycle and take proactive steps towards positivity. Maybe you could brighten up the environment where you work with something as simple as a plant or a fishbowl? Maybe you could have a radio on whilst you work? Come up with a shortlist of ideas and submit it to your boss.
If free time is short, then in order to gain some balance between work and life you must plan the free time you do have, effectively. For example, if you have a day or weekend off, plan how you are going to use it. Who do you want to see? What errands are essential? Set aside some time for something fun or recreational and BOOK IT! Don’t make your plans too rigid or it may feel like work which defeats the object, but at least have some ideas and approximate timings. If you don’t do this, it is all too easy to waste that precious time slumped in front of the TV or procrastinating about what to do. If possible ensure you build in some time for exercise. Exercise not only keeps you physically healthy but mentally healthy as well, because it floods the body with endorphins, which are the body’s natural stress relieving and feel good chemicals.
Trade off! If you work late in the week, DO NOT work the weekend as well. If you work at the weekend, don’t stay late every night in the week. Consider making a commitment to a sports team or class to help hold this in. If you struggle to make your son’s or daughter’s game, consider coaching their team, or at least helping to do so.
If you don’t think any of these ideas or suggestions can work for you, perhaps it’s time you sought someone to one help for your particular circumstances. Further help and guidance is always available from our online counseling service (or online counselling as it is spelt in the UK).
This page was written by Mr T. Roberts of Online Counselling Fast. Learn more.