Meditation Training

Working to Live vs Living to Work: Finding a Healthy Balance

Copy of Blog Banners 2022 16
image 3

Those of us employed have likely faced a discrepancy with work and personal life in the past. Whether it be something as simple as having to take time off for sickness or the occurrence of a major event in our lives, working to maintain a balance is an important aspect of well-being and is akin to performing a dance to manage the aspects of life. Many of us find ourselves caught between working to live and living to work, but aside from asking friends or professionals who have graduated with degrees such as the online Masters of School Counselling what can we do to strike a balance?

Defining Work-Life Balance

Essentially, work-life balance is about striking the right balance between your career and personal life. It isn’t usually about dividing the time, but it’s about ensuring that work doesn’t consume your ability to enjoy aspects of life. When you are balanced, positive aspects in other areas usually follow, such as health, relationships, and increased wealth. However, it can still be a challenge in a world where professionals are expected to be available constantly.

The Consequences of Not Balancing Life and Work

While it is admirable to be an individual who is committed to work, this work-over-all-else mindset could set you up for failure in the long run and negatively affect your well-being. If work takes center stage, then these are some warning signs. 

Risk of Burnout

In today’s intensely competitive environment, many work enthusiasts push themselves to the limit without realizing they are heading towards burnout. Exhaustion, disinterest and feelings of unfulfillment become companions, leading to decreased productivity and drive. It might not be completely obvious at first but if you start feeling less passion, or disinterest then be careful because those feelings might get worse as you further run yourself into the ground.

Declining Health

Stress can be an outcome of a life focused on work, but too much work and little recovery can have a negative impact. If left unaddressed, this increase in stress can lead to an array of health issues, both physical and mental, ranging from anxiety and depression to high blood pressure and cardiovascular problems. The body is interconnected, and when one aspect is out of balance, it can certainly affect other areas as well.

Strained Relationships

Prioritizing work over relationships can have negative effects on interpersonal connections. Bonds with family, friends, and partners may deteriorate when time and emotional energy are disproportionately dedicated to one’s job. While living solely for work may yield short-term benefits, the long-term consequences often come at the expense of well-being. At the end of the day, your family is more likely to care for you than your boss, so invest in those close to you first.

The Advantages of Prioritizing Life Over Work

It might be easy to think that prioritizing work over life leads to better business or career progression but this isn’t always the case. We all need to have a healthy balance in our lives and if we are fulfilled in all areas it is more likely that it will spill over to work.

Increased Job Satisfaction

Contrary to typical belief, individuals who value their personal lives alongside work tend to be not only happier but also more content with their professional roles. Allowing yourself time for pursuits can reignite passion and creativity, leading to performance. No one wants to do the same thing over and over again, as it can be unfulfilling and lead to worse performance.

Enhanced Mental Well-being 

Making small adjustments such as taking breaks leaving work behind after hours and pursuing hobbies can significantly improve clarity. Engaging in activities of work can bring a sense of fulfilment. This reduction in stress levels can significantly help your mental well-being because it ensures that your mind has a chance to rest and recover for the work day ahead.

Stronger Personal Connections

Fostering relationships with others creates a support system that proves invaluable when facing life challenges. Close connections can also aid in stress management, contributing to a state of security, happiness, and confidence. All this will ensure that you don’t get bogged down at work because you always have good people around you to get you through hard times.

Overcoming Working Mom Guilt

For working moms dealing with “working mom guilt“, it’s important to reframe your perspective. Feeling guilty about missing events or not spending enough time with your children is a common struggle, but does not mean you are failing as a parent. Your relationship with your children is built through the big emotional moments you are present for, not just attending every activity.

Overcoming this guilt requires self-compassion, recognizing the societal pressures causing these feelings, and focusing on quality time rather than quantity. Organize your schedule effectively, set reminders, and don’t be afraid to ask for help or say no sometimes to avoid burnout. At the end of the day, taking care of yourself allows you to be a better parent.

image 4

Striking a Balance

Now that we can understand the importance of balancing work and life it’s vital to think about how we can balance in our own lives. There are many strategies that we can use, some obvious and some a little less common. But it’s important to try their different methods and see what can work for our situation. 

The first thing you’d want to look at is how to effectively manage your time, and what this means is being as efficient as you can with your time. We all only have a certain number of hours in the day, and there is much that can be done to get the most out of those hours, which usually includes cutting the fat away from our daily tasks. This is generally done by creating strict schedules and adhering to them religiously, making sure that hours or minutes are not squandered by tasks you don’t intend to do. Spend some time thinking about what lever-moving tasks you want to accomplish and delegate things that you are not vital for you to complete.

Going on from the last point, it’s also vital that we establish limits and boundaries with other people because, more often than not, the needs and requests of others can take away from our time during the day. When you are on a mission, they generally will understand. All those who are successful take their goals seriously, and while you don’t need to be cut-throat with others, you should be firm about where you are and where you want to go in your career and life.

Assistance Tools and Support Systems

In today’s age, there exists a multitude of resources online that can cater to those wanting to achieve a work-life balance. Things like time management apps, automated calendars, meditation aids, and even AI programs to streamline tasks can help you reach your goals. Also, resources like books, communities, groups, and even mentors can steer your progressional life in the right direction. Spend some time investigating these options cause they really can be game-changers.

Achieving work-life balance is a journey that requires effort and continual adaptation no matter what you want to pursue. It entails making decisions and changes based on circumstances while being aware of any pitfalls and staying close to support systems. With the right strategy, you can establish a lifestyle where your responsibilities and personal life can coexist harmoniously.

Working to Live vs Living to Work: Finding a Healthy Balance
Scroll to top