MamaBlogger365 – Creating a Work/Life Balance by Diane Lang
Hello everyone! I received an e-mail with a great question on balance that I thought I would share, along with some information and tips on establishing and maintaining a work/life balance, a struggle most of us go through on a daily basis. Please send me any questions you have. I can share the questions and answers with others and we can help each other.
Hi! I’m a full-time mom with a full-time job. I work around 45 hours a week and my commute eats up at least another 8-10 hours a week. I always feel like I’m running. I feel overwhelmed and stressed out. I wish I could find some balance between my work and personal life. Any tips? Thoughts?
Most of us feel this way. Between work, family, and social commitments, most of us feel like there is never enough time in the day. What I have learned as a counselor/coach is that it’s not about time, it’s about setting priorities and living in the moment. We spend a lot of time worrying about the future and things we can’t control. We also spend a lot of time saying YES when we mean NO, which adds a lot of stress to our lives. Here are a few tips that could make a difference in your daily routine.
Creating a Work-life balance
Career vs. Job: Do what you love. Imagine you have a job where you work as least 40 hours a week, then add an hour commute each way — that’s a lot of time to spend doing something you don’t like. If you’re a parent, then you have 2 jobs. Parenting is a 24 hours, 7 days a week, no holidays or vacation time job. So, you better like your job outside of the home or it will make a very stressful, unbalanced and unhappy life.
The happiest/balanced people will tell you they have a Career. They enjoy going to work because it’s their passion.
The first step you need to take to create a balanced life is find out your passions/strengths. Take a personality test if you need to and ask yourself some questions.
1. When you were a child what did you love to do?
2. If money wasn’t an option, what would you love to do?
3. What causes flow? Flow is when time stands still, when your so involved in your activity that you don’t even notice what is going on around you?
Personal/Professional Growth: To remain balanced, we need a mix of both professional and personal development. The happiest people are always growing and learning in both areas of their lives. If we stop growing both professionally and personally we becomes stale and stagnate which can lead to depression.
Are your basic needs met? You won’t find any balance if your not taking care of yourself. This involves taking care of your basics such as: sleep, healthy eating, exercise, etc. The other part is self-care — we usually feel unbalanced because we give a 100% to our work and then a 100% at home to our family but what about ourselves. For me self-care is a necessity, I schedule in “Me” time. I schedule in daily activities that will be two-fold. I will be putting myself first and also doing things that cause happiness. These include: gratitude checks (morning and night), exercise, reading, etc.
Write a list of activities that you love to do and that involve your strengths/passions. Then, in your daily calendar, schedule yourself in. What keeps me motivated to add self-care is my child. A positive parenting tip — kids are visual learners. Telling my daughter she needs to take care of herself is one thing but showing her is even better. When my daughter sees me exercising, reading a book, going out with friends, etc., I’m showing her respect for oneself and how to be happy.
Visualize What Your Balanced Life Would Look Like: I have clients come to me and say that their lives are unbalanced. When I say, what would make your life better and more balanced, they aren’t sure. Sometimes we get so wrapped up in the feelings of being overwhelmed, stressed out and tired that we forget to focus on what we want. What kind of life do you want? Do you need more vacation time? Time with your family? A different job? You can’t make changes until you know what they are.
Control: Most of us spend a lot of time on what we CAN’T control and all that does is take up a lot time and negative energy. We can’t control anyone but ourselves. Write a list of everything you can and can’t control. The list with everything you CAN’T control, rip up. If you can’t control it, let it go. Take the list of everything you can control and ask yourself this question: What can I do about it now? What changes can I make?
Be Honest: A lot of times, we feel unbalanced but really, we aren’t happy in our lives. So, take some time to be honest with yourself. What are you feeling? I have seen clients preoccupy themselves with a lot of “stuff” that they felt unbalanced and overwhelmed but after a lot of thinking, they realized they were filled up with “filled” activities. They would keep busy but it wasn’t anything important. They were avoiding their real feelings.
Be realistic: I haven’t meet anyone who has a perfectly balanced, happy life. We will have bad days, days we are rushing and feel stressed out. When this happen remember, it’s only TEMPORARY. We won’t feel this forever. Odds are that you will be over it in a few hours. It’s okay to feel stressed out sometimes. There is also good stress. Good stress motivates you to move forward and be the best you can be. So, don’t always be turned off by stress.
Want to learn more? Join Diane at one of her upcoming workshops in New Jersey and on Long Island, New York:
Wednesday, Nov 9 at 7pm — “Happiness – Living an Optimistic Lifestyle”
Chatham Adult school, NJ | 973-443-9222
Thursday, Nov 10 at 7pm — “Letting Go of Anger”
Union County College, NJ | 908-709-7601
Friday Nov 11 at 6pm — “Organization for the Overwhelmed”
Burlington County College, NJ | 609-877-4520. ext 3015
Saturday, Nov 12 at 10am — “Living Your Best Life”
Brookdale Community college, NJ | 732-224-2315
Monday, Nov 14 at 7pm — “Ease Your Stress”
Westfield Adult school, NJ | 908-232-4050
Tuesday, Nov 15 at 7pm — “Holiday Stress Buster” workshop with Diana Perez and Janet Pfeiffer
Rest stop rejuvenation, 21 Maple Ave., Rockaway, NJ | Register with Kim at 973-584-9255
Wednesday Nov 16 at 4pm and 6pm — “Ease Your Stress”
Warren Community College, NJ | 908-689-7613
Thursday, Nov 17 at 7pm — “Live Your Best Life”
Port Washington adult school, Long Island, NY | 516-767-5470
Bio: Diane Lang is an educator and Life Coach. Diane has dedicated her career to helping people turn their lives around and is now on a mission to help them develop a sustainable positive attitude that can actually turn one into an optimist, literally. A therapist and educator of Positive Psychology, she has seen that it can provide a strong foundation for finding great happiness and is gratified that it is becoming a mainstream method of treatment. As an expert in her fields of therapy, Diane has been featured in the Daily Record and Cookie Magazine, seen on NJ 12 TV and the national television program “Fox & Friends”. She has also participated in a reality based Internet show, ourprisoner.com, hosted Generation X-tinet and appeared in various educational videos. In addition Lang writes a bi-weekly column “The Balancing Act” at www.thealternativepress.com and sharing her expertise on parenting and living a positive lifestyle on The WTBQ Expat Show.
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