Work Life Balance
When my daughter was younger, her mam and I we were very lucky to have the option of working hours that meant we were able to share the parenting. In addition to the support of family members we had it covered. However, I appreciate today more than ever what a luxury this was and how it may seem so to a lot of working parents in the modern workplace. Indeed, the ongoing struggle to balance the demands of work and home life are a major source of stress, almost 11 million working families, according to a recent working families report.
These families, just like yours, feel a huge sense of guilt. This is because they believe they are unable to commit the energy nor the level of contribution their work and home lives require of them to be as successful as they know they could be. The working and caring parents feel they have an obligation and it’s a very precise one. The belief that they ought to apply themselves to work as if they had no children, while simultaneously raising their children as if they had no job Guardian (2016).
Everyone wants to be the best version of themselves whether they are a parent, employee, business owner or any combination of these roles you can imagine. Though rarely does any individual have the ability or the opportunity to click into parent mode the second they leave work, or vice versa. In fact is has been suggested that only 34% of working parents actually go home on time from work each day, HR Magazine.
It has been shown that a typical working parent arrives home after a busy work day, then gets on with parenting and home duties until their cherubs are safely, contently drifted off into dreamland. At this point, the majority of working parents turn their attention to a few more hours of work. Attempting to demonstrate commitment, energy, focus and all those other words banded around as indicators of good performance and business expectation.
STOP, PLEASE STOP!
You are not super-human, even though you think you have to be, maybe you want to be or you think the world expects you to be. Either which way you are human, have your own needs and have access to a finite amount of focus, motivation and energy. You are not alone in feeling like this. Though remember you can only feel how you allow yourself to feel. You are controlling this.
What happens when we are out of balance?
It has been proven scientifically that the occupational stress can have devastating consequences for your health and well-being. Mosadeghrad (2017) showed that you are exposing yourself to the potential of experiencing:
- Cardiovascular disease
- High blood pressure
- Increased risk of physical injury
- Increased anger, anxiety and irritability
- Reduced job satisfaction and turnover intent (more likely to seek a new job)
Wow, not that attractive or desirable are they? OK, so what can you do to avoid this?
How can we help ourselves?
Well, as you may be aware, there is a plethora of advice out there. At the end of the day you have to select what works for you, your family and your work. Here are some pointers derived from a range of sources. I have distilled the advice into a simple checklist. Now you have a pick list of ideas to choose from that could help you become less stressed and avoid the nasty implications of occupational stress. I know you’d all like that wouldn’t you…………
- Have the conversation about flexibility and expectations at work. Be clear with your employer what you are willing and able to commit to and stick with it. Explore opportunities of flexibility whether its working hours, location or responsibility-there is win-win here.
- Have a similar conversation with your family, partner and childcare providers. Explore the options that enable you to be to what you have to do. make sure the support you need is there and where needed others are fulfilling their obligations and expectations.
- Be as organised as you can be. Chunk up tasks so that they are easier to schedule. Have a morning and night time routine that everyone can buy into and enjoy them together. Consider the use of a family calendar to visualise what everyone is up to.
- Have a regular, special family night. Dedicate time to the family, can be flexible to adapt to other needs. Make this something all the family will look forward to and enjoy-doesn’t need to cost anything, focus on quality family time.
- Build relationship time into your schedule. This can be the significant other if there is one, family, friends or even searching for a significant other if that’s for you. The sentiment is make time to cherish those that are close to you.
- Remember me time and well-being. Sounds obvious though is probably the most neglected focus. You cannot pout from an empty cup. To be able to provide and contribute to the level you want you have to maintain your physical and mental health. Know what helps you calm the body and mind and schedule blocks of time when you can.
- Ask for help and support, its not a crime. There are so many sources of support available to you and it’s not failure to ask for help. It’s success because you are taking positive action to achieve what you need to, go you! Let go of the guilt today.
What if we need more help?
In addition to this advice, if you have never heard of or experienced NLP then know that it is a proven approach to increasing your ability to cope with stressful situations. Proven to reduce the adverse effects of occupational stress according to Maslakpak et al. (2016) .
You can also hear from our clients here about what they have achieved with us using specialist NLP coaching.
The model below explains how NLP works, changing how we think changes how we behave and therefore the results we achieve. The techniques are highly effective, simple, easy and fun and enable significant positive change for clients. Click to her to find out more about NLP
As a Master NLP coach and practitioner I specialise in helping talented professionals just like you. I help you overcome your career anxiety enabling you to achieve breakthrough levels of confidence. You are then supercharged to fulfil your career and life aspirations. Find out more about our services here.
When you want to know more you can contact me.