Developing better work/life balance

Choose a Therapy Back
Darren Magee

Developing better work/life balance

Posted by Darren Magee 2122 Days Ago

How exactly do you leave work at five and not think about it until the next morning? Is that possible when you’ve an important presentation at nine the next morning in front of the entire senior management team? What if when you’re in the middle of a grievance procedure, which always seem to take forever?

Of course it’s hard to just switch off. We often spend more time in work than we do at home. We see more of our work colleagues than we do our loved ones. In fact notice how we often identify ourselves by how we earn a living. For example I’m Dave I’m an engineer, I’m Karen I’m an office manager and so on. Our own sense of self-worth sometimes even depends on how successful we are at work - and a harsh oppressive work environment can leave us depressed and demotivated as much as a good healthy supportive workplace can have us buzzing with infectious enthusiasm when we get home in the evenings.

Is there a way to ‘switch it on and off’ as you need to? Park it where it belongs and pick it up the next day? Sometimes when clients tell me about how stressful and difficult their jobs are and how they find the anxiety and stress affecting their home lives and relationships, they ask how to switch it off or stop caring even if just for an evening.  I ask them if they think Batman is Bruce Wayne wearing a mask or if Bruce Wayne is Batman without the mask.

Quite an odd question but it gives the client something to think about as we begin to discuss roles, responsibilities and boundaries. Of course work is important on so many levels but recognising that self-care and self-soothing and personal relationships are too. The caped crusader who battles villains and upholds law and order is the same person who dates supermodels and enjoys his playboy lifestyle. He thinks, feels and experiences in both roles but is able to separate them.

Knowing your values and feeling confident to communicate them can help not just establish your personal and professional boundaries but to reinforce them also. Developing healthy supportive relationships, perhaps in an area of interest you have such as sport or music, can also help establish and promote a life outside the office.

If you have a concert, a match or a date to go on you have something to look forward to while at work. Build fun into your life, whether taking the kids to the cinema or planning a long weekend it helps to remember that a little relaxation can go a long way to reducing stress and tension at home and can even improve concentration and productivity at work.