Aren’t you tired of hearing about this miraculous Work-life Balance thingy? Everyone talks about it nowadays. Talk shows, newspapers and your company’s CEO are all “concerned” about health and wellbeing of modern employees. But what does it actually mean?
The truth is that it means different things for everyone.
My Swedish colleagues would probably tell you that balance is about being able to leave work at 5 pm and spend time with their family. My Parisian friends would be very likely to claim that work life balance is about being able to have non-work related social life after work. My American pals would say that nothing feels better that working hard for a while and then going out to celebrate it with colleagues. I’d say that for me all those things make sense as long as I manage to squeeze in few hours of regular workouts in my week.
But if balance is so personal, how can you be taught to find it? Excellent question!
I’ll tell you more: not only is balance personal, but it is also highly unstable. Meaning that (hopefully) your personal and professional situation will be constantly evolving adding more new things to juggle with. And whatever you balanced this week could easily get out of balance the week after even by some minor events (e.g. new project, unexpected guests, bad weather conditions, cancelled flights, busted tire etc. )
So if balance is so personal and kind of out of balance itself what is the point to look for it? Even better question!
The answer is as simple as this:
- Balance helps bring your wellbeing under control and only YOU truly know what is good or bad for you. So the fact that you need to figure it out yourself is an excellent thing. Do you really want anyone to tell you that next week beside work you need to spend 3 hours with your grandma, 5 hours at the gym and 4 hours cooking? What if your grandma is mean, you prefer outdoor sports and you don’t really cook? That would be very unpleasant week…
- Balance is fragile and the sooner you learn how to adapt to changing conditions, the faster you will find ultimate balance.
Different people will give you different advice on last point, but I simply recommend learning how to accept things you cannot reject. That means don’t try to fight at all costs whatever is imposed on your life and is out of your control, but rather accept it at least for the time being. I am not suggesting you accept an abusive husband, but rather all those small annoying things that destroy your daily balance.
For example, instead of stressing that you work too much and can’t go to the gym, accept it and find other ways to exercise (i.e. walk to work). Or if a relative is coming to visit and that could potentially destroy all of your daily routine, try to plan common activities around things that are important to you (i.e. exercise together, go to healthy restaurants, have quiet nights at home if you are tired).
I know, it sounds too simple to be true. Just try it yourself and see that by “surrendering” to some life conditions you are actually winning peace and inner balance.
I guarantee it will work!
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