Is work-life balance an achievable feat or just a buzzword? Let’s find out.
If you’re an adult, you’ve heard the term work-life balance. In fact, you probably heard it come from your parents as a child. What’s more, I am nearly positive your parents discussed responsibilities with you at one point. Once you reach a certain age, parents typically begin placing responsibilities on you. In other words, they make you do chores. Take out the trash, wash the dishes, sweep the floor, wash and fold the clothes. The list of chores seems never-ending, and only appears to grow as you get older.
The responsibilities your parents place upon you are for a good cause. Simply put, they are preparing you for the “real world.” You know, the one you can’t wait to get to your entire childhood because you think you’ll be free-wheeling in a utopia, able to do whatever you please. The same one you realize, once you get older, isn’t all it was cracked up to be. Sure, you have more freedom, and you get to make the rules in this house. Except you quickly realize all of the responsibilities that come with being an adult don’t appear worth the trade-off.
When you reach adulthood, you become way more stressed than you ever were as a child. You pay rent, utilities, a car note, car insurance, health insurance, food, etc. You deal with a tremendous amount of pressure at work, and soon realize you’re working just to pay bills, which is a deflating feeling. As you can barely squeeze 10 seconds into your schedule to breathe, you yearn for your childhood, daydreaming about running around outside with your friends. Not a care in the world besides getting back home before the street lights come on.
Increased workloads, fighting for your livelihood, and trying to reach a place of sustainability all take their toll. So, how do you pull yourself up out of the doldrums and live happily? Because there’s no going back.
“Today is the oldest you’ve ever been and the youngest you’ll ever be.”
Well, it begins with balance. The root of our stress often lies in giving too much to one or two areas of our lives. Think of all the categories that make up your life: family and work, along with the personal, intellectual, physical, emotional, and spiritual categories.
What happens when you have a garden and only water one plant or flower but not the rest? The one you water grows and flourishes. Meanwhile, the others don’t have enough nourishment and can’t survive. The same goes for the categories of your life. If you don’t pour yourself into them, they’ll become or remain nonexistent. Watering only several categories in your life spells trouble because it causes your life to lack balance.
Many adults devote themselves to their careers and families in an admirable way. Yet, some of those same adults don’t stimulate themselves intellectually, aren’t keeping themselves healthy by performing regular physical activity, can’t develop emotionally because the only thing they feel is stress, and don’t evolve spiritually because they’re always on the go.
You can instill partial balance back into your life by recharging your batteries. One way to do this is by spending time outside. But recharging only goes so far. You want to prevent yourself from constantly getting to a place where you need to recharge in the first place. Do yourself a favor; take the work out of work-life balance. You’re left with life balance, and true life balance stems from pouring an even amount of yourself into each one of life’s most important categories. Don’t ever let one category make up the entire word.