Balancing Work & Home


Among the essential ingredients of a balanced life are meaningful activity, physical and mental health, satisfying relationships and peace of mind. To achieve that balance, you must successfully juggle the demands of your work, and your personal life. "If you're spending too much time in one area, it's likely you'll become exhausted and stressed," says Epstein Shepherd, Ph.D., a psychologist in Carmel, Calif. "Each of us has an average of 112 to 120 waking hours a week in which to satisfy all of our responsibilities. The more successful we are at completing our work and taking time for ourselves on a regular basis, the more often we'll feel satisfied and in control of our lives."

Balance at Work
Dr. Shepherd recommends three things every morning to start your workday with a sense of balance and purpose:

  1. eat breakfast
  2. list your daily goals, and
  3. determine your top priorities.

"When setting your goals for the day, ask yourself, 'If only one thing could be done today, which activity would it be?' The answer should be your top priority," she says. It's best to prioritize your list according to importance, not how easily a task can be completed." During the last 10 minutes of every workday, think about what you have accomplished. "Give yourself credit for what you get done each day, and you'll go home with a sense of completion instead of frustration about what you didn't get done. Doing so will help you make a clean transition to your personal and home life." 

Balance at Home
The great challenge for many of us is to carve out time for ourselves despite the unceasing demands of work and family. "But it's imperative you make time for rest and relaxation," Dr. Shepherd says. Begin by setting aside the equivalent of an hour a day in which you do things you want to do. You can schedule that hour before or after work. Treat these appointments with yourself with as much respect as you would a meeting with a client or supervisor. Studies have found that people who take time for physical and mental rejuvenation accomplish more and are happier than those who don't take the time. Creative people often get their best ideas while taking a walk, gardening or taking part in activities not related to work. "People who use their evenings, weekends and vacations for personal rejuvenation are more energetic and productive at work because they're living a life that is in balance," Dr. Shepherd says.

Questions About Balance
So, whether it's a matter of caring for an aging loved one, looking for ways to tighten the family budget, questions about a legal matter or just some personalized attention to deal with the everyday stress we all face, remember the HealthQuest EAP.

Call toll-free 1-888-275-1205 (option 7) for more information.