Work/life balance is a practice not a destination
Life is dynamic and changing. Our behaviours and mindset should reflect that.
When people are asked to list their biggest desires from an employer, work/life balance is always in the top 3. There are two main problems with this.
- Every person’s idea of balance is different and stems from the fact that life is not the same day to day. Surprises happen, people and environments change. How often might we here this;
“I used to be really healthy but I got a new job/moved house/broke up with my partner/gym closed down/any other thing, and I completely lost my routine”
What people actually want is the freedom to make the choices they need to, when the time arises, without fear of professional/social consequence or repercussion.
Balance is a feeling based on resilience and adaptability, not a structure.
- Companies and organisations use blanket solutions for individual issues.
Raise your hand if any of these have applied to your workplace;
- Bootcamps. Because if you want to get healthy you have to do it as fast as possible right?
- Some sort of nutrition seminar. Because apparently people can’t tell the difference between a fresh healthy meal and a double whopper with cheese.
- Empowerment workshop (delivered by a “life coach” or some spiritually in tune instagram model)
- A medical test that tells you something you already knew.
These are generally the go to for companies when it comes implementing a corporate health program. Both parties are doing their best to get it right. Businesses like predictability, humans also like predictability. Life is not predictable. When it feels like work and life are both too much to handle, how do we change the way we think so we can de-stress and live in optimal balance?
- Think “how can I?” not “I can’t because”. This takes practice. Ask for help.
- Be okay with less than perfect. If 80% gets you distinction would you be happy with getting that 80%? Why do we expect 100% of our lifestyle. At the end of the day practice being content with having done enough instead of disappointed at not doing more.
- If it’s a workplace environment that needs changing phrase your conversation with your boss/manager/team leader in an agreeable way before suggesting change. This way they’ll focus on the positive outcome not the possible pitfalls.
“Do you think people are more productive when they are healthy and active?”
“Do you think it would be alright if I start earlier but finish early so I can keep my (insert selfcare routine) going?”
Remember, taking one step towards better health, no matter how small, is better than zero steps.