By Linda Ziac
The Caregiver Resource Center
October 24, 2018
Do you feel your life is in balance – work, family relationships and leisure time?
WHAT IS BALANCE?
If you look around, you’ll probably notice that the happiest, most productive people you know are those who have learned to combine work, family relationships and leisure time into a satisfying whole.
These “balance experts” know that each of these elements of their lives is needed to support the other two.
People with balanced lives:
- Learn to evaluate priorities and focus on the “big picture.”
- Know how to use long-range planning, prioritizing and organizational skills to make sense out of conflicting demands.
- See a warning light go off when the demands of work intrude on family time, or when family responsibilities distract them on the job.
- Know that leisure time - including private time away from spouses and family members - is essential to rejuvenate their spirits.
- Approach their commitments with well-defined goals and a positive attitude.
- Value open communication with their employers and family members.
- Learn how to communicate more effectively with their co-workers and their children.
- Learn how to shift gears when it’s time to refocus their priorities.
HOW IS YOUR BALANCING ACT?
Answer each of the following questions either yes or no.
_ Yes _ No Does your family complain about the long hours you spend at work?
_ Yes _ No Do you spend hours on the job dealing with family matters?
_ Yes _ No Do you frequently bring work home from the office?
_ Yes _ No Do you feel guilty about taking vacations?
_ Yes _ No Do you put off getting regular exercise?
_ Yes _ No Do you feel dissatisfied with your current job responsibilities?
If you answered “yes” to any of these questions, you may benefit from learning how to balance work, relationships and leisure time to create a more satisfying life. With a better sense of balance, you’ll reap the rewards of good physical and mental health, higher productivity and strengthened family ties.
Life can be a juggling act. Work, family and personal needs compete for your time and attention. A sense of “balance” can help you create a rich and varied life free from conflicting demands.
Here are some ways to help you achieve balance:
- Spend time with your children.
Strengthen your youngsters’ self-esteem and build a positive relationship that will last a lifetime by spending as much time with them as you can.
- Make meal times special.
Dine together as a family several times a week. Make the dinner table a place for family members to share news and excitement. Serve healthy meals that everyone enjoys.
- Hold family meetings.
Use regular meetings to discuss goals, problems, family events and to assign household chores.
- Maintain a calendar of family activities.
Use colorful markers to note all appointments, meetings and special family occasions. Post the calendar where everyone can use it.
- Have fun with your family.
Plan fun family activities. Exercise together; go on bike rides, hikes or day trips to relaxing places. Join fund-raising walks and fun runs.
- Plan, prioritize and organize your work life.
Make long and short range plans for individual projects. Prioritize each day’s tasks, listing the most important jobs first. Set a deadline for each task so you can complete the project on time.
- Take breaks.
Breaks help you concentrate. Get up and stretch, have a refreshing glass of water or take a short walk, if possible.
- Use your lunch hour.
Write a letter, pick up some groceries or make personal phone calls. Schedule a doctor appointment, read a book or think of ways to improve your work-family balance while you rest.
- Sharpen your communication skills.
You’ll have fewer problems at work - and at home - if you can express yourself clearly and understand others. Talk with your supervisor if you’re having any problems at work.
- Cultivate personal interests.
Take time for gardening, golf or crafts activities. Sign up for art classes. Join a bowling league. Learn to play the guitar.
- Build regular exercise into your routine.
Join a health center or explore other options for regular exercise. Put on the calendar the time you’ve committed to exercise. Make “exercise dates” with a friend to help build commitment and fun into your workout.
- Take mini-vacations.
A day trip to the country or a recreational area can add variety and relaxation to your life at little or no cost.
- Get involved in your community. Coach your child’s soccer team. Give a crafts demonstration for the local scouting group. Volunteer for a special project at your place of worship.
- Use your employer’s Employee Assistance Program.
Your organization’s Employee Assistance Program (EAP) can help you find child care and refer you to social services, community resources, educational opportunities and seminars that can help you learn how to balance work and family demands.
Source: Parlay International
Photo from Microsoft
The information in this article is provided as an information resource only, and is not to be used or relied on for any diagnostic or treatment purposes. This information is not intended to be patient education, does not create any patient provider relationship, and should not be used as a substitute for professional diagnosis and treatment.
Please consult your health care provider for an appointment, before making any healthcare decisions or for guidance about a specific medical condition.
Linda Ziac is the owner and founder of The Caregiver Resource Center. The Caregiver Resource Center is a division of Employee Assistance Professionals, Inc. which Linda founded in October 1990. The Caregiver Resource Center provides a spectrum of concierge case management and advocacy services for seniors, people with special needs and families.
Linda’s professional career spans more than 40 years in the health and mental health field as a CT Licensed Professional Counselor, CT Licensed Alcohol and Drug Counselor, Board Certified Employee Assistance Professional, Board Certified Case Manager, and Board Certified Dementia Practitioner. In addition, Ms. Ziac has 15 years of experience coordinating care for her own parents.
Linda assists seniors, people with special needs and their families; in planning for and implementing ways to allow for the greatest degree of health, safety, independence, and quality of life. Linda meets with individuals and family members to assess their needs, and develop a Care Team, while working with members of the Team to formulate a comprehensive Care Plan (a road map).
Once a plan is in place, Linda is available to serve as the point person to monitor and coordinate services, and revise the plan as needed. This role is similar to the conductor of an orchestra; ensuring that there is good communication, teamwork, and that everyone remains focused on the desired goal.