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How to balance life and work


It can be hard to balance life and work, especially when you have an anxiety related condition. Then, of course, a global pandemic gets thrown into the mix, and more of us work from home – how do we separate what’s important to us, from what we need to do to survive? In this article, we will consider your own personal energising factors and build a strategy which will help you to make the most of your time.

Define what is important

Let’s make a start by identifying what really fires you up. Who is most important to you?  When you watch the news, what makes you sit up and listen? How would you like to be described by others? Is your social life more important, or alone time? Define what matters to you most and together, we can lay firm foundations for your work/life balance.

When you have a list of 3 to 7 words which you feel passionate about (your values); you can then make steady progress towards each value equally, on a daily basis. We will use a sample values list: Partner, Family and Friends, Authenticity; Fairness and Finances.

Once you have your values, you can begin to set mini goals in relation to each one. For many, not feeling listened to is a real problem; If you have a disagreement with your partner, messaging one of your family or friends can help you feel more understood. Offsetting one value against another can also be helpful. Fairness is often unachievable in the real world and if this is one of your values, then adopting a policy of adding to your savings fund whenever you feel unfairly treated, can redress the balance.

It’s not all about productivity

Being productive is important, especially if one of your values is achievement or career, for example, but relaxation is equally vital. Take some time to consider how you feel about relaxing and what happens to your breathing when you sit still. If you find it uncomfortable, tell yourself that you’re safe and replenishing your energy-levels. Build up the time you can sit relaxing. Is not being able to relax a method of isolating yourself from your partner? If so, why? What does the person you want to be, do in the evening when your partner is relaxing?

Defining Work Life Balance

Structure your working hours. Put some tiny self-care items into your working day. Apply hand-cream 3 times a day, fill your water bottle 4 times a day, take your vitamins at 2.30 pm (to refresh your energy for the afternoon). Give yourself a healthy lunch and a midday pep-talk. All the tiny additions you put into your day to recognise how hard you are working will help.

Prepare your work space every evening, so that it feels like a place of work when you come back to it in the morning. You might add some affirmations on cards or post-its. Add something to keep your hands busy, a glass of water and of course, tips to stop hair pulling or eyelash pulling.

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