5 Tips For Preventing Career And Relationship Imbalance
Back in November I wrote a guest blog for Michael Diettrich-Chastain of Path to Synergy about the influence of self-care on intimate relationships. Today Michael is contributing to the Unearth Your Passion relationship blog.
As a couple in today’s modern world it seems as though it is becoming increasingly difficult to manage our lives and find time to meaningfully contribute to all our differing roles. Michael offers great insight in this article on how to balance two of our main roles: Relationships and Careers.
Read more about Michael and his practice at the end of the article. Be sure to check out his website for insightful articles, or contact him if you need a counselor or coach to help you navigate your own relationship and career imbalance.
Work Life Balance. You’ve probably heard this phrase. Maybe your reaction is indifferent, curious, a sense of resentment, something totally achievable or perhaps it’s a unicorn that we would like to think exists. Whatever your take is on creating balance in your personal and work world, one thing we know for certain – our work world and personal relationships heavily influence each other.
We know from research, like this study for example, that having an appropriate balance of work and life can lead to improved engagement at work, reduced absenteeism, reduced turn over and improved productivity. We also know that improved balance of work and life impacts the relationship through improving overall subjective well-being.
But what does this term “work-life balance” really mean? I think that instead of looking at having the two aspects of our life in two balanced buckets, that instead we may consider a more integrated approach. By considering our life as a whole instead of compartments, this builds the likelihood for success in any aspect of life, it also allows us to shift from a paradigm of disconnectedness to relatedness. Having this shift to the understanding of each aspect of our life reflecting on the other, allows us to take more responsibility for each.
So in order to explore this idea of integrated aspects of life, you’ll find some tips in preventing relationship and career imbalance.
Tip #1: Put Yourself First
This can be a slippery slope in a relationship, as it’s important to consider and value the needs of your partner. However, understanding your own needs is crucial in order to prevent imbalance both in work and relationships. This means that making yourself a priority may be an important practice to engage in. Making ourselves a priority can show up in work through being able to disengage regularly and practice activity that helps to recharge both mind and body. Knowing what helps to recharge you may involve some experimenting with exercise, meditation, group classes or some other kind of wellness activity.
Knowing how to put yourself first in your relationship may show up in understanding at what point you need time for yourself, exercise, rest, a vacation, socializing or a wide variety of other self-care practices. Being able to understand your own needs and clearly communicate with your partner will help to create balance and well-being within the relationship.
Setting boundaries can certainly be related to putting yourself first. Understanding where your limits are is a very important step when being able to put yourself first. When setting boundaries though, this may come up in understanding what you are unwilling to do, in addition to what it is that you need in order to function at the highest level, within the context of the relationship or career. For instance, if you have been given a task to accomplish at work that is much more suited for another person on your team, it may benefit not you and the efficiency of the group to pass this task to the appropriate member.
Relationships are no different. Understanding what you are willing to tolerate, contribute to and what the non-negotiables are will help to create greater understanding with you and your partner. In addition, this clarity will hopefully allow you to connect in a deeper way though having a greater understanding of your partner’s inner world.
Tip #3: Take Care Of Your Body
This is such a crucial piece for both effectiveness in the work place as well as in relationships. Taking care of your body usually involves a threefold action – plenty of rest, good nutrition and exercise. These three components are often seen as the foundation of self-care. Building this foundation will help to improve your ability to manage stress, improve your mood, improve productivity and improve clarity. Due to all the psychological and emotional benefits of taking care of your body, this is a great strategy to create more balance in relationships and career.
When we feel more able to manage stressors that come up, we have the ability to respond appropriately rather than react. This may lead to improved communication in relationships and work. In addition, this ability to manage stress may help to reduce burnout in your career.
Tip #4: Build A Practice
All of these strategies may be difficult to implement given the busy schedules that most of us live in. So the challenge is creating enough discipline to engage in ways to effectively make change. Enter the daily practice. Having some sort of daily routine will not only help you create some small commitment to practicing balance, but also allow you the opportunity to practice being disciplined. Daily practices may come in the form of writing, exercise, walking, reading, meditation, mindfulness or many other ways that help to create a sense of connectedness to one’s self.
Having a daily practice of some kind helps to reduce stress and anxiety, which will impact both relationships and work. Daily practices can even be created together within the context of the relationship, allowing both people to have the benefits that they can carry into their workday.
Tip #5: Work With A Coach Or Therapist
Unsure about how to work through some of these strategies? Consider working with a coach or therapist. Talking through challenges within the context of career or relationships can be a great way to resolve issues before the feel out of control. In addition, if you are unsure where to start with different strategies that help to create balance you may find that having a trusted resource such as a coach or therapist can help support, empower and challenge you in creating the change you aspire towards.
Stay tuned for Thursday’s Weekend Activity…
and check back next Monday for another inspiring article!