Have you ever felt that there are just not enough hours in a day?
Do you feel depleted at the end of the day, and still feel like there is more to do?
Are others always expecting you to do everything?
Are you doing more for others than yourself?
If you relate to any of these questions, you may be experiencing an imbalance of your work and play time. This imbalance can lead to feelings of exhaustion, resentment, and a depleted immune system, leading to illness.
Parents are not only responsible for their children’s well-being but are also often expected to be involved in community/school events, take care of other family members, be available to friends, and be reliable colleagues. It’s no wonder we often feel like we’re burning the candle at both ends.
Practicing self-care (creating a work/play balance) is an essential part of health and happiness. Giving yourself time to ‘play’ enhances creativity and improves emotional well-being. When you practice self-care, you become more present for others and spend better quality time with loved ones.
Here are some tips to create a better work/play balance:
Prioritize tasks: Making a list of things you want to complete and prioritizing the tasks can help you avoid feeling overwhelmed. Focus on what needs to get done first and complete that task so you feel a sense of accomplishment and can ‘check it off’ your list. Make sure your list of tasks is realistic for the time you have to complete them, and assess which tasks are more pressing than others. Can some wait until tomorrow, next week, or even next month?
Delegate responsibilities: While you are prioritizing your list of things to do, think about which tasks can be done by someone else. Whether it’s your older child completing a task, a co-worker assisting with a project, or a neighbor driving your child to an activity, you can lessen the amount of responsibilities you have by sharing them with others. Remember, most of us like to help others, so asking for help not only benefits you but it also benefits the person helping you.
Have ‘me’ time: Taking time for yourself is an essential part of maintaining a work/play balance. What do you love to do? Do you have a hobby? What do you do for fun? Making time in your day for just you, with no interruptions, will enhance your emotional health and well-being. Are you working through your lunch breaks at work, or are you leaving your desk and using that time to recharge? Let others know when your ‘me’ time is, and have an agreement with them to make sure your time is undisturbed and fully enjoyed.
Practicing these three simple approaches will help you achieve a more desirable work/play balance and improved overall health.