Maintaining a career and family can be hard work. Trying to juggle a job, spouse, and kids can make you feel exhausted. Finding a balance is the key to maintain good health, positive relationships, and a successful career.
Only 48% of Americans used their vacation time in 2011, according to Radisson and Kelton Research. The primary reason for this was the fear of falling behind at work. Extra work time can limit family and personal time even more. It becomes difficult to feel like you are being effective in the different roles in your life. Your chances of developing anxiety and depression can also increase.
What you can do
In an economy like today, having and holding on to a job is essential. The key is to find balance with the rest of the important things in your life. Here are a few tips:
- Clearly identify the responsibilities of your job so you are not always going above and beyond what is expected. Although it is not a bad thing, consistently doing it may burn you out. If you are working overtime often, make it a point to come home earlier at least one day a week.
- Take your vacation time. While doing this, keep internet and phone access to a minimum. Constant stimulation to the brain with the internet may result in anxiety and depression, according to the Kansas State Collegian, January 26, 2012 edition.
- Make time to exercise your mind and body. Beginning your day with 10 minutes of meditation helps clear the mind and promote more positive experiences. Taking a 20 minute walk a day can also help ease stress and keep you healthy.
- Eat a balanced diet of rich whole foods so you have the right fuel to feel energized.
- Make the time you are at home with your spouse and children valuable. Establish a bedtime routine with your children, in which you are involved. This could mean reading to them, or taking turns talking about your day. Also, make your days off count. Be physically active as a family by going on walks, or to the park. It’s great to include your dogs, as well!
- Take advantage of opportunities at work that can help make having a family more functional. Find out if telecommuting from home or working a condensed work week is an option.
These are just some examples of how to find a better balance between career and family. If times are very stressful, utilize Employee Assistance Programs and what they have to offer. You do have control over your life and happiness. Finding balance takes an effort that is well worth it.