When you think of the phrase work life balance, is this something that you find simple to accomplish or maintain? Being a student, this concept was never one in which I found particularly hard to grasp. There were my studies, family and friends. These were my main points of concentration, and however I seemed to split them up, they always had a way of sorting themselves out. No, the stickiness comes when your occupation starts to blend into your everyday life. Whether you are running your own business, are always on call, or are a teacher with a class full of students that depend on you. This is when the phrase work life balance can become hard to decipher. And as a Peace Corps volunteer, I have come to recognize that this unresolved question is a struggle that I face every day of my service. Especially when it is in your job description that you are to be “on 24/7, seven days a week”.
So, many of you may be wondering, what is work life balance, when does the work portion end, and when does your life become well, your life?
Business dictionary defines work-life balance as “A comfortable state of equilibrium achieved between an employee’s employment and private life that is not overwhelming”.
Unfortunately, there is no clear, black and white formula to achieve this equilibrium. For everyone will find their balance to be different. But for me, this is what I found helpful.
I was able to let go of the stress of work and enjoy my personal life equally as much when I began allowing my weekends to be my own. This doesn’t mean that I never touched my work, household chores, or prepare for the work week ahead. Owning my weekends meant to stop indulging myself in things that I consider a chore, and begin engaging in activities of my choice. Whether it is leisure or play, the key to this is that by doing this you are able to let go of accumulating stress, and are able to recharge. While this sounds simple, it can actually be quite challenging for some people. For if you are in anyway like myself, I used to search and search for things to do, for consuming myself in work made me feel useful and that I had used my time wisely. But, I urge you to free yourself from this train of thinking, and take those few couple of days each week to really live and enjoy life.