Your Therapy

Remember to stop and smell the flowers this spring

Are you feeling overwhelmed at work and irritable at home? Are you sacrificing sleep to get more work done? Have you forgotten when you  last took vacation time? In this work-from-home era, is it hard to tell whether you’re working to live, or living to work? This may be a gentle sign that you needed to do a little spring cleaning on your work-life balance. Here are some ways rto strive for a better work-life balance. This will help decrease stress and exhaustion, and increase joy and satisfaction, in both your personal and professional lives. 


Balance is Personal

Firstly, there no “right” way to achieve a work-life balance, because there’s no perfect balance. Additionally, “balance” doesn’t necessarily mean 50/50. Rather, it means a flow that make sense to you, and doesn’t induce stress. There may be moments where work takes more of your time, and others when you focus on your personal life. The key is that this a back-and-forth process, rather than a do-it-all solution. 


Prioritize Goals

This is where you scrap the do-it-all mentality, and work towards manageable goals. Make a to-do list that’s realistic about commitments, workload and deadlines. Distinguish between things that are important, and ones that you’d like to do, but aren’t necessary. Focus on important tasks first, so you can meet your priorities, and feel a sense of accomplishment. 


Be Bold About Boundaries. 

“No” can be a full sentence. Use it generously to protect your capacity and wellbeing. Over-committing can leave you overscheduled and stretched in your personal life. Not all invitations require your attendance. Remember, “unscheduled” time doesn’t mean “available” time. And now that work has physically made its way into your home, boundaries are crucial in upholding a balance. Ensure you designate a separate space for your work-from-home set-up. And wherever you work, ensure you’re unplugging from work devices at the end of the workday. 


Health is Wealth

Stress from an unbalanced work-life relationship can negatively impact your immune system and physical wellbeing. Regaining balance means being mindful of your self-care routines. You’ll be surprised at how much your well-being will improve from getting regular physical activity, eating a well-balanced diet and making sure you get enough sleep. These days, many companies have an Employee Assistance Program (EAP) which can provide a range of supports, from finding a daycare center to accessing mental health services. 


Live to Work or Work to Live?

We sometimes forget that we’re doing all this work to ensure we can live our lives. Our lives can even get so busy that they become work. This is your reminder to stop and smell the flowers. Over-working or over-scheduling can leave little time to be in the moment, and take in all the joys and wonders of life. Take your vacation time and use it for rest rather than errands. We invite you to make rest a part of your balance.

Much like a New Year’s resolution, drastic change can be unrealistic. Start by making one small adjustment towards a better work-life balance and go from there. Remember, a healthy work-life balance takes time to develop, and often needs adjustments. So revisit it often, and stop to smell the flowers along the way.


Mana Gebreyohannes is a registered social worker, psychotherapist providing Individual and family therapy at our clinic. Your Therapy is a safe, welcoming, counselling therapy practice in the Greater Toronto Area. Thanks for reading and, as always, please feel free to reach out with questions about talk therapy or other mental health issues. We offer mental healthy therapy and more.

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