Never get so busy making a living that you forget to make a life.
Work - Life Balance Myths and RealityThe concept of work-life balance has been with us for many years, with a main theme of how we prioritize and allocate time to our work obligations and our family life commitments. The articles, books, self-help manuals, web sites and workshops are abound on how a person can learn to rearrange their life so there is a sense of "balance" between work life and personal life. This in turn has over the years led many to believe that the key factor is time management, in other words, how much time you don't do work stuff and how much time you do personal stuff such as hobbies, play, family holidays and unplugged from work. The end result being an unspoken almost 50/50 "work - life balance." But that perfect balance or even split has rarely occurred for the past and present work - life worlds. The research has shown and the reality of our everyday lives, even in these modern times with amazing technology, demonstrates that we continue to spend more waking hours at work than with our families and friends, that children study more in school and at tutor cents than play outdoors, and that work follows us home in our smart phone, laptop, tablet or home desktop.
She Loves Her Job More Than Her FamilyWith time being the universal measurement tool for work - life balance in the past, a common relationship stressor has been the complaint when one partner spends "more time at the office than at home." This in turn has caused many to feel "she loves her job more than her family." Our clinical experience and general research highlights there are actually three trigger points for work - life conflict with individuals, couples and families: energy demands, time demands and behavioral demands. With respect to time demands, the most common trigger for work - life conflict arises more from changing and expanding demands from the work environment that spills over into the personal world. As highlighted earlier, with the spread of technology across our work-home environment, our Work - Life Integration counselling guides our clients to seek better insight on the "blurring of boundaries" between work and home time demands and how to establish boundaries to reduce stress and sustain work - life harmony. Concurrently, energy demands does have certain elements of time demand stress triggers, but what makes energy demands a unique trigger for stress and relationship conflict is the lack of insight and life skills with energy management. A key requirement here we support our clients with energy management is developing a well-being rest, sleep, movement and nutrition program found in our Four Pillars Wellness Program. Behavioral demands on the other hand (which includes certain time and energy demands) has many consequences to the work - life integration environment, with technology-based behaviors being a key point for stress and relationship conflict. A good example would be the spouse who is frequently seen "checking his emails" when on holiday. Our behavior demands - behavior management skills we teach our clients arises from a basic behavioral psychology approach to well-being: develop positive behaviors for work - life integration and eventually stress goes down and good moods arise.
Life - Course PerspectiveThe World Health Organization (WHO) life - course approach to health has influenced us at the Centre for Stress Management, especially in the Work - Life Integration pillar within our four pillars of counselling wellness services. A theme we are very much aware of in Work - Life Integration is the fact contemporary employment practices have fewer and fewer individuals spending their entire careers in one organization. Consequently, more and more employees are changing employers and sometimes even career paths during their forty to fifty years of adult working life. This in turn has a growing (positive and negative) impact on stress management and work -life integration in a growing common scenario: as an employee is settling into and performing at his current job he may also at the same time have one eye on possibly another job several months or years down the road. As one can imagine this has a direct impact on time, energy and behavior demands both at work and at home that often does not get addressed in work - life "balance" counselling. In other words, an area we often overlook in work - life issues in counselling is how a person's energy management is being stressed due to performing and maintaining a job as they expedite depleting levels of energy in seeking future employment that impacts the remaining energy for personal and home life. In short, there's is probably a lot more behind the common statement "he has no time or energy for us when he gets home" than meets the naked eye.
Its More Than About The HoursA common misperception about work - life balance is that the main focus is all about the hours (or time): how much time you spend at work and how much time you spend with your family and friends. A key concern from a time management perspective is the long working day, the work commute and time for rest and sleep that leaves little time for personal socializing and play/hobbies. As we have highlighted to the right of this page, we also need to be mindful of how we manage our time, energy and behaviors with the "I" world (things we do alone), the "We" world (with our life partner) and the "Us" world (with our life partner, children, relatives, friends and community). Attempting to divide your life into three "balanced" or equal portions is simply not possible, one area of your life will have more time - energy commitment than the other two. Hence, our Four Pillars Wellness Program provides insight to our clients how to integrate their work - life time, energy and behavior demands that keeps stress and conflict to a minimum.
Centre for Stress Management Work - Life Integration 6 Point Counselling ProgramThe Centre for Stress Management has four main pillars for wellness counselling: Work-Life Integration, Movement - Nutrition, Doing - Thinking and Rest - Sleep. Our wellness counselling program is carefully designed where the most common cause healthcare issues is addressed: work - life stress and poor stress management. Our Work - Life Integration 6 Point Counselling Program has been shown over the years to not only improve work and personal life performance, but it also reduces relationship/work conflict and enhances resilience for work - life harmony. Email us on firstname.lastname@example.org and see how we can improve your work - life integration habits that will improve your daily well-being and overall wellness.
The Job in the Work- Life Integration model we teach our clients is what we call "doing something to survive." In other words, a pilot, an engineer or even teacher or doctor can see their work as basically a job, something that allows them to earn a paycheck, pay the bills and allows them to survive. Our counselling program teaches those who "have just a job" to better manage their boredom and performance stress to sustain their well-being and reduce the risk for unhealthy lifestyles.
The Career in the Work - Life Integration model we teach our clients is what we call "not just surviving but more importantly thriving." There will be many basic elements of the job in work we call "our career" but the stress is different. This means a person with career stress deals with not only paying the bills and earning a salary (surviving), but career stress is also experienced when a person is searching for new challenges and opportunities to flourish.
The Calling in the Work - Life Integration model has both surviving and thriving elements embedded in this type of work, but more importantly, this type of work or craft is about doing some form of work "with a flow" that has deep meaning and purpose. More importantly, this type of person with a calling stress is hyper-sensitive to how the work and personal worlds they live and work in "flows with each other," and the stress one experiences when they are not involved in meaningful activities.