Word-Of-the-Week #644: Balance

December 8, 2016 by  

Balancehaving just the right mix of work, play, and passion.

Do you feel blessed or stressed with the life you have? Are you involved in things that you are passionate about? How much of a perfectionist are you?

This week and next features excerpts from Forbes Magazine “6 Tips For Better Work-Life Balance” by Deborah Jian Lee.

“These days, work-life balance can seem like an impossible feat. Technology makes workers accessible around the clock. Fears of job loss incentivize longer hours. In fact, a whopping 94% of working professionals reported working more than 50 hours per week and nearly half said they worked more than 65 hours per week in a Harvard Business School survey. Experts agree: the compounding stress from the never-ending workday is damaging. It can hurt relationships, health and overall happiness.

Work-life balance means something different to every individual, but here health and career experts share tips to help you find the balance that’s right for you.

  1. Let go of perfectionism

A lot of overachievers develop perfectionist tendencies at a young age when demands on their time are limited to school, hobbies and maybe an after-school job. It’s easier to maintain that perfectionist habit as a kid, but as you grow up, life gets more complicated. The key to avoid burning out is to let go of perfectionism, says Puder-York, an executive coach. “As life gets more expanded it’s very hard, both neurologically and psychologically, ta-balanceo keep that habit of perfection going,” she says, adding that the healthier option is to strive not for perfection, but for excellence.

  1. Unplug

From telecommuting to programs that make work easier, technology has helped our lives in many ways. But it has also created expectations of constant accessibility. The work day never seems to end. “There are times when you should just shut your phone off and enjoy the moment,” says Robert Brooks, a professor of psychology at Harvard Medical School. Phone notifications interrupt your off time and inject an undercurrent of stress in your system. By not reacting to the updates from work, you will develop a stronger habit of resilience. “Resilient people feel a greater sense of control over their lives,” says Brooks, while reactive people have less control and are more prone to stress.

  1. Exercise and meditate

Even when we’re busy, we make time for the crucial things in life. We eat. We go to the bathroom. We sleep. And yet one of our most crucial needs – exercise – is often the first thing to go when our calendars fill up. Exercise is an effective stress reducer. It pumps feel-good endorphins through your body. It helps lift your mood and can even serve a one-two punch by also putting you in a meditative state, according to the Mayo Clinic. “When I talk about balance, not everything has to be the completion and achievement of a task, it also has to include self-care so that your body, mind and soul are being refreshed,” says Puder-York.

This week focus on balance. What does a balanced life look like to you? Do you have a need to make every moment count? Do you take time to relax and “turn off.”  How much exercise are you getting?

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