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5 Mistakes People Make with Work-Life Balance

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Achieving a work-life balance is a process that requires time and dedication. As work or personal demands shift and our level of commitment fluctuates, it becomes crucial to regularly reassess our work-life balance and address common mistakes that may arise. 

Imagine if we embraced this constant pull between work, personal life, family, social commitments, and all the various responsibilities. What if we viewed it as a natural dance, acknowledging that these forces will always exist?  

Change is constant. By accepting this fact, we can navigate the balancing act with greater ease and find peace, even during those moments when the pull feels  overwhelming. 

Navigating the complexities can often feel overwhelming, making it challenging to determine the right course of action challenging. To help you along the way, here are some  common mistakes to be mindful of:

Striving for perfection

Striving for perfection can be a relentless pursuit that leads to burnout and dissatisfaction. Perfection is an elusive concept because there’s always something more, something better, or another step to take; it’s an endless story. 

Furthermore, we are frequently under pressure to have everything under control. I can relate to this because, for years, I have tried to achieve perfection. I had a full-time job and still supported my husband’s business, I had an overwhelming to-do list, yet I aimed to be the best mother by never missing a bedtime story, even if it meant rushing through it. I aspired to be a perfect housewife, meticulously cooking homemade meals from scratch. 

However, I felt unhappy and tired all the time. Rather than being true to myself, I was living my life based on societal expectations (or perhaps my own beliefs). But in reality, I became an unhappy, overworked woman, an irritable mother, and a less-than-ideal partner. 

When we accept and embrace our true selves, complete with our strengths,  weaknesses, flaws, and limitations, we free ourselves and openly communicate our imperfections to others. This honesty fosters genuine connections, enhances  relationships, and ultimately brings us greater fulfilment and benefit.

Living in guilt

We often carry an unnecessary burden of guilt at the slightest provocation,  especially women. We feel guilty for leaving our children behind, not being the perfect housewife, lacking time, or even breaking down. 

The truth is, each of us has our unique purpose and life journey. It’s crucial to embrace that journey and show up as our authentic selves, allowing others to do the same. For instance, if you’re a working mother, it’s important for your child to witness you navigating the actual world just as you are:  utilising your skills, making mistakes, and not having everything figured out. 

We free them from the burden of always needing to make the right choices.  Additionally, we demonstrate the power of vulnerability and openness rather than bottling emotions until they become overwhelming. 

Through our example, we impart empathy and understanding; in turn, they learn to empathise and understand others.

Hyper focusing

Focussing too much on one aspect, whether it’s work or personal life, can disrupt  the delicate balance we strive for. It’s important to acknowledge that achieving a  work-life balance doesn’t have to be a constant battle between being a career-driven  woman and a devoted mother. 

Instead, it’s about recognising that we play multiple roles and have various identities as women. At times, specific roles may demand more attention than others. However, it’s crucial to prevent these roles from intertwining and overpowering one another. When you’re at work, focus wholeheartedly on your professional responsibilities, and when you’re at home, leave work behind. 

Establish clear boundaries for yourself and communicate them to your colleagues.  Let them know your personal rule when it comes to work-related matters. Similarly,  enlist the support of your family in holding you accountable to these boundaries. 

By setting firm rules and maintaining distinct spheres for work and personal life, you  create space for both aspects to coexist harmoniously, allowing you to be present 

and engaged in each domain when needed.

Wasting time on distractions

In today’s fast-paced world, we often mistake distractions for genuine relaxation when we seek to unwind. While allocating time to our families and work is important, we must also prioritise time for ourselves. However, we need to find out what it truly means to unwind. 

Engaging in activities like endlessly scrolling through gadgets or binge-watching Netflix may seem like a form of relaxation. Still, in reality, they are distractions that numb our thoughts and feelings. They don’t genuinely lead to relaxation or unwinding. 

We should explore alternative ways to unwind and find true relaxation.  Consider quiet practices such as meditation to help quiet the mind and bring inner peace. Connecting with nature by taking a walk, spending time in a park, or hiking can rejuvenate the spirit. Engaging in physical activity whether hitting the gym, running, or practicing yoga, can release tension and boost our well-being. Journaling is another effective tool for self-reflection and releasing thoughts and emotions. 

By consciously choosing activities that truly promote relaxation and rejuvenation, we can restore the meaning of unwinding and prioritise self-care in a more fulfilling way.

Expect the unexpected

Life is brimming with unforeseen events that can throw off our work-life balance.  During certain circumstances like family emergencies or experiencing extreme burnout, it may be necessary to shift our focus and prioritise the immediate situation temporarily. 

In such instances, it’s crucial to adopt a “go with the flow” mindset and avoid dwelling on the tasks or responsibilities we may not be able to fulfil at that moment.  Sometimes, life demands that we release control and allow events to unfold naturally. 

Kshama Singhi is a Jay Shetty Certified Happiness & Empowerment Coach with over 12 years of experience in the healthcare industry. Drawing from her personal journey of overcoming relationship challenges and self-development, Kshama specializes in helping female professionals navigate emotional hardships and relationship issues. As a no-nonsense coach, she empowers her clients to overcome their internal distractions and limitations to reach their full potential. 

Be You: www.coachkshama.com 

Follow me: www.instagram.com/being_you_with_kshama/

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