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How to Achieve a Healthy Work-Life Balance: Plan Mini Vacations, Schedule Family Time, and Set Boundaries

Updated on September 21, 2012

Since you have to provide for your family's needs, you have to go to work, often long hours, so you can make as much money as possible. You keep pushing your family aside to meet the demands of the job, and pretty soon, it seems like the job is taking up all of your time. You can tell the children you will play with them later, but they will keep on growing up without you. You feel you are stretched between your work and family and don't have time for your own hobbies and interests.

You want to work to live instead of living to work, but it is difficult when work obligations keep coming and coming.

How do you find the balance between your job and your family? Here are three suggestions to help you provide more time for your family without cutting back too much on your work.

Taking a mini-vacation revives the spirit and helps balance career and family.
Taking a mini-vacation revives the spirit and helps balance career and family. | Source

Plan Mini-Vacations

We won't always be able to take long, extended vacations to travel through the country, but small, mini-vacations can refresh your spirit, help you bond with your family, and leave you invigorated to go back to work.

There are many things to do that are within a short car, bus or train ride away from home. By taking a day trip to these places, you and your family can enjoy a great time together without having to take time off from work. You can go for a weekend, or take a day off from Friday or Monday to have an extended weekend.

Mini-Vacation Ideas

These suggestions for short mini-vacations can be long or short, depending on how far away you live from them:

  • state or national park
  • zoo
  • historical site
  • amusement park
  • sporting event
  • concert
  • festivals hosted by a city
  • state fair
  • convention
  • quilting retreat
  • camping
  • local tourist attractions

Schedule Family Time

Even when you can't take time off from work, or be able to get away for an extended amount of time, it is important to schedule family time. Of course, you want to go to the kids plays, sporting events, recitals and graduation, but it is important to be available for your kids every single day. Many families have found that eating a meal together creates a bonding experience and lets them be a vital part of their kids lives. Instead of getting on the computer or watching television, you could spend some time doing some family activities.

This couple achieves work-life balance by spending family time at a restaurant.
This couple achieves work-life balance by spending family time at a restaurant. | Source

Suggestions for Family Time Activities

Some suggestions are:

  • local museum
  • plays and recitals
  • skating or bowling
  • family game night
  • go for a walk together
  • play basketball, Frisbee or toss a ball with the kids
  • arts and crafts
  • dining out

Set Boundaries

The third way to achieve a healthy work-life balance is to set boundaries. Sure you want to give your employer all your time and attention while you are at work, but eventually it will be time to go home. While working overtime once in a while is necessary to ensure that a particular project gets done by the deadline, it cannot be a regular recurrence. You need to be able to spend time with your family.

Talk with your manager and explain that you want to make sure that you can see your kids grow. Let him know your boundaries so he is prepared for them when a situation arises when you say no. Maybe you won't work on the weekends, or maybe you will only work one hour over time each day. Don't answer the phone when a coworker calls and don't look at your work e-mails when you are on a vacation. By keeping your work out of your family time, you can make sure that you are giving your family the same kind of respect and priority that you give to your employer.

How's your work-life balance?

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Achieve a Healthy Work-Life Balance

It is a juggling act to balance the needs of your employer and the needs of your family. This balance will need to be adjusted throughout your career. When you take mini-vacations, you can make up for the extended time you spend away from your family. When you schedule family time, you can make sure that you can keep abreast of the day to day activities of your family. When you set boundaries, you can make sure that you keep your work life separate from your family life, and give the proper attention to both.

Comments: "How to Achieve a Healthy Work-Life Balance: Plan Mini Vacations, Schedule Family Time, and Set Boundaries"

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    • Millionaire Tips profile imageAUTHOR

      Shasta Matova 

      5 years ago from USA

      Thank you for your comment VacationCounts. That's true, you don't have to travel at all. Just taking the time to do something fun can be a vacation even if you don't go anywhere.

    • VacationCounts profile image

      Scott Petoff 

      5 years ago from USA and Ireland

      Mini vacation is the perfect tip for someone that says they don't like to travel and believes they cannot take time off from work. Great tip!

      Hopefully taking a few mini-vacations at nearby places will help so many people realize the value of maximizing every non-work day. You don't have to travel to enjoy a vacation day or two as the key is to get in the vacation mindset.

    • Millionaire Tips profile imageAUTHOR

      Shasta Matova 

      6 years ago from USA

      Thanks Mary. The song is so appropriate and a great reminder that we need to keep our priorities straight. It is so easy to get caught up in the urgencies of work and forget the children who will continue to grow older with or without your attention.

    • tillsontitan profile image

      Mary Craig 

      6 years ago from New York

      Wisely said....this hub puts me in mind of the song, "Cat's in the Cradle"..."he learned to walk while I was away....when you comin home Dad?" Our families and our life with them is so important, it doesn't come around again. Make a conscious effort and plan time with them.

      Voted this up, useful, and interesting.

    • Millionaire Tips profile imageAUTHOR

      Shasta Matova 

      6 years ago from USA

      Thank you DaisyJae. We do need to keep the priority on our family, although that is a difficult thing to do when the manager asks more and more of us.

    • daisyjae profile image


      6 years ago from Canada

      You are so right that you need to make time for family. Its the most important thing.

    • Millionaire Tips profile imageAUTHOR

      Shasta Matova 

      6 years ago from USA

      Thank you Rusti. I am glad you got some great vacation opportunities.I hope they continue.

      Thanks movingfinger, that's true, sometimes it is difficult to take the time off depending on the job. It is a fine line though. You want to make sure you work really hard while you are working so that you won't get fired or laid off, but you do need to give your family the priority as well. You can get another job, but the family is yours forever.

      You have both provided valuable feedback and insight on taking mini vacations and finding balance between work and home

    • profile image


      6 years ago

      Nice tips... and some good suggestions. Many times we want to take off for an impromptu vacation but dont know where to go or what to do. This list shall surely help.

      The bigger problem is making this a priority. So many of us want to do well at work that we invariably end up staying later than everyone else, just to prove a point to the boss.. the worst part, bosses like that and have now started to expect that from their employees. So, if you dont toe the line, then you may be the first one to get laid off when the company is in trouble. If you get laid off, then you may not have money for mini vacations or a trip to the zoo.

      So, its a tough call and I guess the situation shall vary from family to family.. but I agree, one needs to make time for family and such fun activities.

    • Rusti Mccollum profile image

      Ruth McCollum 

      6 years ago from Lake Oswego, Oregon

      My husband works from 7 am until ten , eleven pm. we miss him alot but we always take 3 weeks out of the year to go camping with his mom, places like Mt Rushmore, Yellowstone park and some really cool places you only get to see by car and rv. We are fortunate. we live an hour from the coast and an hour from the mountain. So we head out usually for the coast. we were fond of newport until Christian Longos family started to surface. His wife and baby daughter under a pier from the hotel we stayed it. You just can't get that out of your head! so now, we have been staying in Depot bay. having grown up here, it's not to hard to have a couple people straggle along. We don't always go alone we have other families that go with us. We joke about how different we are now when we go out.I no longer wear my high heels and dresses traveling from bar to bar. I wear sandal or flats. lol. The guys jeans are now not their best pairs trust me. Though hubby took me to vegas twice in one year1 Once with the kids and his mom, Then just me and my mom.My dad had just passed and so had his we felt it would be nice to get them out of the house! You bring up some great ideas of things to do. Plus you explain the need to spend time together. Thankyou for this wonderful hub and also for the fond memories!

      ***OH AND NEVER CARRY YOUR MONEY IN ALL ONE PLACE! CARRY IT IN MANY PLACES***** A friend of ours carries his money in different spots in his wallet AND on his body,i know ladies he puts some in a lunch baggie in his pants, then stuff way up top one shoe , and under his feet in a sock. he recently went to mexico. Thanks to that rule, he was robbed but they got very little money.

    • Millionaire Tips profile imageAUTHOR

      Shasta Matova 

      6 years ago from USA

      Thanks Dianna, hope you plan your next mini-vacation soon!

    • teaches12345 profile image

      Dianna Mendez 

      6 years ago

      Thank you for the great wisdom shared. I will have to keep this in mind.

    • Millionaire Tips profile imageAUTHOR

      Shasta Matova 

      6 years ago from USA

      Thank you vespawoolf, sandrabusby, Glimmer Twin Fan, and cleverowlsoftware. We do need to make sure that we consider the family time with as high a priority as the work time, because otherwise, the kids will get lost in the shufle.

    • Glimmer Twin Fan profile image

      Claudia Mitchell 

      6 years ago

      Good tips for times like these or any time. I think it's harder and harder to find time for long vacations, but mini ones are a great idea! Also, family time is so important. I know my daughter's face lights up when we do something as a family.

    • sandrabusby profile image

      Sandra Busby 

      6 years ago from Tuscaloosa, Alabama, USA

      Thank you, Millionaire Tips, for such wisdom. Voted up and shared.

    • vespawoolf profile image

      Vespa Woolf 

      6 years ago from Peru, South America

      These are such important reminders in today's busy society. We can't "back up" and make up for the time we missed with our children. We haven't had a vacation in two years, and this is a good reminder to schedule mini vacations in between and set boundaries. A very well-written and enjoyable read. Thanks! (voted up and shared) : )

    • Millionaire Tips profile imageAUTHOR

      Shasta Matova 

      6 years ago from USA

      Thank you greeneryday, spending time with family is almost always a good pastime.

    • Millionaire Tips profile imageAUTHOR

      Shasta Matova 

      6 years ago from USA

      Thanks Karen, children are patient and will wait at home while you are at work, but they continue to grow up, and you can miss a lot of milestones and great moments if you don't take the time for them.

    • Millionaire Tips profile imageAUTHOR

      Shasta Matova 

      6 years ago from USA

      Thanks Pamela, it is difficult to tell your boss no, especially when everything seems so urgent and important, but it is necessary.

    • greeneryday profile image


      7 years ago from Some tropical country

      Some useful advice how to spare time even a little for your family to get together and have a mini vacation. Well written and useful hub, and voted up for awesome!

    • Karen Hellier profile image

      Karen Hellier 

      7 years ago from Georgia

      Good hub with great suggestions. It's so important to plan these things with your family before the kids grow up and are gone. Voted up.

    • Pamela99 profile image

      Pamela Oglesby 

      7 years ago from Sunny Florida

      You made some great suggestions in this hub and I think setting boundaries is so important in every area of your life, just for peace of mind. Stress is so damaging to our bodies and boundaries definitely help. Voted up and very useful.

    • Millionaire Tips profile imageAUTHOR

      Shasta Matova 

      7 years ago from USA

      Thanks stillwaters, you're right, especially for highly stressful jobs such as caretakers, mini vacations would be crucial to get away from it all and revive the energy to get back to work.

    • stillwaters707 profile image


      7 years ago from Texas

      Thanks for this hub. It is also useful for my audience, fellow caretakers. Correction: it is crucial. Minivacations are great at refreshing us.


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