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Is Work Affecting Your Personal Life Negatively? Try These Solutions

Updated on September 20, 2012
Don't let stress bring you down
Don't let stress bring you down | Source

Achieving the perfect work-life balance can be a difficult task, particularly when there are so many other things clamoring for our attention. Often, we find that our workday problems seep into our personal life, eroding friendships, making relationships stressful, and taking a toll on our mental and physical health. You may not have reached a point of total breakdown, but you know what they say about a stitch in time. If you feel drained and stressed out all the time, your weekends fail to rejuvenate you, and Monday morning blues are fast turning into greys, you have to take action.

Even if you are perfectly happy with your job, these tips might help you assess if there is room for improvement in your work-life harmony.

1. Prioritize

You would be amazed at the drastic improvement in the overall quality of your life if you learn to spend time and effort on the right things. The promotion you are obsessing over might not be the best thing for you; it might keep you in the office for longer hours, and you might lose sleep over the added responsibilities. If you are struggling to fulfill commitments to family, then you need to ponder over the importance of the people in your life. Are you working to support them? If yes, will the benefits resulting from a promotion help them? If not, then can you afford to overlook your personal ambitions and put off the promotion until, say, the next performance review?

2. Broaden Your Horizons

You might have been thinking all along that the corner office is the best thing that can happen to you, but there are people who once thought that way too and gone on to discover happiness in careers they never considered before. That does not mean you should not desire the corner office, but think about what it brings to you in terms of overall happiness, self improvement, and the happiness of those close to you. There is no harm in looking at other types of careers. Look at your favorite hobbies. Can they turn into fruitful careers someday? You do not have to hand in your resignation right away. Just keep an open mind and watch out for opportunities.

3. Delegate

Most of us are fearful of asking for help, particularly in the workplace. We are afraid to look incompetent or under-skilled. The truth is that nobody is 100% capable of doing a job well. There will always be people who will be more skilled than you or less skilled than you. Your fears are therefore, mostly unfounded. Ask a colleague to give you a hand if you feel too overwhelmed with responsibilities. You can always return the favor if they even feel the need for your support. Few people can play the lone wolf in the workplace.

4. Talk to Supervisors

Supervisors are easier to approach than you know. Part of their duties includes getting the best out of people who work for them. And if your personal life is unsatisfactory, sooner or later it will affect the quality of your work. If you can pinpoint the problem -- too much overtime, need for an extended vacation, unsatisfactory work environment -- do speak to your supervisor. They will help you come up with an appropriate solution, either in the form of flexible schedule, a long weekend off, or work-from-home assignments.

5. Involve Your Family and Friends

Keeping your unhappiness bottled up inside you helps nobody. Obtain the support of your family, parents, siblings, and even friends to come up with an appropriate solution to the problem. Your parents might volunteer to babysit while you work, which will reduce the burden on you. Your friends might know somebody who can help you in your professional life.

Network with people. It will open up a world of opportunities, take your mind off immediate problems, and help you focus better on finding solutions.

6. Consider Getting Professional Help

Consulting a healthcare provider, social worker, or counselor about your problems is not a sign of weakness. Sometimes, professional help will assist you in making sense of your life, giving you an insight into your own mind, and teaching you how to deal with other people. You cannot always control the situations that you are thrown into, but you can control how to react to them.

No matter how difficult things seem, there are many ways you can deal with the difficulties and emerge stronger. Look at the challenges life presents you positively, and you can improve not only the quality of your own life, but also that of people around you.


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