When I was a teenager, one of the hottest shows on TV was Wonder Woman. It was a show about a woman, a corporate executive by day who transformed into a superhero when a crisis occurred or when someone needed to be rescued. She had this really cool costume with a gold belt and gold cuff bracelets. Her powers included super strength, speed, and flight. Wonder Woman was powerful. But she was also human; meaning, that she took time to rest when she needed to and got involved in playful activities, like tennis or going out with friends.
Sometimes, we, as the strong women that we are, can often feel like a wonder woman – taking care of our families, working at our jobs, and giving of ourselves while trying to squeeze in “me” time. It seems that we don’t often know how to find the work/life balance that we need in our lives. Finding the balance isn’t easy, but it is possible, with a little practice, of course. It all depends on one’s coping skills, i.e. the strengths and strategies we use to deal with adverse people or situations.
Here are some tips to find your work-life balance:
1. Read the Signs
Be aware of the signs when you are feeling stressed or overwhelmed. You may find yourself getting agitated or upset easily, you may start yelling at your partner or spouse, the kids or the dog, or you may feel anxious or more tired. It is important to become in-tune with your body and your behavior as it’s a good that bet that somebody else will.
2. Get It on Paper
Write down all of the reasons why you might be upset or on edge, as it could be from an unlikely source, such as financial worries, having family visit, or having too many projects to finish. List all of the tasks that you think you need to get done, both at work and at home.
3. Eliminate Non-Essentials
Once you have your list, see what can be eliminated or put off for another time. Prioritizing the list will give you a clearer picture of what needs to be done and can start to ease anxious feelings.
4. Create a Plan of Action
Develop an action plan, with action steps, that you will take daily or weekly in order to get the tasks on your list accomplished. Have no more than three to five items to start, then add more as these are accomplished.
5. Set a Timer
Set a time limit for acting on your list. If a task is difficult, devote 15 minutes every day to it; before you know it, you will have completed it.
6. Keep it Front and Center
Make your list visible where you can see it. Check off your completed tasks; it can be a motivator while giving accountability to the task at hand.
Reward yourself when you’ve accomplished tasks.
8. Make Self-Care a Priority
Develop good relaxation skills, such as reading, exercise, listening to music, praying, taking a drive, going for a long walk, taking a bubble bath or hot shower, dancing, meditating, journaling or just sitting quietly. Deep breathing is an excellent stress reliever and it’s easy to do.
9. Ask for Help
Ask for help – this may be the hardest step but, if you find that you are trying to do too many things at one time, you will become stressed which can lead to anxiety, depression or health problems if not taken care of early on.
Following these steps will help you find more balance in your life and help you become more organized, focused and energized. This will allow you quality time with your family and friends and for doing activities for yourself. You can be a wonder (ful) woman but even Wonder Woman knew when to let go.