I see posters around my workplace for winning the work-life balance and I put my head to the side and then to the other side. It’s someone walking in sunshine looking happy. Hmm. I work 9 to 5 or a variation thereof. It’s Winter in Australia. It’s dark when I’m going home. This poster says the workplace is flexible. Maybe the workplace is, but maybe the work isn’t. The reality is that in a stressful under-resourced job, the work-life balance is hard to sway in the favour of ‘life’ because the stress is following you home. If you let it.
I think that being able to vent about the stress to someone who understands the work, then making a rule that you don’t bring the work or stress home with you, helps. I think the key to maintaining a good work-life balance mainly happens in your head.
I try to squeeze every spare moment I can out of a day for ‘life’ and when you have a growing family, a full time job and you want to write novels, you have to keep your head in a happy place. I suggest leaving work at work where it belongs. Don’t bring it home. Take regular mental health breaks at work, even five minutes to look out the window or tell someone a joke. Always have ‘you’ time at work and at home. Find something to laugh about every day. Even if it means pulling faces at your reflection in the elevator. Don’t take your work stress out on other people. Don’t allow your work to stress you. Keep smiling and work for life. It’s easier than you think. To quote Audrey Hepburn “Nothing is impossible. The word itself says I’m possible”.