Nobody has better work-life balance than a pilates-loving cat mom who travels the world and sees cool places.
I’m talking about myself.
Even when I’m burned out, I’m not burned out. So here are some of my tips and techniques to achieve real and lasting work-life balance.
Say yes when someone else is burned out.
The best way to get help is to offer help when your friends and colleagues need it most. If you see the signs of exhaustion, swoop in and offer comfort and support.
Say no and mean it.
Saying no doesn’t mean being a jerk. Saying no doesn’t mean being cruel. Sometimes we say no but we don’t have a clear tone of authority in our voice. Sometimes we say no but our body language says, okay, I’m saying yes but I’m a whiny brat about it. Say no, but be helpful. Find a solution so that someone else can say yes.
Don’t make perfect the enemy of good.
We live in an all-or-nothing culture that is tricking us into thinking we can’t have balance unless we have ALL THE BALANCE. Can’t be a great parent? Be a good enough parent. Your kids won’t know the difference. Can’t afford to join a gym? Walk. Can’t afford to eat spinach and kale? Skip diet soda. Your black and white thinking sets you up for failure before you’ve even made an effort.
Guard your sleep.
Young kids kill sleep. That’s a fact. But you know what else kills sleep? Books. TV. Your phone. Your animals. The radio. Older kids who walk into your room without knocking. If you don’t guard your sleep, nobody else will.
Diversify your life.
I love passionate people, but I love interesting people who do more than one thing in life. Passion is a one-way path to mental exhaustion. Be curious and differentiate your life. Seek out new people and new adventures. Obsessive people are often bored and lonely.
Finally, I have one more piece of advice.
I’m a big complainer, and I started to realize that complaining was my lazy and ineffective way of asking for help. So I learned how to ask for help. Whether it’s with housekeeping chores or financial management, I am starting to raise my hand and ask for help more often.
I’m prideful. I am obstinate. I like to solve problems. But I can’t be the only one who scoops litter around this house if you feel me. So follow my lead and ask for help when you need it. Trust that it will be given. And be generous and loving with those who need your help, as well.
Work-life balance is possible as long as you think about how your actions can help others to achieve balance, too.