Work-life balance. It’s one of those throwaway phrases that everyone salutes but a lot of us, including myself, often forget to practice. I just read a moving article written by PR superstar, Terrie M. Williams, who for years suffered from depression and eventually had a major breakdown. Recovered now and an evangelist for work-life balance and mental health, she attributes a lot of her problems to a life gone out of whack. As she writes,
“I’ve habitually spent my days immersed in projects, pouring over details and running from one engagement to another without a break – and it’s suffocating. I’ve even gone so far as to hold my urge to use the bathroom all day so I could make one more phone call, one more meeting, or one more something.”
While Williams was an extreme case of work overload, many of us in this crazy 24/7 work culture know what she means. While it’s important to work hard, all work and no play is a recipe for diminishing returns not to mention dysfunction. Our personal brands and our sense of self need nurturing. Williams has a seven point strategy for balancing work and life that’s worth repeating:
1. Connect with a higher power for spiritual strength and give thanks for your blessings
through prayer and meditation.
2. Take the focus off you by volunteering to help others in need.
3. Indulge in “me time” through joyful activities.
4. Work your stress out through exercise or a favorite pastime.
5. Reach out to an understanding loved one for support.
6. Take a few deep breaths to relax.
7. Consider talk therapy (should your life be so out of balance).
Are you keeping your life in balance? I’d love to hear from you.