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Rethinking Work-Life Balance in 2020: It's Just Life!

  • 11 months ago

Banishing the work-life balance concept

With the plethora of changes that COVID-19 has introduced and enforced to all of our lives, it's important that we adapt along with it. One of the most significant shifts has been the way we work - whether that be working from home, working varied hours, taking our kids to work, and so on. Everyone's situation has been impacted differently, and we know it's been a stressful year to say the least. We're all slowly adjusting to a new normal - and don't get us wrong, it's hard to adjust - but the best thing we can do for ourselves is try to adjust our perceptions and attitudes about our work-life balance. Let's stop separating the two, and look at the whole picture.

"I don't have work and home, I just have life." - Abbey, Nourish'd Co-Founder

There is so much pressure that comes with organising the right balance for our precious time and where we spend it. Oh, the guilt! We've all been there, at war with ourselves about work duties or about home duties or about both... we just don't love that.  Studies show that working too little can actually be as detrimental as overworking, as work provides us with a sense of financial independence, community and friendships, structure and stability, and even purpose and motivation. With that said, though, overworking can burn you out, and cause emotional exhaustion, reduced motivation and efficiency, and even depression if you don't have enough enjoyment and fulfilment in your life.
"It is a misguided concept because it assumes we must always make trade-offs among the four main aspects of our lives: work or school, home or family, community (friends, neighbours, religious or social groups), and self (mind, body, spirit)." - Stewart Friedman, Professor at University of Pennsylvania

Instead of striving for this perfect 'balance' and segregating these aspects of our lives, a better, more achievable goal would be to learn how to integrate and combine them. As COVID-19 and its effects still loom, it could be beneficial to bring work dilemmas to your family, involving your partner and kids in your life and creating an opportunity for mutual support. If you're back in the office, even consider bringing your kids in! Okay, maybe not if you work on a building site... Or a funeral home... But the point is to become more open and fluid. Immerse yourself in all aspects of life; compartmentalising is so 2019!

Our tips for a holistic, positive life:

  • Review your goals and your daily structure regularly - life changes, so should you! Read our post about goal setting HERE.
  • Move your body - it could be 20 minutes of your day spent taking the dog for a walk, playing with your kids in the backyard.
  • Disconnect - technology is almost always in our faces, so try spending an hour each day (or a couple hours a week, whatever you can manage) unplugged.
  • Last but certainly not least: remember that you are human, and humans are imperfect - your goals, habits, plans, schedules etc. are not always going to be attainable, and that's okay, we can only do our best!
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