By Susan Scott, psychologist, nutritionist, mind & body expert, and best-selling author
It’s quite a challenge balancing a work life and a family life and feeling you get the most from both but with a few clever rituals you can prevent yourself crashing and burning.
- Know your purpose in life. Who are you and what do you want from your life? Just because you have children does not mean you have to put this on hold or forget about it. Yes, your purpose in life may well change but by having one it gives you direction and keeps your mind focused on the future rather than being derailed by the present.
- Keep tabs on how you spend your time. Being a working parent is busy by its very nature so it’s important not to get hung up on work-life balance. Think about it as life-balance. Life is about ‘doing’, so how can you balance this with some time for ‘recovering’. Review how you spend your time and look carefully at your recovery time to make sure it recharges you the best way it can.
- Running around in circles trying to do everything at the same time does you no good at all. You need to prioritise tasks and that means working out what is important and urgent, what can be left for the time being and what you don’t really have to do at all. It also means being realistic about what you want from life and what you can have. Life isn’t perfect for anyone; wanting and trying to get it all will burn you out.
- Get some fresh air and daylight each morning. People with young families are often sleep deprived. If this is you, you need to get the best quality sleep from the time you have. A walk in the daylight stimulates the release of serotonin, a chemical in the brain associated with mood and sleep. As it gets dark, serotonin is converted to the sleep hormone, melatonin. Good levels of serotonin help you fall asleep then sleep soundly.
- Don’t be too proud to ask for help. The reality is that virtually everyone needs some help at some time. If you ask for it, you may find you can come up with a reciprocal arrangement with someone that has great benefits. If you don’t ask you’ll never know!
- Make the time to socialise with family and friends. Fun and laughter lift your spirits and generate a positive attitude to life that helps you override the stresses and challenges you’re experiencing. Be aware if you’re turning down invitations as this can be a sign that you’re chronically stressed and stuck in task modem, putting you at risk of burnout.
- Learn to say ‘No’. It’s a dilemma – our head says ‘No’ but our heart says ‘Yes’ and the heart wins. We often fear saying ‘No’ because of the consequences that may ensue. The chances are that these ‘consequences’ are self-fabricated in our head and actually would never happen. Be brave and give it a go. It takes practice but it’s pretty liberating when you do.
- Take a moment out. When stress overwhelms you and you’re struggling to cope – STOP!! Take three deep breaths and wallow in the calmness. It’s a great way to lower elevated stress hormones. If breathing doesn’t do it for you, get out and have a walk. Both activities can clear the mind and help you to think straight – calmly.
Tips from How to Prevent Burnout and reignite your life and career. By best-selling author, Susan Scott. Her book, How To Have An Outstanding Career was published in May 2017. How To Prevent Burnout is due for release on October 17th 2017. Order and find out more from www.youngprofs.net or available on Amazon on 17th October 2017