This is easy to say but hard to accomplish. The same qualities that make us responsible caring people who want to take care of our families, can make us work too hard and spend too much time on business and away from home. Modern technology doesn’t help. Very young workers may not remember a time before cell phones, e-mail and pagers. Back then people may have brought the office home, but it wasn’t typical that the office could get INTO your home. Now we may feel that we have to make up excuses as to why we aren’t answering cell phones and e-mail around the clock. Home isn’t always the refuge that it used to be.
And home isn’t the only place that suffers. When we get out of balance with work, we are probably also neglecting attention to friends, attention to community, and attention to self. It’s hard for our lives to be in balance if we are not. It makes sense that the key to all of this paying proper attention to ourselves, so that we can learn to re-distribute our attention among the other parts of lives.
Have you noticed that when our work life gets out of hand, our self-care is often the very first thing to go? We feel that we don’t have time or energy for exercise, we eat for comfort rather than health, and we may neglect other behaviors that help us stay healthy. Often people will say to that work is causing so much anxiety that it is consuming them, and they are unable to focus on anything else.
This is the crux of the matter. Work is always going to cause some amount of anxiety. Employees at every level feel vulnerable to supervisors, policies and layoffs. Those who operate their own businesses have the pressure of running a company and of trying to make sure that the company is "fed" – with new customers, new ideas, new staff. Probably the most important skill we can learn as humans is that of anxiety containment – holding onto ourselves and not getting overwhelmed by the amount of anxiety in our lives.
My focus in business coaching is on helping create and maintain a reasonable, sustainable balance between work and the rest of our lives. Because I am a licensed therapist, I am very well trained in spotting the symptoms of anxiety and depression, which of course can be the result of our lives being out of balance. Because I am not only a business owner myself, but also the wife of 28 years of a corporate executive turned small business owner, I know how family feels when a person is consumed by work and unable to see the forest for the trees.
Building a business is important. So is building a life that includes successful relationships. You can have both. Do what it takes to take care of your business and your life. Please call 805-583-3976 x 33. You can also contact me through our webpage Families Counseling. Thank you for interest, and remember, try to keep in balance!