This time of year can be busy for a lot of us. Your job or school may keep adding on more work, and the holidays mean obligations with family and friends. On top of that, it gets darker earlier and earlier, so the days feel short.
How do we keep ourselves from going feeling overwhelmed through all these commitments? The key is balance. Balance is defined as the even distribution of things, but also as emotional and mental steadiness. We need to strike a balance between our commitments (what we must get done), and our prerogatives (what we want to do).
You may hear people talking about their work-life balance. This concept has been around for centuries and suggests that there is an optimally healthy way to prioritize our careers and our leisure. More and more companies are focusing on providing a healthy work-life balance for their employees, encouraging time off and flexible schedules. While this may superficially seem like it would hurt the company, providing a work-life balance can actually make for happier, more productive employees.
Students also require balance–the pressures of school can be just as serious as work but without the payoff of an income. It’s important for students to learn how to moderate their studies with extracurricular activities and social events.
One way to achieve balance is to include activities that may not seem like necessities in your list of daily obligations. For example, you may set aside a half hour on a particularly busy day to take a relaxing walk in the park. You’ll find your day is easier to get through by adding something enjoyable to it and sticking to attending that.
On the other side of that balance, we need to make sure we do get our work done efficiently and properly, whether it be for school or a career. Sometimes it may be more fun to focus on social activities or hobbies, but it is important to remember how slacking on our obligations can negatively affect others.
If getting your work done is hard for you, reward yourself with breaks or fun plans at the end of a project. Schedule out set periods of time to get the mundane or required tasks done, so that way you prioritize completing them. A calendar or planner can help keep you keep track of your obligations.
We all need to strike a balance in our day to day lives. Work and school are important, but so is having fun and enjoying life. The next time you feel overwhelmed with stress, ask yourself if you have enough balance in your life.