Work-Life Balance is a Myth

There is no perfect formula that will help you practice self-care. #DoYou instead.

For years I have struggled with trying to find a perfect work-life balance formula and you know what I’ve finally realized? Work-life balance is a myth; it’s the elusive white unicorn we don’t want to admit doesn’t exist.

How many times have you said to yourself, “I’ll feel so much better about working [insert: your job, a project, a volunteer op] when I finally learn how to balance working [insert: your job, a project, a volunteer op] with taking care of [insert: myself, my family, my dog, etc.]”

Yup, me too.

My light bulb moment happened when I realized that the best way to handle, deal with, overcome, and release my work-life balance unicorn quest was to give myself permission to stop searching for the fairy tale pony.

I live with OCD that manifests itself in hyper-focus on projects. I have found that rather than attempt to completely shut down “work” focus, I do better to shift my attention to other projects, in doing so I’m able to give a part of my brain a rest plus this keeps me sane and productive. Sounds crazy but I’m more likely to succumb to burnout when I stay on one project and I get anxious if I try to force myself to stop working for the sake of somebody’s rigid work-life balance formula.

For example, when I’m feeling stressed about writing - what to write, how to write it, etc., I stop agonizing about it and instead, I shift my attention to create social graphics or website updates.

How do I balance project work with the rest of my life, say domestic duties or family stuff? When something needs doing around the house, I do it. When the hubs and I need time together, we take it. Don't be afraid to shift gears.

I know you’re probably thinking that I’m not resting by working and living this way, well, it works for me and that is the unicorn. Realize that there is no perfect cookie-cut formula for work-life balance. Everyone has different circumstances and level of tolerance, when we exceed our tolerance, we suffer. When your mind and body have had enough, listen to your energy and do what you need to do in order to rest and reset.

No one can tell you what creates balance for you except you - you are your best self-care advocate. #DoYou. Do what you feel works best for you with an understanding that there will be times when you ebb and flow and bob and weave. Don’t beat yourself up for failing to adhere to some fantasy about work-life balance from someone else’s perspective.

Don’t get me wrong, this is not the same as taking a mental health break where it’s necessary to take complete and total attention and focus away from any and all things “work” related - that’s called a vacation.

What’s your experience with work-life balance?

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