One of the pressing matters I’ve noticed myself and my friends struggling with lately, has been managing and maintaining their work/home life. A lot of us are working either Monday to Friday 9 to 5, or are doing shift work in the evenings or on the weekends – sometimes even both! Getting to work before the sun rises and leaving after it sets for a week straight can make anyone go a bit stir-crazy! This leaves very little or no time to sneak in home time or social time, and for most, a cycle begins to form where it’s work, get home, watch Netflix briefly, sleep, work, etc. There comes a point when it reaches an unhealthy limit, where you are feeling fatigued, bored, and less excited about life. But you can fix that! It’s all about the right balance.
The work/home/social balance is a very fine line, and is different for every person. For me, while I do enjoy my job, it is not what gives me energy. I’m an extrovert (surprising, but true) and sitting around by myself bores me to tears. I need to be around people and doing things, it truly doesn’t matter what – just something! Others may be introverted, in which case they need that time alone to decompress and relax – that’s their energy booster. Some people get their energy from thriving at work, and that’s completely normal too! Find what it is that fills you up again, and make sure it is included in your day to day somehow.
For example, lets say Elsa is a total go-getter, and she is just killing it at work right now. She gets a high from doing her job and it fuels her – but on weekends she’s bored, she’s tired, and she doesn’t do anything until work again on Monday morning. Elsa needs to make some time on the weekends to see some friends, because sitting at home doesn’t fuel her. Monday to Friday she’s loving life because she can work during the day and come home to relax a bit before bed, but can’t sit and do that on the weekend because it drains her to do nothing. Some things that Elsa can do for her personality would be to incorporate some more active activities to her weekends, and include some social time with friends so that she doesn’t wallow by herself all weekend. A slight change can perfect her balance!
But, there are people like Olaf who really do not enjoy working. It drains him, and he needs some alone time but is always busy on weekends because friends want to see him all the time. This makes him even more tired, because socializing drains him too, he needs to decompress. He’s introverted. Something that Olaf could do, would be to make time for his friends after work on a week day, so that he has a shorter amount of time that he is socializing for, and can leave more free time for himself to stay home and relax on the weekends and refuel.
There are also people like Sven, who don’t like working but it doesn’t necessarily drain them, and who is comfortable hanging out at home but not for too long. Yet Sven LOVES to hang out and socialize. It’s his jam. He’s all about it. So then Sven needs to use his weekdays for work, and relax at home after work so that he isn’t too tired, but utilize his weekends by doing everything under the sun with all of his friends!
The thing is, in real life we all have a hard time making certain things a priority. The balance between your work, home, and social life is incredibly important, and if it is skewed in a way that does not give you any energy, you are going to burn out. Determine what fills you up, and find a way to make it a priority.
If you have to sneak in some alone time in the morning before work, or go for dinner by yourself after work – do it! If you need more time with friends, find the time and make it happen. If you need more time at home, maybe take a personal day or start to say no to social events or friends if it is too much to take on. If you need more working time, then find ways to include some extra hours or extracurricular work things if that’s what fills you up! Some people may be frustrated if you cancel plans or say no, but if you need the time for yourself, or to do other things that fuel you, then you need to make it a priority. Whatever it is that fills you up, make it a priority. Make YOURSELF a priority, and you’ll find your balance.