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Achieving Work-Life Balance

Category: 

Grieving Process

Posted On: Oct 10, 2016

Achieving Work-Life Balance

It's an age-old issue, whether or not we are are spending a due amount of time on our personal lives while giving due time and effort to our work.

It's an issue,  however, that especially is crystallized for the bereaved. Arguably, when you're grieving is when it is the most important that you take care of yourself and take TIME for yourself to get better. But you cannot neglect your work and you're not doing yourself any favors, psychologically or financially, if get yourself fired. So how do you achieve that work-life balance? Here are some ways:

Don't be afraid to say no.

Of course, if you have a boss, you can't just pick and choose what tasks you want to do at work. We are paid to go in and, quite literally, do our jobs. For most of us, that entails doing whatever our supervisors and managers tell us to do.

But then again, there are differences between favors and work orders. If a request from your boss is a) clearly just that, a request, and not an order, and b) accepting the request would unduly burden you, and leave you less time or energy to take care of yourself, don't be afraid to say no.

That goes double for coworkers. If you're like me, you hate saying no to anyone, but you have to remember to put yourself first. Coworkers who have no managerial power over you shouldn't make you feel like they do. So be extra judicious before taking on extra work foisted upon you by a coworker.

Don't mentally take work home with you

Work has a way of weighing on one's mind even during the best of times. When you're grieving, it's tempting to really throw yourself into your work, pick up lots of overtime, and let it inhabit every nook and cranny of your brain so there's no room for grief.

Tempting, but not healing. So don't do it. When you get home, take your mind off of work and put in on things that relax you – hobbies, social events, sports, whatever. Or tackle the work of healing: reading a self-help book, talking to friends or a therapist, or spending time with loved ones.  This is the crux of having a work life balance – not letting work invade the parts of your life that constitute you having one.

One hack for not “accidentally” taking work home with you is to turn off all electronic devices or notifications (such as work emails) that bring you back into the sphere of work while you are on your own time.

Take It Easy

You can be forgiven – and all but the most awful employers would grant you this – for taking a couple of days off at least to grieve. Take advantage of this.  Don't go back to work until you are ready. And when you ARE ready to go back, ease yourself in like you might slowly approach the deeper end of a swimming pool. Maintain a pace that's healthy and burdens you with a minimum of stress. You owe it to yourself to go slow.