July 30, 2019

Strike a work life balance

More than half of Canadians feel overwhelmed with everything they have to do. Juggling work, school, friends, family, volunteering and mental and physical health is taking a toll on us and it’s hard keeping all those balls in the air. So, what can we do to prevent everything from crashing down around us? Finding balance is easier than you think.
dark and looming staircase
Dark and looming staircase

If you’re feeling guilty because you can’t do it all, like you’re not in control of your own life, or like you’re constantly being pulled from one thing to the next – it’s time to make some changes.

Schedule breaks – and take them

When you’re working or studying, give yourself a 10-minute break every two hours. Put it in your calendar. Get up and move around, do some mindful breathing, take a power nap – whatever feels right to you. Taking regular breaks can help you remain focused and actually increase your productivity.

Focus your energy on your highest priorities

Before you start working, researching or studying, make a list of the things you need to accomplish, ones that would be nice to get done and those that can wait until later. Start with the most important things, but be realistic about what you can do in the time you have. Share household tasks if you can, or decide which ones can wait.

Very stressed out woman eats her pencil

Very stressed out woman eats her pencil

Plan to cut out distractions

You don’t have to be available all the time. Block notifications from your work accounts when you’re not working. When you’re at work, set specific times each day to respond to emails so you aren’t constantly distracted by incoming messages. If you need to, there are apps you can download to block social media, websites or even the entire internet for periods of time when you need to focus.

If you find you’re still feeling overwhelmed and burned out, it’s probably time to call in a professional. Counsellors can help you set healthy boundaries at work or home, deal with procrastination and distractions, and sort out what’s most important.

If you’re a UCalgary student, you can access student support or counselling through Student Wellness Services. Staff and faculty can get support from Staff Wellness or their Employee Family Assistance Program.