How many times have we heard the phrase “getting the balance right”?  What does this mean to you?  If we look up the word “balance” in the dictionary (yes I still have the book version) we will find 18 definitions, depending of course on the context in which the word is to be used.
   
The context of a work/life balance also depends on individual circumstances and attitude; whether we are single or married, studying, self-employed, contracting, FIFO, caring for someone or raising a family.
   
Ask yourself “do I have my work/life in balance?”  To assess this firstly identify the prominence of work in your situation.  Does it challenge/drive you, is it enjoyment, a sense of satisfaction and/or purpose or is it just a means to an end (that is if we don’t work we don’t get paid, if we don’t get paid we can’t live the life we want or do the things we enjoy)?  Is it a mix of both?

The “life” side of things for most of us is enjoying some form of interaction with other people. This can happen through our hobbies, sport, children, family, religious congregation, social/community groups, or by volunteering (ironically work can also be one of these).

The definition which (I think) is the best fit when considering “work/life balance” is to have these two areas “well-proportioned and harmonious”.

Our work/life balance can be disrupted when we are under pressure, feeling distressed or even embarrassed by an event and as blokes we may then disengage from others and try to solve problems and deal with stressors alone. Unfortunately by doing this we remove ourselves from valuable support systems, which in turn creates and exacerbates feelings of loneliness and isolation.
 
Remember to maintain and re-engage with social opportunities as this is a significant part of positive mental health, coping and overall wellbeing.    Something as simple as taking timeout, communicating (remember its part of the problem solving process), having a laugh with others (this may expose us to different ways of thinking of doing things) and even in busy times scheduling time to have that game of bowls, timeout with the kids or partner, is essential.

Having a busy life may lead us to feel that there is more to do than what seems reasonable in any given day.  We all get equal measures of time, there is 24 hours in a day for everyone.  Why then is it that for some of us 24 hours never seems enough, while others seem to have plenty of time?  Perhaps we need to ask ourselves “is time the problem, or is it our ability to manage our time”?  How much we have on our plate varies throughout the year, so we need to be aware to continually monitor our time to ensure that for the majority of the year we have a well-proportioned and harmonious work/life balance.

Terry and the Team

The Regional Men’s Health Initiative
delivered by Wheatbelt Men’s Health (Inc.)        
PO Box 768, Northam WA 6401            
Phone: 08 9690 2277                
Email: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
www.regionalmenshealth.com.au