Success is getting what you want. Happiness is wanting what you get.
- Dale Carnegie
Finding Your Work Life Balance
As busy professionals with our own vital family relationships, we understand at a personal level the challenges in achieving a healthy work-life balance. Psychotherapy can help one uncover the barriers to finding balance, including:
- Unconscious drivers of excessive work strain and performance doubts,
- Childhood relationships that carry over into adulthood that rob one of joy,
- Earlier traumas (troubled relationships with parents, divorce) that interfere with satisfaction, intimacy, and pleasure in the present.
An important part of a building a happy life is creating a balance among work, personal, and family needs that allows you to pursue your dreams, achieve your goals, and enhance your physical and emotional well-being. As you might have discovered, finding and maintaining the balance that suits you best are not always simple or straightforward endeavors.
Today many people feel that their lives are out of balance. Their priorities always seem to be competing in distressing ways — perhaps they enjoy their career achievements but can’t find the time to take care of themselves and exercise, or their work seems to be interfering with having a loving family life.
The Consequences of Struggling to Balance Work and Life
Work-life balance conflicts can diminish your overall happiness and well-being and negatively impact your life in far-reaching ways. When you feel torn between a demanding job and a growing family, you can conclude that you will never do enough in either area of your life, compromising the enjoyment you might experience in both.
When you are at work, feeling guilty that you aren’t meeting your family’s needs may result in reduced efficiency and productivity. Adverse health consequences, such as stress-related illnesses, can result when you are chronically tense or upset. These illnesses can be further exacerbated when you aren’t able to make time to exercise or have regular medical and dental checkups.
When you engage in personal and family commitments, you may feel distracted by the work that you aren’t getting done. Requests by your spouse or children to spend time together can feel like greater demands on your precious time rather than positive desires for closeness and fun. These struggles in family relationships have consequences that range from tension and conflict to divorce and developmental problems for children.
Getting Help to Maintain the Right Balance
Once clients are able to determine the work-life balance they desire, they often find it difficult to follow through and maintain an optimal balance. Work-life balance conflicts, by their very nature, involve difficult choices among competing priorities. Ongoing inner conflicts over these competing priorities cause people to have difficulty sticking with their decisions. When you have conflicting feelings about your priorities, whenever you pursue one goal (e.g., beginning an exercise program), a competing goal (e.g., working extra hours), will nag at you until you pursue the competing priority instead.
When Is It Time to Seek Therapy?
If you’re wondering if you should seek therapy, then you must already have identified at least one area of your life that you would like to be different. Anyone who feels less than satisfied with the way their lives are going could benefit from therapy.
People who seek therapy recognize that they deserve to be happy and reach their full potential, and they are determined to take positive action and make this happen. Therapy is not a crutch. Your therapist can help you continue to grow in ways that lead to lasting improvements in your moods and more joy in your life.
Choosing to start therapy is a constructive way of supporting and caring for yourself that can enable you to begin, right now, to make the changes you desire.
Call us at 301.984.9791 to discuss your needs or to schedule an appointment. At Potomac Psychiatry our psychiatrists and therapists specialize in helping executives find a health work-life balance.