Tips for Managing the Stress of Work-Life Balance
Ways to Keep Calm as School Busyness Begins
As the slow pace of summer gives way to the busyness of autumn, kids aren’t the only ones feeling the change. Stress can quickly build in kids and adults alike.
The back-to-school season is filled with packed schedules and a never-ending to-do list. In the span of a few weeks, you can go from blissed-out to stressed-out quite quickly.
Are you feeling the stress as you consider how you’ll balance work and life once the pool floats are deflated, the grill is covered, and your kids are back in school?
That’s why we’re here! Today, we’re sharing a few of our top tips to help you reclaim that all-important feeling of calm as you prepare to head into the most active time of year.
Buy a planner.
The fall is busy enough without surprise appointments and unexpected commitments. Before school starts, invest in a great-quality planner that can help you plan your family’s schedule at least a few months in advance.
When you know what’s coming up, you’re freer to enjoy your time together at home. Instead of keeping a separate planner for your kids, your work, and your home life, consider using a shared family calendar instead. This way, you can identify scheduling conflicts before they occur and get a clearer understanding of what everyone has going on.
Learn to say “no”.
It’s easy to feel pressured into attending every after-school function, children’s playdate, volunteer event, and special work assignment. Especially if you’re a people-pleaser, you might feel guilty for turning down these invitations.
Yet, consider the toll that they can take on your family. If your schedule is stretched thin with extracurriculars, it can leave you with extra stress as you look for ways to squeeze in personal time.
It might take practice, but learn how to respectfully turn down events that you don’t enjoy or simply can’t handle. If this exercise is a little difficult for you, three steps in this link can help.
Organize chores efficiently.
Does it always feel like you’re doing weeks’ worth of laundry on your day off? Tired of making multiple trips to the grocery store? It might not seem like too much of a hassle, but if you’re spending all of your time running errands and tending to the house, it can be hard to find that coveted work-life balance.
It can help to organize these tasks efficiently. Make a list of all of the errands you need to run in town, and take care of them in batches. Or, try doing a small load of laundry every day to help spread out the load.
Along the way, if something gets missed or you forget to add an item to your cart, give yourself plenty of grace. Do what you can and let the rest go.
Designate a technology cut-off time.
These days, it’s all too easy to bring your work home with you. Even if you don’t work remotely, there are still plenty of programs and tools that let you log into your intranet after hours, or communicate with coworkers outside of the office.
While these resources can be helpful, they can also make it impossible to disconnect.
To the greatest extent possible, try to designate a set time every evening when the electronics go off. For example, from dinnertime to bedtime, you might decide to leave your phone and tablet in the bedroom. Turn your volume on so you can be notified in the event of an emergency, but you’ll feel immediate relief when you aren’t checking for a new notification every few seconds.
Finding it difficult to look away from the screen? These apps are designed to block access to certain mobile apps (hello, Facebook) for a set period of time, so you can focus on what’s most important.
Ask about work flexibility.
Especially over the past few months, employers around the world have started taking a closer look at the possibility of a remote office environment. Even if yours doesn’t offer a full-time-from-home option, there might be the possibility to work remotely a few days out of the week.
Take advantage of this newfound flexibility and inquire about your options. Especially if you explain your busy schedule, you might find that your employer is willing to work with you. From flexible hours to telecommuting, your options are more varied than ever before.
Focus on self-care.
As you take care of everyone’s schedules this autumn, don’t forget to show yourself some TLC, too.
Maintaining an active lifestyle can help you feel your best, even when you’re running all over the place. Try to stick to a healthy diet, get enough sleep, and pencil in plenty of time for fun and relaxation.
As you do, look for both big and little ways you can take care of yourself. While it’s easy to let stress take its toll on your mental and emotional health, you can stay on top of the chaos with simple steps.
Go for a walk when you’re feeling anxious, unwind with a good book, and don’t rush your nighttime pampering routine, which includes brushing and flossing. From mouth sores and gum disease to temporomandibular joint (TMJ) disorders, there are myriad oral health conditions linked to excess stress and the tension it triggers.
Find a circle of help.
We aren’t meant to carry every load on our own! If you have a circle of friends and family members who can help out during this busy season, don’t be afraid to lean on them. Let your parents keep the kids if you need to get a little work done, or have a friend over to chat if you’re feeling overwhelmed.
If you don’t already have such a network, look for groups in your area that can help. Your child’s school, your family’s place of worship, or the local community centers can be great places to plug in and find the support you crave.
Manage stress and enjoy this new season.
As we prepare to head back to school, it’s normal to feel the pressure to be perfect. You’re supposed to be an ambitious employee and always-present parent, but that work-life balance can feel exceedingly elusive.
As you navigate this stress, remember to adjust your expectations. There might be days when everything falls into place and you’ve got it all figured out. Then, there will be those days when you’re just happy to make it to dinnertime in one piece.
Allow yourself to be human as you adjust to this new time of life, and don’t neglect your personal health in the meantime. If you need to visit our office for a routine cleaning or any type of dental treatment, request an appointment today.