Work life balance is something all of us need. As a woman it is of prime importance to not lose yourself in the frenzy of switching between worlds. Work-life balance is a sense that you’re able to meet your obligations at work and at home while having time to enjoy your hobbies and interests in your personal time. The perfect ratio of work to home looks different to everyone. Put yourself first. By some carnal rule of nature, women are expected to sacrifice at every point of their lives. With every role they play from mother, sister, wife or friend, women are expected to be understanding and sacrificial.
In conversation with Sharon Priyanka, a trainee therapist, ‘Work life balance is not a goal to be attained/achieved but something you have to intentionally work on. There is no perfect ratio but varies for each of us. That’s why it becomes important to reflect on what brings you back to your normal state’.
Ms. Priyanka refers to work life balance as something similar to homeostasis. ‘Homeostasis is a constant self-regulating process through which our body maintains an internal stability in response to environmental changes. For example, when we feel cold, we shiver and when it’s hot outside we sweat and that’s just our body trying to maintain homeostasis. This process is the same, the normal varies for each of us.’ She also points out visible signs that can be indicators for a lack of balance like constant fatigue, low energy, lack of motivation, exhaustion are some signs we are deviating from our normal and this inevitably affects our aspect of work and relationships’.
Ms. Priyanka suggests, reflecting on your routine, breaking it down into manageable pieces and then analyze where your time goes. Then find pockets of time in your current routine to do something for yourself. If you can’t find it, make more buffer time. In recent times, everyone knows the term ‘self-care’ and it almost sounds like a fancy, elaborate, privileged thing to do and like something that requires a lot of effort. And that’s why I think it’s important to simplify and redefine self-care for each of us. What does it look like for you? Is it a long hot shower? Is it playing with your pet? Is it just indulging in a Choco lava cake and feeling it melt in your mouth? Is it just laying on the couch without guilt? That’s self care! Anything that you do intentionally that brings you joy in that moment is self care!. Also as women, we play multiple roles and sometimes it’s practically impossible to do all the things that we want to do and it is okay to ask for help. We don’t need to have everything together all the time and asking for help doesn’t mean you aren’t capable. It just shows you are human”.
As working women continue juggling their responsibilities and career path within rigid agendas, their productivity gets hampered. Research states that 78% of working women in India are taking career breaks to improve their well-being, plan career changes, and boost their confidence at work. We play multiple roles and sometimes it’s practically impossible to do all the things that we want to do and it is okay to ask for help. We don’t need to have everything together all the time and asking for help doesn’t mean you aren’t capable. It just shows you are human.
Ms. Priyanka also suggests “As young women, it is easy to get carried away by a lot of things and that is why it is important for them to use their “yes” sparingly, set those personal boundaries, and reflect on what they actually do with their time. For some students to-lists and planners help them feel put together and learning to prioritize in the early stages of their careers will help them thrive as professionals. Working individuals face the added pressure to earn and take care of themselves. Soon they develop the mindset that “I have to do it” even if it costs their health, well-being and relationships. This eventually leads to burnout and a range of mental health problems”. Therefore, it becomes crucial for them to prioritize de-stress routines in their schedule which will actually increase their work efficiency.
For married women tending to the needs of the family becomes a priority while also managing their work schedule. Communicating with partners and sharing the load becomes essential in this case. Older retired women need to unlearn the attitude that “I am too old to do something” and find new hobbies and activities that bring them joy.
Sometimes as we go through life our vision becomes too narrow, and we get caught in a mundane cycle of doing something for the sake of doing it or constantly feeling we are at the wrong pace compared to everyone else. That’s when you remind yourself to pause. Look around, there is always something new for you just waiting to be found. And sometimes it’s also okay to go out of balance but just remember to intentionally make space for yourself to be, just be. Being by yourself and focusing on yourself at times can become a task on its own.