Balance and Joy Part 1: The Balancing Act 

For working professionals, balance and joy often fall to the wayside. We struggle to balance personal and professional responsibilities, goals, and deadlines. This leaves us feeling overwhelmed and uninspired.

Amid burnout, overwhelm, and frustration, it can feel impossible to find balance. In this instance, it is vital to take a step back and assess where you might be experiencing an imbalance. 

Familiar sources of feeling stretched thin or imbalanced include: 

Struggling to take of children or family who rely on your mental, emotional, or physical presence.

If you struggle to be mentally, emotionally, or physically present for those you take care of, you might find yourself required to put too much into your job. Whether this is time, emotional regulation, or mental effort, your personal life can suffer. Coming home late, having difficulty being fully present, or constantly feeling on edge are exhausting and jeopardize your relationships. 

Feeling unsupported by managers, project leaders, or team members.

Humans- even the most introverted among us- are social creatures. Consequently, we feed off positive reinforcement but negativity swiftly strikes us down. Feeling unsupported by managers, project leaders, or team members brews self-doubt and resentment.

Unfortunately, this bitterness or crisis of confidence will only grow and distance you from your coworkers and your professional goals. 

Realizing you must choose between your personal life and your work life, lest one or the other suffers.

Managers, teammates, and clients often expect working professionals (especially women) to leave their personal lives entirely at home. Being a caretaker or having priorities outside of work is seen as unprofessional. As we’ve discovered during the pandemic more than ever, your work and at-home lives do not need to be mutually exclusive. 

When you recognize that some or all of these pressure points are causing your imbalance and frustration, it is easier to narrow down a solution to the issue. 

By definition, finding a healthy balance between personal and professional obligations does not entail prioritizing one over the other. The rise of remote work and flexible schedules allows employees to be effective, productive members of a team as well as present caretakers and happy humans overall. 

Aside from finding balance, when we spend most of our weekday hours working, joy should be a priority. Part two of this series covers the next step: find your joy. 

Photo by Aziz Acharki on Unsplash 

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