Have you ever been so overwhelmed at the end of the day that you find yourself crying like a baby because you just don't know what else to do? Or, have you ever driven somewhere, but couldn't remember how you got there when you arrived because you had a million other things on your mind?
Here's my favorite: you can't find your cell phone and you're so frustrated that you're about to scream just as your son says, "Mom, aren't you on your cell phone?" These are some of the classic symptoms of a lack of life-work balance, and inevitably, most parents will experience it at some point in time; unfortunately, it is all too familiar to the single mother.
Though life-work balance may seem impossible to attain, it isn't. Life-work balance does not imply that everything will run smoothly at every second of the day; however, it does imply that when life throws you lemons, you'll be prepared to make lemonade. Here are a few tips provided by Lindsay Olson, founding partner and public relations recruiter with Paradigm Staffing and Hoojobs.com, that will help you accomplish just that.
Be more organized at work. One major reason many of us bring work home is because we constantly close out the day in the middle of a project, which makes it difficult to mentally leave it behind. Set up tasks on your calendar to finish projects or get to a stopping point each day and prioritize what's most important. That way, you leave the workday feeling complete and ready to relax.
Plan your week. Not allotting time to handle chores and cook can make for a rushed work week. Cook a batch of food for your lunches on Sunday and designate a half-hour each day to work on chores. That way you're not overwhelmed with housework on the weekend, which frees you up for more leisurely pursuits.
Enjoy your family. When you're focused on work it's easy to grow distant from your family. Small efforts—such as eating dinner as a family during the week—make a big difference.
Exercise. Though exercising can be an exhausting activity, it can also be the most rewarding you can do for yourself. Keeping your body fit and healthy is monumental in finding balance and maintaining health and happiness. Develop an exercise routine that you enjoy and fit it into your schedule. Try to start by taking walks; this is something that the entire family can participate in.
Make time for you. Cori Ashworth, career counselor and founder of Career Continuum, says, "These days the challenge is to see patterns and orchestrate activity so you get what you need and meet the needs of your workplace too. As women, we often put others first and we need to watch out for ourselves carefully so we do not burnout".