5 ways to cultivate work-life harmony

mind at work

Sree Mitra

November 28, 2023

Author: Dr Steve Hickman

In his 2022 report on “Workplace Mental Health & Well-Being, US Surgeon General Vivek Murthy laid out five essential elements that we are exploring in a series of articles. This is the second of five of those pieces. If you missed the first blog post in the series, you can find it here.

The elusive quest for work-life harmony! It’s like trying to find the proverbial pot of gold at the end of the rainbow, but with a few less leprechauns and a lot more spreadsheets. Juggling the demands of our careers and personal lives can feel like a never-ending circus act with the spotlight on you 24×7. But fear not, my fellow work-life tightrope walkers, for there are ways to cultivate that harmonious balance without turning into a stressed-out acrobat!

1. Set Boundaries:

Just as lions and tigers should be kept in separate cages, your work and personal life deserve their own spaces. Establish clear boundaries between work hours and leisure time. Don’t let your inbox invade your evenings or weekends!

2. Prioritize Self-Care:

Remember, even the greatest circus performers need to rest and recharge. Take time to reflect and find what nourishes YOU, and then sincerely make time for yourself; whether it’s a yoga class, a walk with a friend, a bubble bath, or binge-watching your favorite TV show in your pajamas.

3. Delegate and Collaborate:

You don’t have to be a one-person show. Share tasks at work and at home. Just like a circus troupe, a little teamwork can go a long way.

4. Unplug Occasionally:

Step away from the screens. Put down your smartphone, turn off the laptop, and experience life in high-definition in its true form, not through your device screens.

5. Find Your Ringleader:

A trusted mentor, friend, or therapist can be your guiding star through the work-life circus. Seek advice and support when you need it. And never forget that you can be your own ringleader/guide. Pausing now and then to step back and survey the situation can really help you restore perspective. This is the essence of mindfulness.

6. Practice Gratitude:

Embrace the magic of the everyday. Notice and celebrate small wins, cherish your loved ones, and savor those little moments that make life truly spectacular. There is significant scientific evidence that practicing gratitude can be life- and health-enhancing. (See how to do this here.)

In the grand spectacle of life, remember that you are the ringmaster. So, grab your top hat, take a bow, and cultivate that work-life harmony with a panache! After all, it’s your stage – make it a show you look forward to everyday and you will remember for a lifetime!

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