Work-Life Balance: Care Instructions

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Do you ever feel like there is not enough time to do all of the things you have to do, and no time at all for the things you enjoy? If so, you are not alone.

Do you ever feel:

  • That you always have more and more work to do at your job?
  • That too many people depend on you every day?
  • That you never have enough time for your family or friends?
  • That you never have time for hobbies or things you enjoy?
  • That each second of your day is scheduled?

If you answered "yes" to any of these questions, there may be steps you can take to get your life into balance.

Follow-up care is a key part of your treatment and safety. Be sure to make and go to all appointments, and call your doctor if you are having problems.

How can you care for yourself at home?

Manage your time

  • Focus on the important things. Taking on too much can wear you out. Look at how you spend your time, and redirect your focus. Learn to say "no" and let go of things that do not matter.
  • Set one small goal at a time. Use a day planner. Break large projects into smaller ones.
  • Ask for help. Let your children, your spouse, your coworkers, and other people in your life help you get things done.
  • Leave your job at the office. If you give up free time to get more work done, you may pay for it with stress. If your job offers a flexible work schedule, use it to fit your own work style. For instance, come in earlier to have a longer lunch break, or make time for a yoga class or workout during your workday.
  • Unplug. Do not let technology (such as your cell phone or the Internet) erase the line between your time and your employer's time.

Lower job stress

Job stress causes trouble at work and at home. At work, you may worry about things you have not had time to do at home. At home, you may worry about your job. This cycle upsets your work-life balance. Lowering your job stress can get your life back in balance.

Job stress can be caused by:

  • Pressure and deadlines.
  • Heavy workloads or long hours.
  • Not being allowed to make decisions.
  • Health and safety hazards.
  • Feeling you may lose your job.
  • Unclear or changing job duties.
  • Too much responsibility.
  • Work that is very tiring or boring.

Do any of these things bother you? Consider talking with your boss to change things. There are some things that you may not be able to control. But even a few small changes might help lower your stress.

Take advantage of programs at work

Businesses make money and are better off in other ways if their employees are healthy and happy. For this reason, many companies have programs to help balance work life and home life.

These programs may include:

  • Flexible schedules and hours.
  • Time off for family reasons, education, or community service.
  • Being able to work from home.
  • Employee assistance programs to provide counseling.
  • Child-care programs.

Check to see if your company has any of these or other programs that could help you. If not, consider talking to your boss about why work-life balance programs make good business sense. Even if your company does not start an official program, you may be able to get flexible hours, time off, or the ability to do some work from home.

Know when to quit

If you are truly unhappy because of a stressful job, and if the suggestions here have not worked, it may be time to think about changing jobs or changing careers. But before you quit, take time to research your options.

Where can you learn more?

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The Health Encyclopedia contains general health information. Not all treatments or services described are covered benefits for Kaiser Permanente members or offered as services by Kaiser Permanente. For a list of covered benefits, please refer to your Evidence of Coverage or Summary Plan Description. For recommended treatments, please consult with your health care provider.