We constantly tell our friends to get out for a meal, or to come watch a movie to maintain a ‘work-life balance’. The intention is to unwind, and not question whether someone is really enjoying their life. However, those on the receiving end of this coaxing to relax seem to find themselves questioning the routines they set for themselves.

Are we really enjoying work? The important conclusion to make is, that we may not be leading a balanced life only if WE question ourselves about it.

The Cycle

The conundrum that this simple conclusion of having balance faces is kickstarted when we are questioned by our peers as to why we don’t ‘relax enough’. The vicious cycle of self-questioning is then initiated, leading us to nitpick and find flaws with our daily schedule. It’s evident that it takes time for anyone to get used to a schedule that they follow. But starting to probe into it unnecessarily can be quite unnerving, especially if a lot of alterations are made to a routine that is being followed to the t.

The vicious cycle of Self-Questioning is usually given impetus by other people. Image Courtesy: Murray the Nut

The vicious cycle of Self-Questioning is usually given impetus by other people.
Image Courtesy: Murray the Nut

Inner Realisations

The notion of lacking a work-life balance should only initiate itself within one’s own mind. If you consciously feel that you aren’t spending enough ‘me’ time, you should be the one to realise it. Relying on what other people say to you can often lead you to question yourself when you don’t even need to. 

The dawn of realisation has to be cultivated from within. Image Courtesy: Fabio Gon

The dawn of realisation has to be cultivated from within.
Image Courtesy: Fabio Gon

When we’re super productive, we often set high standards for ourselves. We start to believe that if we dip in our levels of efficiency, people around us will start to notice. These beliefs are probably what lead us to question ourselves about what is expected from us.

Individual Differences

We’re all individuals at the end of the day. We respond differently to different equations of stress and relaxation in our lives. Some of us tend to thrive in high stress, high-effort situations, and love to take them on, whereas others like to do things at a more relaxed pace.The temperaments we tend to display at work and during ‘me’ time greatly decide how we respond to different levels of stress in our daily routine.

The truth is, only we know what it takes to make us burn out completely, and we should make a conscious effort to avoid reaching this point, and balancing effort with a healthy amount of relaxation. The amounts of relaxation that we require should be gauged in terms of how ready we feel to resume our daily routine after ‘me’ time. A higher reluctance to resume effort is an indication that we might be resting a little more than we should be, or way less than required.

We all have differences. We need to understand that in order to gauge what levels of work are healthy for us. Image Courtesy:

We all have differences. We need to understand that in order to gauge what levels of work are healthy for us.
Image Courtesy: Pipeline Performance Group

Balanced living is a where workplace counselling plays an important role. When we question ourselves about the level of satisfaction and balance we feel at work, the neutral headspace of a therapist can often help us to understand why we may be having these doubts, or whether they are indeed, true. If it does turn out that we aren’t achieving a balance with work and leisure, the insight has to be internal, or fuelled by appropriate questioning that makes us probe inward.

An undergraduate in Psychology, Shantanu is an aspiring Educational Psychologist who will be pursuing his Master’s in 2018 at the Ohio State University. He is adept with psychometric and statistical research, and has honed his grasp over psychology through a 4 year undergraduate course in Liberal Education at FLAME University, Pune.