We all long for the mystical work/life balance that sees us spending equal time at the office and at home, thinking that it will exile the stress from our lives, but a balanced life may not be the yellow brick road leading to freedom from stress that we assume it to be.
The 5th November saw the 16th annual Stress Awareness Day put forward by the International Stress Management Association (ISMA). The theme was “Stress: the balancing act.”
Research carried out by out Kalms has found that women find it harder to fit everything into the working day (42 per cent compared to 31 per cent of men), showing that there is still a gender stress gap, but women are supposedly more able to proactively tackle it.
The problem with a work/life balance is that chasing it may put it further from our grasp, and it may not be what we want it to be in the first place. Life coach Sophia Davis is quoted by Yahoo to say “Stressing to achieve a work/life balance often cancels out us actually getting it.
“Often someone who has a really great work/life balance, who spend lots of time with family and friends and is really successful at work might actually be the most stressed – even though on the outside they look like they’re nailing it.
“Many people who are keeping all these plates spinning actually have really overactive minds and worry about things a lot, so they actually might feel more stressed than someone who doesn’t.”
Stress relief doesn’t come easily from outside, it is an internal cure. Meditation and mindfulness, as well as simply speaking your stress out loud to someone, can help to calm your mind and, in turn, generate a host of body wide benefits, as well as reducing anxiety and depression.