Finding Calm when Integrating Work and Life

Clarissa Rayward’s article “Why Work Life Balance Didn’t Bring Me Happiness (And It Probably Won’t Work For You!),” offers some tips on finding calm when trying to integrate work and life:

“When it comes to our thoughts, the key is to be present wherever you are. We spend so much of our time worrying about the past or focused on tomorrow when instead we need to focus on today. …By training your mind to slow down, to see the good in any situation and to be focused on whatever it is you are doing right now, you can create a sense of calm even in the most chaotic moments in life.

“In those moments where you can feel your thoughts racing out of control, when you are distracted, stressed or worried just stop, be still and take 3 long slow breaths. As you do, focus on breathing in through your nose and out through your mouth, count slowly in your mind and relax.

“When it comes to our actions, we need to be aware of just how we are using our time. We all have exactly the same number of minutes, hours and days in a week but we can all choose how to use them. Thanks to our online, connected world there are more and more mental distractions available than ever before. …Work out what your ‘big rocks’ are in life and make sure you give them priority – sometimes this means saying ‘no’.

“Be aware of how you are spending your time – if you say ‘yes’ to something you are saying ‘no’ to something else so be clear on the things that you want in your life – take control of them and make them your priority. Something in your life will always be pulling you in one direction or another. …Let your energy and concentration go where it needs to go, whatever the day. Don’t worry about whether the time you are spending in the different aspects of your life is ‘balanced’ or not.

“Try letting go of ‘balance’ and instead aim for ‘now’. If you just do whatever you need to do right now to clear your mind, and to be present you will start to feel a sense of calm even when things are chaotic. Life is one whole continuum and you are one whole person with many different interests, responsibilities, passions and goals. The problems with then trying to get a sense of ‘balance’, evenness or equality between the different aspects of our lives is simply that – our lives are not even, they are not balanced and so we are setting ourselves up to fail by trying to make them so.”

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