Friday, 11 May 2012

Ensuring a work family balance

The theme for this year's International Day of Families, which is celebrated globally on 15 May, is ‘Ensuring a work family balance’. In the first of two blogs on the topic, we are going to examine how to get the work part of this balance right.

Work, however much you enjoy it, can have a nasty habit of coming home with you like an uninvited guest and robbing your loved ones of quality time. Below are some tips on how to leave work at work:

  1. Release nagging, work-related thoughts – acknowledge your thoughts, notice if there is anything deeper behind them, label your thoughts (write them down if it helps) and then let them go. Begin and end the process by focusing on your breath and the sounds you hear. 
  2. Unravel like a thread from your job-related stress – imagine you're unwinding your list of worries, distancing yourself from any nagging thoughts about outstanding work, and freeing yourself from these thoughts with each rotation of the spool. Today there is no work, but tomorrow, you’ll get to it. 
  3. Laughter is the best medicine – it can lift our mood, calm us down and distract us from perceived doom. Make a list of things that make you laugh and then act them out, e.g. renting a comedy, watching stand-up or catching up with a friend who makes you laugh. 
  4. Be a tourist – we often do things automatically without thinking when carrying out our day-to-day activities. By seeing and doing things, as if for the first time, through the eyes of a tourist you will rediscover life around you. For example, take time to notice the sights and sounds on your commute home from work. 
First Psychology Scotland has centres in the following locations

Edinburgh: 0131-668-1440,
Glasgow: 0141-404-5411, 
Borders: 01896-800-400,

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