There is more to our existence than just "life" and "work"
Three tips for a good balance
- Draw your areas of life as circles on a piece of paper. How does the resulting picture appear to you? Are there circles whose size you would like to change – and if so, how could this be achieved?
- If you keep a diary or journal, mark successes or pleasant experiences from the different areas of life each in a different colour, for instance, blue for work, green for family, red for friends, yellow for hobbies and purple for health. Try to ensure that each colour occurs at least once a week.
- Hold a "family council" and discuss the different life domains. How well do the family members manage to harmonize them? What needs to change for things to improve for everyone?
Teenagers: shifting priorities
Three tips for stressed parents of teens
- Stay calm and remember your own teenage years: it is normal for the "friends" life domain to gain importance at the expense of the "family" – you too may have found your parents uncool at times.
- Allow your teenager to gain their own experiences within reason. Sport is a healthier way to live out the desire for borderline experiences than drinking or using other intoxicants.
- Puberty is often a time of crisis. If they experience mood swings, give your offspring the benefit of the doubt and maintain communication with them. In this way, you can offer a safe haven in the "family" life domain if things are not going so well in other life domains, like school, puppy love or friends.
Young families: avoiding excessive demands
Three tips for exhausted young parents
- Treat yourself to specific time off with the help of grandparents or a babysitter. Even if this is only possible once a month, such oases in everyday life can help you to recharge your batteries and avoid imbalances.
- Don't try to be perfect in every life domain. You haven't been able to reach your pre-pregnancy figure yet? You haven't read a book in months? The garden looks like a jungle? Don't allow your perfectionism to drive you mad. Be kind to yourself.
- Your inner attitude plays a big role, especially in stressful moments. Recognizing that "I chose my situation myself," makes it easier to master difficult phases.
Shooting stars and the self-employed: don't forget other life domains
Three tips for stressed-out shooting stars
- Even when working from home, you don't have to be available 24 hours a day. Deliberately switch off your computer and define times when you definitely don't intend to work.
- Enter private commitments in your work calendar and treat them like business appointments. Make sure you stay committed, for example by joining a sports club.
- Take care of your body and treat it to healthy food, sufficient sleep and regular exercise. You will soon notice that you are much more efficient and can concentrate better.
Employers: Take care of your employees
Three tips for responsible employers
- Create framework conditions that support a balance of the different life domains, e.g. with flexible working hours.
- Recognize and value the potential of older employees and consider together which retirement solution is best for both sides. There may even be creative options for an individual solution.
- Set a good example and make sure your different areas of life are well balanced, too.
Retirees: Finding new perspectives
Three tips for the newly retired
- Think about what work meant to you: recognition, meaningfulness, the sense of being needed? If you miss these feelings, what other ways are there to find them? Where can you get involved, who could you support?
- Did you value the intellectual challenge most of all in your work? Perhaps senior studies might be an interesting option for you – or you could learn a new language.
- Create a daily structure for yourself with fixed rituals, set yourself challenges, for example in sports. You can effectively combat possible bouts of depression with exercise, for example, on a morning walk with your partner, with a neighbour, or all by yourself.
There's always a choice
Balance and energy
Once the areas of my life are well balanced for me personally, I will feel good in the long term. I will be creative and satisfied, work efficiently and enjoy my free time. Professionally and privately, I won't let myself get stressed so quickly and will find a solution to problems. When I have enough energy, I am also open to the concerns of others, I can listen actively and cultivate respectful relationships. All this gives me new energy so that my battery recharges itself time and again.
If, on the other hand, the areas of my life lose their balance and I get into a precarious imbalance, everything will become difficult and exhausting. Despite time pressure, I can't complete my work in a focused way. I run around like a hamster in a wheel, yet I never seem to get anywhere. I feel exhausted, stressed, and irritable. Perhaps other people appear to me as further stress factors and I can only perceive their needs to a lesser extent. All this costs me even more energy and I become more and more emotionally exhausted.
In order to avoid a burnout, I need to change something: For small energy lows, a fifteen-minute break or a good chat may help. However, if such "energy crisis situations" become more frequent, I should perhaps question more fundamental things. As a preventative measure, it is important to consciously ask yourself: "In which areas do I want to invest my energy?" "How do I find a good balance?" but also "What or who is good for me?" "What gives me strength?" and "What can I change so that energy guzzling situations occur less often?" The answers to these questions are as individual as we are as people – but it is definitely worth finding them for yourself.
How can I tell whether my life domain balance is in danger of going out of balance?
These are some of the possible warning signs:
- I constantly feel stressed and as if I never have peace of mind.
- I am under pressure but cannot concentrate well.
- I feel overwhelmed and find it difficult to make decisions.
- I can no longer switch off and sleep badly.
- Relationships with my partner, family or friends are often neglected.
- I am irritable and get upset even over small things.
- I feel physically unwell, for example I have headaches, stomach cramps, back pain.