The Stress of Trying to Balance Work and Family Life

We live in a fast-paced world with more expectations than ever – juggling careers, raising families, performing endless tasks at home, running errands, making appointments, and attending after-school activities. It’s no wonder one of the most significant causes of stress in today’s society is balancing work and family life. 

People often commit more to their careers or families, struggling to strike a balance. So, either way, the scale is tilted more to one side. This imbalance can affect the quality of one’s work or the family relationship. 

Ultimately, continuing on this path will affect one’s mental and physical health and may destroy relationships. Therefore, balancing work and family life for everyone’s well-being is crucial. 

So, how can we get through the stress of trying to balance work and family life? 

Limit Distractions 

We live in an exponentially technological world that has changed how we live and socialise in many forms: Zoom meetings, video messaging, texting, emailing, and gaming, to name a few. And though technology is beneficial and necessary in many ways, it also takes away from quality time spent with family. 

It’s not to say that people don’t deserve to have leisure time, but we’re missing out on actual human contact and making special memories with loved ones. For example, how often do you see couples or families out together, yet they’re on their phones rather than focusing on each other? 

So, how about giving you and your family a time limit on devices? Spend time together as a family at the dinner table or on a weekend outing. Or, for those who love their TV, how about a Friday family movie night at home? Again, it’s about making special memories that will last a lifetime. 

Set Boundaries 

Understandably, specific jobs require more availability from their employees. Still, we can’t be bound to our jobs 24 hours a day. And yes, there are many workaholics, but you have to wonder why that is. Are they trying to escape from life or avoid something? 

Regardless, you can only spread yourself so far without negatively impacting your physical and mental health. Therefore, we must learn to put our foot down and set boundaries with numerous work or family requests. 

Saying no to others doesn’t mean you are selfish but that you care about your self-preservation. It may not be easy initially, but it can increase self-esteem when you stop being a people pleaser. 

Switch Up Your Routine 

Do you find yourself rolling out of bed at the last minute to get to work or get your family ready for school on time? This constant rat race will eventually catch up and affect your health and well-being. Therefore, why not switch up your routine? 

For example, maybe you can take your work clothes out the night before. And if the kids are age-appropriate, request they do the same. You can also make lunches the night before, cook dinner, and have the family pitch in. Nobody says you have to do everything yourself. 

In addition, getting proper sleep is vital. Therefore, stick with a consistent night regimen to wind down, such as reading stories to the kids or taking a warm bath or shower. Also, try your best to avoid devices before bedtime, as they might keep you up. 

Going to bed earlier often means getting up earlier. Therefore, you might have time to make a hot breakfast or grab something healthy for work. 

Ask for Assistance 

Asking for help doesn’t mean you are incompetent but that you are human. Nobody can carry the entire weight on their shoulders without it taking a toll. So, why not ask your partner to take turns spending time with your children or cooking while you get things done for yourself? Or how about switching out carpooling your kids to school? 

The purpose is to give yourself time to decompress and decrease stress. 

Seek Work Flexibility 

Since COVID-19, more people have been working remotely. Therefore, perhaps you can see if your company will allow you more flexibility. For instance, request an extra day or more to work from home. 

Research has shown greater satisfaction for many individuals who no longer work outside the home. They noted saving more financially, greater productivity, decreased stress, and more time for family or exercise.    

Practice Stress Reduction Techniques 

Many struggle to find the time to carve in things that could reduce stress. Still, it is necessary to improve one’s overall health. Exercising, meditating, and yoga are some examples of reducing stress. Or, you might enjoy journaling, writing, or crocheting. 

Practicing these techniques doesn’t have to be an all-day event or overexerting. So, maybe you can practice a few minutes daily and build your way up. 

The point of stress reduction techniques is to ground you and decrease depression and anxiety. 

Take Time for Self-Care 

Self-care is necessary from doing for others and everyone. Therefore, pamper yourself, read a favourite book, or enjoy that cup of tea on your deck. Whatever makes you feel good.  

Having no time for ourselves can lead to feelings of loneliness or depression. So, why not meet up with a friend for a lunch date or a workout at the gym? Again, see if you and your partner can take turns with the children.   

Focus on Your Health 

In addition to exercise, eating right and sleeping well (as mentioned earlier) are critical to our wellness. Otherwise, it will deplete your mind and body if you aren’t doing one or the other. 

For example, bringing only crackers to work during an eight-hour or more shift won’t cut it. Not only are you starving your body, but your brain. Most people can’t focus or concentrate as well on an empty stomach. Therefore, your productivity tends to go down. 

Eating healthy doesn’t mean you have to make a full-course meal either. For instance, you can have peanut butter on a slice of whole-grain bread and an apple. Or you can boil chicken, brown rice, and broccoli. You might want to talk with your doctor before changing your diet, especially if you have a medical condition. 

As far as sleep, some people require less than others. Still, not getting the proper amount can leave you with little or no energy and is unhealthy for your heart. 

Prepare for Setbacks 

Sometimes, we must invest more in work or family, but that doesn’t mean it has to be forever. Maybe you and your family can create a schedule, such as designating tasks and how the children can help more. Perhaps, a friend or parent of your child can bring your kids to school or pick them up.  

It’s All Doable 

There are few hours to complete everything in a day, but running on no fumes is not the way to go. It’s about leading a happy and healthy life and spending quality time with your loved ones. Therefore, balancing work and family can make all the difference in your health and relationships. 

You Are Not Alone 

It’s vital to know that you are not alone, and having someone who can relate to your issues and empathise can help relieve your feelings of sadness or loneliness. One such place is Barty’s Adventures, where they hold special events and adventures to help men feel better about themselves by keeping active, thus improving mental health. Barty – We Are A Mental Health Initiative 

No matter what you’re going through, you deserve to be supported. 

Why Not Try Online Therapy? 

 Hopefully, these points could give some comfort, but sometimes just reading quotes isn’t enough. Online therapy can be a great option if you or a loved one is looking for more support. 

Therapy through can be more affordable than traditional therapy and allows many options to communicate with your therapist from the comfort of your home. Most importantly, remember that it is okay not to be okay, and you are no less of a human for feeling your emotions and being vulnerable. 

To receive 25% off your first month, head to 

Feel free to drop by if you’d like to chat and just say, ‘Hey Barty,’ in strict confidence, and you can be anonymous if you wish. Or do not hesitate to leave a comment below. 

Sandy Glover

Sandy is the resident mental health professional at Barty. She previously worked as a therapist, earning a bachelor's degree in psychology and a master's in counselling. Sandy has transitioned to becoming a peer presenter at several mental health settings through NAMI (National Alliance on Mental Illness). Her passion for mental health is evident in her writing as a subject matter expert who draws from personal experience, professional expertise, and education to help eliminate stigma.

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