Why that perfect work-life balance doesn't exist

Kirsty Raynor

Thursday, 30 May 2019

Remember how you felt on that Sunday evening when you had everything prepared for the week ahead?


You probably felt invincible, maybe sipping on a glass of wine, reading a good book and planning an early night, ready for a productive week ahead.

Then, life happens and things go wrong.

Maybe you realised you didn't actually finish all your prep. Maybe that lesson you were looking forward to didn’t go to plan, or perhaps the food shop didn’t arrive? Welcome to being a human being trapped in the myth that we are all trying to seek out that nonsensical work-life balance.

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I work in wellbeing and only recently have I learned that a work-life balance (oh the irony of teaching yoga) is nonexistent, isolating and elitist. From this realisation, I wanted to share what has been working for me and how my outlook on finding 'balance' has been turned on its head:

1. The perfect 'work-life' balance does not exist

Anyone who tells you they have a perfect balance: 24 hours divided by 8 hours sleep, 8 hours work and 8 hours of personal time is spouting lies! Once we all realise that none of us are really nailing that perfect balance, the less stressed we'll be at not nailing it ourselves. My advice? Commit to taking the pressure off yourself right now; it’s a myth.

2. Do not fall into the comparison trap

We have all been there; endlessly scrolling in bed and then finding yourself drooling over your friend’s sisters' cousins' recent holiday to St Lucia and hating your own life. It's far too easy to get trapped in the scroll, compare, scroll compare scenario but remember to take everything you see on social media with a great big pinch of salt.

Everyone is posting snaps of the best 'moments' in their very imperfect lives so do not be fooled into thinking their entire life is one big happy pill of excitement.

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3. Be flexible with your lists and time blocking

I have had my fair share of days that start off productive and by 11am everything has turned to chaos and by 1 pm I am left frazzled and exhausted. When you're having one of those days, the best way to approach it is to remind yourself that life is all about the ups and downs.

We have schedules to keep us on the right track but life will often throw us a pothole or road closure and it is our job to find alternative routes. If we don't manage to do everything on our checklist due to unexpected delays then so be it. S*** happens and life is unpredictable. Ride the wave and keep surfing.

4. Save 10 minutes in a day for self-care

Self-care should always be treated as a necessity rather than an option. It is true that you cannot pour from an empty cup so if you don't look after yourself sufficiently then all other aspects of your life will suffer.

If things keep rolling out of control, pause and take a moment, to be honest with yourself - are you looking after yourself? It needn't be anything grand, but taking some time just for you every day will reap many rewards. For me, I always dedicate time for a bubble bath or meditation, whereas for another it may dancing in her room to backstreet boys – whatever works for you, find it and do it daily.

Remember that the perfect life-balance is nothing but a myth! I absolutely advocate looking for simple ways of improving ourselves every day but give yourself a break now and then. You’re doing amazing.

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About our Community Expert

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Kirsty Raynor

#TeachFit programme lead

Kirsty is a yoga teacher on a journey of empowerment, building confidence and pushing the boundaries of what traditional yoga is and can be. 

She leads the TeachFit Yoga workshops in our partner schools.

 

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