rp_women-walking-300x199.jpgTeam Building strategies for encouraging and attaining work-life balance in the workplace.

You’ve heard it talked about in meetings or absentmindedly mentioned in passing, but what exactly is work-life balance and why is it important to your team building strategies in the workplace? Work-life balance is the relationship between the time you spend working and the time you spend on other life commitments, such as family, personal goals and reducing stress in your life. How these commitments are affected by one another and how well you feel juggling everything determines your work-life balance. It’s important to note that work-life balance does not necessarily mean that all of your commitments will receive equal time or attention. This view is unrealistic, as circumstances and expectations are constantly changing in the real world. How you handle your commitments and stress management is where the balance comes in.

When work-life balance and stress management become a problem, many promising careers get short circuited by how you respond to challenges and confrontations in the workplace when you are off balance.  Failure to respond well can mean being looked over for promotions or confirming workplace bias that confirms that women are too emotional or men lack emotional intelligence, which subverts your career goals.

There are many team building strategies that you can implement in your daily life to improve  work-life balance and  stress management. Consider implementing some of the following team building strategies into your workplace to encourage and sustain work-life balance.

Strengthen your brain.

Your brain controls every aspect of your life, from how you feel on a daily basis to how you handle adversity and challenges, The first step to a healthy brain is to eat right and exercise. Eating a balanced diet full of vital nutrients gives your brain the fuel it needs to function properly, and it helps to regulate your mood and emotions. Exercising your body is also important for your mind because it releases endorphins, which reduces the perception of pain and increases positive feelings. This helps you to relax more when you are away from work and to perform better when you are at work. An excellent resource for other exercises and activities for strengthening the brain and how to use these methods to reduce stress and maximize life balance is the Melting Your Stress within 30 Days executive stress management program.  This is a program that is available both for self-study and as a training program to use with employees in the workplace.

Carve out some “personal” time.

In a busy and ever-changing world, finding some time for yourself can prove to be challenging, especially for those with a lot on their plate at home and at work. This is especially true of women who find themselves as both head of household and caring for parents and elderly relatives.  But some time for yourself is not just beneficial for home life; it can actually help you to move forward in business as well.   Some effective strategies for carving out some personal time include meditating, doing something just for yourself such as getting a massage or taking a (real) break rather than checking email and getting out for a fast walk.

Meditation is an effective tool for de-stressing as it gives you a moment of silence, away from your daily burdens. Formally meditate by sitting comfortably and closing your eyes, or get into a meditative state while you perform mundane tasks, like washing dishes. Stay in the moment, pay attention to the details of what you are doing and relax. Doing something just for yourself doesn’t have to take a lot of time. Listen to music you enjoy, watch a television program or take a trip to a massage therapist for a relaxing therapeutic massage. And lastly, take a break. Many times, people view a break as an opportunity to multitask, but they miss the opportunity to relax. Fully step away from what is stressful and take the time you deserve to decompress. When you do take some time to yourself, you will likely find that you perform better at work and are better equipped to handle the day.

Get some sleep.

Around 30 percent of the population has difficulty falling or staying asleep, which increases stress levels and decreases work effectiveness. A lack of sleep can prove to be extremely detrimental to your health and productivity. To combat insomnia or an inability to sleep, turn off the computer, cell phone and TV at least a hour before bedtime. The blue light produced by their screens disrupt sleep patterns.  Instead take a warm bath or spend an hour reading something uplifting or become mindful of what went well for you during the day. These relaxing strategies help to circumvent worry and anxiety which often accompanies not falling asleep right away.

Another strategy is to fight sleep. This seems counter intuitive, but when you  tell yourself that you need to stay awake, and you try to keep your eyes open, sleep will likely take over and win. Another strategy is to imagine the worst-case scenarios of what would happen if you didn’t get any sleep. Think of absurd and silly scenarios to take away your anxiety. Doing this also keeps you from focusing on negative thoughts. Remaining mindful is also an effective strategy for sleep. Focus on your breathing, and as thoughts come into your mind, let them drift away without dwelling on them. Disconnect from your thoughts so your brain can relax for sleep.

Work-life balance can seem as mythical as a unicorn to many people. Finding a balance in one area of your life can be overwhelming, let alone finding balance across the board. But work-life balance should be seen as an important goal for workers to achieve, because when workers lead fulfilling lives outside of work, they are better prepared to handle the challenges of their work lives. Some strategies for attaining work-life balance include strengthening your brain, carving out some time for yourself, getting enough sleep and managing your stress level. When you focus on your health and well being, you are likely to be successful in many different areas of your life including your career advancement..

The following additional resources add to this discussion:

Copyright TIGERS® Success Series, Inc. by Dianne Crampton

Tigers_300dpi_LogoAbout TIGERS Success Series, Inc.

TIGERS® Success Series is a Bend, Oregon Leadership and Team Improvement Consultant that helps committed leaders build more cooperation among employees and collaboration between departments for improved growth, revenue, purpose and impact.

We do this by deploying the TIGERS team process that improves workforce behaviors that are anchored by trust, interdependence, genuineness, empathy, risk resolution and success. Providing diagnostics and customized team interventions including the Melting Your Stress within 30 Days program,  you can improve both work culture and transform your adequate teams into exceptional ones.

We also license and train HRD Executives, Project Managers, Managers, Trainers and Team Consultants in the use of our award winning resources including the Melting Your Stress within 30 Days program.  For more information, call 1+ 541-385-7465.