"balancing act"By Dr. Madeline Ann Lewis

Now more than ever, there is a need to establish the boundaries between work and home. However, in today’s society, it isn’t always easy. Your career is more likely than not to invade and encroach upon your personal and family life. Even though it’s a difficult balance to achieve, it is reachable—but you have to be committed to taking control and making it work.

Those in the medical community all seem to agree that stress-related illnesses are soaring to record highs. Most attribute such illnesses to our inability to handle stress; specifically, the relentless balancing act between work and home, that we’re forced to perform practically every day of our lives for the sake of survival.

Interestingly, researchers found no significant differences between the genders when it came to balancing their work and their personal life. Both men and woman alike, especially those whose identities rest within the bounds of their careers, were completely unable to find a happy medium between their careers and their family life. And both are suffering the unhappy consequences.

The scales, however, were slightly tipped when it came to women. Today’s woman no longer places her worth and value in homemaking. While being a homemaker is a noble and fulfilling occupation for some women, it’s not for every woman. Some women find their identities in their careers, and affix themselves firmly to the workplace. In fact, many are the backbone of the organization. Therefore, they take great pride in their jobs and strive to maintain a strong work ethic and high level of dedication to the company. This is admirable but can lead to imbalance if you’re not careful.

Every human being needs downtime; a time of refreshing and rejuvenation—it’s the only way to survive in a hectic society. But oftentimes, your life is held hostage by the demands of your job. Sometimes your workload is such that you’re required not only to work overtime but also sacrifice your weekends. This is a perfect recipe for burnout. Even if you love your job, sooner or later the excessive demands placed upon you will have a serious adverse effect on your physical and emotional health.

So, what do you do when the demands of your job intrude into your personal life? (Stay tuned for Part II)

Dr. Madeline Ann Lewis is President/CEO of the Deline Institute for Professional Development. She’s the author of “Finding Your Best Inside” and co-author of “Overcoming the Superwoman Syndrome,” an expert in women’s issues, career coach, and professional speaker. Her passion is helping women excel. Website: www.delineinstitute.net ; Email: women@delineinstitute.net