THE WORK LIFE BALANCE DEBATE
THE WORK LIFE BALANCE DEBATE

In honor of Father’s Day, we decided to look at the topic from a more male-oriented vantage point and immediately came across a Forbes article titled Real Men Don’t Need Work Life Balance. Well, that settles things I thought until I read on and came across this snippet “the lines between work and home are increasingly blurring, as the smartphone vibrates at any hour and demands an almost unhealthy level of responsiveness to work. Under the circumstances, men and women both face tremendous pressures in managing work and life outside of it.”

Naturally the smartphone reference struck a cord with me, putting both genders on equal footing except for the inference in the title that real men (single or married) don’t want need or want work-life integration.

Gender Differences in Burn-out

Why then does an analysis of results from 183 studies on gender differences in burn-out challenge the commonly help belief that “female employees are more likely to experience burnout than male employees, revealing instead that women are slightly more emotionally exhausted than men, while men are somewhat more depersonalized than women”?

Stress-Coping Mechanisms

The American Psychological Association (APA) offers a plausible explanation – whilst women’s stress-coping mechanisms appear to be more oriented to connecting to others, comfort eating or calming activities like reading, men are more likely to find relief in sports or else do nothing to actively relieve stress.

While both genders cite lack of willpower as the no. 1 barrier to change, mustering the will power when needed does not appear to be such a hurdle for men, who respond well to practical self-contained solutions.

Practical Self-Care

Achieving work-life balance and managing stress doesn’t have to involve others, be time-consuming or expensive, it can be based around solitary self-care practices that can be seamlessly integrated into a busy schedule and enhance performance.

  1. The first rule is to pay homage to the body’s major stressvigator – the adrenal glands. Care for them as you would that prized Ferrari! Nourishing your adrenal glands with adaptogenic herbs and B-Vitamins is like caring for the engine of your car with a premium quality oil that keeps it from seizing under peak performance conditions.
  1. Secondly, make space for regular exercise by making efficient use of time and space anywhere. According to a recent study performed in the US “if you’re sedentary, you’ll see a lot of your greatest gains going from zero to 10 minutes a day” with improvements in cardiovascular health. Use the chair in your office/hotel room to facilitate your compact exercise program.
  1. Thirdly, hone mindfulness as a tool that allows you to pause, observe your own thoughts and behaviors, so you get into the habit of allowing yourself the space to respond verses reacting. Once practiced, which can be done in seconds, it does not require you to connect or talk to anyone and whilst nobody may have noticed you doing it, they are likely to observe a positive change in behavior.

To ensure that there are no excuses and willpower is not lacking, we have put together an event for you which covers all of the above and what’s more you can take what you learn with you anywhere you go, so even a heavy travel schedule is not acceptable as a cop out!

One of the most prevalent reasons amongst busy professionals for not paying enough attention to self-care, a personal wellness routine and maintaining balance is the perceived challenge of combining such practices with a heavy work-travel schedule. To enable you to integrate a pragmatic daily self-care routine regardless of work demands Balanced Living, Momentum Labs and The Meditation Teacher invite you to join us for our upcoming TRAVEL FIT workshop on 22 June 2016, Wednesday at Balanced Living.


By Lisa McConnell, Functional Nutrition Therapist, GAPS Practitioner, Balanced Living

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