I am a 33-year-old working woman. I am not married but in a relationship. I tend to give more time to my work rather than to my loved ones or myself. This has affected my relationships with my partner, friends and family members. Consequently, I find myself lonely and to cope with this, I give myself even more work. I absolutely love my work and enjoy that part of my life very much. But at the same time, I feel I’m missing out in my personal life. Please help. -A workaholic
Answered by Kapil Sharma, Counseling Psychologist, Hudec Nepal
You seem to be aware of the reason for your predicament. You admit that you have turned into a workaholic as a part of coping mechanism. But it also seems that your work-related stress has invaded your personal life and relationships.
You need to learn to balance your work and life. For this, the first thing you can do is setting goals, limits and boundaries at work. This will help you get more organized. Right now, you are unable to organize and set a boundary between your personal and professional life. The second thing is to focus on self-care, by allocating time for yourself.
Doing these things can get confusing, so what you can do is list out all your tasks, prioritize them and assign times to do them. You don’t have to give equal time and energy for each task. Focus where to invest your time based on urgency and importance. Also, learn to say ‘no’ to tasks that you cannot make time for. Many of us have the habit of saying yes to everything, only to later be racked with guilt and regret not being able to say no. Remember, it’s important to make time for oneself and prioritize self-care.
A healthy lifestyle is essential to cope with stress and to find work-life balance. Eat well, get enough sleep, listen to uplifting music, include physical activity in your routine, and have some self-relaxation time. Try making your hobbies a part of your routine, be assertive, and develop a support system at work and home.
If your life feels too chaotic to manage and you still feel trapped in a vicious cycle of work-guilt-work, we are here to help you. Talk to professionals and take advantage of available services.