Many of us get caught up in the strive for being the best we can be at work and at home. Yet, something is a little off. Perhaps the laundry is piling up. Maybe your spouse is a little more on edge than usual. Or it could be that it's time to buy some larger slacks. Whatever the case, we all need to evaluate the work/life balance equation on a fairly regular schedule.
You should never be victim to the parable where your child saves enough money to buy an hour of your time, asking you to come home early enough to eat with him/her. As we gain more responsibility at work, time commitments increase. What are some ways to balance the seesaw of life?
Take a little "me time" every day. Even 30 minutes to work out, explore a hobby, or mindlessly surf the internet. This needs to be non-work related. Catch up on your favorite show. Take a long bath with a magazine. Whatever gets you to unwind.
Take a little family time too. Unplug from your work cell and catch up with your spouse. Throw a ball with your son. Have a tea party with your daughter. Play a board game with your family. Spend some quality time with the people for whom you are working. Show them how important they are to you. If your spouse works in the home, give him/her a much needed 30 minute child free break for "me time". It will pay you back in dividends!
Nobody will benefit if you never unwind, or if you have a heart attack at your desk. Make each day count for you and those you love!
Some signs that you may have a toxic boss:
-Are you so stressed when you leave work that you are shaking?
-Are you concerned every day that your boss is going to fire you, even though you are highly productive?
-Do you get panic attacks anticipating that you may see your boss early in the morning?
-Are you looking over your shoulder and not sure why?
-Are you scared of going to the bathroom because that's when the BIG KAHUNA does "rounds"?
Working this way can leave you stressed, sick, and depressed!
Toxic bosses are the grown up version of the playground bully. Since they have nothing valuable to contribute, they demean their employees and sap energy instead of stealing lunch change. That is not okay!
There are a lot of unstable people in the world. Some of them are in management positions. (I'm not sure how either, but they are.) The best you can do in a toxic boss scenario is ensure that you have a good work life balance. Whether you prefer to work out or veg in front of the TV, make sure you have time for yourself to de-stress and detoxify from your day. Furthermore, don't take it personally! If the boss is like this with everyone, and you know it's a sick environment, don't personalize the boss's anger/insanity/instability. We all know that will only get you worse. Commiserate with your colleagues, because they understand, and chances are: nobody who is not in your situation will get the intricacies. But, don't wallow with your colleagues. Encourage each other. And always keep your resume on standby and updated! You never know when toxic boss is going to snap!
Also, if it gets ugly enough, report the person to higher management or human resources. You don't want to be a victim of a losing battle involving harassment or retaliation. Know your rights within the law. And hang in there! There are great bosses out there too!
There are times when everything is getting you down. Work isn't going well. Perhaps you are burning the candle at all ends. You are mentally, physically, and emotionally exhausted. You are at the end of your rope. Simply put, the straw dropped that's breaking your back. Here are a few suggestions on handling burnout:
-Try to sleep at night. You are more productive when you are well rested.
-Avoid drugs and alcohol.
-If able to, take a vacation or a PTO day to relax and recharge.
-Speak with a professional to work on stress reduction.
-Call a friend or family member to vent.
-Strive to balance your work and home life.
-Exercise. (I hear it releases endorphins. I'm still trying to find the time!)
Also, speak with management to work cohesively to prevent burnout before it gets the best of you.