My family and I took a 2-week vacation from the hustle and bustle of Toronto life and decided to take a road trip to the East Coast of Canada.
Work life balance! What exactly does this mean?
I know for me, work is an integral part of the person I am, and family defines me. However, if you tell me not to worry about work until I come back, that would just create anxiety and tension during my vacation, which is completely counterproductive.
For the first time in my career, I think I figured it out. I realize now that work-life balance is unique to each individual. Finding your happy place is important.
If you Google work life balance, you will see so many different philosophies on the best approach. An article that I came across resonated with me. It said, “Vacations are a precious opportunity to relieve stress, spend quality time with family and friends, and experience different cultures and lifestyles. The benefits of vacations are considerably diminished, however, when work follows you from the office to the airplane or campsite.
The reality is that many vacations can quickly become an extension of work. A guided tour gets interrupted by a conference call, a
day at the beach gets swallowed up by answering emails, and dinner is postponed to complete a proposal. While you might not be able to leave work at home completely, there are ways to reduce its presence so that you can better enjoy your vacation”.
During a previous vacation last year, shutting work down completely caused me to have more stress and anxiety. I was worried because we had so much on the go with proposals and start-ups, I just didn’t feel comfortable being on vacation.
This time, I wanted it to be different. I wanted that time to enjoy with my family and appreciate the time away to re-balance. For me the only way to enjoy it was to stay in touch with work. I just know that shutting it off completely and not knowing what to anticipate when I got back to work would have caused me more stress. Instead, I checked in a few times a day. Some days I check in more and some days less. What made it different this time is that I did it when it was convenient for me (my family). That was just perfect!