Source | FastCompany : By STEPHANIE VOZZA
We all want to find happiness at work and at home, but 24% of U.S. employees say the balancing act is getting tougher to manage, according to a study by Ernst & Young (EY). That’s because work is spilling into time that should be spent on personal pursuits. About half of managers work more than 40 hours a week, the EY report found, and a study by Project: Time Off found that the majority (55%) of us end the year without taking advantage of paid time off. That unused vacation time totals 658 million days.
But happiness experts say work-life balance is a myth. Work life and home life aren’t separate; there’s just “life,” and happiness comes from figuring out a way to combine the two seamlessly.
“People who are highly resilient don’t see the day in terms of separation,” saysMaria Sirois, clinical psychologist at the Kripalu Center for Yoga and Health in Stockbridge, Massachusetts. “There isn’t work me versus home me. Ninety percent of success of life is about who we are and what we bring to the day at work and at home.”
Here are five things you can do at home that will promote happiness at work.
Research has found that happy people do better at work, so when you’re home, consciously choose to do activities that lift you, says Sirois.
“Home life often includes a list of chores and obligations. All of those responsibilities can be burdensome if you’re not also invigorated by what brings you joy,” she says. “When we create a home life filled every day with something that lifts us, we will transfer that happiness to work.”
It can also help to have a happiness check-in, adds Tim Bono, who lectures on the psychology of happiness at Washington University in St. Louis. “Take time every so often to remind yourself of what’s going well,” he says, adding:
It’s easy to get bogged down with reports, presentations, and other hassles at work, but it’s also important to direct attention to things that are going well for you. Research has shown that adults who take just a few minutes each week to reflect on what they are grateful for (even amid life’s stressors) feel better about their lives overall, report more optimism about their upcoming week, and even get sick less often.
Most of us have hours during the day when we operate at peak performance. The time of the day where we struggle to work, however, can be improved by practicing micro-recovery, says Sirois. “It’s those few minutes you set aside periodically to nourish yourself by doing activities that elevate calm and serenity or activities that increase energy and vitality,” she says.