Balancing your life

One of the biggest celebrity news headlines this spring was the operation that Angelina Jolie had to prevent breast cancer. The procedure changed her life greatly, but also had an effect on her family’s life. Jolie’s spouse Brad Pitt had to reconsider the priorities in his life. In a recent interview he stated that for the first time ever, he has finally achieved a stable balance between work and life.

Busy Hollywood stars obviously have trouble with doing too much work, but the situation can be the same or worse for the Average Joe or Jane. The current economical situation is unstable and people might feel the pressure to take any job available. It’s a buyer’s market for the employers, so they often use the situation to their advantage by paying low wages or even nothing at all. In this situation, it is no wonder that many people overwork themselves.

Personal happiness depends very much on the way you are able to balance work and other aspects of life. In fact, a definition of happiness from the 1980s emphasises the importance of a good work-life balance and the way your working life connects to your free time. The problems related to achieving the perfect equilibrium were already acknowledged in the 1970s, but employees today find themselves still struggling with the same issues.

The correct balance may be harder to find for women on the labour market. In general, men can devote themselves more fully to work and meet more people at the work place. Women typically need to devote more of their time to family life, so an employed woman has only a few precious moments to spare for social relations. The imbalance between the most important aspects of life can lead to general dissatisfaction about life.

An unhealthy work/life balance can be difficult to correct, but it is necessary to ask yourself what really makes you happy? If you don’t take care of your relationships with friends and family, you will soon notice that you have lost the connection to them.

It must be remembered, though, that personal happiness shouldn’t always be the only criteria when planning your studies. For students, the problem isn’t always that they work too much: some people get carried away by the social aspects of studying. This leads to them neglecting their studies and perhaps missing good work opportunities.

This being said, having a large social network can help you to find work. You’ll have to strike the happy medium between work and play, but as demonstrated above, it can be exceedingly difficult. One helpful piece of advice could be that you should always have time to do different things, no matter how busy you are. Variety is the spice of life, and this applies to work-life balance as well.

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