Photo by Gianni Zanato on Unsplash
"A healthy relationship will never require you to sacrifice your friends, your dreams or your dignity." ~ Dinkar Kalotra
What does it look like when you have a healthy relationship with your working life?
It’s Monday morning and you wake up feeling good about the day ahead. You enjoyed a weekend that offered you a break from your work and now as you think about your schedule today you are curious, and have ideas about how to approach some of the interesting challenges your work provides. The morning routine (whatever that is for you) is not stressful or overly rushed (even when you had to hunt down a lost item for a loved one) and your commute isn’t getting under your skin either because it gives you time to continue to think about the day that lies ahead (or just enjoy the sights along the way to the office).
Once at work you share smiles and greetings with respected colleagues and when your boss comes in he/she stops by to ask you how your weekend went. That’s all, no pretense to follow up on a deadline or a task, just to see how you are. Work comes and goes with its challenges and hiccups (no job or workplace will ever be perfect). That prickly client called in again (ugh) and a colleague was dismissive about your ideas in a meeting (and that hurt), but you also received the go-ahead to do something at work you’ve always wanted to try, and there is even an on-line training resource to help you figure out how to do it with more confidence (and only 45 minutes…with a video!). A peer drops by to offer his/her support if you have any questions as well (they did something similar last month).
At the end of the day you still have much to do, but you are at a good stopping point and the rest will wait until tomorrow. You head home at a decent time and you look forward to the evening ahead. You’ve been able to “park” work and start thinking about commitments at home, sorting out schedules and the evening meal. You have some interesting tidbits from your day to share with loved ones and you are planning to head out for a nice walk or run after supper (or maybe a fitness class). As you get ready for bed you feel relaxed and ready for sleep, and you haven’t checked your work phone since you got home (it’s charging in the living room to be ready for tomorrow).
Sound idyllic? Not everyday can be like this, but when we have a healthy relationship with our work MOST days offer interesting work where you can exercise your talents and abilities, the opportunity to make a difference, growth and development through challenges and (best of all), no unhealthy compromises that leave you depleted and lethargic at the end of your working day. A recent article from the BBC (How Your Workplace Is Killing You) outlines research that points to the many ways our working lives are not supporting our wellbeing. Which begs the questions…what would wellbeing at work look like for you? If you don’t know what it looks like it’s hard to make changes that support it.