Finding and Choosing Your Passions Can Help With Work-Life Balance

As I write this blog, it is bitterly cold outside, and I am coming off a six-day work week which included a marathon day where I worked well into the evening producing the city manager’s monthly update video. And, the week ahead will be filled with writing deadlines, problem-solving, decision making, priority juggling and meetings—to name some of the facets of my job.

Sound familiar?

The good news for me is, I will be taking a brief break from the weather and work by heading down south for my sister-in-law’s significant birthday celebration. You know, those birthdays that end in zero! Which leads me to the heart of this blog…sharing some tips on what I do to find a balance between my work and my life outside of my job.

Certainly, using our allotted vacation and personal time is a way we can refresh our mind, body and spirit. However, a key to that last sentence was the word allotted. Vacations and personal breaks are slices of time in a calendar year, with designated beginnings and endings.  Think of Norman Rockwell’s famed Saturday Evening Post cover painting “Going and Coming” to the high of when vacation starts and the low when it ends. Aside from vacation and personal time, I thought I’d share a few other tips that help me with finding balance and avoiding what I call the sucked in syndrome, when the weight of work is too much on the scale of my life.

Like most of you, I really love to write. I feel fortunate that I have been able to use my talent throughout my career, first in t-v news as a producer and now as a communications director/public relations professional. I have also found ways to use my passion for writing beyond my work.

My wife and I love to travel. Last fall we took a trip to the Italian, Swiss and French Alps. I chronicled the trip in a daily journal, to help us remember what we had done and where we had visited. When we returned, I wrote a travel journal combined with our pictures. It took me time to create it. Yet, it was a joy to do and my wife loved it!

In addition, I enjoy writing for our (PRSA Detroit) blog committee. Like our travel journal, it is something I choose to do with my writing and creative gifts. And, by choosing to be the family vacation writer as well as writing for the blog committee, I refresh my joy of writing in other ways which I bring back to my job.

I’ll conclude with this, make time for the hobbies and activities you enjoy doing outside of work. For me, I love playing basketball. I play in a recreation league as well as in occasional pick-up games. I also love running, walking, playing tennis and swimming. In short, I love to recreate! I find that those activities are not only good for me physically, they also help reduce my stress when work and life are getting too feverish.

So, be sure to nurture your whole self regularly. By doing so, I think you’ll find the balance we all need to perform in our work as well as feeling fulfilled in our life away from what we do.

Kevin Byrnes is the Communications Director for the City of Birmingham (MI). He previously was a Communications Consultant at ByrnesPR & Media Services as well as the Senior Communications Manager for Wayne County (MI).  He is a member of the Detroit PRSA chapter (national as well) and serves on the blog committee.

Feature image: Pexels