How Counseling Can Help Those Struggling with Work-Life Balance

how can counseling help people struggling with work-life balance

For those pursuing an MS degree in professional counseling, work-life balance promises to be an area where they will increasingly be called on to help.

We all struggle with work-life balance. This is nothing new, of course. With only finite amounts of time and energy at our disposal, it has seemingly always been challenging to juggle the demands of work, family, and other obligations.

But the global pandemic, which required many to work from home for the first time, brought work-life balance to the forefront. And concern about work-life balance is likely a major reason why just three percent of knowledge workers say they want to return to the office full-time.

For some, the pursuit of a healthy, yet often-unattainable equilibrium between work and non-work activities leads to anxiety and other mental health issues. As a result, many of those struggling with work-life balance can benefit from professional counseling.

How can counseling help people struggling with work-life balance?
Counselors can help those struggling with work-life balance in multiple ways:

Defining what work-life balance means. There is no set definition of work-life balance. Some describe it as ensuring that equal amounts of time are devoted to work and non-work activities. For others, it is about setting clear boundaries between work and personal or family time. Others still define work-life balance as a sense of fulfillment and contentment through the ability to maintain a job while also “having a life” outside of work.

The point is not that one of these definitions is correct, but that each person must decide for themself what work-life balance represents and how they can realistically find greater success—and less anxiety—in pursuing it. 

Feeling better about work-life decisions. One of the most stressful aspects of work-life balance is that it is viewed as a singular attainable goal. To the contrary, as job demands evolve and life remains ever unpredictable, it is a moving target that will change and evolve over time.

Because work-life balance is ultimately about the resources individuals have at their disposal like time, energy and money, making decisions about how to deploy those resources can prove difficult. 

Managing the stress of trying to “do it all.” As work-life balance can feel like a no-win proposition, individuals often need help managing their expectations when it comes to work-life balance and working through the stress of trying to meet unrealistic expectations.

Counselors can help with these areas, and because work-life balance will continue to be a prominent major area of concern they can expect to see clients with these struggles for years to come.

Start your professional counseling career by pursuing an MS in Professional Counseling from Carlow University in Pittsburgh. This accredited program will train you to work with children, adults, and families in a variety of settings, and allow you to tailor your degree by choosing a clinical concentration such as child and adolescent, trauma-informed, or forensic counseling.