Sometimes life grows over your head.

It grows even more often than 'sometimes', because the modern coping model actually affects everyone. And it always does, regardless of where you live, work or social status. We all seem to have one life, but in reality there are many more: immediate family, work, relatives, maybe even family members who need special care. However, there are 24 hours in a day, more or less exactly one life. How? How? How?  How do you live your one life in such a way that all the other lives fit into it? How to cope with the challenges of the modern world and still find time for yourself? How can you cope with the expectations of society and the inevitabilities of practical life without your one life being shattered into a thousand pieces? How do you find the time to relax and let go of accumulated stresses when all 24 hours are taken up elsewhere? These are questions that Europe's wiser minds have been searching for and are beginning to find answers to. The official name of this process is 'work-life balance' and, while at first sight the words may sound declarative, it is a work-life balance that works, and is working better and better, so that no one is left behind.

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We are separate in our individual lives, but all together in society. And the more balanced your family and professional life, the more efficient society as a whole will be. A simple and self-explanatory equation, but one with all the more important implications for us all. Work-life balance means that there are no conflicting demands and conflicts between these two important spheres of life. The family must receive adequate attention independently of work responsibilities and vice versa. A balanced work-life balance has a much more fundamental impact on us than we often fear: both mental and physical health depend directly on whether and how we manage to bring all aspects of our lives into sync with each other.

Three things you need to know right now

Talk to

If you're struggling to organise your work and family life, you need to ask for help. Your worries and problems may be different, but everyone has the same right to seek solutions. Think about what is causing the biggest problems in your life and talk about it. Talk to your family members. Talk to your loved ones. Talk to your friends. Talk to your employer. Talk to your colleagues. Talk to your local government. If the concern is big, there is help for you. Your local authority has a duty to advise you and give you information about the support available. Your employer has a duty to help you in a crisis. The nursery school must help you even if your child has no place there. If society has provided help, you must accept it. The most important thing is to talk - shared concern is half the battle.

Know your rights

You may not know your rights, but that doesn't mean they don't apply to you. Be aware of your rights, and here again, talking about them can help - contact the experts and find out what help is available to you to reconcile work and family life. You might be surprised how easy it can be to solve some of the smallest but seemingly insurmountable problems. Knowing your rights can be the first step to overcoming a critical concern.

Trust society, but also think for yourself

Comprehensive and effective support measures are a good way of reconciling work and family life. Talking about problems and knowing your rights can make life easier and sometimes just possible - in many families, the mismatch between personal and professional life has become so great that life itself tends to get buried under it. On the other hand, it is important to realise that it is easy to create another problem by solving one. For example, while it is not forbidden to stop working, the longer-term effects of such a decision can be devastating for family relationships, future pensions and so on. When considering any remedy, it is important to think about how it can be most sensibly applied to your problem.


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