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Managing Your Many Roles in Life

May 8 2023
By Krisna Hanks, MS, MBA
3 min read
Woman sitting on ground working on laptop with toddler sitting in lap.

Finding the strategies that work best for you and your lifestyle offers a great return on your investment.

Do you sometimes wish there were four of you in order to handle all the roles you take on? From partner to parent to co-worker, friend, and caregiver, we constantly juggle a range of multi-hyphenate roles.

There will be periods where everything rolls along smoothly. And others, not so much. The latter can make daily life seem daunting to navigate at times. However, developing different strategies to best manage not only our time but our overall health and well-being requires attention.

Here are four simple tips to keep in mind:

Set Clear Boundaries
Be upfront with your friends and family about what you can and cannot do. Set realistic expectations daily. None of us are superhuman, and when we over-schedule and stretch the limits of our capabilities, the stress piles up. Often it is simply a matter of taking time to say out loud what will best support you. For example, “I’ve got a really busy day today. Who can help out?” Building the spirit of teamwork in the house and beyond sets expectations with clear limits.

De-Plug Daily
MIT professor Sherry Turkle has authored numerous books and research on the negative impact of technology on our lives. The quickest and easiest way to reverse this is to put down our devices and engage with our family and community. Her research also shows that turning our devices off hours before bedtime and darkening the room can assist in developing better sleep patterns, which leads to lowering our cortisol, and ultimately reducing stress—a great tactic when wearing multiple hats.

Practice Self-Care
While a broad term, taking time for yourself is the essence of self-care and effective life management. It's also a form of self-respect that may take time for some to action. But incorporating self-care practices with regularity builds confidence. We recommend the simple approach. Start with breathwork. Take time to breathe, sit quietly, and participate in meditation or other self-reflection practices. When managing different, diverse roles in life, it can be easy to forgo oneself and become absorbed in the lives around you.

Get Outdoors Often
Strong evidence supports the healing qualities of spending time in nature. Creating regular patterns of activity in the outdoors is beneficial from a physical activity standpoint but also from a mental nourishment standpoint. Research at Cornell University found that as little as 10 minutes a day outdoors can lower stress levels. So much of our life is tied to an electronic device; reaping the benefits of the great outdoors is pivotal to living a healthier and more vibrant life.