Work and family are two important domains of life that can bring joy, fulfillment, and meaning, but also stress, conflict, and pressure.

Finding a balance between these domains can be challenging, especially in times of uncertainty, change, and crisis. How can we cope with the demands of work and family without compromising our mental health and well-being? Here are some tips based on the latest research and evidence:

Set clear and realistic boundaries
  • One of the main sources of work-family conflict is the interference of work with family life, or vice versa. This can happen when we have to work long hours, bring work home, deal with work-related issues during family time, or face family problems during work hours.
  • To prevent this, we need to set clear and realistic boundaries between work and family and communicate them to our employers, colleagues, and family members.
  • For example, we can negotiate flexible work arrangements, limit work-related calls and emails after work hours, and dedicate specific times and spaces for family activities. Boundaries can help us separate work and family roles, reduce role ambiguity and overload, and increase role satisfaction and performance (Mensah & Adjei, 2020).
Manage stress effectively
  • Stress is inevitable in both work and family domains, but it can also be harmful if we do not cope with it effectively.
  • Stress can impair our physical and mental health, lower our productivity and creativity, and damage our relationships. To manage stress effectively, we need to identify the sources and symptoms of stress and adopt healthy coping strategies.
  • For example, we can use problem-focused coping to deal with the causes of stress, such as delegating tasks, seeking help, or changing our work or family routines. We can also use emotion-focused coping to deal with the effects of stress, such as practicing relaxation techniques, engaging in hobbies, or seeking social support.
  • Stress management can help us reduce negative emotions, enhance positive emotions, and improve our resilience (Lazarus & Folkman, 1984).
Prevent burnout
  • Burnout is a state of chronic exhaustion, cynicism, and reduced effectiveness that results from prolonged exposure to work-related stress.
  • Burnout can have serious consequences for our mental health, such as depression, anxiety, and suicidal thoughts. Burnout can also affect our family life, such as causing marital dissatisfaction, parenting difficulties, and family violence.
  • To prevent burnout, we need to recognize the signs and risk factors of burnout and take preventive actions.
  • For example, we can monitor our workload and work intensity, seek feedback and recognition, balance our work and family demands, and seek professional help if needed. Burnout prevention can help us maintain our motivation, engagement, and performance at work, and our satisfaction, harmony, and well-being at home (Maslach, Schaufeli, & Leiter, 2001).

Balancing work and family without sacrificing our mental health is not easy, but it is possible. By following these tips, we can achieve a better work-family balance, and enjoy the benefits of both domains. Remember, work and family are not mutually exclusive, but complementary and enriching aspects of our lives.

What are your thoughts and experiences on this topic? Please share your experiences below.


Mensah, A., & Adjei, N. K. (2020). Work-life balance and self-reported health among working adults in Europe: a gender and welfare state regime comparative analysis. BMC Public Health, 20, 1052. 1

Lazarus, R. S., & Folkman, S. (1984). Stress, appraisal, and coping. Springer Publishing Company. 2

Maslach, C., Schaufeli, W. B., & Leiter, M. P. (2001). Job burnout. Annual Review of Psychology, 52, 397-422. 3