It’s something everyone will probably experience at some point in their life. It is likely that you are currently experiencing it right now. Yet it seems that we hardly ever talk about it.
What is role conflict?
The emotional conflict arising when competing demands are made on an individual in the fulfillment of his or her multiple social roles.
Juggling work and being a parent. Going to college while struggling to work and make money. Doing something with your family versus taking some much needed time to yourself. Spending time with your lover versus making time for friends… With so many things going on in our busy lives, some amount of role conflict is pretty much impossible to avoid.
For me, I have all things listed above: children, work, school, family, friends, a home to take care of, et cetera. Role conflict is probably the biggest stressor of my everyday life. I can accomplish most anything, but trying to take care of them all at once is what makes it so difficult.
So, what to do to avoid and relieve the stress that comes from playing so many different roles in life?
Here are just a few tips and ideas:
(1) Most important of all…. Take care of yourself: mind, body, and spirit.
I cannot take care of anyone else if I don’t take care of myself. Eat healthy, exercise, get enough sleep. Use de-stressing techniques like meditation and yoga. Feed the spirit with such things as prayer or communing with nature. Practice being “mindful” in the little moments so as not to find myself caught up in the hectic ongoings of everyday life.
It does not have to be a tight schedule to adhere to, but at least a simple list of the days expectations and what needs to be accomplished. And don’t set yourself up for failure by planning too much (probably my biggest pitfall). Be realistic in what you can do in the time you have and be proud of yourself when you are able to do so.
Decrease the amount of “stuff” that we have so I don’t have so much cleaning and caring-for to do. This includes things like decreasing the amount of clothing and other “stuff” that I own. It also means making sure to not take on or plan more than I can handle. For example, I am only taking one college course this semester because I didn’t know if I could handle more than that.
Talk to your friends and family when you are stressed. That’s what they are there for. And they may be going through the same thing.
(5) Don’t be afraid to ask for help.
Whether it’s getting a babysitter for the night so you can have a break, asking for help with a project at work, or making a chore list for the kids at home. Sometimes any amount of help can make a huge difference.
(6) Be gentle with yourself.
We can only accomplish and do so much. Be proud of successes and learn from mistakes. Let go of what you can’t change or control. And go on.
(7) Always remember to be grateful.
I am a mother, daughter, sister, lover, friend, aunt, niece, nurse, writer, student, child of God (just to name a few). And I am so blessed to be on this Earth with so many roles I get to play. 😉