Work can be a big part of our lives. Sometimes it fits nicely into the box of a set number of hours and other times it invades much more of our life. There's an elusive work-life balance that many of us strive to achieve but somehow seems to evade our grasp! Many clients come to counseling describing the stress they feel at work or the stress they feel at home about work. Work seems to invade all their free time and intrude in relationships they value. This can cause tension, stress and conflict. There are great stress management tools to be learned; one thing we focus on in therapy is setting healthy boundaries. If we don't identify and stick to boundaries with work, stress will increase and relational conflict can occur. According to a Google search a boundary is a 'line that marks the limits of an area.' A boundary in regards to work would be a line that states where work begins and where it ends. Some examples of healthy work boundaries might be not working regularly past a certain time, turning the work email off at a defined time, or not answering work calls past identified work hours. When we do not set boundaries, we can end up working too much. This can impact our health, sense of well-being, mood, relationships, etc. Our culture places a big emphasis on work and status is often gained by working many hours and climbing the ladder. Technology has also played a part in this by allowing work to stay attached to us day and night through our smart phones. These things don't have to be drains on our well-being though. With proper boundaries set and our focus in a healthy place, we can work hard and succeed while also having balance in our lives! If a healthy work-life balance is something you want in your life but struggle to accomplish, counseling can be helpful. Stress management, boundary setting and identifying as well as evaluating long-term goals are just a few of the things to help achieve that desired work-life balance.