Page 5 - ABILITY Magazine - Best Practices Employment
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Seek Support: Identify family and friends who can pro- vide you with a listening ear after a tough day at work, or who can lend a hand in completing household chores. To maintain these relationships, be willing to return the favor when your family and friends need you.
Prioritize: It’s hard to feel balanced if you treat every- thing as equally important. Determine what responsibili- ties are most critical both at work and at home. Whenever possible, do these tasks during the times that you have the most energy. If you are uncertain as to which tasks are critical, ask your employer and family to help clarify pri- orities. Don’t be afraid to delegate tasks; you need not do it all yourself. Finally, remember that not everything has to be done perfectly; good enough is often good enough.
Take a Break: One of the best ways to help maintain a sense of work-life balance is to take allowed breaks dur- ing the workday. Sometimes workers with disabilities may feel they have to work harder than their peers with- out disabilities, and may therefore resist taking breaks. However, all employees, with and without disabilities, can benefit from taking breaks during the workday. Use this time to do something that will re-energize you, such as taking a short walk in or outside of the office; stretch- ing at your workstation; or reading a short passage in an inspirational or funny book. An easy way to recharge yourself is to take a few deep breaths, exhaling slowly.
Check out these resources to help you manage work-life concerns.
Employment Assistance: For career counseling, infor- mation about job accommodations, and help with find- ing and maintaining employment, contact the federally funded vocational rehabilitation program in your state:
Parenting Support: Parents with Disabilities can be found online at:
Leisure and Wellness: Contact your local parks and recreation department, YMCA or public library.
These organizations and programs may also provide suggestions to enhance your quality of life.
• Disabled Sports USA
• The National Ability Center
• The National Center for Health, Physical Activity and
• The National Council on Independent Living • The Obesity Guideline Adaptation Portal:
by LaWanda H. Cook
LaWanda H. Cook, PhD, is extension associate at Cornell University, and principal investigator for EDI’s work-life balance research. For more information on the work-life balance study, contact her at

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