A family on the couch laughing together.

Striving for wellness and balance is often easier said than done. By practicing a technique called compartmentalization (explored below) and getting sufficient rest, you can better manage your responsibilities and integrate several different dimensions of wellness into your life. 

Compartmentalization 

Compartmentalizing is a psychological technique that involves mentally and emotionally separating different aspects of one's life, such as work, personal relationships, and leisure activities. This technique can help you to focus on one main priority at a time.  

Here are some ways to practice compartmentalization: 

Set boundaries: Creating clear boundaries helps create peace, prevent feeling overwhelmed, and ensure that one area of your life doesn’t overshadow the others. It’s OK to say no! Therapist and author Nedra Glover Tawwab reminds us that “boundaries are meant to keep you safe.”  Establishing a schedule for different activities like work, school, family time, or friend time can help you maintain balance and boundaries. Be selective about taking on additional tasks or projects that exceed your capacity. 

Practice mindfulness: Being present in the moment can help you concentrate on the task at hand without letting other concerns distract you. Because mindfulness encourages engagement with our emotions and experiences, it invites us to cultivate awareness of how we are doing without judgement, as opposed to suppressing emotions or avoiding underlying issues that may be interfering with our quality of life. For more information about mindfulness and mindful activities, click here

Share your feelings and experiences: Journaling or talking to trusted friends, loved ones, or professionals about your feelings and experiences can help you gain perspective, handle underlying issues that may affect your sense of well-being, identify helpful resources, and encourage emotional healing. 

Organize your tasks with lists: Start by creating a list of the three to five most important tasks you have on your plate, whether those are related to your personal or professional life. Seeing these tasks can help you feel more organized and less overwhelmed, and assist you in prioritizing what is most important or needs to get done first. If your list becomes overrun with tasks, focus on identifying your most pressing priorities and find ways to delay or delegate the remaining items. 

Seven Types of Rest 

Rest, which is vital for our well-being, might look like sleep, a leisurely vacation, or a relaxing weekend, among many other possibilities. There is no single “right” way to rest. One person’s need for rest may look different from another person’s, and each individual’s needs for rest may vary at different times. In this article, Saundra Dalton-Smith, MD explores seven main types of rest, including physical, mental, sensory, creative, emotional, social, and spiritual.

It may be difficult sometimes to identify which areas of rest you need, so take some time to reflect on your recent experiences and sensations. You may even need to add 10 minutes of reflection time to your daily routine. During this reflection time, evaluate your energy levels and reflect on your week to identify the quality of rest you have received for each category. Does it feel poor, moderate, or strong? Consider the types of situations that leave you feeling fatigued. You might ask questions such as, “Do I have sensory overload? Am I carrying around a lot of emotional heaviness? Do I feel drained by my current social company?” Answering yes to these questions may indicate a need for more sensory rest, emotional rest, and social rest, respectively. Which type of rest are you prioritizing this week?

Aqila Armstrong
Author: Aqila Armstrong LMFT (License #88808 CA)
Marielle Manzano
Author: Marielle Manzano, LPC (License #81087 TX)
Olivia Krivanek
Author: Olivia Krivanek, MSW, LCSW (License #107483 CA, License #149023332 IL)