Dealing with work-based stress & work / life balance

On this page we will explore strategies to deal with work based stress and work-life imbalance and consider how they can impact on your ability to be caring & compassionate. By working through the materials on this page you will be able to build on your personal resilience and wellbeing, consider how you can achieve and/or maintain a sense of balance and meaning in life, as well as learning to feel more autonomous and fulfilled in your everyday work and life and assuring your practice is compassionate.

There are three core elements to complete on this page. The first is to work through the SWAY presentation and its associated reflective and practical exercises. This includes links to some audio files to learn some relaxation and mindful practice techniques that you can use everyday; there is also a very ease Powtoon presentation on managing stress. The second is to listen to the YouTube clip by Professor Teena Clouston and the third is to listen to the song ‘Breathing’ by Peter Cronin.

By the end of this page you will be able to:

  • Understand what stress & burnout look like and feel like
  • Recognise the symptoms of stress, burnout & compassion fatigue
  • Critically reflect on why stress, burnout & compassion fatigue is problematic in the health & social care workforce
  • Identify techniques to deal with stress at work and work-life imbalance for self & others
  • Reflect on your own levels of stress and work-life balance
  • Understand why your own health & wellbeing is essential to your own caring & compassionate practice
  • Critically consider the value of meaning or a sense of fulfilment in life
  • Create a plan of action & implement this in terms of addressing & maintaining your own levels of stress, burnout, compassion fatigue and work-life balance.

You will find it really useful to read the book  Clouston TJ 2015. Challenging stress, burnout & rust-out: Finding balance in busy lives. London: Jessica Kingsley because most of the material in the SWAY presentation and other materials on this page are taken from that book. If you are a member of Cardiff University, it is available both at the library and as an ebook. Alternatively you can buy it at any good bookstore.

Please click on the image below to begin the SWAY presentation. As you work through the material please do engage with the associated reflective exercises.

Having gone through the SWAY presentation  reflect on what you have learned. Think about your OWN state of balance and that of your colleagues as well as considering the impact on your clients/patients. Think about how you can make changes in your life as well as those around you. Try using the relaxation techniques and mindful practice you can find here and on the link below help you:

Mindfulness for wellbeing in strange covid times


Click on the image below to run a fun PowToon with some ‘quick tips’ to help you balance your life.

Click on the image below to listen to an interview with Dr Teena Clouston about the ideas and research behind the Challenging stress….Finding balance in busy lives book. The talk will give you an overview of Teena’s views on the broader concepts of life balance and the neoliberal drivers she feels are critical to our present state of imbalance. Pay particular attention to these perspectives and her ideas on meaning in life. Consider the author’s insights when you reflect on your life and/or that of your clients and also if you read the book.

Click here to link to Dr Clouston’s personal website for more resources.

Please listen to this song by Peter Cronin; as you listen and read the words consider what thoughts or feelings you have or experience about the song, about the busyness and speed of modern living and its impact on life balance, wellbeing and meaning in life:

To reference written materials on this page please cite:

Clouston, T.J. 2018. Dealing with work based stress at work & work-life balance, available at: [accessed: date].

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