I wrote this in response to a scenario where a widow feels that she is concentrating too much on her school work and not spending enough time with her small child or her friends.
In the scenario described, we need to find a way for Jamie to achieve work / life balance. Jamie spends her days studying and her nights playing with Ross. In a general sense, her work and non-work lives are in balance. Her two top priorities are spending time with Ross and getting through school. The real problem is that she feels she is not spending enough time with her friends.
Jamie needs to come to the realization that her close friends are probably understanding about her situation. After all, these friends were probably there when her husband passed away, and are surely sympathetic to that. If Jamie were to sit back and think about it, she would realize that her friends are keeping in touch because they care about her and want to make sure she is doing OK. The anxiety she feels regarding her friends is most likely more internal than she realizes.
Once Jamie realizes that this pressure she’s feeling is really internally motivated, she needs to work to incorporate her friends into her non-work life. The easy answer is to get a babysitter. This could be other family members, or a teenager she’s comfortable with. If she’s not willing to sacrifice time with Ross, then she’ll have to be a bit more creative. If her friends have children, she can plan some kid friendly activities with them. She could host a dinner party. If she puts her mind to it, the possibilities are limitless.
In my experience, people usually say they’re “under stress” and assign the stress as some external entity pressing down on them. The reality is that stress is an internal emotion that we create in response to an outside situation. The good news is that it can be managed. Once Jamie realizes that she can spend time with Ross and her friends, her stress will likely disappear.