Managing your work life and your love life is a balancing act — but there are several helpful hacks.

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With your packed schedule and running to-do list, it’s natural if you feel challenged by balancing doing your best work and being the best partner. On particularly stressful days, it may even feel impossible.

But here’s the truth: Managing a job you love and keeping the love strong in your relationship is possible.

You might just have to work at it.

To help you find more stability, you might try to:

1. Have emotional check-ins

When work is hectic, life tends to go by more quickly. Consider taking a step back to do an emotional check-in with your partner. How are they feeling? Do they feel seen or supported by you? Discuss what you both could do to feel more connected.

2. Slide into their DMs

Sometimes it feels nice to know your partner is thinking of you. If you have a free second at work, maybe you send your partner a text message, a funny reel, or an article you read that reminded you of them. Have a really busy day? Let them know you’ll be away from your phone.

3. Establish a date night

Dedicating one night a week (or month) that both you and your partner know is your date night can help you organize your other needs on the other days of the week. It also gives you both something to look forward to no matter how busy your schedule gets.

Here are Healthline’s 30+ At-Home Date Night Ideas to Keep Your Relationship Fresh.

4. Practice active listening

If your time is limited, making your time with your partner count is essential. The best way to do that is to practice active listening.

While it may be tempting to check your phone, try to be present with your partner. Avoid phubbing (aka snubbing someone with your phone) as a 2020 study found that, in married couples, phubbing could negatively affect spouses’ mental health.

5. Set healthy boundaries

Finding a healthy balance between love and work requires healthy boundaries.

You can communicate with your partner about the boundaries you need, like an extra hour of sleep or staying late for a meeting, without feeling guilty. You can also set boundaries together, like no phones at dinner or in bed.

6. Dream together

André Shinabarger and Jeff Shinabarger, the authors of “Love or Work: Is It Possible to Change the World, Stay in Love, and Raise a Healthy Family?” suggest creating a bucket list with your partner.

Creating this list of dreams and goals can help you feel like you’re working toward something together and give you things to look forward to.

7. Ask for help

If you’re stretched too thin, ask yourself if there’s anything your partner can help with. Maybe it’s groceries or laundry. If you’re worried about being a burden, consider this: Your partner would likely much rather be asked to help than feel helpless when you’re stressed.

8. Love

Above all else, don’t forget to practice loving your partner. Showing love could be as simple as a genuine compliment or as grand as taking a day off to reconnect. You can tell them that you love them. You might try making space for intimacy and trying to ensure they feel seen.

If you work opposite hours from your partner, it may take getting a little more creative such as leaving little love “Easter eggs” like a note in their lunch. Know that it’s possible to boost your bond even if your work schedules conflict.

You’re likely busy, so let’s cut to the chase. Yes, your workload can indeed affect your love life. According to a 2017 study, higher workloads relate to lower marital satisfaction, and there are long-term consequences of higher workloads on family life.

Another study on workplace stress found that 18% of people in North America aren’t just stressed about work, they’re stressed about balancing work with their personal lives. Plus, when work takes over, it becomes more difficult to create emotional safety and can, in turn, negatively impact your relationship.

You’re not alone if you’re seeking a better balance between your work life and your love life — and you have options.

Before you take your next step, consider balancing on your own two feet, closing your eyes, and taking a deep breath to get grounded. Try to gently remind yourself that you can do what you love and be with who you love — with a bit of balance.

Of course, couple’s counseling is also an option if you ever want additional support. Feel free to use PsychCentral’s Find a Therapist tool if and when needed.