8 Work-Life Balance Tips
How to regain control of your non-working hours
Almost everyone has difficult situations at work. Projects build-up, you stay late and work evenings and weekends — yet the flood of emails and texts never stops.
When this hectic schedule becomes the norm, it’s important to rethink your work-life balance — and adopt some healthy lifestyle adjustments to avoid job burnout.
How do you know when it’s time to reconsider your job’s place in your life?
What exactly is work-life balance?
Work-life balance looks different for everyone — and, of course, you want to give your work you’re all.
In a nutshell, work-life balance means that you are not spending 100% of your nonsleeping time at work or thinking about work.
You devote time to activities that you like, such as traveling, establishing a hobby, or spending time with friends and family.
You also set aside time for yourself to take care of your health or simply relax and unwind.
“Our work is more than simply work too many,” explains psychologist Amy Sullivan, PsyD. “It is ingrained in our ideals.” We are pleased with our efforts.”
“However, if work crosses the line from something that provides us tremendous value and joy to something that causes enormous stress that begins to impact our health or relationships,” she says, “we need to critically analyze what is producing this stress and how to manage this stress.” “With the exception of an emergency case, such as saving someone’s life, nothing should take precedence over your own health or relationships.”
Work-life balance is critical
Although a hard effort is valued in our culture, your career does not have to take over your life. It’s OK (and even vital) to put yourself first.
Excessive stress can be harmful to your health. High blood pressure might develop, which can lead to heart problems or muscular aches and pains. You may also be more susceptible to illness, as stress can suppress your immune system.
Working more than 55 hours a week increases your risk of ischemic heart disease and stroke, according to a recent study conducted by the World Health Organization and the International Labour Organization.
When your work-life balance is off, you may suffer burnout, a condition in which you are so fatigued that even simple chores become overwhelming.
Furthermore, taking a break every now and again makes you a better employee. You may offer a new perspective to your job and to your team’s work.
Signs that your work-life balance needs to be rebalanced
Technology has simplified our work. However, the development of remote work has made it increasingly difficult to unplug, throwing our work-life balance off-kilter. Here are several indicators that you need to reset your work-life balance.
You cease caring for your physique
You’re staying up too late or having difficulty falling asleep. You sit all day and do not exercise. You eat mostly from vending machines or drive-thru windows – or you don’t eat at all. You have a lingering discomfort or a health issue but don’t have time to see a doctor.
Your mental health is deteriorating
You’ve begun to notice symptoms of anxiety or despair. Are you enraged or irritable? You may also suffer dread, restlessness, despondency, panic attacks, mood changes, and suicidal ideation.
You simply don’t care any longer
Your employment is no longer meaningful to you. You don’t feel connected to your coworkers or customers. You’re just doing the bare minimum. Simply put, you don’t care about your job.
You are feeling inept
Whatever you do, it never seems to be enough. You’re perpetually behind schedule, and the quality of your job may suffer as a result. You are continuously concerned about your job performance. You are afraid of (but perhaps secretly fantasize about) getting fired.
There are no obvious distinctions between work and home
The increase in remote employment and more people working from home has made it more difficult to distinguish between work and personal time. However, this goes beyond simply feeling the urge to respond to emails at night.
Perhaps your employer does not promote healthy practices. For example, you may find yourself working increasingly long hours. You can’t take a vacation without receiving calls, messages, and emails from work. You have the impression that you must be available at all times.
You’re feeling lonely
Despite the fact that you are continuously surrounded by people and are constantly linked electronically, you no longer have the time or energy to engage in meaningful conversations with family or friends. Your relationships begin to suffer as a result.
Work-Life Balance Suggestions
Don’t be discouraged if any of this seems familiar. Dr. Sullivan gives the following advice for regaining control of your life and restoring equilibrium.
Create physical separation between your job and home life
If you commute to and from work, you are putting physical distance between yourself and your employer. Working from home is entirely another scenario.
Working from your sofa (or bed) on occasion is a wonderful bonus of a remote job. Making your living room your permanent office, on the other hand, might actually increase stress. After all, if you watch a movie on the weekend, you’ll associate your comfortable place with your job.
The idea is to designate a distinct business location from where you sleep or rest. It doesn’t have to be a separate room; a dedicated table can suffice. The objective is to have a separate space linked with work, even if it’s only a 10-foot walk from your bed to your office area.
When you’re at home, unplug
“Put the phone down,” Dr. Sullivan insists. “We don’t need to be accessible 24 hours a day, seven days a week.” Constantly checking and reacting to messages and emails increases stress, makes it harder to connect with family members, and disrupts sleep. If you can’t help but respond to every message or email that comes in, even after hours, switch off (or mute) your phone or keep it in another room.
Work more efficiently
Concentrate on one activity at a time and work on it until it is finished. Do not attempt to multitask. To reduce distractions, close your email and switch off your phone when feasible. “If we’re efficient, we finish our work, and then we can go home and spend time with our families,” explains Dr. Sullivan.
Make self-care a priority
Make the decision to make time for exercise. Plan wholesome meals and spend quality time with friends and family. Make such items non-negotiable on your calendar. Remember that self-care is a necessity, not a luxury.
Take a vacation, even if it is only a staycation
If you have a vacation day bank, don’t let it accumulate or carry over from year to year. Make use of your time off, whether it’s a mental health day where you sleep in and watch movies all day or a Friday afternoon where you slip out early and head out to dinner with friends. We all need to take breaks now and again.
Talking to your supervisor about serious issues like setting limits or burnout might be scary. However, being explicit about your demands — for example, that you don’t answer emails on weekends because you’re spending time with your family — will help clear up any confusion.
Make a list of everything that would make your job simpler and less stressful. Set up a meeting with your supervisor to go over the issues that are most essential (or within your ability to alter).
Search for a new job
Unfortunately, if you continue in your current employment, you will eventually reach a point when work-life balance becomes impossible. Perhaps it’s a nasty workplace that doesn’t appreciate time off or a business culture that doesn’t fit with your ideals. In this situation, looking for a new job (or devising an exit strategy) is definitely your best choice. Your health is important.
Seek expert assistance
If stress is affecting your mental health, don’t be afraid to get help from a therapist. Many workplaces have employee assistance programs that can link you with a mental health expert who has experience assisting individuals with stress management.