22 Feb Work/ Life Balance
We all have moments in our career where we feel overloaded and stressed, and we sacrifice other aspects of life to complete projects and advance towards job success. At times it can be difficult to remember that the priorities that seem to fall by the wayside are more significant to our mental and physical wellbeing.
Having a poor work-life balance can affect your health in extremely negative ways. Statistics from The Canadian Mental Health Association state that each week, more than 500,000 Canadians cannot work due to mental illness. This includes stress, exhaustion and depression – among others. These numbers portray the very real and often preventable pandemic sweeping our nation.
There are several ways to ensure a positive work/ life balance. Daily exercise, eating right and being social are simple ways to begin the journey towards balance. Allowing time for fun activities gives the chance to develop interests beyond the scope of work. Avoid identifying your entire self by your career and make time to engage in hobbies, sports and other activities you enjoy! This will also help to lower stress levels and provides opportunities to socialize with people outside of work, find new interests and clear your head.
It is also important to be attentive to your relationships with family and friends. Being stressed and overwhelmed at work is one thing, but when stress is brought home to families, it can create resentment, tension and anger.
Aim to leave work at the office, and once you get home, focus energy towards family and friends. Don’t forget about the relationship you have with yourself, too! It is a good idea to set aside some time each week to focus on you, whether it be for relaxation, personal growth or working on your hobbies.
Communication with friends may dwindle, and you risk severing those important ties. If you ask any given why they don’t focus on work/life balance – they will likely say that they don’t have the time. This may seem true, as the balance can only be accomplished through day-to-day activities and behaviours. Unfortunately, this is typically incorrect. Spending small increments of self-care each day will be more beneficial long-term, as you will stay mentally and physically healthy – therefore not being forced to take time away from work to recuperate.
These recommendations may seem obvious, but most people struggle to maintain a healthy work/life balance. We are taught from an early age that being “successful” corresponds exclusively to career success. However, people are beginning to realize that the definition of success should not be tailored specifically to your career, but in addition to your health and personal growth. Consider this next time you check your e-mails at home, skip exercising to work late or cancel plans with a friend because you feel too stressed. You may just be surprised at how much better you feel when you allow yourself to disconnect from work. In the long run, your mind, body, and relationships will thank you!