Work-Life Balance: Is It Impacting Your Mental Health?

balance

“Time flies, so you must manage it appropriately”

More than one in four individuals describe themselves as being “super stressed.” And that is not healthy. Most of us are juggling heavy workloads, managing relationships, and family duties, and trying to fit in outside interests. As we rush to “do it all” at home and work, we tend to forget that stress lowers productivity. Stress damages our personal and professional relationships, as well as our concentration. Also, Stress weakens our immune systems, which makes us more susceptible to a variety of illnesses such as colds, backaches, and heart attacks. Furthermore, stress can double a person’s risk of having a heart attack, according to new research. Imagining it increases blood pressure. Therefore, to avoid it, you need to focus on work life balance. But what actually work-life balance is? How to maintain it? These questions might be daunting. No worries! I have you covered! So take out some time to read it through the end. Let’s begin.

All About Work Life Balance

We all understand the concept of work life balance, but it can be hard to achieve.

There is nothing more frustrating than having so many demands on one side of the work life balance. On the other end of the scale may also be the feeling of unfulfilled dreams and desires.

Slowly, they make people feel discontent and disengaged. Therefore, how can you manage your time and energy so as to feel fulfilled and engaged as a whole person? Can you avoid mental exhaustion by showing up as your best self?

We often use the term work-life balance to describe a trade-off. It is important to balance time spent on work projects with time spent with family, friends, and personal interests. Team members’ flexibility is also important. Could you, for instance, balance your work with your personal needs? Are you able to respond when needed? Does work interfere with personal priorities? However, answering these questions can be difficult at the moment. But why does work-life imbalance occur? Let’s see:

The Causes of Work-Life Imbalance

More than one in four full-time employees say it has become harder to balance the demands of work and family in the last five years. Top reasons include:

  • Expenses increased without a pay increase

A ⅓ of employees said this is their biggest challenge to maintaining their work life balance.

  • Increased work responsibilities

About half of the millennials and Gen X participants cited lack of work-life balance as one of the main causes.

  • Increased responsibility at home

In a survey of millennials and Gen X participants, more than 40% said juggling work and personal life became more challenging as they took on more responsibility at home.

  • Long working hours

Four in five (46%) managers work more than 40 hours every week, and 40% have increased their hours in the past five years.

  • Having children to Work-Life Balance

A quarter of millennials (26%) work more after having a child. Women and men took career breaks after becoming parents, with 50% of women and 22% of men doing so.

Therefore, these are the major causes of work-life imbalance. Now, the question arises, how to overcome these causes? To regain balance in our lives, let’s look at a few practical steps we can all take to loosen the grip of stress in our lives.

How to Maintain Work-Life Balance?

At Work

  • Set manageable goals each day

Meeting priorities gives us a feeling of accomplishment and control. More control over our work means less stress, according to new research. Try to keep work and deadlines realistic. Prioritize important tasks and eliminate unimportant ones from your “to-do” list. Take help when necessary.

  • Be efficient with your time at work

In our minds, we often see the task as unachievable when we postpone. Divide big projects at work or at home into smaller ones to make life easier. Finish the first project before starting another. Each time you accomplish something, reward yourself with a short walk or a five-minute break. Tell your boss if routines seem too tedious. Spending less time on busy work or procrastination means spending more time on productive activities, or with friends and family.

  • Ask for flexibility

Companies are drafting work/life policies to cope with the growing demand for flextime and telecommuting. You might be able to work from home one day a week if you request it. A flexible work schedule increases employee productivity and loyalty.

  • Take five

Many employers encourage employees to take a break during the workday. When you take small breaks at work, or on any project, you will be able to better handle stress and make wise decisions going forward.

  • Tune in

Music enhances concentration, reduces stress and anxiety, and stimulates creativity at work. Several studies show that music has health benefits, including lowering blood pressure. When you’re working, wear headphones and turn the volume up–and you’ll be more productive.

  • Communicate effectively

When you’re in a bind, be honest with your boss or colleagues. They may be able to help. Instead of whining, suggest alternatives. You can also reduce your stress by viewing a situation from another person’s perspective. Be calm and rational in intense situations, or rethink your strategy. Be flexible and willing to compromise. Allow everyone involved time to cool off before you lose control.

  • Give yourself a break

Everyone isn’t perfect! Take a few moments to breathe and be kind to yourself.

At Home

Unplug- When we use technology 24 hours a day, we may burn out just as easily as workers can. If you are eligible to “flex” your hours, do so, but do not ignore the need for personal time.

  • Divide and conquer

Assign responsibilities evenly and clearly at home-you’ll prevent confusion and problems later on.

  • Don’t over-commit

If you glance at your calendar just once, do you feel stressed? If you have a lot of things to do, learn to say,” no.” Shed the superman/superwoman urge!

  • Get support

It can be vital to your success at home or at work to chat with friends and family. Even better, it can improve your health. Those with strong support systems have stronger immune responses to illnesses than those without.

  • Take advantage of your company’s Employee Assistance Program (EAP)

Through an employee assistance program, you may be able to save valuable time by finding out where to locate a daycare facility and take care of your elderly parents, as well as receiving referrals for mental health services.

  • Stay active

Research has shown that regular exercise reduces stress, depression, and anxiety as well as helps people cope better with adversity. Additionally, it boosts your immune system and keeps you away from visiting the doctor. Plan a gym session or a walk during lunch-and enjoy it!

  • Treat your body right

Good physical health increases your ability to cope with stress and reduces sick days. Eat well, exercise regularly, and rest enough. To cope with stress, stay away from drugs, alcohol, and cigarettes; they’ll cause more problems.

  • Get help if you need it

Keep your health and happiness in mind by avoiding stress. Mental health services may be necessary for those who feel overwhelmed every day. It is not a weakness to ask for help-it is a strength to take care of yourself.

Conclusion

However, work-life balance and integration are ongoing processes. Over time, as your interests and circumstances change, you will constantly learn and adapt. Enjoy the journey! Make sure you periodically revisit your priorities to determine if they have changed.

Make Healthy Work-Life Balance a Priority!

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  • An enthusiastic and dedicated writer, Parul is always keen to learn and explore something new. She is open to learning and writing unique content in various niches like food, travel, photography, etc.

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