In today’s world of busy schedules and intense work hours, it can be challenging to know how to balance work and personal life. You may find yourself missing your kids’ sports games, recitals, date night at home, and other important events. As you try to push yourself to provide for your family, you may end up alienating yourself from them and burning yourself out as you try to do it all. This is a typical place for many working Americans, and learning how to balance work and life responsibilities properly is not impossible.
What is Work-Life Balance?
Defined as a necessary life skill, a work-life balance is how people manage their time both at their job and outside of their job. This specifically relates to home and family responsibilities, relationship management, and personal interests and time. Having a good work-life balance means you can properly schedule your time in ways that allow you to complete all of your work responsibilities, be there for family responsibilities, and have time for yourself without burning out. Figuring out how to do this will significantly improve mental health and help you progress in your work and home life.
Why is Having a Healthy Work-Life Balance Important?
When you find yourself torn between the long hours at work and your personal life and family responsibilities, your mental health suffers greatly. A poor work-life balance can lead to chronic stress, which can further lead to burnout and fatigue. These affect your productivity and quality of work. Over time, this can have severe consequences on your professional life and reputation.
Not only is your professional life in jeopardy due to poor work-life balance, but your health is also at risk. Chronic stress can lead to various health problems, including chest pain, headaches, gastrointestinal problems, sleep issues, muscle tension, and low sex drive. Your mental health is also affected, and you may experience anxiety, irritability, depression, lack of motivation, feelings of being overwhelmed, and restlessness. Figuring out how to find the right balance means that you can reverse these effects and find yourself in a more peaceful space in your life.
How to Set Healthy Limits and Boundaries
Knowing when to turn work off can save you from feelings of stress, allowing you to have time for responsibilities at home and personal enjoyment. The following tips can help you achieve this:
It’s easy to fall into the trap of always saying “yes” to your boss in fear of disappointing them or not seeming like a “team player.” However, this can leave you missing time at home with your family or personal life. Evaluate what you can and cannot handle, activities you like to do, and talk about it with your employer or coworkers. Learning to say “no” can leave you with more time for your personal life, leaving you less stressed.
Take a look at your calendar to ensure you have enough time to finish your responsibilities. Ensure you aren’t overbooking yourself, so you experience less stress and, therefore, have more time for personal life and responsibilities.
Turning Work Off
Getting home and having work emails accessible on your phone or more notifications coming through on your computer can make it difficult to disconnect from the office. However, you need to make time for home life by disconnecting entirely from work for the day when you get home. You can help this transition during the day by taking a drive, changing your clothes, cooking a meal, or doing something with your partner or kids to get your mind in the right headspace.
Taking Care of Your Mental Health
Chronic stress can take a toll on your overall mental health. Taking a second to breathe once a day can help you improve your mental health and help you relax.
Engaging in mindfulness activities can help you become more in tune with yourself and the environment around you. These activities can include yoga, meditation, going on a walk, or anything that helps you slow down and bring awareness to what you feel inside and out.
You should have people to talk to both at the office and at home when you are struggling. Those at work can be friends that will cover for you or help you overcome a work problem, while those at home can help with cooking or childcare. This can relieve you of stress when you need it most.
Everyone has those moments where they feel so burnt out they don’t know how they’ll ever pick themselves back up. Don’t feel ashamed to reach out for help from a therapist or counselor if you find yourself in this space. A therapist can help develop ways to cope with work and home responsibilities while maintaining proper mental health.
Today’s chaotic world of technology and work culture can leave many people feeling burnt out as they try to juggle their job and home life responsibilities. It is not an uncommon feeling to find oneself in, and fortunately, there are ways to fix it. Teaching yourself to manage work time to disconnect when you get home will save you from feelings of stress in the long run. Consider talking to your employer if you find yourself struggling to keep up, or you can talk to coworkers to see how they are coping or if they can help in other ways. You should also make your mental health a priority by taking time to stop and relax. This can be through mindfulness activities, your support system, or seeking professional help. At Northstar Transitions, we understand how chaotic life can get. We can help you build coping strategies and get your life back on track. Call us today at (303) 558-6400.