Since October 10th was World Mental Health Day 2017, I can officially term October – Work-Life Balance or Well-being Month.
This month, we are focusing on increasing our overall well-being and work-life balance.
Why well-being and work-life balance?
Everything may look great because you have a good job, you’re doing well in your role and still maintain a social life. Yet, you may be lacking balance in other aspects of your life. Consider for a moment; how much sleep you get each night, when was the last time you took a day off to spend with your partner or pamper yourself?
Work-life balance may mean different things to different people. But regardless, we should all make a conscious effort to set out some rules that will help us find the right balance between work and life. For example, switching off all electronic devices at 9pm, spending quality time at family dinner or having an hour read before bedtime.
What is the Risk of Imbalance?
We are a product of the quality of our relationships, our health, our work, etc. Chances are that, if these areas lacks balance or proper prioritization, we stand the risk of burnout and stress which overtime affects our physical and mental health, work performance and social life. How does each affect us?
Occupational burnout is thought to be a result of long-term, unresolvable job stress. When unmanaged, this can lead to physical symptoms, such as headaches and fatigue, and personality changes, such as a short temper, closed thinking and lack of interest. It has the potential to cause problems with your employer, particularly if your productivity and working ability is affected.
Of course, stress is often a causing factor, as well as a risk of poor work-life balance. Stress, when unmanaged, can build up until one day, it becomes too much. Chronic stress can result in personal distress and unhappiness, as well as physical symptoms such as weight-gain or insomnia.
If you’re experiencing symptoms of stress and you may benefit from speaking to a professional, such as a counsellor or life coach. If you believe your work-life balance may be a cause of stress, a life coach can help you reassess, and find balance. If there are underlying issues that may be contributing to your stress, a counsellor may be able to help you understand and manage the problem.
When you commit a greater part of your time to work whether in the office or at home, it’s likely you have less time for friends or family. Your friends and family need your time – neglecting them constantly due to work commitments can affect these relationships, which can, in turn, heighten the impact of stress.
Your loved ones are there to support you, but tensions can arise when they feel like you have no time for them. Nurturing these relationships are key for overall well-being, as well as an essential part of maintaining a good work-life balance.
When you lack balance, there are many aspects of your life that can be affected, including your physical health, your relationships and your professional life. Working hard may seem like the right thing to do, but it may actually be hindering your journey to success, rather than helping it.
What do you want to achieve?
Whether it is ‘improving your productivity at work’ OR ‘creating more family time’ OR ‘starting a healthy lifestyle’ OR ‘getting back your confidence’. You need to:
- Determine what is out of balance – Start by putting down a list of what is out of balance or causing you stress. When you’re clear about what’s not working you can begin to identify solutions. For example, maybe you’ve realised you’re bringing work home with you and working in the wee hours of the night. This makes you tired, sleep deprived and unable to spend quality time with family. Firstly ask yourself – do I really need to bring work home or am I doing it to make myself feel more on top of things? When you’re really clear about whether the pressure is internal or external you can then work out what to do. This could be a meeting with your manager to look at workload or agreeing with yourself to only bring work home one night a week (or not at all).
- Define your own work life balance – We are individuals therefore our meaning of work-life balance varies so, you may need to work out what works for you and what makes you truly happy. Is it being able to leave work on time and spend quality time with your family, is it better time management or simply creating time for YOU by working on your physical wellness and confidence. Once you’re clear about what you want specifically – then you need to take deliberate action to achieve it. Read my 5 Tips for Truly Achieving Work-Life Balance for some tips in areas where you can begin to make some changes and choose what works for you.
No matter what you choose, keeping a track of your progress towards a deeply satisfying and balanced lifestyle, using my 20 Practical Checklist for Achieving Work-Life Balance can bring long term benefits.
Crown Musings | Become The Best Version of YOU.