What is work life balance?
That’s a question many are asking nowadays in a world that’s moving faster than ever. A mental health foundation survey found that one-third of their respondents considered themselves either unhappy or very unhappy about the amount of time they devoted to their work.
It’s clear that an increasingly demanding work culture is having a negative effect on the mind frame of many workers worldwide. Finding the proper balance between the demands of a career and the rest of life requires certain prioritizing– and maybe even a new way of thinking.
If you’re worried that you may have no work life balance in your daily routine, read on. We’ll offer some tips and perspective that may help you get back on track.
What Is Work Life Balance?
Life’s natural order has to do with careful rhythms– motions that come and go like the crashing and receding waves of the ocean. When this natural ebb and flow is interrupted, it can create problems.
Many choose to judge work life balance using the metric of time: if your time is split evenly between work and home life, then a balance should be theoretically achieved. While an even split of time is helpful, this is an oversimplification of what is actually needed for true balance.
A continuing trend in work culture is individuals’ seeming inability to ‘unplug’ once home. If you have an extremely stressful job, you may be unable to fully relax in your free time, even if you’re home in time for dinner every night.
The key to a proper work life balance has more to do with a state of mind then it does an even distribution of time. If everything is constantly in crisis or if you find it hard to be able to take a day off– that is the trait of your work life that needs to change.
Speaking up when work expectations and demands are too much can be a good place to start. Creating some sense of boundary around time, topic, or even specific details can be another.
Your work cannot be all ebb and no flow– reinstating this sense of rhythm is essential in restoring a proper sense of work life balance.
Checking Yourself and Your Priorities
Sometimes in the constant drudgery of ‘get ahead’ culture, we can forget what really is important. You must ask yourself: does thinking positively of yourself also require your boss to think positively of you?
If the answer is yes, your work life balance may be in trouble.
Our work lives are important, of course, and we want to be proud of our professional selves. But maintaining a proper work life balance means not allowing the status of professional lives to overtake the value of everything else: friends, family, hobbies and who we are when we take off the jacket and tie at the end of the day.
There is a purpose to our lives outside of a paycheck, and though it feels like a trite sentiment, it is one worth reminding ourselves when we begin to feel off balance. We all need a reminder to keep our priorities in place.
Seeking Healthy Lifestyles
Work lives gone unchecked can sometimes overtake important other aspects of life. The absence of these elements can make us feel unhealthy, guilty, overwhelmed, or empty.
Living a physically healthy life can be one of these aspects. A busy work schedule can make it hard to find the time or energy to exercise. Without exercise, our self-esteem can falter, and we lose out on the endorphins and positive feelings that physical activity can foster.
Setting time aside for physical activity, or investing in physical health products such as Doctors Best Weight Loss, can be a valuable step towards proper work life balance.
Eating right is another important aspect of life you should make time for if you want proper balance. Many overworked individuals end up making the same meal every night for convenience or sometimes may skip meals altogether. Putting time aside for a proper lunch and dinner can be an essential task– and that means eating your daily dose of fruits and vegetables, not just whatever is available for quick and easy take-out.
Not to be forgotten either is the value of a good night’s sleep. Having enough time for a full recharge can give your body a renewed sense of drive and purpose.
Fighting For Your Proper Balance
If you want to restore a proper sense of work life balance in your own life, you may need to make some changes.
The first and most essential task you can do is practice saying No. You should speak up when work expectations become too much– employers should be aware of these pressures in order to better address them.
Proactive workplaces should develop policies that acknowledge the association between work stress and mental health. They should encourage openness about time constraints and workload in the workplace.
If you can, attempt to work smart and not long. Practice tight prioritization and try not to get caught up in less proactive activities during working hours. That being said, employing proper breaks at work can help to keep your work rhythm strong. You should take any steps you can towards lowering work-related stresses.
You should attempt to keep the barrier between work and leisure separate– if you do have to take work home with you, set aside a designated place in the home to work on it, particularly an area that you can close off and walk away from if need be.
Enjoying A Balanced, Happy Life
Finding and maintaining a proper work life balance is a task that requires vigilance and frequent self-reflection. With proper time management and prioritization, you can find a way to live a better and happier life.
There are many ways to tackle increasing personal happiness in your work and your life. Whether you’re interested in learning more about workplace productivity or home relaxation, we have the advice you need.