Are you struggling with having a work-life balance? Is it even possible? These are some questions that may apply to you. If so, you are not alone. It is okay and normal to struggle in this regard, as a perfect mix of both is difficult. However, a permanent hardship with work-life balance can be harmful. For example, burning out will affect your quality of work, in addition to disrupting your health. There is a concept known as the nine dimensions of wellness. Namely: career, social, spiritual, physical, financial, intellectual, creative, environmental, and emotional. Notice that a job is just one of them; however, it impacts other areas and vice versa. Due to systemic and individual reasons, achieving all nine dimensions is not always attainable. Therefore, the goal isn’t all or none but rather doing what we can.
Here are some tips to improve work-life balance to ease some of that distress. This paragraph will focus on what one could do within work. The first tip is to take your allocated time off each year. In addition to taking a mental health day off when the workload becomes too much. Whenever you need to and are able to, take a break. For instance, this can be done by scheduling breaks through the work day and taking your lunch. Rest fuels our body and mind, which in turn promotes productivity. Another tip is to designate a time to review and respond to work emails. Along with that is making a firm rule to not respond to work emails, calls, or responsibilities outside of scheduled work hours. It might be difficult for some due to the role of authority in one’s culture or not feeling emotionally safe to set boundaries. If this is the case, seeking the free therapy sessions offered by your place of work is a good idea. Here at Capital EAP, we are solution focused and can work with you on how to set boundaries with coworkers or a supervisor.
What are some things you could do outside of work? Studies show that nurturing personal relationships feeds a healthy work-life balance. Spending time with loved ones checks your social, intellectual, and emotional wellness boxes. For example, try setting a goal of spending time with a friend in person once a week. You could do this by reaching out to a friend in advance and putting plans in stone days before. Another suggestion is to take on a hobby you can participate in once a week, biweekly, or monthly. Leisure activities allow one to be present and take our minds off the never ending next task to complete. Such activities could include dancing, taking a pottery class, cooking classes, painting etc. Sometimes free courses are offered and could be found through an internet search.
These are suggestions; feel free to take your spin on them and find what works for you. You deserve and are entitled to rest and well-being. However, it is vital to do so within the extent and resources accessible to you.
By, Chioma Ofodile, MHC Intern