Maintaining a Healthy Work-Life Balance
7 February 2022
A good work-life balance means having harmony between all aspects of your life: work, study, relaxation, self-care, spirituality etc. Benefits gained from each area then support and strengthen the others. A healthy work-life balance will mean different things to us all. It’s not so much about splitting your time 50/50 between work and leisure but making sure you feel fulfilled and content in both areas of your life.
The Cost of a Poor Work-Life Balance
The pressure of an increasingly demanding work culture is a major challenge for many of us. The stress related to having a poor work-life balance can impact negatively on both our physical and mental health. It can increase the risk to our body’s systems such as the cardiovascular, immune or nervous system and increase the possibility of high blood pressure, heart attack, anxiety and burnout. To be able to help reduce this risk it’s crucial we learn to manage a work-life balance successfully. This includes prioritising job responsibilities and ambitions alongside other elements, such as family, friends, leisure, and spirituality.
Benefits of a Healthy Work-Life Balance
Work-life balance is about adjusting your daily activities to achieve a sense of equilibrium, so that you are happy with all aspects of your life. There are a great many reasons for working to achieve this, including helping reduce stress levels. This allows for a much higher level of job satisfaction and a greater ability to focus and concentrate. A healthy balance in life also gives us the opportunity to spend more time with family and allows us to have a more productive social life where we can pursue personal goals and hobbies. Overall a healthy work-life balance leads to an improved healthier lifestyle.
What Can We Do to Maintain a Healthy Work-Life Balance?
Balancing the demands of a busy lifestyle is not easy but is definitely possible.
Reviewing and looking at your priorities regularly can help you decide what is necessary, what needs changing and what is important to you now. To help do this look at your values and align your goals and purpose to these. When we coordinate our purpose with our core values, we have more energy and feel more fulfilled because we’re living and following what is important to us.
Set limits and create a boundary between work and personal time. If you don't set limits, work can leave you with no time for relationships and activities you enjoy. Try to manage your work time effectively giving yourself enough time to get things done without overscheduling. Being organised can also help reduce stress and improve your life balance. Take proper breaks at work and try to get out during the day if you can. Remember if you work from home, try to keep to a routine, make a dedicated workspace and switch off when the working day is over
A healthy lifestyle is essential to coping with stress and achieving work-life balance. Eat well, include physical activity or exercise in your daily routine and get enough good sleep. Remember to relax and set aside time for activities that you enjoy, such as practicing yoga, gardening or reading.
Accept imperfection. It’s important to recognise that balance doesn’t have to be perfect. It’s about making the right choices for your circumstances now.