Having a Successful Work/Life Balance Helps Your Health
Life is full of various aspects that everyone has to learn how to effectively juggle. From family and relationships to school and your career, many people are torn searching how to successfully balance their work and life. Your career should be important to you. After all, it is a way for you to make money to afford a roof over your head, clothes, and food. However, it should never take your entire focus.
Failing to find a balance between work and your personal life can lead to mental and physical health issues. Studies have shown that working long hours and leaving little personal time can actually increase your risk of stroke by 33% and your risk of heart disease by 13%.
A small level of stress can be helpful in pushing you to perform your best, but too much is a bad thing. Increased stress levels have been known to weaken your immune system, putting you in danger of a number of illnesses.
Here are some tips to help you balance your work and life better:
Define Your Work/Life Balance
Your work/life balance refers to how much time you devote to your work compared to how much you devote to your personal life. Every individual has a different idea of what their work/life balance should look like. Many people are in very different stages in their lives. If you are beginning your career, this balance may lean towards work. However, if you have recently gotten married or started a family, you are probably looking to focus more on your home life. Regardless of where you are at in life, it is important to define what this balance is to you.
Schedule Recurring Social Activities
It has been shown how important an active social life is to your overall health. Studies have revealed that a lack of social interactions can actually increase your likelihood of death by at least 50%. It can be difficult to make time for these activities, but they may prove crucial to your health. Try to set out a day once a month to meet up with friends to unplug from work. Treat it as an important meeting that can’t be missed. If you have a family, try to plan out a family night or dinner once a week. Make these gatherings and people a priority.
Take Care of Your Health
As mentioned previously, your health can suffer greatly in your busy life. Focusing too much on work can force you to overlook your personal health. Put emphasis on the foods you eat. Avoid fast food and invest in foods that reduce your stress. Take some time out of your day to exercise. Exercise has wonderful benefits for your well-being as well as your mental health. Also, keep in contact with your healthcare provider and have regular checkups to monitor your health.
Contrary to popular belief, life is pretty long. Don’t feel as though you need to force yourself to accomplish everything as soon as possible. Learn the importance of pacing yourself to maximize your effectiveness and minimize your stress. Set goals for yourself in the workplace and in your personal life that are manageable. Do the tasks that you can at the moment without overdoing yourself.
This applies to both your work life and home life. It is okay to say “no” to requests that you feel would add to your stress levels or that you don’t feel comfortable with. Do not feel like you need to please everyone in your life. Learn to set boundaries on the most important aspects of your life, like your family and career, and do not be afraid to turn down things that would add or take away value from your life.
Balancing your work and life can be a difficult process to accomplish. However, it is incredibly important for your overall physical and mental health that you do so. Without taking the necessary steps, you can put yourself at risk. At Lifeworks Counseling Center, our staff is here to help you learn to manage your work/life balance to get the most out of your career and your personal life.