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How to create a work/life balance

You can keep your stress to a minimum by managing your work/life balance


Written by SpunOut | View this authors Twitter page and posted in employment


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Work can be a difficult environment to be in sometimes, and work related stress can be a big factor in mental health issues. While stress at work isn’t always possible to get rid of completely, there are some things you can do to reduce it.

What is a work/life balance?

Work/life balance is a phrase used to describe the time you spend on non-work activities compared to the time you spend on work activities. It is more and more common for people to spend increasing amounts of time on work, and less time with friends and family, relaxing, or doing things they enjoy. This can have really negative impacts on mental health.

By creating a work/life balance, you are introducing more non-work activities into your day, allowing yourself to take a break from or even prevent any work-related stress.

How to create a work/life balance

Talk to your employer

If your workload is too much and causing strain on your mental health, make this known to your employer and see if you can come to an agreement. It's better to address these issues and find ways to deal with them, rather than try and take on a workload you can't handle. 

By talking to your employer and finding ways to ease the pressure, you will most likely perform better and feel happier at work.

Schedule your time well

When thinking about the week ahead, consider all of the tasks you have and how much time you have to do them. If you tend to work longer than you are supposed to, this could have a big impact on your work/life balance. Try and plan ahead for big tasks and allow yourself a certain amount of time each day to work on them. Avoid spending too long on smaller, less important things.

Take breaks

Work/life balance is not only about evenings and weekends. It can also include taking breaks during the working day. Make sure to take proper breaks during the day, and if you can, get out at lunch time, even for a walk. This helps to clear your mind and take your thoughts away from your desk, and you will most likely come back feeling more focussed.

Turn those devices off

It is rarely a good idea to bring work home. Once you are home from work, try not to check your emails. Most of the time, things can wait until the next day, and if something is really urgent, they have other ways to contact you. If you use any instant messaging systems in work, make sure to mute the notifications in the evenings and night time so that you don't accidentally get drawn in. 

Manage your stress

If you are feeling stressed all the time, it's important to address the issue. Find out what your source of stress is - is it work, or is there something going on in your life? Try and find ways to release stress so you can feel happier and healthier. You can find more information about managing stress here.

If work is the source of stress, find out about how to deal with stress at work here.

Look after your mental health

Work on building your positive mental health. Positive mental health allows us to enjoy life’s pleasures, believe in our own abilities, cope with the normal stresses of life, work/study productively and enjoy socialising. By looking after your mental health, you will learn the importance of maintaining a work/life balance. You can find out more about positive mental health here.

Spend time with people who make you feel good

Make sure to spend time with friends, family and your hobbies. If you are having a busy work week, choose something fun to do at the weekend or during the week to give you a break. Spending time with friends can make a huge difference.

Speak up about issues in the workplace

If there are issues at your workplace that are stressing you out, raise them with your employer. You can find out more about bullying at work here.
 

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Published Novem­ber 14th2016
Tags employment mental health
Can this be improved? Contact editor@spunout.ie if you have any suggestions for this article.

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