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Creating Balance: A Guide to Harmonizing Work and Personal Life for Optimal Well-Being
Have you ever felt like your work days are suddenly creeping into your “me” or family time? Do thoughts of your office workload keep you from having a good night’s sleep even when you’re already tired after a long day? If so, perhaps it’s high time you focus on creating the ever-elusive work-life balance.
Striking a good balance between work and personal life allows individuals to sustainably meet the demands of their lives. Achieving this balance may seem far-fetched, but it can be attainable with the right combination of various healthy practices.
Importance of Work-Life Balance on Well-Being
First, let’s talk about why work-life balance matters. There are plenty of benefits to achieving this healthy balance, including better performance at work and improved relationships. But perhaps the most important one of all is protecting one’s overall health.
Prioritizing work above all else will most likely end with you being overwhelmed and stressed. When you are constantly swamped with too much work and leave little to no time for personal activities, you’re setting yourself up for a stressful life. Too much stress can negatively impact your health, both physical and mental. You will put yourself at risk of serious conditions like high blood pressure and anxiety disorder.
How to Create a Healthy Balance
The importance of finding work-life balance is clear. You’re protecting your mental and physical health while improving your quality of life. You’ll be in better shape to care for every aspect of life without risking your overall well-being.
Both company leaders and employees have roles to play when promoting work-life balance. Here’s what each one can do to create a harmonious balance between work and personal life:
What Management Can Do
Dealing with stress and mental health issues in the workplace can be a tricky thing to take on. But it’s essential, especially for managers and team leaders of distributed teams, to create an environment that encourages work-life balance. Aside from nurturing remote team engagement, it also helps improve employee morale and productivity.
Set Clear Goals and Expectations
One way managers can encourage a healthy balance is by setting clear goals and expectations. Targets and expectations will look different per organization, but having a shared understanding of each member’s scope of work and expected output can help set boundaries. This can help reduce confusion and disconnect. When team members know each other’s roles, they’re less likely to take on too much work, nor would they ask others to do more than what their role covers.
Additionally, when team members are aligned on their shared and personal goals, it helps them prioritize tasks and deadlines better. This can help reduce overall stress levels and feeling of being overwhelmed.
Encourage Vacations or Time Off
Even if companies offer paid time-off, not everyone uses them. This can be due to a company culture that doesn’t value work-life balance or too much workload. Either way, management should create an environment where taking time off for personal matters, whether it’s to do errands or to recharge, is highly encouraged.
Vacations and time off can prove to be beneficial for employees who need to unplug from work to rest and reset. They can do things they enjoy doing or spend time with their loved ones. This can allow them to feel recharged and manage their stress. A healthy balance between work and rest can help employees reduce stress levels and be more energized to perform at work.
Lead By Example
It’s not enough that management talks the talk. They should also walk the walk. If they encourage employees to find a healthy balance between work and personal life, then they should do the same. Having a model of what you want employees to emulate is important. Leaders who know compassion, respect boundaries, and motivate employees to achieve work-life balance can help build a healthier company culture.
What Employees Can Do
Of course, working on boundaries and balance isn’t just the role of management. While leaders play a significant role in setting the tone and company culture, individuals must also actively play their part in establishing and honoring their own boundaries.
Take Breaks Seriously
When you take time off or even lunch breaks, allow yourself to unplug and rest. It’s essential to treat breaks as a priority rather than an unnecessary interruption.
Doing so is essential if you want to feel recharged when you return to work. Avoid squeezing in work during lunch or snack breaks. Instead, focus on your meal or other activities you intend to do during your personal time, like listening to podcasts or taking a nap. Consider disconnecting your devices or switching off work-related notifications.
Find What You Enjoy Doing
Non-work activities can help you find fulfillment and joy outside your career. They help show you that there’s more to life than your achievements (or challenges) at work. You need to explore your hobbies and passion to help you disconnect and relieve yourself from stress. Whether knitting or hiking, find activities you can do regularly and make it a priority to block off time in your schedule to do them.
Meditate in Your Own Way
Meditating is a great way to protect your overall well-being. Meditation can help you manage stress and even sleep better. You can try plenty of meditation techniques, from guided visualization to moving meditation, depending on what you’re more comfortable with. Taking time out of your busy schedule to care for yourself can help you clear your mind and find the balance you need to do well in both work and personal responsibilities.
Working hard to achieve one’s career goals is not a bad thing. In fact, it’s laudable. However, it’s important to remember that your profession is not the only part of your life that needs your attention. To protect your overall well-being, you need to maintain a good balance between work and personal life. Only then will you be able to meet the demands of life in a healthy and sustainable way.