For a lot of people, the pursuit of a healthy work/life balance seems like an impossible goal.
With so many of us torn between juggling heavy workloads, managing relationships and family responsibilities while squeezing in outside interests, it's no surprise that many describe themselves as “super stressed.” And that’s not balanced or even healthy.
In our rush to “get-it-all-done” at the office and at home, it’s easy to forget that as our stress levels spike, our productivity plummets. Stress can zap our concentration, make us irritable or depressed, and harm our personal and professional relationships.
Over time, stress also weakens our immune systems, and makes us susceptible to a variety of ailments from colds to backaches to heart disease.
When people are balanced and happy, they are more productive, take fewer sick days, and are more likely to stay in their jobs.
Most importantly is that one must schedule to “unplug” regularly. The same technology that makes it so easy for employees to do their jobs flexibly, can also burn us out if we use them 24/7. By all means, make yourself available, especially if you’ve earned the right to “flex” your hours, but recognize the need for personal time, too.
Stay active. Aside from its well-known physical benefits, regular exercise reduces stress, depression and anxiety, and enables people to better cope with adversity, according to researchers. It’ll also boost your immune system and keep you out of the doctor’s office. Make time in your schedule for the gym or to take a walk during lunch and try to have some fun!
For everybody the perfect life-work balance is different, but make sure you do not overcommit. Do you feel stressed when you just glance at your calendar? If you’re overscheduled with activities one needs to learn to say, “no”.