Striking a Work-Life Balance This World Health Day
Another fourteen-hour workday with little to show for it. A disgruntled partner you see less often than your boss. A workload that threatens to cripple your life. Presenting a day in the life of thousands of corporate bondsmen, ladies and gentlemen.
In a hire-and-fire age where technology equals 24/7 access, work-life balance has become a serious challenge for many corporate mavens. In a survey conducted by Harvard Business School, 94% of working professionals reported working more than 50 hours per week, while nearly 50% reported more than 65 hours. With corporate professionals entangled in a for-better-or-for-worse commitment with their jobs, most signs are pointing to for-worse.
A Spotlight On Employee Health
It is well-accepted that compounding workplace stress can cause serious damage to mental health, relationships and happiness. This begs the question: is there a switch that you can turn off at the end of a workday? There isn’t. But there are certainly ways to partition your day into watertight units: one devoted to your work, the other to yourself and your family. A good work-life balance is known to reflect in the workplace, and is intrinsically linked to higher productivity, better job satisfaction and greater peace of mind.
Finding the Balance
Carving time out for yourself isn’t as much an indulgence as it is a necessity. By making time for yourself and your loved ones, you can renew your spirit and create a zone in your life for repose and rejuvenation. Take baby steps to begin with: don’t attend calls after 8, make sure to be home in time for dinner, tuck your kids into bed as a ritual. If you’re struggling to break out of your self-imposed workplace shell, these tips should help you get started.
- Engage in Wellness Programs
If your organization regularly schedules wellness programs, make the most of them! Very few companies go the extra yard to safeguard their employees’ health, so embrace every workshop and session that comes your way. If you don’t have a formal wellness program in place, OurHealthMate can help your organization get started. Ask your HR representative to reach out to us and we’ll tailor a wellness package to suit you and your colleagues.
- Don’t Be a Perfectionist
It’s awesome to be an overachiever, but don’t let perfectionist tendencies get the better of you. Perfectionism is often a trait that manifests during childhood, but as workplace demands and responsibilities increase, maintaining such a track record can take a toll, and sometimes, even prove destructive. Do your job well, but drop the out-of-reach, idealistic expectations.
- Cut Off From Technology
Technology has impacted our lives on all fronts: from social media and gaming to around-the-clock emails and access. We’re all likely culprits of sneaky screen time: in the bathroom, under the covers, mid-conversation with our partners. Robert Brooks, professor of psychology at Harvard Medical School and co-author of The Power of Resilience: Achieving Balance, Confidence and Personal Strength In Your Life says that it’s important to simply unplug. Perennial phone notifications can shift the energy of a room and infuse a nervous undercurrent. Resistance also leads to resilience, says Brooks, and resilient people are known to have greater control over their lives.
- Find Your Zen
Meditation and exercise can be wonderful mood lifters in the scheme of a hectic lifestyle. Exercise serves to release endorphins in the body, while meditation can wash stress away in a healthy, therapeutic way. The parasympathetic nervous system (the body’s rest response) can be activated through meditation and exercise routines, and over time, can vanquish the response sent out by the sympathetic nervous system (the body’s stress response).
This World Health Day, endeavor to gift yourself a lifestyle that allows you to thrive and strive for milestones not just in the workplace. Make time for things that matter.
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