People have long struggled to separate work and home life. Thanks to the global pandemic that has more people working remotely from their homes, the lines dividing the two worlds have become even blurrier. Learning to separate the two, wherever you work, is crucial for your career, personal life, stress management, mental health, and overall well-being.
The advances in technology that make us available for work-related tasks at all times can make it challenging to give your complete attention to your family or personal life when you are with them. The constant connectivity can have the same inverse impact on your time at work when you are often distracted by social media, text messages, and other personal matters that reduce your productivity at work.
Employers have discovered that promoting a healthy separation between work and home has benefits for the employee and the company. Many employers are implementing steps to encourage their employees to learn to balance work and personal life. Work-related stress can contribute to burnout, which can devastate an employee’s career and is costly for a company. Other advantages to a healthy work-life balance include:
- Reduced absenteeism
- Increased productivity
- Less stress, which contributes to an overall sense of well-being
- Employees with a healthy work-life balance are often more loyal to a company and tend to remain at the same company longer than employees who do not maintain a healthy balance.
Steps to separate work and home
Learning to set limits for both your work and personal life can have a profound impact on your physical and mental health. To begin to take charge of your time, consider:
- Learn to say no—How often do you agree to activities or projects that you do not have time for or do not enjoy? Say no to things that will take away from your health, well-being, personal time, or your business goals.
- Manage your time—There is only so much time in a day, so learning to manage your time efficiently can give you a sense of control. Cut out or delegate activities that are not important, or that you do not enjoy, whenever possible. Whether it is work or home, determine how your time could best be spent, and make a plan that honors your choices.
- Leave work at work. Even if you work at home, take definitive action to separate your work life from your home life. Close your laptop, put away your files, and make a conscious decision that you are leaving work—even if you are working from your kitchen table or home office.
Take care of your physical and mental health
At Arcara Psychiatry, in Boston, the emphasis is on taking care of the whole person. A healthy lifestyle includes taking care of your mental and physical health, as well as reducing stress and doing things that please you. If you are striving to achieve a work-life balance, a healthy lifestyle is essential. Consider the following suggestions to help achieve and maintain good health.
- Eat a healthy diet. There are far too many diet fads out there that come and go. Instead of dieting, consider adopting a healthy way of eating. Eating fruits, vegetables, and lean protein, while cutting out sugar and simple carbohydrates, have benefits to both body and mind. Studies show that the Mediterranean diet, which closely resembles the way of eating described above, enhances the ability to retain information and increases the overall sense of well-being.
- Practice healthy sleep hygiene to avoid insomnia, and make sure you get enough sleep each nice. Sleep deprivation can lead to increased stress levels and a reduced immune system.
- Set aside time each day for fun and relaxation. It is all about finding a balance, and fun and relaxing activities deserve to be a priority.
- Build a strong support system. Whether at work where you need co-workers who will have your back when things get tough to personal relationships, you need to invest in building relationships with people who will help support you through trying times. These relationships do not just happen. They need to be carefully cultivated and nourished.
Seek professional help if needed
If you are struggling to find a balance between work and home, you need to know it is okay to seek help. A professional can help you find the tools you need to cope with stress and chaos and help you identify negative thinking patterns that can sabotage a work-life balance. If you are seeking mental health care in Boston, consider Arcara Psychiatry. Our trained staff can help you find and maintain a healthy and balanced life.