The illusive work/life balance is something that has gained media attention the past few years. Among mindfulness, gratitude and other wellness trends, it’s easy to let good work/life balance fall by the wayside, but it’s incredibly important to maintain that balance if you want a relatively calm, collected and stress-free life.
“Achieving a healthy work-life balance should be the ultimate goal for anyone who has a job,” says Lysn COO and Head of Clinical, Tahnee Schulz. “However, what that ideal balance looks like is very individual. It’s important to be self-aware and check in with yourself from time to time. We lead such busy lives that it’s very easy to let things fall out of whack, leaving you feeling exhausted and unfulfilled.”
The 5 signs that your work/life balance isn’t right
1. If you do any of the following things…
Tahnee says that if you find yourself doing any of the following things, then you’re likely lacking boundaries.
- don’t stop for lunch
- overload yourself on coffee
- forget to look your partner in the eyes when you get home from work
- take work home with you
- work on holidays
- skip friends and family's important milestones to do work
- have your phone seemingly attached to your wrist
- don’t feel comfortable switching off from emails
“It’s important to schedule out time for yourself where you can do things you love without feeling the need to do work,” says Tahnee. “If the idea of this makes you feel panicked or stressed, it’s time to reassess your balance. Giving loved ones your undivided attention is the greatest gift of all. Life is precious and time is the one thing you can’t get back. You can get so caught up trying to get work out of the way that you’re wishing your life away. Good work ethic is a great characteristic but it needs balance. It can be a challenge to not blur boundaries and forget to value the other equally important parts of your life.”
2. You stop caring
“If you’re work/life balance is unbalanced, it’s likely you’ve stopped caring about things you used to find enjoyment in,” says Tahnee. She explains that if you’re feeling like you have emotionally, mentally or physically hit your threshold, or it’s hard getting out of bed each morning, or you’re letting your work performance slip without caring as much, then you’re showing signs of an incorrect work/life balance.
“Research shows that being in nature is a powerful way to rejuvenate and has great health benefits. The greener and lusher the environment, the better. Our cells need vibration to replenish and repair. The earths’ grounding vibration can be restorative for the min, body and soul, so get your shoes on and get into nature!” says Tahnee.
3. You give up exercise
Tahnee explains that an active lifestyle is the key to health, happiness and vitality. It can keep your mind sharp and your mental health in check. However, many people now work office jobs that require you to sit for many hours a day. Tahnee says that sitting is considered the new smoking because recent research shows it can shave years off your life. “If you have a job that requires you to sit for long periods, schedule in some exercise,” says Tahnee.
“Not only is exercise great to keep you in shape, but the feel-good endorphins it releases are beneficial to your mental well-being. You might have given up exercise because you feel like you don’t have the time in your day, or that work is a priority, but it’s important to make your health a number one priority.”
“The problem-solving area of your brain requires a balanced ‘chemical-soup’ to work properly, so overloading your brain is actually counterproductive and ineffective. Try to force yourself to take time for exercise in a way you enjoy, no matter what. The added bonus is that it can help to clear your headspace a little and improve your work performance.”
4. You don't feel 'right'
If you find yourself feeling ‘off’ more than you feel ‘on’, it might be time for an evaluation of your life choices, says Tahnee. If you’re feeling unhappy, unmotivated, uninspired, not yourself, in a generally downcast mood or find yourself making silly mistakes, you might need a mental health day away from work to pinpoint exactly why you are feeling this way.
“If you’re waking up each day in a sombre mood, or -worse still- dreading the day ahead, it’s time to take some time out and get your balance back,” says Tahnee. “Worrying and focusing on the negatives of life is natural human behavior, but it’s important to focus worry in a productive manner. Try to break things down into What can I control? What can I partially control? What can’t I control? and try to focus on what you can control and partially control. This allows you to have an effective action plan, leaving you feeling less mentally burdened and more empowered.”
5. You feel lonely
“This can be a confusing one, especially if you have people around you all the time at work, digitally or in meetings, but still don’t feel ‘connected’,” says Tahnee. “This is likely because the time that you’re spending with people isn’t actually meaningful interactions, making you feel empty. You may be feeling disgruntled about work or undervalued, which could also make you feel lonesome. Human connection is more important for your wellbeing than people often appreciate.”
If fact, research shows that the brain development of children raised without affection is more limited compared to those raised with affection. This is also the case with the elderly. Tahnee says that knowing your wellbeing can deteriorate without genuine human connection could be the push you need to get your head out of the excel document and into a meaningful conversation with someone you care about.
“You never know, it just might be what they need too!”
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