Blog Posts

June 17, 2019

Importance of Work-Life Balance

In the last blog post, I wrote about the fine line between workaholism and merely being passionate about one's work. Although we make an effort to purposely quit things to achieve greater wellness (such as smoking or drinking), we rarely see work as a potentially harmful and destructive activity.

In our increasingly competitive world, I think many of us feel that in order to be successful and keep our job, we must spend more hours actively working and continuously increasing our output. We begin to find ourselves off-kilter and out of balance. It results in burn out, illness, strained relationships, depression, anxiety, and the list goes on.

Unless we experience a crisis or the situation is dire, we usually don't quit or change jobs to improve our wellness. Although our work environment may be less than ideal, even harmful or toxic to our health, we tend to stick it out.

Of course, in our world today jobs can be tough to come by. As well, we live in a society where work, work, work is the norm and the reluctance to quit is understandable. The importance and necessity of working hard has been ingrained in many of us.

The benefits of working (paid or unpaid) extend beyond the financial. It also allows us to connect both socially and professionally and it forms a big part of our self-identity. The reality is that our identities are often closely tied to what we do for a living. It's no wonder that quitting a job (even one that might not be healthy for us) creates some anxiety, concern and self-doubt.

Although many people would love the option to quit work or retire, that might not be their current what can be done? Could you investigate the option for a more flexible work schedule (such as working a longer 4 days instead of 5) or job sharing to reduce the total workload? Another idea to consider may be paying someone to take on one of the tasks that burden you (such as lawn/snow removal or house cleaning) and eliminating consumption that adds little value to your life.

Can you set a time for yourself each day when you stop checking work messages and emails (or decide you will check during weekdays but weekends are off limit)? How are you spending your holidays...are you even taking them? What do you stand to gain, or lose, by not fully taking your allocated work holidays? When you are away from work can you focus on and enjoy other activities?

I would suggest that you reflect on your life, to think about what's most important to you and your family, and to decide what you might need to 'quit' to improve your total wellness. Why wait until you experience a crisis or your health suffers!? What can you do now to improve your work situation and overall wellness?

Moving you forward, WLS

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