Today’s technology driven and highly interconnected world makes it incredibly easy to stay connected to our professional life, regardless of the time of day. But between the constant flow of work-related calls, messages, and emails, it may be difficult to draw a clear line between your professional and personal life. Staying connected is beneficial. But when work begins to repeatedly interfere with one’s family, social life, or leisure time, it can lead to a state of emotional, physical, and mental exhaustion from stress – also commonly known as burnout. Repeated exposure to work stress not only jeopardizes the quality of personal relationships, but can also elicit health complications. Luckily, there are steps you can take to ensure you maintain a work-life balance to prevent burnout and pursue a healthy personal life.
A poor work-life balance can also lead to the following consequences:
- Fatigue – Frequent feelings of tiredness can hinder you from thinking clearly and being productive. Not only does fatigue reduce the quality of your work, but can also lead to costly mistakes, poor work communication, and also take away from fully enjoying your leisure time.
- Health Risks – Work stress can also bring up a multitude of health issues. Stress compromises your immune system, leading to higher chances of catching colds and infections. Exposure to stress leads to heart disease, high blood pressure, diabetes, headaches, tense muscles, chest pain, and loss of sexual desire and/or ability.
- Relationship Issues – Too much time invested in work can impede on your personal relationships. This can result in missing out on social opportunities or important family events and tamper the quality of your relationships.
Setting the right boundaries will help you juggle your career and personal life. Here are a few tips on how to set limits in order to embrace both areas of life.
- Learn to say no – If you feel like you have too much on your plate, remember it’s okay to respectfully decline the task. You don’t need to accept tasks out of guilt or a false sense of obligation.
- Time management – Delegate a reasonable, equal distribution of time to both your professional and personal life. Prioritize events that you enjoy and reevaluate tasks that you can’t handle. Keep a schedule you can update regularly and make a list of tasks you need to accomplish to stay organized.
- Stay in the present moment – When spending quality time with your family, dedicate your full attention on what’s happening at home. Likewise, make sure to leave family issues at home when in the office. Directing your attention to the task at hand will help increase productivity and fully enjoy what’s happening in the moment.
- Don’t underestimate self-care – prioritizing a healthy lifestyle will benefit the other areas in your life. Make sure to get eight hours of sleep, eat a healthy diet, exercise regularly, and dedicate time to hobbies or activities you love.
Both areas of work and play contribute to the quality of your life. The “right” balance varies from person to person, but ultimately, a healthy work-life balance is taking a perspective that equally values both your professional and personal areas of life. If you feel like you are struggling with finding the right balance, seeking a professional therapist can give you insight and tangible tips on how to set boundaries. Visit our website to connect with one of our experienced MFTs today!
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