October 17, 2022

How to Achieve a Work-Life Balance

Tiffany Wong

How to Achieve a Work-Life Balance

In our day and age, it's easy for us to get swept up in our work mindset to get things done, especially when technology makes our work readily accessible at home. In our obligation to devote ourselves to work while managing other responsibilities, we eventually forget about taking care of ourselves. Our work life inevitably bleeds into our home life, which can cause strain in both our personal and professional relationships and adds unnecessary stress. To keep ourselves healthy both mentally, physically, and emotionally, it's best to create a healthy work-life balance. Here are some tips in achieving that goal.

While at Work

  • Manage Your Tasks: Making a To-Do list helps us visualize what we need to get done, and can help you organize what tasks should be given priority and what can be handled at a later time. Procrastinating simply makes the task seem like an even bigger burden the longer it is put off. With a big project, it's best to take it step by step. Dividing it into smaller tasks spread out over a span of time can help us digest what needs to be done first, and make the task easier to handle. At the same time, you don't want to overextend yourself and give yourself a bigger workload than you can handle. Be realistic about your deadlines and how much work you can really do without compromising your mental health.  
  • Take Breaks: While you're working, take small 5-minute breaks to clear your head if you've been working for a longer stretch of time. These breaks are beneficial because they also help you refocus your mind. Giving your brain a break not only helps you refocus your mind, but also lets you return to work refreshed and alert.
  • Communicate: Communication is key wherever you're working. Don't be afraid to communicate with your colleagues and your boss if something is bothering you or overwhelming you. Suggest alternatives and be willing to compromise, but also stand your ground and get your point across calmly and clearly.  

One last thing that might be helpful to remember is that when we feel more in control over our work, the less stressed we get. In addition, remember that it is perfectly normal to feel stressed, overwhelmed, and overextended. Everyone needs breaks and time to themselves, and it is more than acceptable to give yourself that time.  

While at Home

  • Unplug: We're surrounded by technology and social media 24/7 that it's very easy to become burned out. As helpful as technology is, it can also give you unnecessary stress since there is no pause button on the information it offers us. Give yourself time away from technology to do other things that connect us with the world around us. Find a hobby that will help you relax and take your mind off of things!
  • Check in With Your Support System: Take some time to talk to your family and friends! Humans are social creatures, and connecting with our loved ones helps us to destress and feel more positive emotions. Don't be afraid to ask your support system for help either--whether it is to ask for advice or to go on a walk with a friend!  
  • Take Care of Your Body: Staying active keeps you physically healthy and emotionally positive. Exercise can actually give you a mood lift by reducing stress, depression, and anxiety! In addition to exercise, be sure to eat right and get adequate sleep. Both of these factors also have an impact on your physical health and your mood.  
  • Seeking Help: Don't be afraid to seek help from a mental health professional either. Asking for help isn't something to be ashamed of, especially not if it will help your health and happiness.  

Separating your work life from your home life is a great way to make sure your keeping up with your responsibilities without compromising your personal health. Give time to yourself to be productive, but also to sit back and unwind. Achieving a healthy work-life balance might be a long and hard process, but in the end, it'll benefit yourself the most!

Resources:

https://www.mhanational.org/work-life-balance

https://www.mayoclinic.org/healthy-lifestyle/adult-health/in-depth/work-life-balance/art-20048134

ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Tiffany is a Psychology student at the University of California, Berkeley who is also minoring in Education. At Thaddeus Resource Center, she works as a psychology intern in AGAPE House. In the future, she aspires to become a high school counselor to emphasize the importance of mental health and to help students both academically and emotionally. In her free time, Tiffany likes to play video games, listen to music, and spend time with her loved ones.