Maintaining a healthy work-life balance is absolutely key when it comes to mental well-being and occupational health. It’s great to be productive, but overworking yourself will only cause bigger problems in the future. Here are our five top tips for making sure you get that work-life balance just right.
1. Work is for work hours
If there’s one piece of advice we would give to everyone if we could, it’s to keep work to work hours. Set your work hours each day and stick with them. If you’re always working late, it’s going to eat into your free time and your sense of self, too. Additionally, trying to keep your work in the workplace – whether that’s an office you commute to or a study in your own home – can help you to keep your ‘work persona’ separate from your ‘home persona’.
2. Find time for yourself every day
Between work, family, and general life admin it can be easy to let personal time fall by the wayside night after night. Make sure you set some time aside to relax and do something you love, even if it’s only 30 minutes. Of course, it’s also important to make sure you set some time aside to spend with friends and family, too.
3. Save holidays for a proper vacation
Try not to let your entire work holiday allowance be spent on dentist appointments and kids’ sick days. Save up at least some of your holiday allowance to get away every year for a proper vacation, even if all you can manage is a long weekend. Getting away from home and into a completely new environment is one way to really get your head out of work, and you’ll probably be amazed at how much more refreshed you’ll feel upon returning.
4. Make the most of your free time
How many nights have you collapsed onto the sofa at 9 pm, booted up the iPad, turned on the TV, and just spent the night vegging with the first show that caught your fancy? This isn’t really quality time. Make the most of your free time by spending it doing something you truly enjoy; whether you’re working your way through a boxset of Game of Thrones, reading the latest Ian Rankin novel or crocheting your own Fair Isle jumper, make your downtime count.
5. Take a break
Finally, give yourself a break when you need it. Feeling flustered and overwhelmed at work? Take ten guilt-free minutes to have a cup of tea, stretch your legs, or check your social media. Whatever relaxes you, it’s important not to beat yourself up about needing the odd time-out. Taking regular breaks will actually increase your productivity at work as well as keeping your stress levels down. It’s a win-win!
The importance of ensuring you get a little time every day to unwind and relax cannot be overstated. Mental health is just as important as physical health, so be sure to look after yours.