Why the Correct Work/Life Balance is Important for Your Mental Health
By Milly Hailstone
We've all had those dreams, where you spend an entire night of sleep working at your day job. It's almost as if you didn't sleep at all - you aren't refreshed and you wake up feeling pretty stressed. You spent the night trying to fulfill strange tasks, and you start to wonder if you're brain ever truly switches off. So, why does this happen? Usually, it's because your work/life balance is all wrong.
What is Work/Life Balance?
So, how do you know when you've got a good work/life balance? Well, when you've got it perfect, you can switch off from your day job and enjoy your free time. When you clock out 5pm on Friday, you don't think about work again until 9am on Monday morning.
But, if you're working too much, it can feel like the weight of the world is on your shoulders and you begin to obsess over every task that needs to be done. If this resonates with you, chances are, you're working extra hours to make more money or you have a particularly stressful job. This isn't always a bad thing, especially if you are investing in yourself with a side-hustle. But, make sure don't give yourself too many tasks to do, otherwise you'll risk suffocating under the pressure.
So, how can you get the balance back?
1. Don't take work calls or answer emails at the weekends
2. Get a hobby that takes your mind off work and allows you to live in the moment
3. Catch up with friends to distract you from thinking about work.
4. If you have a side-hustle, don't forget that socializing is important for your health too.
Stress Isn't Healthy
These days, we think it's so natural to be stressed out all of the time. Whether that stress comes from work, money, or elsewhere, our society has normalized these negative feelings. It's almost like, if you aren't stressed out with a cup of coffee in your shaky hands you aren't working hard enough. Think about the impact this has on your mind and body - there's no need to work yourself into a bad state, just to 'prove' that you are working hard enough.
In the entrepreneur world, It might be cool and respected to hustle for 16-hours, but is it healthy? There's no need to feel guilty for taking a day off.
It's no surprise that stress isn't good for you. Not only does it impact your physical health, but it's also terrible for those of us who suffer from anxiety and depression. Generally speaking, day-to-day tasks can be stressful enough, let alone added pressure from work.
That's why it's important to let yourself relax. Remember, you're a human being - not a worker bee. If possible, spend next weekend in nature with friends or family. Cook something over an open fire and ground yourself to your surroundings. It'll feel like a mini-vacation and be the perfect antidote to stress.