Now that the post-pandemic dust has started to settle, employees find themselves either back in the office full-time, fully remote, or working in a hybrid environment. No matter what setting you find yourself in, achieving a healthy work-life balance in this new era takes a bit of work.
For example, if you work from home, it may be easy to get too caught up in personal errands during work hours. Likewise, in-office employees may be working too much and not saving enough time or energy for themselves when they get home.
Finding a healthy work-life balance is one of the essential aspects that drives mental health. However, it is often the most overlooked. Here are some tips to help you find that healthy work-life balance:
Track Your Day
Keep track of how long you spend on all aspects of your life — including working, commuting, errands, chores, and downtime. After a day or two of tracking, assess how you feel. Are you tired? Did you notice that you are spending too much time on certain aspects of your life? Once you have some insight into how things are going, try adding or subtracting a few hours from certain activities that will help drive your happiness.
Work in Chunks
Working anywhere for 8+ hours a day is sure to lead to burnout. Instead, try working in chunks. Set a timer for 45 minutes and commit yourself fully to that time period. After 45 minutes, take a 15-minute break (walk around, eat a snack, or stretch), then hop back into work. This tool is a popular way to stay focused while avoiding burnout – whether you work in the office or at home!
Limit Personal Errands During Work
If you work remotely or as a hybrid employee, it is crucial not to spend too much time on personal errands during work hours. Before you stand up at 3 pm to fold the laundry, ask yourself if that should wait until after 5 pm. There may be better, more productive ways to spend your time. Remember that remote work often comes with the expectation that you will commit to the same hours that you would in-office. Therefore, try to block out specific times for work and other times for domestic chores.
However, just as you would have breaks in an office, you can and should take your breaks as a remote employee. Use these predetermined break times to complete any personal errands that you desire, including folding the laundry, walking your dog, or doing the dishes.
Limit Work During Personal Time
Before you pick up the phone or check your email after work hours, take a moment to pause and assess what you are about to do. Is it that important? Are there other ways that you could use this time?
Remember that relaxation is just as important as work. Allocate time each day to spend on activities you enjoy, such as reading, exercising, or spending time with friends and family. If your job is bleeding into your personal time for weeks on end, you may need to get more organized, improve time management or speak with your company about ways to improve efficiency.
Check In With Yourself
If you are not happy with your job, work-life balance doesn’t matter. If your company is causing you more stress than it’s worth, then you may never find that perfect balance. If this sounds familiar, it might be time to explore other employment opportunities.
However, before moving on from a company or changing careers, make sure that you have taken some time to check in with yourself. Ask yourself what you want out of your career and how your current role fits into that. While your current role might not be the perfect one, it is likely that with a little more introspection and some creative thinking you can find ways to make the most out of what you have.
Work-life balance is about achieving a state of equilibrium. Your attention should be divided between work and spending time on YOU. This may not be a 50/50 split for everyone, depending on what brings you joy.
Finding a healthy balance takes some introspection and creativity. However, once you have set up structures to support it, maintaining this balance will become much easier over time.
Contact Mile High Psychiatry
Your mental health is our priority. While feeling occasional stress over work is totally normal, feeling anxiety, dread or depression for months on end is not. At Mile High Psychiatry, we are here for you. If you experience these symptoms on a regular basis or know of someone who you think may be struggling with mental health issues, request an appointment today to see how we can help.