How to Improve the Work/Life Balance

A recent study published in a BMC Public Health journal has revealed that working adults across Europe who have a poor work-life balance are more likely to report having poor general health. A person may feel as though their life is centred around their working life and career, making it a challenge to unwind and make time for themselves.

Downtime and making time for hobbies and relaxation is essential for mental wellbeing. But chasing deadlines, financial obligations, pressing family responsibilities, or in a constant cycle of working overtime allows little time for a person to fully engage in their family, work and/or social life. The need to balance work and life can seem impossible and only adds to the pressure.

Life and Business Coach, Helen Campbell shares advice on combatting the struggle of maintaining a healthy work/life balance. She comments, “It can be useful to start by exploring where the time is actually going and what is out of balance”.

A great tool for exploring this is ‘The Wheel of Life’, which can be found on Helen’s website for free (use the password creative). Helen also recommends creating a vision board, “Fill it with the things you want to do and that are important to you, making sure to include plenty of stuff that helps you to feel calm and relaxed.”

Once we are more aware of what it is we want to make time for and what we’d like to spend LESS time on, making a plan becomes clearer, says Helen. She elaborates, “Say I wanted to get outside more, then I might start with challenging myself to step outside of my front door once a day for a week. That won’t overwhelm me as it takes just a few seconds to step outside. And I’m forming a habit. Once I know I can step outside every day for a week I start to trust myself to build a healthy habit around my wellbeing so perhaps then I can challenge myself to step outside every day but twice a week to walk for ten minutes. And build up my wellbeing habits from there.”

Slow and steady wins the race and by building regular habits to help us stay balanced, we can improve our wellbeing, says Helen.

Keeping it simple is key. Ben Taylor from Home Working Club, advises that a person feeling overwhelmed by the pressure to balance the work/life rhythm should focus on one thing at a time. He comments, “My best advice is to communicate with your family and find your own rhythm. Perhaps you work better in the evening, or have certain tasks you CAN do while the children are having online classes. Don’t think there’s any right or wrong answer, but DO work out your own boundaries, and ensure everybody respects them, including you”

Do you have a positive news story to share? Get in touch.

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Wellbeing writer, host for The Inspired Narrative podcast and mental health support worker.

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