Unlocking Work-Life Balance: A Healthy Lifestyle Approach

Finding a healthy balance between work and life can be difficult but these tips will help you find the balance you need in your life.

A desktop decoration with Work Life Balance words in black on top of a white and glossy background.

Finding a healthy balance between work and life can be difficult, especially for adults who confront numerous obstacles that make it difficult to maintain a healthy balance.

Things have changed dramatically in the last 20 years, with the economy, technology, and society putting greater strain and demands on us at work.

As a result, many people are experiencing burnout, stress, and mental health issues.

Why Do People Find Achieving Work-Life Balance Difficult?

To address these challenges, we must discover strategies to establish clear boundaries between work and home life, as well as take good care of ourselves both during and after work.

But, before we get into how to achieve that, let's look at some of the reasons why many adults find it difficult to combine work and life. Here are a couple of such examples:

  1. Unrealistic job demands: A busy profession or unrealistic job demands might make finding time for personal life challenging, resulting in a lack of work-life balance. The more difficult a job, the more work you will have to accomplish outside of regular working hours, diminishing time and energy for personal interests outside of work.
  2. Long working hours: Working long hours may leave people with less time and energy to respond to their personal needs and duties, such as family, friends, hobbies, or health. This might lead to a sense of unhappiness and imbalance in their life.

    It can also have a negative impact on their physical and emotional health, leaving them exhausted, stressed, burned out, or unhappy. Working 55 hours a week for a long period, could lead to a higher risk of having a stroke or heart disease, according to the World Health Organization (WHO). The study found that working long hours could increase the chances of these health problems by 35% and 17%, respectively.
  3. Inflexible work schedule: A rigid work schedule due to unsupportive managers, colleagues, family, and friends can makes it difficult to balance work and personal life, which is likely to cause further stress and burnout.

    Due to restrictive working hours, individuals may find it difficult to engage in healthful activities such as exercise or hobbies. They may also miss social events or activities, leading to feelings of loneliness and a lack of work-life balance.
  4. Mr/Ms Perfectionist: Some people find it more difficult than others to juggle both work and life. For example, some people find it hard to say no to others for fear of disappointing them and strive to achieve perfection in everything they do for fear of failure.

These beliefs can make people feel guilty or worried when they take time off as they find it hard to set boundaries between work and life. They tend to overwork and ignore their personal life, causing them to be dissatisfied and anxious.

Work-Life Balance and Mental Health

stressed young man with glasses looking at the laptop screen with hands in his head.

A healthy work-life balance is critical for overall wellness. When one's employment occupies too much time and energy, it can have a negative impact on one's mental health, such as:

  1. Increased stress and anxiety: An unbalanced work-life can increase the risk of physical health problems and disrupt sleep patterns, resulting in exhaustion, poor cognitive performance, and mental health issues.
  2. Reduced life satisfaction: When people are dissatisfied with their lives, they may experience unpleasant emotions such as sadness, frustration, and disappointment, which can lead to symptoms of depression, anxiety, and other mental health disorders.
  3. Difficulty concentrating: Difficulty concentrating is a common symptom of several mental health issues, including attention deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), anxiety, and depression. It can hinder their ability to focus on tasks and engage in social activities, leading to feelings of frustration, low self-esteem, and decreased productivity.
  4. Job burnout: A mental health issue induced by constant workplace stress. Job burnout can influence one's general quality of life, resulting in decreased job performance, motivation, and absenteeism.
  5. Relationship issues: An uneven work-life balance can lead to relationship problems, such as spending less time with family and friends, which can contribute to feelings of loneliness and isolation. When people experience relationship problems, it can lower their self-esteem and cause them to worry excessively.

Maintaining Work-Life Balance and Living Healthy Lifestyle is Possible!

A young lady in a blue cardigan and jeans sitting on a chair looking at her iPad with a smile that shows a set of beautiful teeth.

Leading a healthy lifestyle while maintaining a decent work-life balance is important. Here are some pointers on how to achieve that:

  1. Increase energy and stamina: A healthy lifestyle that includes regular exercise and proper nutrition can boost energy and stamina, making it easier to combine work and personal responsibilities.
  2. Improve focus and concentration: Exercise increases blood flow and oxygen to the brain, which improves cognitive performance, memory, and focus. It also helps to alleviate stress and anxiety, which can impair concentration and attention.
  3. Improve mental health: A healthy lifestyle that includes regular exercise, good nutrition, and stress-reduction techniques can result in improved overall well-being and work-life balance.
  4. Incorporate better time management: A healthy lifestyle can help people prioritize their time, resulting in better time management and work-life balance.
  5. Increase resilience: A healthy lifestyle may enhance resilience, making it easier to cope with stress and bounce back from setbacks, which can aid in preserving a work-life balance.
  6. Reduce absenteeism: A healthy lifestyle can reduce the likelihood of illness and injury, resulting in fewer absences and increased productivity at work. Improving absenteeism benefits both parties. Employers can promote an enjoyable and healthy work atmosphere that fosters attendance and increases employee productivity.
  7. Integrate personal values into work: Maintaining a healthy lifestyle can boost your job satisfaction and work-life balance by integrating personal values and aspirations into professional activity.
  8. Improve sleep quality: Getting at least 6 hours of sleep per day on a regular basis can enhance work-life balance by decreasing anxiety, increasing energy levels, improving mood, and strengthening mental clarity, all of which can contribute to higher productivity and a greater ability to handle work and personal responsibilities.
  9. Provide a sense of purpose: A strong sense of purpose can be an effective motivator and guide in realizing one's full potential. A strong sense of purpose allows one to remain positive in the face of adversity and maintain good mental health.
  10. Increase overall happiness: Achieving work-life balance can boost overall happiness by allowing people to pursue personal interests and spend time with loved ones, which leads to a sense of fulfilment and contentment both at work and at home.

Lastly, by implementing lifestyle changes such as regular exercise, nutritious food, and stress-reduction strategies, individuals can increase their energy levels, improve their efficiency and ability to concentrate, and reduce absenteeism due to injuries or illnesses.

A healthy lifestyle can also improve mental health by reducing stress and anxiety, increasing sleep quality, and increasing overall happiness and fulfillment. Malaysians can enhance their work-life balance by prioritizing a healthy lifestyle, which will lead to improved well-being and a more rewarding life.

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