The Mental Aspects of Work/Life Balance

In our society, the most pressing problem for most people regarding the maintenance of good mental health is our propensity towards a lifestyle that involves an increasingly strenuous work culture.  Mental health organizations continue to be concerned that the factors which enable people to resist and overcome mental illness, such as healthy relationships, are the very things that become sorely neglected when people become severely unbalanced in their daily work/life routines.

Statistically, an estimated three out of ten people are likely to suffer from some kind of mental health issue in any given year and with employment pressures increasing along with hours worked, this figure is likely to increase, as well.

Signs of Unbalance
With the rise in technological advances and the ability to work virtually anywhere, it may be hard to detect when there is a lack of balance, or possibly even an unhealthy obsession.   Some signs are as follows:
* Feeling unhappy about work most of the time
* Feeling depressed, anxious, or irritable concerning work
* Frequently worrying about work when you aren’t at work
* Decline of the quality of significant relationships

The Effects of Unbalance on Families
Knowing how to balance work and home life is a key factor in reducing parental stress which, in turn, adds stability to the family structure. In general, having an unbalanced work and home life affects interactions with other people, especially children.  Parents who are overworked are more likely to be too tired to attend extracurricular events, or be involved in their child’s education.  Sadly, unbalance also causes parents to be emotionally absent and inadvertently neglect giving necessary and proper guidance to their children.

Getting Back in Balance
Taking responsibility for your mental health is just as important as taking steps to improve physical health.  Here are a few suggestions for reclaiming the proper balance in your life.
* Don’t be afraid to express to the people in supervisory positions when you are feeling overwhelmed or under too much pressure.
* Be sure to take your allotted vacations and days off.  Everyone needs a few days to clear their head and rejuvenate.
* Take the opportunity daily to reduce stress through meditation, exercise, hobbies, or other forms of leisure activity.
* Decrease the hours you work if you can by working smarter.  Learn to manage your time and organize your tasks in order to be more efficient.

Work/life balance is an integral part of reducing stress-related psychological ailments like depression and anxiety.  The most devastating effect of our present work culture is the cultivation of a parenting deficit in our children’s lives.  It is only by understanding how the demands of the workplace can adversely affect our mental health that we can gain control and put more work into becoming more reasonable about juggling work and family.

About Melissa J. Murphy

Melissa Murphy is in the business of building self-esteem, instilling confidence, and restoring hope in those who have given up on life. She is currently completing her degree in psychology, and has worked as a life coach and faith-based counselor for more than a decade. By bringing her personal life experiences into her work, Melissa is able to help others survive their wounds, heal their pain, and live a life of success despite having incurred overwhelming emotional scars. For the last few years, she has discovered the joys of writing and has published a growing number of articles. Melissa currently resides in the Houston area with her husband and her two wonderful children.

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