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What Are Some Of The Signs Of A Poor Work-Life Balance?

13 June 2022

Finding a healthy work-life balance can prove challenging, but if we don’t get it right, the effects can be far-reaching. Mental health conditions, issues with family life and relationships and a higher risk of stroke and heart disease. These are just some of the consequences of not getting the balance right. With so much at stake, we should make balancing our work and life schedules a priority. In this article, we explore the signs and effects of a poor work-life balance and consider how to achieve a healthy balance.

Signs Of An Unhealthy Work-Life Balance

If you notice any of these signs, consider it as a warning to get your work-life balance in check:

● You're always feeling tired or getting hit with the latest bug doing the rounds at the office

Work stress can leave us feeling tired and run down. Stress-related symptoms can include chronic tension headaches, muscle fatigue, low mood, brain fog, poor memory, tiredness and lack of motivation. Make sure you get around 8 hours of sleep to keep your mind and body refreshed after a long day at the office.

● Your fitness levels drop

If you don’t set aside time to hit the gym or do a home workout, your fitness and physical health are going to suffer. You may have started to gain weight or feel a bit out of breath as you climb the stairs. This is your body telling you to schedule some exercise into your daily routine.

● You are consistently working late

Being the last one to leave the office every day is a bad habit. Plan your day effectively to ensure you complete your assigned daily tasks, but when you're done, go home! Don’t be tempted to stay for an extra half hour to catch up on emails, they will still be there in the morning!

● You take work home

Likewise, don’t be tempted to open up your laptop as soon as you get home. Keep your home life distinct and separate from your work life. This can prove more difficult for those of us working remotely, but try to work only in your designated office area - don't let it overspill into family areas.

● Your relationships are suffering

Spending less time with your family and friends will put a strain on your relationships. Quality time with loved ones should always remain a top priority and will help to enhance your mood and motivation.

● You have no time for social activities

Have you been finding yourself saying “no” a lot lately? No, you can't go to the cinema. No, you can't make it to the pub. Make time to spend with your friends, doing social activities that you enjoy each week.

● Work is never far from your mind

While work is important, it should not consume all of your thoughts. When spending time with your loved ones, you should focus entirely on the moment.

● You never take a holiday

Holiday leave is there for a reason - to give you time to rest and recuperate. If you are not using it, you are losing out on precious time to make memories with your family and friends.

Effects Of A Poor Work-Life Balance

Physical Health Effects

Long working hours have been associated with a higher risk of coronary artery disease, stress-related symptoms, stroke, weakening of the immune system and exacerbation of existing conditions. Research suggests that this association may be slightly higher among women than men.

Mental Health Effects

A poor work-life balance can also have a significant effect on our mental wellbeing, leading to symptoms of anxiety and depression. Some workers may even experience physical and mental burnout as a result of work exhaustion. Long hours can also worsen symptoms of existing mental health conditions.

Relationship And Social Effects

Despite your best intentions, if you are spending too long in the office, your loved ones are bound to feel neglected. This can have a negative effect on your most important relationships. After all, you don’t want to leave your family feeling that your job is more important than them, do you?

Final Thoughts: Reclaiming Control

Designate distinct boundaries between office life and home life. Don’t be tempted to check your work emails in the evening - make it clear to your colleagues that you will respond to any messages in the morning. Use your commuting time to relax and switch off and don’t take any work calls during this time. You could try reading a book if you are on the bus or train or listening to a calming podcast if you are driving home.

If you are working remotely, create a space that is specifically for work. Keep your work away from family and living areas. Make sure your family is aware of when you shouldn’t be disturbed, so you can focus on getting your work done on time, then when you finish you can commit 100% of your attention to them.