Work-life balance is essential to one’s well-being. In the US, 11.1% of employees work long hours. Employees only spend 14.4 hours to take care of themselves and take time off.
Too much work can lead to serious health problems. Mentally, it can cause burnout, making employees unmotivated, among many other worse case scenarios. Physically, it can lead to fatigue, especially if employees to devote enough time to sleep and eat healthy meals. As a result, not having a work-life balance impedes productivity.
Not only does it affect your health, but it also affects your social life. Spending too much time at work can compromise other areas of your life such as family, relationships, and friends. All are an integral part of your well-being, especially when you take Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs into consideration.
It’s overall a mess. There’s a danger of becoming a distant parent. You no longer know what’s happening to the lives of the people you hold dear. Tragically, meeting a divorce lawyer could be part of the to-do list.
The good thing is that you don’t have to drown in all these mishaps. Whether they happen or not–of course, everyone wishes for the best–repressing all these problems should be the last thing on the list. Pause for a bit, and try these methods of processing thoughts as well as emotions.
Be a good sport
The human brain has an affinity for distorting realities to uphold our current beliefs or what we want to believe. Even the best scientists in prominent labs ignore the evidence that refutes their hypotheses. An area in the brain called the dorsolateral prefrontal cortex is responsible for this stubbornness, as it inhibits thoughts that don’t match our projections.
One might say that accepting defeat and confronting one’s mistakes is against our neurological nature. However, psychologists would contend that confronting one’s negative thoughts and emotions is a crucial part of healing. Here are ways to do so:
- Identify your emotions. Where are they coming from? What’s causing them? Why do you feel that way?
- Talk about it to a friend, a trusted family member, or a healthcare professional.
- Keep a journal. Studies show that writing down your feelings makes it more tangible, making it easier to confront.
Take it one step at a time
Busy people are used to multitasking. Unfortunately, it’s inherently counterproductive because the brain is not built to process a thousand tasks at once.
To help you cope, breaking down your responsibilities one-by-one makes you more objective. Try jotting down your schedule and your to-do list. This way, you can see how your day is expected to go without cramming them into a single chunk labeled as “work”. Organizing things this way allows you to divide your time into personal and professional.
Make time to deal with personal issues
It doesn’t have to be a full day off. Even when you just take 30 minutes of your day reflecting on your thoughts and organizing the day’s agenda, this short amount of time can prevent your worries from manifesting in more extreme ways. Take a deep breath in, and let your frustrations out as you exhale.