Wednesday, 18 April 2012

Looking at Work/Life Balance

The pressure of an extremely strenuous work life in the west is perhaps the greatest factor influencing the psychological wellness of the population. A significant number of individuals are ignoring the factors in their lives that make them vulnerable to psychological illness.

It is approximated that nearly three in ten workers will experience a mental health problem in any one season. But with working hours increasing this is likely to rise.

A mental health survey found:
  • The more time you invest at work, the more time outside of work you are likely to invest in thinking or stressing about it. 
  • One third of participants experience dissatisfaction or great dissatisfaction with the amount of time they spend at work.
  • Just less than half of workers ignore other aspects of their lives because of their focus on work.
  • As you increase the number of hours spent at work, so your level of unhappiness increases.
  • Many more females report unhappiness compared to men, which is probably a result of competing lifestyle tasks and more pressure to 'juggle'.
  • Nearly 60 % of workers have experienced a negative effect on their individual lifestyle, such as psychological and physical illnesses, a lack of self improvement, and relationship problems.

Things you can do to help yourself:

  • Take proper breaks at work, and try to get away on your lunch break.
  • Attempt to draw a line between work and play. If you bring work home, try to complete it in another area of the house to where you like to relax.
  • Really try to maximise on protective factors, which include exercise, leisure time and friendships/socialising. Do not sacrifice these things to work longer hours if you can, and ensure you spend adequate time on them.   
  • Be responsible and tell your employers when demands and expectations are too much.
  • Prioritise your work so that you do not waste time on less important tasks.
  • Recognise the serious link between work-related stress and mental health problems and do something about it.
  • Take note of how many hours you work a week, and how many hours you spend thinking and worrying about work.


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